David Price had to leave today’s start after two innings because he injured his neck while toweling off his head in the dugout. Seriously.
And that’s not even the most bizarre part of the story, because as Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune writes Price has done this before. Several times, in fact:
It was the third time Price suffered the injury since last spring training.
“I was drying my head off after the second inning. It’s happened to me two times before. I catch the back of my head and it pulls my head forward,” Price said. “I felt it in the back of my neck.”
Price was supposed to pitch three innings but left after two with what was termed “minor neck spasms.”
According to Price the injury usually only lasts 2-3 days, so he’s hoping not to miss a start. And maybe the Rays should hire him some sort of personal assistant in charge of toweling at this point?
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the Orioles have interest in free agent right-hander Alex Cobb, who rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Rays earlier this week. Cobb was most recently linked to the Cubs, who reportedly reached out to his agent during the GM Meetings and garnered mutual interest from the righty, but nothing appears to be set in stone yet.
Cobb, 30, completed his sixth season with the Rays in 2017. He went 12-10 in 29 starts and turned in a respectable 3.66 ERA, 6.4 SO/9 and career-best 2.2 BB/9 in 179 1/3 innings. Despite losing a couple of weeks to turf toe, he remained healthy for most of the year and showed no signs of the elbow issues that robbed him of the majority of his 2015-2016 campaigns.
It’s still fairly early for any deals to come to fruition, but Morosi notes that the Orioles seem to be focused on bulking up their rotation during the first few months of the offseason. It’ll take more than a healthy Alex Cobb to right that ship, however: Orioles’ starters earned a collective 5.70 ERA and 5.5 fWAR in 2017, good for worst and fourth-worst marks in the league, respectively. Behind Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy (and perhaps Gabriel Ynoa/Miguel Castro), they still need three viable starters to compete in 2018. Whether or not they can afford to spring for a single starter with Cobb’s price tag (four years, $48 million, per MLB Trade Rumors) remains to be seen.