Alex Cobb plays catch Tuesday, calls it “best day yet”

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Alex Cobb is beginning to make steady progress in his rehabilitation from right forearm tendinitis.

According to Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the 27-year-old starting pitcher played an intensive game of catch on Tuesday afternoon at Tropicana Field and later called it his “best day yet.”

Cobb still hasn’t been cleared to throw off a mound, but that should come soon. He is aiming to join the Rays’ starting rotation before the end of April and would appear to be on track to reach that goal.

Cobb posted a superb 2.87 ERA, 1.136 WHIP, and 149/47 K/BB ratio over 166 1/3 innings last season.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.