The SF Giants received some unfortunate news on Monday as they will be without Alex Cobb for the start of the 2024 season. According to Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic, the veteran pitcher will undergo labrum surgery in his left hip with an estimated recovery time of six months.
SF Giants veteran pitcher to be on the shelf for 6 months following surgery
Baggarly notes that Cobb and the Giants came to this conclusion after attempting rehab and multiple treatment options. A six-month recovery timeline means that he should be able to return to the mound by the beginning of May. However, it is unknown whether this timeline includes a rehab assignment, which could push him back to the second half of May.
This latest setback is not expected to impact the Giants' decision on his $10 million team option for 2024. The plan to exercise it considering that Cobb's deal has been one of the better bargins in baseball.
Nevertheless, it is a tough blow for the Giants rotation. Logan Webb will enter next season as the staff ace. Behind him, there are more questions than answers. They have some young pitchers on the 40-man roster, including Kyle Harrison, Keaton Winn, and Tristan Beck. Plus, they have a couple of veteran pitchers returning such as Anthony DeSclafani and Ross Stripling. For a team that is expecting to be competitive next year, they need more predictability in the mix.
Since the Giants signed Cobb prior to the 2022 season, he has emerged as one of the better pitchers in the National League. The right-handed hurler has posted a solid 3.80 ERA, 3.41 FIP, 1.31 WHIP, 8.4 K/9, and a 3.53 SO/W rate with San Francisco. This includes an excellent 59.4 percent ground ball rate.
Cobb had some bright moments last season such as making his first All-Star team and nearly pitching a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds. The Giants went through long stretches last year where he and Webb were the only two reliable options in the rotation. This led to heavy usage of bullpen games and bulk-innings relievers.
They hope that the 36-year-old can return sooner rather than later given the lack of predictability behind Webb and just because of the fact that he has been very effective when on the mound.