Alex Cobb Named Opening Day Starter


Jun 29, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Cobb has been the named the Tampa Bay Rays’ opening day starter.

The 27-year-old will take the mound in the Rays’ season opener on Apr. 6 when they host the Baltimore Orioles.

Cobb went 10-9 in 27 starts last season with a 2.87 ERA while striking out 8.1 and walking 2.5 batters per nine innings.

“He was extremely excited,” Rays manager Kevin Cash told the Tampa Bay Times. “I kind of expected him to say, ‘Yeah, okay, whatever.’ But he was pumped. And you look back and you’re like, ‘Man, he’s had some good pitchers here that maybe he’s had to wait in turn for Shields and Price and those guys.’ I think he looks at it as being an honor, because there have been some good ones here in the past that have done it.”

More from Skyway Shout Out

Over the last two seasons Cobb has a 2.82 ERA in 49 starts, which is third best in the majors during that span trailing only Seattle’s Felix Hernandez and Chicago’s Chris Sale.

The club also announced that Chris Archer will start the second game of the season and Drew Smyly will start the final game of the home stand. Jake Odorizzi will start the Rays’ road opener when they play the Miami Marlins on Apr. 10.

The team’s fifth starter has yet to be announced. Matt Moore remains out as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.

Also Wednesday, it was revealed that Evan Longoria will bat fourth in the line-up this season. Asdrubal Cabrera will hit third, while James Loney will bat fifth.

Longoria has tended to bat third in recent years but his numbers suggest he is better when hitting in the clean-up spot. He is a .254 hitter when batting third but hits .282 when batting fourth.