Now that David Price is out of the picture the Rays need a new Opening Day starter and they’ve decided on 27-year-old right-hander Alex Cobb.
During the past two seasons Cobb has started 49 games with a 2.82 ERA, which is the third-best mark in the league over that span behind only Felix Hernandez and Chris Sale.
He was particularly great in the second half last season, starting 14 games with a 1.79 ERA and 81/23 K/BB ratio in 90 innings.
Price or James Shields have made every Opening Day start for the Rays since 2007, when Scott Kazmir got the assignment.
Freddie Freeman‘s elbow began barking in the second half of the season and he was a shadow of himself in the month of September. The Braves rested him for half a minute in the season’s final week but he still played 158 games in 2019. They said he was good to go for the NLDS but he was clearly limited, going 4-for-22 in the Braves’ series loss to the Cardinals.
Today the Braves announced that Freeman underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow on Wednesday. The team said today that the procedure involved the removal of three fragmented loose bodies and the cleaning up of multiple bone spur formations.
It’s not clear if more rest down the stretch would’ve made a difference for him — and it’s not clear that the Braves had options at first base for the postseason that were substantially better than even a limited Freeman — but it’s clear that not having Freeman feeling like himself in the heart of the order was a problem.
Freeman is expected to be good-to-go for spring training.