Right-hander Alex Cobb will make his Orioles debut against the Red Sox in Boston this coming Saturday, the team told reporters (Twitter link via Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com). The right-hander had opened the season in extended Spring Training as he built up strength after waiting until late in Spring Training to sign with the O’s. Baltimore also announced that former top prospect Hunter Harvey has been recalled for tonight’s game and added to the bullpen, with lefty Tanner Scott heading to Triple-A in a corresponding move.
Cobb inked a four-year, $57MM pact that came as somewhat of a surprise after the market for him, Lance Lynn and Jake Arrieta looked to have largely collapsed. Rather than taking a short-term deal, as Lynn did, Cobb and his reps at Beverly Hills Sports Council instead found a contract that was largely commensurate with a number of November projections (and topped our $48MM estimate here at MLBTR).
Prior to revealing that Cobb would start on Saturday, the O’s announced that Cobb worked a six-inning outing in extended Spring Training today, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in six innings against Twins farmhands. Cobb tossed 93 pitches in that game, so it seems he should be stretched out enough to eclipse the 100-pitch mark if necessary.
Cobb will join Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, Andrew Cashner and Chris Tillman in a revamped Orioles rotation, pushing right-hander Mike Wright Jr. out of the starting mix — presumably into the bullpen. The 30-year-old’s big league deal means he’s already on the 40-man roster, but the Orioles will still need to clear a spot on the 25-man roster for him.
As for Harvey, the former No. 22 overall pick in the draft (2013) rated as one of the best prospects in the game before arm injuries, including Tommy John surgery, severely hampered his development. It’s an aggressive promotion for Harvey, who’d never pitched above A-ball prior to this season, though it’s also quite likely to be short-term in nature, as the O’s presumably still want to see him stretch out as a starter in hopes that the 23-year-old can eventually be an option for them in the rotation. Harvey had been slated to start tonight in Bowie prior to his promotion to the big leagues.