Alex Cobb has been one of the Los Angeles Angels’ best pitchers this season, and was in the middle of proving that on Friday night against the Minnesota Twins. Through five innings, he had allowed just two runs — one earned — while striking out four. He came out for the sixth inning to try and keep it going, then abruptly left the game.
He was accompanied by the Angels’ trainer, instantly revealing that there may be a real issue. Shortly after, the team announced that he left the game due to a blister that was forming on his right index finger. Shohei Ohtani dealt with a blister earlier this season that forced him to miss two scheduled starts.
Joe Maddon did not know the severity of the injury, but clearly knew something was wrong when Cobb asked to be taken out of the game himself, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“We were hoping to get another inning out of him and everything was set up really well,” Maddon said. “I think he felt [it] earlier in the game, but all of a sudden, it got more severe. But if he had to come out and say, ‘That’s it,’ it had to have been bothering him a lot.”
Cobb, however, assured the team that this wouldn’t be a long-term issue, and that he likely would have been able to stay in the game another inning. However, that would have risked making it a long-term issue, according to Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:
“It’s definitely not serious,” Cobb said, adding he could have stayed in the game but didn’t want to risk making it worse. “It’s something that’s annoying. I’ll find out tomorrow or the next day after that if I’ll need a day or two. It’s not gonna be anything long.”
With the Angels returning to a six-man rotation this week by calling somebody up from Triple-A for Sunday’s game, it’s possible that Cobb will get an extra day of rest before his next start. If he was going on normal rest, he would be in line to start on Wednesday against the Colorado Rockies. Instead, he’ll now likely start Thursday against the Oakland Athletics.
The Angels may need him more in that game, as wins against teams that sit ahead of them in the Wild Card race are of the utmost importance. This is especially true if they don’t win their next two against the Minnesota Twins, who they already dropped one game to.
Perry Minasian not deciding on buyer or seller debate
Angels general manager Perry Minasian does not feel he needs to make a decision on the team being buyers or sellers at the MLB trade deadline. Instead, he’s going to try and make moves that improve the team in the short-term and the long-term if such deals exist.