Veteran SF Giants pitcher suffers minor setback in return to the mound

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

Veteran SF Giants hurler Alex Cobb was inching closer to a return to the mound. However, he sustained a mild elbow strain after undergoing an MRI according to Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic.

Veteran SF Giants pitcher suffers minor setback in return to the mound

Cobb underwent offseason hip surgery at the end of October. The estimated recovery time was six months, but he was far ahead of that recovery timeline.

At one point in the offseason, it was likely that the right-handed pitcher would begin the season on the 60-day injured list. However, the Giants did not pursue that path as they were encouraged with his recovery. In fact, he had recently completed five innings in minor league camp.

Cobb did begin the year on the 10-day injured list and there was even a remote possibility that he could be activated when eligible. For now, that goal will be put on hold as the Giants will shut him down for a couple of days and see how his elbow responds.

The 12-year veteran 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 outings while earning his first All-Star nod. This included a 57.6 percent ground ball rate, which was second only to Logan Webb (62.1 percent ground ball rate) among pitchers with at least 100 innings completed.

Cobb is one of the many Giants pitchers who stand to benefit from an infield defense that now features Matt Chapman and Nick Ahmed at third base and shortstop, respectively.

It is usually a concerning sign when a pitcher deals with any type of ailment that involves his elbow. That said, the Giants do not seem concerned with it at this point.

The Giants do expect Cobb to join a rotation that currently features Webb, Jordan Hicks, Keaton Winn, and Kyle Harrison with Blake Snell's debut coming on Monday. Of course, Robbie Ray will join that group at some point in 2024 as he continues to recover from Tommy John surgery. If they can all remain healthy, the rotation could be one of the team's strengths.