HomeTrending MLB NewsGiants All-Star pitcher suffers setback in recovery from injury

Giants All-Star pitcher suffers setback in recovery from injury

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Alex Cobb has yet to pitch this season, as the veteran righty’s recovery from October hip surgery led to a season-opening stint on the 15-day injured list, then a move to the 60-day IL on April 20.  The latter move wasn’t necessarily unexpected due to the vagaries involved in returning from a major procedure like a hip labrum repair, yet some shoulder soreness began to develop for Cobb as he continued his workouts in April.

Unfortunately, Cobb’s shoulder issues have continued, as Giants manager Bob Melvin told NBC Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic and other reporters.  As a result, Cobb’s throwing program has been put on hold, and it appears to be a lock that he will remain on the IL well beyond his first eligible activation date of May 27.

An MRI on Cobb’s shoulder came back clean last month, so there apparently isn’t any structural issue even if his latest setback might lead to another set of tests.  Cobb also received a cortisone shot to help overcome the soreness, but that treatment also didn’t seem to solve the problem.  Until more is known about the situation, it seems like Cobb and the Giants are playing the waiting game in the hopes that rest and rehab can get Cobb’s shoulder feeling better, so he can finally properly start to ramp up his preparations to begin his season.

The Giants originally signed Cobb to a two-year, $20M deal following the 2021 season, and that contract became a three-year pact paying Cobb $28M once San Francisco exercised its club option on his services last November, even in the wake of the right-hander’s hip surgery.  Despite the injury concerns, Cobb pitched well enough (3.80 ERA over 301 innings) in 2022-23 to quite easily justify the front office’s decision to exercise that option, yet naturally some second-guessing is inevitable if Cobb is now looking like he could miss at least half the season.

Between Cobb and San Francisco’s trade for Robbie Ray this past winter, the Giants were counting on a pair of veteran reinforcements to the rotation during the season — Cobb when he was through his recovery, and Ray around August once his Tommy John rehab was complete.  Between this duo and the signings of Blake Snell and Jordan Hicks, the Giants were hoping to have a deep stable of pitching options around Logan Webb, top prospect Kyle Harrison and a host of other young arms.

The results have been mixed to date, as the rotation has been quite top-heavy.  Webb, Harrison and Hicks have all looked quite sharp, while Snell, Keaton Winn and Mason Black have all struggled mightily.  Injuries have also been a factor, as Snell and Winn are both on the 15-day IL, but Snell is nearing a return.  The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner is slated to be activated this coming week, with Pavlovic thinking Wednesday is a potential date in order to line Snell up behind Webb in the rotation.

Snell could hardly have gotten off to a worse start to his Giants tenure, posting an 11.57 ERA in 11 2/3 innings and three starts before hitting the IL with an adductor strain.  This came after Snell’s longer-than-expected stint in free agency didn’t end until he signed a two-year, $62M deal with San Francisco on March 19. He pitched in only some simulated games in extended spring training before making his first MLB start of the year on April 8.

However, Snell looks to have gotten in form during his minor league rehab stint.  The southpaw’s two minor league rehab starts (one in A-ball, one in Triple-A) have been almost literally perfect, as Snell has delivered nine hitless innings and just a single walk, with 17 strikeouts.  A healthy Snell pitching like his 2023 self would be a gigantic boost to the Giants staff, and it would help the team dig itself out of a lackluster 21-25 beginning to the season.

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