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Tampa Bay Rays: Alex Cobb’s rehab cut short due to fatigue

By Althea Pashman
Mar 12, 2015; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during a spring training game at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 12, 2015; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during a spring training game at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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Fatigue cuts Cobb’s rehab start short in his second start. This and his velocity could be a cause for concern for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Recovering from Tommy John surgery isn’t fun and games, it’s a long process with months of rehabilitation and along the way setbacks can delay a return.

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb had his Tommy John surgery last March and is currently on schedule for an early to mid-August return. However, that return date could be in jeopardy.

In his second rehab start for the High-A Charlotte Stone Crabs on Monday, Alex Cobb was removed after one inning having given up a run on two hits, with a walk and one strikeout – it was however not his stats causing his removal, but the fact he threw just 27 pitches (18 for strikes), with his velocity topping out at 87 mph before feeling tired and fatigued.

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His first start came on July 6 when his pitched only two-thirds of an inning, throwing 21 pitches (eight for strikes), so Cobb was really counting on his three inning stint, showing he was able and capable of pitching longer.

It’s wasn’t Cobb’s plan to come out, but Stone Crab manager Michael Johns. Cobb told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, “It was Michael Johns and the trainers call. Too many pitches, getting tired.”

Cobb went on to say, “The difference between this outing and the last outing was night and day. A couple of more outings and I’ll feel comfortable on the mound.”

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When it comes to any significant injury or any injury for that matter, the Tampa Bay Rays have always progressed with caution on any rehab.

The organization has never rushed any injured player back to the lineup.

If what Cobb experienced was just fatigue and nothing more, which was ignited from the hot Florida sun and the humidity would be great. He would then likely be on track for his next start schedule for July 16.

However, if this has any similarity to last spring when he took himself out of a spring training game against the Philadelphia Phillies (Mar. 17) after three innings and eventually being diagnosed with tendinitis in his forearm which led to Tommy John surgery…. well, that would be devastating.

Besides the fatigue issue, the other red flag that the Tampa Bay Rays will certainly keep their eyes on is undoubtedly his velocity. Topping out at 87 mph just won’t cut it and this alone could possibly lengthen his rehab stay.

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None the less, for whatever it is worth the Tampa Bay Rays will certainly err on the side of caution and though Cobb would like nothing more than to make his next scheduled start,, he just may need to kick it back a notch and not rush.

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