FT. MYERS FL - FEBRUARY 22: Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays Photo Day on February 22 2011 at the Charlotte Sports Complex in Port Charlotte Florida. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Alex Cobb gets a one-day trip to the major leagues today to put the starting rotation back on its regular schedule that was derailed by the weather issues on the recent road trip. All Cobb has to do is go out and face
the hottest pitcher on the planet not named Shields in Jered Weaver who has traditionally given the Rays fits fellow rookie Tyler Chatwood as Jered Weaver has been scratched with an illness according to Angels broadcaster Victor Rojas. Chatwood has made four starts already going 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA but has permitted 35 baserunners and four home runs in just 23.1 innings of work. His last start came on Tuesday when he went 5.1 innings giving up three earned runs, one home run, and allowed nine baserunners. His pitch count has been 90, 93, 103, and 93 in his four starts this season and with his control issues, this is an immensely better match-up for a Rays offense that has been mostly neutered by Angels pitching thus far. The offense has not exactly been on fire in this series scoring just seven runs so far with three of them coming off home runs. Manufacturing runs has gone by the wayside as Sam Fuld has stopped getting base as he is not walking and is mired in a 0-17 slump.
This week, both Kevin Gengler and R.J. Anderson wrote pieces on Cobb with Gengler's piece coming before any talk of Cobb's promotion began. Gengler had a rather extensive scouting report on hi that included animated gifs of Cobb's delivery. After watching those videos, you might notice how similar Cobb and Jeremy Helickson are in terms of their delivery (at least that's my observation). R.J. can hardly contain his excitement to see his favorite prospect right now in Cobb; it is a bromance worth reading.
Topkin reported yesterday that Cobb is going down after the game and another reliever will be recalled to replace him and Brandon Gomes was singled out as that guy. The Sean Rodriguez situation is still unclear except he says he is feeling better so he may not need to hit the disabled list. If he does not, another roster move must be made to get Evan Longoria back before the game on Tuesday and that move is going to come from Elliot Johnson, Dan Johnson, Felipe Lopez, or Casey Kotchman. Given how well Kotchman has played of late, particularly in the field, it would be surprising to see him as the casualty.
Lineup (per @SPTimesRays):
Fuld - LF
Damon - DH
Upton - CF
Joyce - RF
Zobrist - 2B
Kotchman - 1B
Lopez - 3B
Jaso - C
Brignac - SS (his extra base hit dry-spell needs to end, and end now!)