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Rays' Cobb sees positives in first spring appearance

Alex Cobb delivers in the first inning against the Twins during a 19-0 Rays victory. Cobb retired all six of his batters, saying he was happy with his fastball and curveball.
Alex Cobb delivers in the first inning against the Twins during a 19-0 Rays victory. Cobb retired all six of his batters, saying he was happy with his fastball and curveball.
Published Mar. 1, 2017

PORT CHARLOTTE — RHP Alex Cobb is about as finicky as they come in assessing his own performance. So it was somewhat notable Tuesday that after his first spring appearance he was relatively pleased.

"I'm happy with the results,'' Cobb said after retiring all six Twins he faced. "And I'm happy with two of the three pitches. I was extremely excited to see the movement on the fastball (clocked mostly 89-91 mph), and the ability to throw the curveball in and out of the zone when I wanted to. The changeup wasn't there every time I went to it, but there were glimpses of it.''

Cobb, of course, has plenty to feel good about, starting spring training of sound mind and arm after returning in September from Tommy John surgery that sidelined him since spring 2015.

"I've got to walk away from today happy,'' he eventually admitted. "After everything that's gone on last year and working on this comeback. I think maybe one time last year I had a clean two innings in a row, so I'm excited with all that and know that I'm moving in the right direction and I'm close to being back to form.''

Where's Ryan Seacrest?

Forget American Idol, there will a Rays Idol-type competition in the clubhouse before this morning's workout, with all first-time 40-man roster players performing karaoke songs behind closed doors. C Luke Maile, last year's winner for a rendition of Pearl Jam's Daughter, tabs RHPs Chih-Wei Hu and Jaime Schultz as the co-favorites.

Colome on the fast track

While the Rays are holding veteran relievers Brad Boxberger, Xavier Cedeno and Erasmo Ramirez back to get ready at a slower pace in the longer spring, closer RHP Alex Colome looked close to regular season form Tuesday. That's because after making another appearance for the Rays, he'll leave Monday to join the Dominican Republic team prepping for the World Baseball Classic. "My arm feels good, my body feels good, my command was great,'' Colome said. "Not 100 percent, but close.''

Organically, what came first …

Consider it a sign of the healthy times in a clubhouse — RHPs Brad Boxberger and Danny Farquhar each bringing in a box of organic eggs so they can have the team cook scramble them healthier breakfasts.

Something to think about

After a week-long tutorial from coach Rocco Baldelli, INF Tim Beckham makes his outfield debut today, advancing to game speed action. If he can handle it, manager Kevin Cash said, "it's going to help us quite a bit against left-handed pitching,'' as they conceivably could start eight righty swingers.

Number of the day

77½

Over/under on Rays wins by the Bovada online betting site; fewest in AL East.

Spring things

Rickie Weeks was 3-for-3, raising his spring average to .833 and OPS to 2.357.

Steven Souza Jr., recovered from September left hip surgery, is set to make his spring debut today.

• RHP Jose De Leon, the promising prospect acquired from the Dodgers for 2B Logan Forsythe, said he is healthy, eager and excited to make his first spring start on Tuesday.

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Marc Topkin can be reached at mtopkin@tampabay.com. Follow @ TBTimes_Rays.

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