Rays right-hander Alex Cobb took another step in his recovery from a June 15 concussion yesterday when he threw a 47-pitch bullpen session, nearly doubling the workload from his first throwing session last week.
However, a month after being hit in the head by a line drive there’s still no timetable for his return from the disabled list and Cobb indicated that he continues to experience some post-concussion symptoms despite feeling significantly better overall, telling Bill Chastain of MLB.com:
The way I feel off the field versus the last time I threw a bullpen is 10 times better. There isn’t a huge difference on the mound. I felt good enough last time, even when I didn’t feel great off the field. That’s a good sign. Pitching isn’t as taxing on my head as I thought it would be.
I think most of the symptoms are gone. I still experience a little vertigo randomly, but you can’t even compare how much better I am from where I was. I’m extremely anxious to get out there and face hitters. There is no concern in my mind right now that I’ll be worried. I would like to get out there as soon as possible.
Cobb has talked about returning next month, but his “I still experience a little vertigo randomly” quote makes mapping anything out sort of moot for now.
MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.
Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.
Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.
Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.
The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.