NEW YORK - Alex Cobb is throwing in the bullpen today to determine whether he’s ready to make another start before the 2018 schedule no longer holds any games.
Cobb threw a couple of days ago and planned on a lighter session this afternoon to check whether the cut caused by a blood blister would reopen on his right middle finger.
“I’ll see how it feels and talk to Buck (Showalter) and see what the plan is moving forward, whether they want to start me again,” Cobb said.
“It’s feeling a lot better. Definitely feel like I’d be able to pitch again this year with it.”
Cobb hasn’t pitched since leaving a Sept. 11 start against the Athletics after two innings. The finger, whether due to humidity or the seams on the ball, flared up again and left him visibly frustrated as he entered the dugout.
The bullpen session earlier this week didn’t go exactly as Cobb wanted it.
“I still felt it a little bit, but I think with the extra couple days ... I’m going to throw one today and that will be the big deciding factor.”
Cobb was 2-12 with a 6.41 ERA and 1.576 WHIP in 17 starts in the first half. However, he’s developed a better feel for his split-changeup while going 3-3 with a 2.56 ERA and 1.156 WHIP in 10 starts since the All-Star break.
Opponents hit .313/.358/.541 in the first half and .232/.288/.377 in the second.
It’s important to Cobb that he get back into a game with only 10 of them left in the season. He reflects back on the 2011 season with the Rays, who made the playoffs on the final day while the Orioles were eliminating the Red Sox.
“You try to take out all the other factors that go into it, the way the season’s gone, the way my season’s gone, and just go about it like you would any other season if you were in the playoffs, in the hunt. You try to focus like that,” he said.
“I think it’s just important that us as a team really do everything we can in a positive manner going forward the rest of the way. I noticed a lot of times throughout my career where I’ve seen teams that were out of it might have helped other teams.
“The Orioles did so in 2011 when they beat the Red Sox, and I was on the Rays team that year. Ended up benefitting and going to the playoffs because a team just simply went out there and performed the way it should. So, I think it’s important as a group to make sure you fill out your duties through a full season.”
* Executive vice president Dan Duquette said it’s his understanding that ownership will make a decision on his status following the season, and he hasn’t been told anything about a possible return in 2019 and beyond.
Duquette’s contract is up after the season. He was responding to a tweet from USA Today’s Bob Nightengale that manager Buck Showalter is “expected to be dismissed” and Duquette is “expected to receive an extension.”
Showalter’s contract also expires.