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Rays to shut down Alex Cobb for the week

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Current diagnosis is tendinitis. They will reevaluate after the week.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Cobb, who left Tuesday's game early due to forearm tightness, has been diagnosed with tendinitis, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The Rays have confirmed that initial diagnosis today. Cobb, arguably the best pitcher in the American League East, was slated to start on opening day for the Rays but he will no longer be ready for that start.

The tendinitis diagnosis is actually good news, although the timetable for Cobb's return is still uncertain.

Cobb himself expects a speedy recovery.

But if you believe athletes when they discuss their rehab timeline, then I've got a can't-fail game-picking system I could sell you.

Drew Smyly is also dealing with tendinitis, and Alex Colome's schedule has been thrown off by a bad case of pneumonia, so the rotation that breaks camp with the Rays on opening day will bear little resemblance to the one the Rays had penciled in during the offseason.

Still, any moves the Rays make to improve their pitching depth will be exactly that: depth. Cobb, Smyly, and Colome are all expected to return this season. Nathan Karns will likely slot into a starting spot, and both Burch Smith (who's previously made it to the majors as a starter), and Matt Andriese (an extreme groundballer) are also available internally. None of them are ideal, of course, but they should be capable of giving a few starts at the beginning of the season before the more-established pitchers return.

Moreover, any pitchers that the Rays might trade for at this point are unlikely to be much better than those three, so the expected gain in value over just a handful of games will be tiny.

That all means that I'd be very surprised if Silverman said yes to any trade other than for a marginal starting pitcher at a very cheap price.