NEW YORK - While Alex Cobb has convinced the Orioles that he’s ready to start Sunday following two bullpen sessions, the other pitcher that they pursued simultaneously in spring training takes the mound today for the Yankees.
The Orioles were negotiating with the agents for Cobb and Lance Lynn, driven to sign one more pitcher before breaking camp. An impactful addition to the rotation.
They spoke at length with Lynn’s agent on many occasions right up to the time that the right-hander agreed to terms with the Twins on a one-year deal that guaranteed $12 million. He was seeking a two-year deal from the Orioles and discussions included the possibility of a vesting option. However, it didn’t come together before Lynn accepted the Twins’ offer.
The Orioles considered a one-year deal for Cobb as he stayed on the board, but his agent remained adamant about getting multiple years and the Rangers were willing to give him three. Determined to bring home Cobb, the Orioles received ownership approval to go up to four.
Vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson was instrumental in Cobb’s signing, which came a week after Lynn made his spring debut against the Orioles in Fort Myers and tossed three scoreless and hitless innings.
Chris Tillman made his first Grapefruit League start in the same game and walked six of the 14 batters he faced.
Lynn went 7-8 with a 5.10 ERA and 1.632 WHIP in 20 starts with the Twins before they traded him to the Yankees on July 30 for first baseman/outfielder Tyler Austin and pitcher Luis Rio. Lynn has gone 2-2 with a 4.47 ERA and 1.295 WHIP in nine games (eight starts).
J.J. Hardy remembers Lynn for the pitch last June that broke his right wrist, but I digress ...
Lynn faced the Orioles earlier this season while still with the Twins and held them to one run in six innings, and again last month and shut them out over 4 1/3.
Trey Mancini is 3-for-7 with a triple and home run lifetime against Lynn.
Rookie Chance Sisco will get at least one more start before the season ends.
Hess is making his 18th start and 20th appearance this season, but his first against the Yankees.
Cobb will start Sunday after yesterday’s bullpen session didn’t irritate the cut on his right middle finger. The Orioles will be watching him closely.
“We do with everybody,” said manager Buck Showalter. “We have to be prepared every night regardless of who is pitching whether there’s an issue early. He’s had a lot of time off. We’ve talked to Alex in detail about the last few days and he feels like he’s going to be OK and there’s only one way to find out. We’ve looked at the weather and hopefully there won’t be very much humidity and a lot of the factors that have played into it.
“It’s not like he’s had blisters the whole year. It’s been a challenge for him, but it had nothing to do with starting pitching and young players. We have enough. It’s just that he wants to pitch hopefully twice before the season ends.”
Chris Davis has gone 1-for-32 with 17 strikeouts in his last nine games and 1-for-34 going back to his last 10.
“Chris will have a couple of good games where you keep thinking that he’s going to get it going,” Showalter said. “He just can’t string it together consistently. It’s been a challenge for him most of the season.”
Jonathan Villar is 16-for-18 in stolen bases with the Orioles.