SF Giants 2023 All-Star begins rehab assignment after undergoing offseason hip surgery

Houston Astros v San Francisco Giants
Houston Astros v San Francisco Giants / Andy Kuno/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

The SF Giants starting rotation may soon be at full strength with the imminent return of a handful of starters. This includes Robbie Ray, Blake Snell, and Kyle Harrison. They remain hopeful that Alex Cobb can be added to the list after officially starting a rehab assignment.

SF Giants 2023 All-Star begins rehab assignment after undergoing offseason hip surgery

The Giants anticipated that they would be without Cobb for the early part of the season. He underwent hip surgery at the end of October that carried an estimated recovery time of six months.

As the season got underway, the Giants were so encouraged by Cobb's progress that they believed that he could return well before that timeline. However, as he was inching toward a return, he started experiencing shoulder and elbow discomfort. This pushed his return date back and the Giants eventually transferred him to the 60-day injured list.

The veteran pitcher made a positive step forward recently. On Sunday, he completed two scoreless innings with four strikeouts and zero walks for the San Jose Giants in his first rehab start. He threw 21 of 25 pitches for strikes.

This was the first pro game that Cobb has appeared in this season. He did not have a normal spring training, so his rehab assignment will be on the longer side. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle speculates that he could return by the last week of July.

The Giants could certainly use the boost. They relied on inexperience in the starting rotation in the first half of the season, and not surprisingly, that unit has struggled to a 4.53 ERA so far. Plus, the injuries have piled up with Kyle Harrison, Blake Snell, and Keaton Winn landing on the injured list in recent weeks.

This has forced the Giants to rely on bullpen games, which could have a downstream effect as that unit has been taxed heavily in 2024. The Giants are hopeful that the return of a handful of starters can help ease the workload for the bullpen.

Cobb could go a long way in doing that. The right-handed hurler is coming off of a solid 2023 season in which he posted a 3.87 ERA, 4.01 FIP, 1.32 WHIP, 7.8 K/9, and a 3.54 SO/W ratio in 28 starts while earning his first All-Star nod.