Recently Joe Maddon, manager of the Tampa Bay Rays, named his starting pitcher for opening day. When you have the reigning American League Cy-Young award winner in camp, the choice really isn’t too large of a mystery. David Price will get the ball on day one for the Rays but he pointed the finger at one of his fellow starting pitchers, saying that Alex Cobb deserved consideration as well.
Wait, what? Cobb had an ERA of 4.03 in 23 starts in 2012. Why would Price say that Cobb had been “Cy-Young himself” this spring? The guy is probably going to be the fourth starter in the rotation and really hasn’t proven that he can be better. Or, has he? Does spring training matter or does it not? For pitchers some things matter and some don’t. Usually numbers don’t matter all that much but when you get this late in the spring and numbers are still good, it’s good to take notice.
That is what Price was doing I think, along with probably ribbing Cobb a little bit. It’s good to see Cobb pacing himself this spring and getting good work in. Maybe this season he is going to be ready for the start of the season and chomping at the bit to pitch better. Only time will tell how well Cobb will do but you have to enjoy the idea of a guy going out and working on his stuff to try and get better. Clearly his teammates respect the work he has put in and we all should as well. I think we might see Cobb turn a corner this season if he stays healthy and pitches smart.