Alex Cobb is not living up to his potential. The Tampa Bay Rays drafted him in the fourth round of the 2006 MLB amateur draft. After a promising career in the minors, it looked as though Cobb would make a push towards ace-like status some time in 2013.
Cobb showed flashes of brilliance in 2013, but also provided fans with confusion. Such was the case on May 10 of that year when the Rays played the San Diego Padres. He went 4.2 innings, and managed to strike out 13 batters, yet failed to make it out of the fifth inning. How can a pitcher have nasty stuff working for him, yet not be able to last five innings in a game against a sub-par offense?
Cobb is in his third full season in the majors, and is yet to make 25 starts in a season. He has already spent time on the disabled list in 2014, missing six weeks with a strained side for a good portion of April and May. Since coming back on May 22, only four of his last nine starts can be considered quality ones, including tonight’s. In the last few weeks, Cobb has been especially underwhelming. He has failed to log more than five innings pitched in any of those three outings, to go along with 12 earned runs.
If the Rays can be confident about moving SP David Price before the trade deadline, the organization needs to know they have a solid foundation to build upon moving forward. Cobb is a big part of that equation. Right now, mixed with durability issues and inconsistent performances, there is no sure bet as to what Cobb will give the Rays over the next 3 1/2 seasons until his contract expires before the 2018 campaign.
Now 26, it’s time Cobb starts to live up to his potential for his ball club, or it’s only a matter of time until he becomes another much-hyped pitcher that finds himself with a not-so-certain future in professional baseball.