Alex Cobb
Alex Cobb
31-Year-Old PitcherSP
Baltimore Orioles
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Cobb signed late, joining the Orioles on March 20. He ultimately debuted April 14. Perhaps it was not having a normal spring, or the park change to hitter-friendly Camden Yards, but on July 8, Cobb was sitting with an unsightly 6.67 ERA and 1.62 WHIP. From that point until he was shut down in mid-September after aggravating a blister, Cobb spun a 2.59 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. The thing is, Cobb's strikeout and walk rates were essentially the same in both stretches. The major differences were a .340 BABIP and 61.4 LOB% though July 8 followed by a .249 BABIP and 80.3 LOB% the rest of the way. Cobb was neither as bad as he looked early nor as good as he appeared late. The bottom line is, unless Cobb misses more bats (7.3 SwStr%) he'll be prone to wild fluctuation, especially in such an offense-happy park and division. Fantasy math: volatile ratios plus low wins and whiffs equals no thanks. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a four-year, $57 million contract with the Orioles in March of 2018.
Smashed for first loss
PBaltimore Orioles
April 20, 2019
Cobb (0-1) allowed nine runs on 10 hits and no walks while striking out two over 2.2 innings in a 16-7 loss to the Twins on Saturday.
Cobb wasn't fooling the Twins, as he generated just four swinging strikes while allowing three home runs. The 31-year-old was making his second start of the season but permitted three runs in the first, one in the second, and five more in the third. Cobb has a bloated 11.88 ERA and a 1.92 WHIP, and he'll look to rebound Friday in a rematch in Minnesota.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .254 662 120 54 152 33 3 19
Since 2017vs Right .286 781 116 34 210 46 3 32
2019vs Left .357 15 0 1 5 0 0 1
2019vs Right .400 25 6 0 10 5 0 4
2018vs Left .276 332 58 24 83 14 3 10
2018vs Right .292 329 44 19 89 24 2 14
2017vs Left .225 315 62 29 64 19 0 8
2017vs Right .274 427 66 15 111 17 1 14
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
Since 2017Home 3.97 1.19 154.1 6 13 0 6.5 2.0 1.5
Since 2017Away 4.80 1.43 185.2 11 13 0 6.1 2.6 1.2
2019Home 11.88 1.92 8.1 0 1 0 6.5 1.1 5.4
2019Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Home 4.94 1.40 62.0 0 7 0 5.7 2.6 1.7
2018Away 4.88 1.42 90.1 5 8 0 6.3 2.5 1.2
2017Home 2.46 0.96 84.0 6 5 0 7.1 1.7 1.0
2017Away 4.72 1.45 95.1 6 5 0 5.9 2.6 1.2
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Stat Review
How does Alex Cobb compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
92.3 mph
Strand %
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Alex Cobb
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Coming off a season with five starts at the major-league level, Cobb made 29 starts spanning a career-high 179.1 innings. His 3.66 ERA looks nice, but a 4.16 FIP and 4.24 xFIP suggest it should have been half a run higher. Cobb's BABIP was a little low and his left-on-base percentage a little high, but not egregiously so. The key with Cobb is strikeouts. To maintain a mid-3.00s ERA, he needs to miss more bats, as a 17.3 percent strikeout rate won't get it done. It's a small sample, but if he can sustain what he did to close the season, Cobb's whiffs will climb. Specifically, in his last seven outings, he recorded a 2.81 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 38 strikeouts and eight walks in 38.1 innings. In those efforts, he drastically altered his pitch mix, throwing more curves while barely using his changeup. Cobb's low strikeouts should keep his price down. It's worth paying to see if his last seven games were indicative of the future.
Cobb made a generally strong return from May 2015 Tommy John surgery, a pair of disastrous outings to end the season notwithstanding. Before giving up 15 earned runs over 4.1 innings in his last two starts, he'd posted a solid 3.06 ERA and 12:4 K:BB in 17.2 innings over his first three trips to the mound. The 29-year-old has a proven track record, having posted a trio of double-digit win seasons from 2012-14, but it remains to be seen if his arm can fully return to form. While he would seem to have the inside track to a rotation spot entering spring training, Cobb will need to fend off the likes of Matt Andriese and Blake Snell. Otherwise, Cobb could make for an interesting long-term project in a bullpen capacity, an option that may be explored once he exhausts every opportunity to reclaim a starter's role.
Cobb is only draftable in 2016 if you play in a keeper league. Otherwise, rostering him will be a frustrating experience. Don’t believe us? Ask those folks who drafted Matt Moore in 2015. Moore came back in early July and was beaten like a drum for five starts before going back to the minors. Once he came back up in September he looked more like the guy we saw before his injury, it was too late. Moore had his surgery in mid-April of 2014 while Cobb had his in mid-May 2015. If you take Moore’s timetable and copy it over for Cobb, you get two months of stats for Cobb in a best-case scenario. The more likely scenario is that Cobb doesn’t make it back to the majors until sometime later in August, and he won’t immediately be the guy we saw flourish in 2014. Re-draft leaguers can put aside some FAAB dollars while keeper leaguers can look to draft and stash him for 2017 and beyond.
Cobb, when healthy, is one of the better pitchers in the game. The problem has been injuries. His 2011 season ended in early August with a shoulder issue that required surgery. In 2012, a batted ball off his leg cost him time. In 2013, Cobb had a batted ball go off his head, costing him two months, and he missed six starts in 2014 after straining his oblique muscle while batting in an interleague game. When he is not in the trainer’s room, he’s piling up strikeouts with his split-change and generating tons of groundballs. He rarely gets himself into trouble, but has been known to have a stink-bomb of a game once a year. With injuries removed from his profile, Cobb would be a top-15 starting pitcher. As is, he provides the strong ratios, strikeouts and double-digit wins on an annual basis.
Cobb shined in his first 13 starts last season before a scary incident in June in which he was hit in the head by a line drive. He returned to the mound two months later and came back with ferocity. Over his final nine starts of the season, he went 5-1 with a 2.41 ERA and finished the season with a record of 11-3 and an ERA of 2.76. He set career marks in every pitching category as a starter despite making only 22 starts. He had an impressive 8.4 K/9 rate over the course of the season and had three games with 10 or more strikeouts. He went 7-0 at the friendly confines of Tropicana Field, but also had a solid 2.70 ERA on the road. He will head into 2014 as one of the top starters in the Rays' rotation.
Cobb lost out on a spot in the Rays' rotation to start the regular season, but an injury to Jeff Niemann had him called up to start on May 19 and he remained in the rotation for the rest of the year. Over 23 starts, the young right-hander went 11-9 with a 4.09 ERA and 106 strikeouts. These numbers may not blow anyone away but he really turned the corner late in the season. Over his last 11 starts he posted a 7-1 record and a 3.09 ERA that was skewed by one subpar performance. He was able to stretch later into games over that span, something he struggled with earlier in the season. All in all, Cobb will be in the mix with the stable of talented starting pitchers vying for a spot in the 2013 rotation. If he wins a spot, he is a decent late-round option, given his strong finish in 2012.
Cobb mowed down Triple-A hitters to the tune of a 1.87 ERA with a 1.143 WHIP before getting a promotion to the big club. He made his first start for the Rays on May 1 giving up four runs in 4.1 innings but was optioned back to Durham immediately after the game. Cobb came up for good on May 31 and was part of a six-man rotation until he underwent season-ending surgery to repair a blockage near his rib cage. The injury is not expected to be an issue, and he should be ready to go once pitchers and catchers report for camp. Cobb features a fastball in the low-90s, a solid curve and an above-average changeup that has some splitting action to it. While with the Rays he held his own with a 3.42 ERA over nine starts, demonstrating he's ready for the big show. His ERA was aided by a 54 percent groundball rate, which helped mask a drop in his strikeout rate, albeit a small sample size with the Rays. Cobb is expected to compete for a spot in the rotation, though the Rays return all of their starters and have Matt Moore vying for a spot as well. If Cobb lands in the back of the Tampa rotation, he'd make for an interesting sleeper pick considering his success last year with the Rays and his minor league track record.
Cobb turned in an outstanding season at Double-A Montgomery, winning team MVP honors. He finished the season 7-5 with a 2.71 ERA while striking out 128 batters over 119.2 innings. The organization sent him to the AFL where over seven starts (25 innings), he finished 1-3 with a 6.12 ERA. After his time there, he stated that he worked a lot on developing a cutter, which likely explains his struggles. He'll likely start in the rotation at Triple-A Durham with an eye on the bigs in late 2011. The Rays' logjam of starting pitchers could force him into the bullpen for his first taste of the big leagues.
More Fantasy News
Scheduled start postponed
PBaltimore Orioles
April 19, 2019
Cobb won't start Friday against the Twins as that game has been postponed, Joe Trezza of reports.
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Activated for Friday's start
PBaltimore Orioles
April 19, 2019
Cobb (back) was activated off the 10-day injured list ahead of Friday's start against the Twins, Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports.
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Confirmed as Friday's starter
PBaltimore Orioles
April 18, 2019
Cobb (back) has been confirmed as the Orioles' starting pitcher for Friday's game against the Twins, Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports.
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Expected to start Friday
PBaltimore Orioles
April 16, 2019
Cobb (back) is on track to start Friday's game against Minnesota, Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports.
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Facing hitters Tuesday
PBaltimore Orioles
April 15, 2019
Cobb (back) is scheduled to throw a live batting practice session Tuesday, Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports.
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