ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Alex Cobb took another step toward his return to the Tampa Bay Rays’ rotation with a three-inning simulated game Tuesday in Port Charlotte, Fla.
The right-hander said he threw about 15 pitches each inning and varied the time in breaks to keep his arm prepared for game-like situations. He said “everything went really well” and that he is scheduled to throw a rehab start Saturday for Class A Charlotte at Charlotte Sports Park.
“My arm feels really good,” Cobb said, speaking from Tropicana Field before the Rays opened a two-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. “My mechanics feel a lot more fluid than when I started pitching.”
Cobb kept his right index finger covered during the simulated game, which made it difficult to throw off-speed pitches, he said. He only threw two pitches in a rehab start July 23 because of a blister on the finger.
Cobb was placed on the disabled list June 16, a day after he sustained a mild concussion when a line drive off the bat of the Kansas City Royals’ Eric Hosmer struck him on the right ear at Tropicana Field. He said he has passed all MLB concussion tests, though he still experiences “normal headaches” on occasion. Concerning symptoms from his original injury, he said, “It’s basically non-existent.”
“It’s like when you’re a little kid and you have homework to do and you can’t go outside and play with your buddies until it’s done, and they’re playing right outside your window,” Cobb said. “I know when I do come back, it’s going to be in the thick of things.”
Cobb said at least two more rehab starts are likely required before he returns. He is 6-2 with a 3.01 ERA in 13 starts this season.