SF Giants manager Bob Melvin says veteran pitcher is ahead of schedule in returning from hip surgery

San Francisco Giants Workout
San Francisco Giants Workout / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

The SF Giants are set to begin the year with a very young and inexperienced starting rotation. However, manager Bob Melvin says that one veteran pitcher, Alex Cobb, could be back sooner than expected.

SF Giants manager Bob Melvin says veteran pitcher is ahead of schedule in returning from hip surgery

Melvin told Maria Guardado of MLB.Com that Cobb is ahead of schedule in his recovery from hip surgery. Cobb underwent hip surgery at the end of October and was expected to be on the shelf for at least six months. This would have put his potential return at some point in May, but there was a possibility that he might be out longer than that.

For what it is worth, the Giants have not transferred the 13-year veteran to the 60-day injured list yet. They are holding out hope that he could return before the end of May.

If so, this would be a boost to a starting rotation that is already dealing with depth concerns after several young pitchers have experienced nagging ailments in camp. Tristan Beck (aneurysm in right arm), Keaton Winn (elbow), and Sean Hjelle (elbow) have all been sidelined. Beck will miss the first two months of the season at a minimum, but he could be out longer than that.

The good news is that Winn is set to throw a bullpen on Saturday, so the Giants remain hopeful that he can be ready for Opening Day.

The rest of the rotation includes Logan Webb, Jordan Hicks, Kyle Harrison, Winn, and maybe even Mason Black. This would be a very inexperienced rotation with Harrison, Winn, and Black. And, it is relatively unproven with Hicks. Webb is the only stabilizing force.

Cobb returning within the first two months would give the rotation another much-needed and experienced arm. The righty pitcher is coming off of a solid 2023 campaign in which he tallied a 3.87 ERA, 4.01 FIP, 1.32 WHIP, 7.8 K/9, and a 3.54 SO/W ratio in 28 starts.

Plus, Cobb was second in baseball with a 57.6 percent ground ball rate among pitchers with at least 100 innings in 2023. He would certainly benefit from an infield defense that should be upgraded on the left side with Matt Chapman and potentially Nick Ahmed.