SF Giants provide encouraging health updates on a pair of veteran hurlers

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Pittsburgh Pirates v San Francisco Giants / Andy Kuno/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

When the SF Giants drew up the 2024 starting rotation, they expected both Alex Cobb and Robbie Ray to make an impact. That may be coming soon. Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic confirms that Ray will begin throwing live batting practice and that Cobb has been cleared to throw on flat ground.

SF Giants provide encouraging health updates on a pair of veteran hurlers

Cobb was nearing a return at the start of the season but experienced some elbow soreness. His return was set back again recently as he continued to battle shoulder discomfort. Of course, the veteran pitcher also underwent offseason hip surgery with an expected recovery time of six months.

The Giants initially did not place Cobb on the 60-day injured list with the hopes that he could return sooner than that. Following the setbacks, it became apparent that it would be more than two months before he returns to the mound. He is eligible to return at the end of this month, but he will need to go through a throwing progression before that happens.

The 12-year veteran had one of his best seasons in 2023 as 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 while earning his first All-Star nod. He helped anchor the front of the rotation along with Logan Webb.

On the other hand, Giants fans are eager to see Robbie Ray for the first time. The 2021 AL Cy Young winner underwent Tommy John surgery in May of 2023. He has surpassed the 12-month mark, which is typically a time in which many pitchers get back into game action.

Ray came over to San Francisco in a surprise trade that sent Mitch Haniger and Anthony DeSclafani to the Seattle Mariners. I mean, is it ever really a surprise trade when it comes to the Mariners?

Being able to throw live batting practice is the next step before starting a rehab assignment. Even with this news, the southpaw pitcher is still looking at a midseason return as he will need several rehab starts to rebuild his arm strength to handle a starter's workload.

In his last full season in 2022, Ray put together a solid campaign where he registered a 3.71 ERA in 32 starts for the Mariners. The Giants are hoping that he can resemble that pitcher when he does return from the injured list.