Results tagged ‘ Alex Cobb ’

Baltimore Orioles: Is Alex Cobb turning into Ubaldo Jimenez II?

It begins and ends with starting pitching for the Baltimore Orioles, and last night that meant Alex Cobb. It also meant that things weren’t going to go very well for the Birds on the south side of Chicago. Cobb’s line: 3.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 3 K,

The O’s took an early 1-0 lead as Peterson singled home a run. However that was the best the Orioles were going to do on this night. Chicago’s Moncada smacked a three-run homer in the third, and the ChiSox were off to the races. When the smoke cleared at the end of the game, the O’s had fallen 11-1. Not exactly the result that anyone affiliated with the ballclub was looking to achieve.

Mark Trumbo sat in this game with knee soreness, which is something of concern for the Orioles. Trumbo of course missed the first month of the season with an injury, and the Orioles’ offense was fairly stagnant during that period. Trumbo will see the Orioles’ doctors in Sarasota before tomorrow’s game in Tampa, but the team isn’t expected to need to make a roster move.

As for Alex Cobb, he’s well aware of the pressure on him from fans to perform, and that to this point he hasn’t really lived up to his end of the bargain (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports):

There’s been some absolute difficulties for not only me, but us as a team to start the season. But I’m not going to look into how people view me as a pitcher. I’d obviously love to go out there and show the fanbase and all of baseball that the Orioles made the right decision in getting me, but it hasn’t gone according to plan to start the season. I no doubt believe that I will return to form, and this commitment that made – we made to each other – that it’ll end up working out for both sides. But you do your best convincing when you’re on the mound and pitching a good game. I plan on not looking too much into the stats and the overall season of numbers, but going game-to-game and trying to put a good streak together.

Cobb and his contract are being compared to that of former Oriole Ubaldo Jimenez, who vastly underperformed during his four years in Baltimore. Now in saying that, I always remind fans that over those four years there were plenty of times when the O’s needed a solid outing in a big spot and Jimenez delivered. That includes the 2014 AL East-clinching game.

However overall, would the Orioles still make that deal if they could do it over? Probably not. Is Cobb turning into Jimenez II? While a 1-6 start isn’t what anyone envisioned, it’s still far too early to tell.

And this season may not be the best judge, or at least the first half. Cobb missed basically all of spring training, which is obviously still affecting him. Having said all of that, there’s still a lot of season left. Cobb can still get it together, and his comment above should reassure fans that he has every intention of doing so.

The series concludes this afternoon, and the O’s will have a shot to split. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Chicago’s Lucas Giolito. Game time is set for just after 2 PM.

Baltimore Orioles, Alex Cobb get it right at “The Fens”

The Baltimore Orioles got a look at the version of Alex Cobb for which they signed up when they inked him back in spring training. It wasn’t perfect per se, but few outings at Fenway Park are going to be for any pitcher. But it was good enough to win last night – and that’s all that’s important. Cobb’s line: 6.1 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 3 K.

The Birds got on the board early on a Trumbo RBI-groundout in the first inning. Cobb gave up ten hits on the day, however for the most part the Birds were able to get out of those base runner situations unscathed. And that’s the key in baseball – getting yourself out of trouble.

Cobb in effect made one bad pitch – and it ended up being a solo homer off the bat of Betts in the third inning. Other than that, he worked out of most situations that arose. One inning after that homer the Birds got the lead back – and then some. Adam Jones‘ two-RBI single gave the O’s a 3-1 lead. Jones would also take second on a throwing error. Manny Machado would also add a two-run scoring single.

And just like that, the Orioles led 5-1 at Fenway Park. And it was due to a big inning, which was exactly how it had to be. Fenway’s been a tough place for the Birds to play the past few years. So had the lead been one or two runs, it might have been tougher to manage. But a big inning put everyone at east just a bit – including Cobb.

And sure enough, Boston did make a bit of a run. They would add two runs in the fifth to cut the lead to 5-3. However Jonathan Schoop would smack a solo homer in the seventh, extending the Birds’ lead to 6-3. And Boston came back again in the eighth –  on a Nunez RBI-double. But Trumbo’s RBI-double in the ninth inning ran the score to 7-4, which held up in the last of the ninth.

This was the Orioles’ first road victory on the season at a place other than Yankee Stadium. It was also Cobb’s first victory as an Oriole, which he addressed after the game (quote courtesy of Rich Dubroff, mlb.com):

Baseball is a crazy game, and you could have won some of those games, but I believe that when you have the ball in your hand, you have the ability to win a ballgame. I love the win. I love that column next to your name when you feel like you really show that you put your team in a position to win multiple nights.

The series continues this evening at Fenway Park. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Rick Porcello. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles fall in second game of twin bill

The Baltimore Orioles were almost playing with house money in game two of yesterday’s doubleheader last night. Almost. The game still counted towards the standings and so forth, but the fact is that most twin bills are split – regardless of the teams and their records.

So on one hand it’s not too surprising that Tampa was able to defeat the O’s and Alex Cobb, however the fact is that as I said it was a game that counted towards the standings. And Cobb was lackluster once again, although the defense behind him did him and the Orioles’ bullpen no favors. Cobb’s line: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R (3 earned), 0 BB, 5 K. (As an aside, Cobb may well have pitched deeper than 5.2 innings if not for a lengthy rain delay.)

The teams swapped lead off home runs in the first, with Tampa’s Cron and Trey Mancini of the Orioles doing the honors. However mind you that while Tampa isn’t necessarily a power-hitting team, they’re good at getting guys on base. And they did that again in the second, and Robertson provided them with an RBI-groundout in the second. Wendle’s sac fly-RBI in the third gave them a 3-1 lead.

Am I suggesting that the Orioles should start playing small ball like that? Not in the least. Often times if you play for one run you’re going to get…one run. But if you have a guy or two on base when the homers come, that generally helps your cause.

That’s not to say that Tampa has no power, as Miller smacked a homer in the fourth to give them a 4-1 lead. And then, with two outs in the top of the sixth, the weather came. And I’m not talking just rain. There was heavy rain, which came sideways at times, Wind, thunder, lightning, and hail. Yes, hail. I’m not sure, but I think it might have been the first time a storm involving hail interrupted a game at Camden Yards in it’s history. Needless to say, it wasn’t a storm that they could have weathered anywhere else but in the clubhouse.

When play resumed it appeared that the O’s were going to make a run of it. Trey Mancini got a run home in the last of the sixth with an RBI-single, and Jonathan Schoop produced an RBI-groundout. That got the O’s to within one run, but things escalated quickly.

Tampa would manage to put six more runs on the board before the game ended. And with all of them, they simply picked the Orioles to death. This team stubbornly refuses to give up at-bats, even in the doldrums of the ninth inning when the game was in essence over. It was doubtful that the Orioles had a seven-run ninth inning up their sleeve to win the game, but you never know I suppose.

One interesting question in this game is whether or not Tampa was able to knock Cobb around because they knew him. Those types of things can go either way – sometimes the player knows the team, and sometimes the team knows the player. Either way, Tampa sent Cobb to 0-5.

The Orioles will conclude this weekend series with Tampa this afternoon on Mother’s Day. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Blake Snell. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles nickel and dime’d to death in the rain

The Baltimore Orioles were looking good in this evening’s game, against a team that they should have beaten. Then the fifth inning brought rain, and took away starter Alex Cobb, who to that point had looked promising. Cobb’s line: 4.2 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 0 K.

Tampa took an early 1-0 lead after putting a couple of runners on base early, but settling for an RBI-groundout by Miller. But the Orioles stormed back almost right away. Adam Jones‘ RBI-double tied the game at one in the first inning. The Birds would then put runners at the corners with the newly acquired Jace Peterson coming to bat. Peterson of course was claimed off of waivers from New York, and figures to see a sizable amount of action in the immediate interim with Beckham now on the DL.

And Peterson came through for the Birds, with a two-RBI double to give them a 3-1 lead. And that held up…until the rain came. These are the things that happen when you’re a struggling team.

A light mist started to fall during the fourth and fifth innings. The grounds crew gathered behind the tarp, at the ready. If there was a delay and eventual cancellation, all the Orioles needed to do was get through that top of the fifth to have the game qualify as an official game.

And you could almost see that strategy forming in their minds. Just get through the inning and we may have a win and an early evening. Instead the exact opposite happened, and in the most unpredictable manner as could have been possible – which is about par for the course this year. Tampa started the inning with back-to-back singles, including a bunt back to Cobb, on a ball that probably would have been better handled in dry conditions…

…that, immediately followed by a two-RBI double by Cron to tie the game at three. Cron would be sacrificed to third, and later score on  a sac fly-RBI by Miller. Wendle would cap the inning off with an RBI-single, and the O’s trailed 5-3. Sisco’s solo homer in the last of that fifth inning would bring the Birds back to within one, but they couldn’t keep Tampa down. Hechavarria would smack a solo shot of his own in the sixth, knotching the margin back to two runs.

Tampa would add two more runs down the stretch to take the opener, 8-4. However that fifth inning really seemed to conspire against the O’s. Cobb wasn’t good by any means, but the rain did in fact affect him. And magically, as soon as the damage was done, the rain subsided.

Some might say that was dumb luck, and some might say it was justice. As I said, you could almost see the Orioles thinking down the line to the ends of perhaps rain wiping out the rest of the game. In trying to achieve that so hard, it’s almost as if Murphy’s Law began to apply.

And the fact is that Tampa nickel and dime’d the Birds to death tonight. The O’s seemingly have no use for individual base runners. They want the big blast and the dramatic play. Tampa on the other hand did value each runner, evidenced by each and every player hustling down the line out of the box. No doubt that got them infield singles on several choppers off the plate.

What the solution is for the Orioles, I really can’t tell you. What I can tell you is that on paper they’re a better team than this. Their career averages indicate that, especially against a young team like Tampa. Many of these players have been around the bend and back again. Hopefully for their sake they realize that sometime soon.

The series concludes tomorrow evening at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Chris Archer. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles can’t even get a break from the weather

This series against Tampa was supposed to be a get well series of sorts for the Baltimore Orioles. While Tampa has a slightly better record, the Birds are a much more talented team. Tampa’s a team of minor leaguers, who while having shown promise, probably wouldn’t be in the big leagues with any other organization.

So this could have been three games in which the Birds might have been able to spread their wings and show what they’re capable of in a sense. And they still could, but it’s being truncated to a two-game series. Mother nature has intervened, and tonight’s game has been post phoned.

The game will be made up as part of a single-admission doubleheader on Saturday, May 12th. Game one will begin at 3 PM, and the second one will begin approximately 20-25 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. Fans with tickets for tonight’s game will need to exchange the value of their tickets and parking for tonight’s game at the Camden Yards box office, or in writing by mail to:

Baltimore Orioles

Attn: April 24 Rainout

333 West Camden St.

Baltimore, MD. 21201

I’m not sure why the makeup was scheduled in this manner, but that’s how it goes. Teams generally don’t like giving up home games, which in essence is what the Orioles are doing. They’ll now have 80 home games this year, as that one admission on May 12th will get fans into both games.

Thus the Tampa series opens tomorrow at Camden Yards, once again weather permitting. Alex Cobb gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Jake Faria. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Pitching-to-contact doesn’t cut it for Alex Cobb and the Birds

There was a lot of talk surrounding the Baltimore Orioles’ signing of Alex Cobb back in the spring, and how great of a move it was for the franchise. After his first start with the Orioles this afternoon at Fenway Park, a lot of fans are now questioning that move. I’m not suggesting that Cobb’s outing was great, but I would suggest that fans cool their criticism just a bit. The guy pitched in one game, at Fenway Park, against the BoSox. Cobb’s line: 3.2 IP, 10 H, 8 R (7 earned), 1 BB, 0 K.

Cobb pitched to contact during his truncated outing. The problem was, Boston was making contact the whole day. They took the lead right away in the first inning on Benintendi’s RBI-double, and on Ramirez’s subsequent two-run homer. Martinez would add a solo shot in the last of the third, and Cobb and the Orioles trailed 4-0.

Bentinendi would add a two-RBI single in the fourth, and Ramirez would bring him home with an RBI-double. Again, both Cobb and the relievers who came behind him were pitching-to-contact all day. In general, I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. But when the opponent is a team in the midst of what’s now a 12-2 start and in fact is MAKING contact on everything that’s thrown up there, that can be a problem.

To make matters worses, Boston would net a run in the last of the fourth on a Machado throwing error – on what would have been a routine infield ground ball. And it’s small things like that which could eat this franchise alive. I’m not suggesting that Machado lollygagged the ball to first base, because I don’t think he did. I think he just made a bad throw. However at times guys can start allowing apathy to set in when games get out of control like this, and things like that can happen. And Boston happily took the run.

The O’s made an attempt to get back into it one inning later however, when Pedro Alvarez connected for a two-run homer. However again keep in mind that the criticism of this Orioles team is that the homer appears to be the only way they can score. But runs are runs, and you take them. However Boston bounced right back, with an RBI-single by Martinez in the sixth, and an RBI-single by Swihart in the seventh. The O’s would net one run in the end as Sisco grounded out, scoring Chris Davis from third.

Again, it’s tough to be overly critical of the Cobb given that he was pitching against a murderer’s row of hitters in a sandbox of a ballpark. It was also his first start with a new team after no spring games and only a few weeks’ worth of workouts and simulated games. That’s not to say that his pitches weren’t overly hitable this afternoon. Furthermore as I said, his plan seemed to be to pitch-to-contact. Once it was obvious that wasn’t working, he should have gone to secondary pitches more often.

Offensively, the Orioles are allowing themselves to be shifted on far too often. And it’s working. How often did guys hit the ball right at defenders…and at defenders that had shifted into that position? And that’s the result of swinging away far too often. In no way am I suggesting that they switch to small ball, because power will always rule the day in the AL East. However if a runner or two were on base when the homers came, that would even things out a bit.

For what it’s worth, the trailing two games of this series are very much in question. The forecast for Boston for tomorrow is for rain and potentially freezing rain in Boston all day – off and on. They’re also calling for up to an inch of rain on Monday during the Boston Marathon (when the O’s and BoSox have a scheduled 11 AM first pitch). So there’s a real possibility that the Birds may not play again until Tuesday in Detroit.

So weather permitting, the series continues tomorrow at Fenway Park. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Chris Sale. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Alex Cobb is coming to Baltimore

The Baltimore Orioles finally made their big splash when it comes to free agent pitchers. Alex Cobb‘s deal is signed, sealed, and delivered – pending a physical. That’s always an important part when it comes to the Orioles. (And just to be clear, the Orioles do tend to scrutinize physicals more than do other teams; but the caution of their doctors has also proven to be right over time.) But the O’s aren’t anticipating any issues popping up.

This is an incredibly late signing for sure. But the fact is that lots of free agents are still out there given the inactivity of the league as a whole. Cobb’s deal is for four years and approximately $56 million. Some of that money is also to be deferred. The Orioles tended to not want to offer a deal that long, however the fact is that they got their man.

Cobb does have a minor league option remaining, however due to his amount of service time he has the option of refusing a minor league option. However it’s believed that there’s a clause in the contract whereby he’ll go to the minors for a short period to begin the year. After all, he’s coming in at the very tail end of camp and has to get game ready.

So what does this do to the rotation and the guys already in camp? Needless to say, the likes of Bundy, Gausman, Tillman, and Cashner are going to be starters. Once Cobb takes his spot on the roster, that will even out the five starters. So that means that the work done by the likes of Castro, Cortes, and others thus far in camp is now even more important. They’re battling for spots in the bullpen, which is how that work will be viewed.

Having a starter such as Cobb will also take pressure off of the bullpen, given that they presumably won’t be as taxed in terms of having to work more innings. And that’s a good thing for everyone involved. Does this move put the Birds in a spot whereby they’re guaranteed a division crown? No. But does it make them more competitive and does it put them in the thick of the wild card race (on paper)? I believe that it does.

Baltimore Orioles close to deal with RHP Alex Cobb

This evening’s Baltimore Orioles game vs. Tampa in Sarasota has been rained out – it will not be made up. There are severe thunderstorms and even tornado warnings in the greater Sarasota area. You can check the Orioles’ website for refund information.

But there are bigger fish to fry. Yahoo Sports MLB columnist Jeff Passan reported earlier this afternoon that the O’s were close to a deal with RHP Alex Cobb (formerly of Tampa). The deal is expected to be for three years, $50 million.

Over his six year career in Tampa, Cobb has amassed a 3.50 ERA, and a 48-35 record. He’s also very familiar with pitching in the AL East. Cobb is a veteran, and would be a great signing by the Orioles. He would really solidify their rotation a bit, which is something that the O’s haven’t had for some time.

Just a word of caution to folks – this deal isn’t done yet. We hear that the deal is close. But things could always fall apart. So stay tuned.

The Orioles will make their only camp visit to Tampa to take on the New York Yankees tomorrow. Hunter Harvey gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Luis Cessa. Game time is set for just after 6:30 PM.

Baltimore Orioles interested in Alex Cobb

The Baltimore Orioles apparently have an interest in RHP Alex Cobb, formerly of the Tampa Rays. This according to MLB Trade Rumors. Cobb has a career .350 ERA, a win percentage of .578, and gives up only 19 homers per year on average. All of this over six years in the big leagues.

Cobb has also been an Oriole-killer throughout that time period. Over six years, he’s only surrendered six home runs to Oriole bats. As a team, the O’s have hit .237 against Cobb when they’ve faced him. He also has a career .750 win percentage at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

The Orioles may have identified a pitcher who’s played very well against them, AND one who according to the numbers would also pitch well in their home park. Now that’s only over seven games at Oriole Park, however that’s more games than he’s appeared at any other park in baseball over his career other than Tropicana Field. He’s also appeared at Fenway seven times.

Obviously the catch here is how much it’s going to potentially cost. MLB Trade Rumors didn’t list what Cobb is hoping to get in the way of a contract. Certainly we’re not talking Scherzer or Verlander-type money, however Cobb’s looking at a decent chunk of change wherever he ends up.

Cobb would certainly be an upgrade, and perhaps along with the likes of Bundy he could help to anchor a rotation that had no stability in 2017. That would be the hope, anyway. My personal opinion is that the Orioles should take the plunge and go for him. He’s familiar with the division, and you remove a potential threat from a division rival and add him to your roster. It would be a win-win.

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