Rays Roundup: As Cobb Prepares to Return, Moore’s Future Clouds

By Robbie Knopf

On Thursday night against the Seattle Mariners, Alex Cobb will make his return to the major leagues. It has been far too long.

"“It feels like it’s been so long and so many things have happened since I’ve been gone, so it’s going to be like starting all over, a new season for me,” he said."

Cobb’s return from the concussion symptoms and ear injury that have sidelined him since June 15th could not come at a better time. Rays pitchers have just a 6.48 ERA in their last 7 games, with starters managing just a 6.68 mark. Only David Price on August 9th delivered a quality start and Price on the 9th and 14th was the only starter to complete as many as 6 innings, with Rays starters averaging just 4.6 innings per start over that timeframe. Cobb was pitching out of his mind right before he got hurt, and the Rays have to hope he can return to that in short order. Cobb is confident he can help the team.

"“I’m going out there to help this team win,” Cobb said. “If I felt like I wasn’t at that point, then I would have let them know I needed more time.”"

It’s very exciting that Cobb is returning, but he was not supposed to return alone. Matt Moore, who has been on the DL since July 31st, was supposed to come back right after him. Instead, Moore felt discomfort in his elbow in his bullpen session on Wednesday, and now he will be shut down until he throws again on Saturday. \n

"“I felt good, but good isn’t great, and good isn’t 100 percent, and I think that that’s what we’re really aiming for is to get back out there and be 100 percent right,” Moore said. “There’s still a few things in doubt that we’re not comfortable with so we’re just going to give it a couple more days of no throwing and see where we’re at.”"

 Moore has “no idea” when he will return and that can’t be a good sign for a Rays team looking to get their rotation in order for the last month-and-a-half of the season. The good news is that with Cobb back, the Rays have five starters. The bad news is that Roberto Hernandez will still be trotting out to the mound every five days with no available option to replace him. The Rays need Matt Moore back. For now, however, they’re just going to have to wait.