Veteran SF Giants pitcher played big role in recruiting Blake Snell

2024 San Francisco Giants Spring Training
2024 San Francisco Giants Spring Training / Andy Kuno/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

New SF Giants pitcher Blake Snell listed the chance to play on the West Coast and Bob Melvin as a couple of reasons why he landed in San Francisco. However, the two-time Cy Young winner recognized another factor, Alex Cobb, as a big reason for why he joined the Giants.

Veteran SF Giants pitcher played big role in recruiting Blake Snell

During Saturday's Cactus League finale, Snell was asked by play-by-play announce Dave Flemming why he chose the Giants (hat tip to NPB Sports Bay Area):

"[Alex] Cobb. When I was with the Rays, he was a veteran guy. He raised me. Taught me how to be a pro. He was a big impact on that... I told him that before I even signed. If I come here, he is going to be a big reason. He helped build me into the player I am."

Blake Snell on Alex Cobb

Cobb and Snell were teammates on the Tampa Bay Rays in 2016 and 2017. Snell debuted as a 23-year-old pitcher with Tampa Bay in 2016, whereas Cobb had already been in the league for several seasons by then.

Players do not often openly talk about teammates who became mentors and influenced their careers, so it was a cool moment of transparency from Snell. It feels like when it is all said and done, there is a path for Cobb to become a coach.

The veteran pitcher has experienced the ups and downs of being a major league pitcher. He was on the path to a very promising career as a young arm. Cobb tallied a combined 2.82 ERA across 309.2 innings between 2013 and 2014.

Injuries derailed his career for the next several seasons. Cobb missed the entire 2015 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. This knocked him out for much of the 2016 season and he continued to be plagued by minor ailments that prevented him for handling a full workload.

The 12-year veteran has resurrected his career in recent seasons. This was due in part to adding several ticks on his sinker velocity. That is not the type of change you expect from a pitcher in his mid-30's, but it has helped yielded solid results with San Francisco.

In two seasons with the Giants, he has tallied a 3.80 ERA across 56 starts. That is a relatively full workload for a pitcher. Cobb was recognized for his strong performance by being selected to his first All-Star game last season.

However, his influence on the team extends beyond just his numbers. There is good chance he is quietly mentoring the young Giants pitching staff behind the scenes, and it is clear that he has had a positive impact on Snell's career as well.

A small core of Giants players have helped to shape the 2024 roster. For example, Jorge Soler was influenced to join the Giants thanks to recruiting efforts by Wilmer Flores and Thairo Estrada. Now, it is clear that Cobb's prior work with Snell helped pave the way for him to join San Francisco.