Notes on Cobb, Givens, Harvey, rotation and minors

The contact that manager Brandon Hyde has maintained with Alex Cobb is confined to the daily medical reports that reach his desk. The ones that, Hyde says, show how the veteran starter is “recovering well.”

Cobb underwent two procedures over the summer that kept him in Nashville, Tenn.

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. J.W. Thomas Byrd repaired a tear in the labrum that ended Cobb’s season after only three starts. Cobb told in June that he’d also have surgery on his knee, with the proper spacing between procedures to allow for rehabbing of the hip.

“Nothing concerning,” Cobb said. “It’s just a partial meniscus that they go in and clean up and I think you’re good to go a week later.”

The first surgery was more of a long-term project intended to correct the pain Cobb was experiencing in his groin and back. It’s all tied to the lumbar strain that twice put him on the injured list during the regular season.

Byrd planted six anchors in the hip to repair a tear classified as a Grade 3 out of 4.

Cobb was supposed to be the Orioles opening day starter. He was supposed to become an attractive trade chip later in the summer, but he’s coming back with two years left on the four-year, $57 million deal he signed on March 21, 2018 that included deferred money in each season.

He’s supposed to be full-go in spring training.

“We’d love to have Alex Cobb healthy and here and pitching for us,” Hyde said. “I haven’t talked to Alex in a long time. It sounds like he’s going to be hopefully ready to go in spring training.

“We’ve missed Alex and having a veteran starter like that, there’s a lot of value to that. Obviously his experience and a guy that’s pitched in the American League East for a long time. Had a really good second half last year. We were hoping it was going to translate into this year, but injuries happen, so we’re hoping that he bounces back and recovers and is part of the rotation next year.”

With the possibility of enticing a contender as more money melts off the contract.

* I don’t believe in jinxes besides how games slow down immediately after someone talks about the quick pacing. Absolutely never fails. Happens every time.

Givens-Sisco-After-Save-White-Sidebar.jpgThe media can’t control the success or failures of a no-hit bid simply by tweeting about them. However, Mychal Givens had surrendered runs in three of his previous four outings before last night since someone in the media asked him on Sept. 11 about an impressive stretch of appearances.

Givens allowed two home runs in four nights, with a blown save and loss attached to him. No one had hit a home run off him in 15 straight appearances.

An ERA that shrank to 3.97 had grown to 4.47. But he retired the side in order last night in the eighth, the only Orioles pitcher with a clean inning.

What was making Givens so good earlier?

“I don’t think there’s been anything different,” he said on Sept. 11. “Just go out there and just try to attack hitters and just try to be myself. Being yourself and being confident and being able to control the count is a big contributor to having success.”

Hyde dismissed a suggestion that Givens might be fatigued after the Blue Jays scored four runs (three earned) off him in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s 8-5 loss.

“I’m seeing 96 (mph),” he said. “No. He’s been hot and cold this year.”

The heat was on last night.

* The Orioles are smart to shut down Hunter Harvey after 82 combined innings.

What else is there to prove?

Harvey hasn’t lost his fastball following elbow surgery and the setbacks. He’s going to be a weapon in the back end of the bullpen, assuming the Orioles don’t put him in the rotation.

I think they’re convinced that he’s better served in a relief role and he’s loving it.

If there’s lingering biceps soreness, it would be dumb to make him push through it with the team 49-103. Let him hang around and watch from the bullpen. Then send him home.

* Gabriel Ynoa is making tonight’s start to close out the series after Aaron Brooks had been given the assignment. Brooks appears to be moving to the bullpen, at least for now. He warmed last night in the ninth inning.

Hyde said he wanted Ynoa to face the Blue Jays and he’s also fiddling with the rotation by deciding to use an opener Friday night against the Mariners.

Ynoa has made two starts this month and allowed four runs and 13 hits in 10 1/3 innings. All three career appearances against the Blue Jays have come this season, with Ynoa surrendering four runs and 10 hits in eight innings.

The only certainties in the rotation, from what we’re told, are that Dylan Bundy gets one more start and John Means and Asher Wojciechowsi each receive two.

Chandler Shepherd is expected to make his second start Monday night in Toronto.

* The Orioles are in the midst of deciding on managers and coaches with each of their affiliates. There’s lots of work going on behind the scenes while the major league club runs through the last few weeks of the season.

I’m getting the impression that Triple-A manager Gary Kendall, Double-A Bowie manager Buck Britton, short-season Single-A Aberdeen manager Kevin Bradshaw and Rookie-level Gulf Coast League manager Alan Mills will return in 2020.

I’ve written this week that Single-A Delmarva manager Kyle Moore is expected to move up to high Single-A Frederick as Ryan Minor’s replacement, and minor league infield coordinator Dave Anderson is expected to manage the Shorebirds.

Delmarva development coach Pat Leyland, son of former major league manager Jim Leyland, has been offered a managing job with one of the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League teams.

The Tides will need a new hitting coach with Butch Davis expected to rejoin Bowie’s staff. Davis is needed to work with the outfielders and provide baserunning instruction.

Norfolk pitching coach Mike Griffin could replace Scott McGregor as pitching rehabilitation coordinator down in Sarasota, Fla. McGregor had the job for the past eight seasons and is going to remain in the organization in an alumni/community relations/guest instructor capacity.

Griffin has been in the organization for 12 consecutive seasons, the last 11 as Norfolk pitching coach.

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