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.
You no doubt recall that former Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch and ex-Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow were given the one-year bans and were subsequently fired in January due to the Astros sign-stealing scandal. It’s possible, however, that each of them could be back in baseball without having missed a single game.
That’s the report from Buster Olney of ESPN, who has learned that Hinch and Luhnow will become eligible in 2021 even if there are no games played in the 2020 season. The reason: Hinch and Luhnow’s suspensions are tied to “the end of the 2020 postseason.” In contrast, players who are suspended for PED offenses for violations of the league’s domestic violence policies are suspended for a set number of games. Their suspensions will not begin until games begin and, if the number of games in the 2020 season ends up being fewer than the number of games in their suspension, it will carry over to 2021.
It would not shock me a bit if another team hired Hinch at some point down the road. And, despite the league’s finding that Luhnow fostered a “toxic” environment in the Astros’ front office, I would not be at all surprised if he were hired as some sort of advisor down the road and, potentially, found himself running a team again. His tenure in Houston was discovered to be objectively awful from an ethical perspective, but (a) he won; and (b) he cut costs, and those are the two biggest priorities for most teams. Not necessarily in that order.