The Giants have placed right-hander Alex Cobb on the 15-day injured list, as the veteran is suffering from a left oblique strain. Cobb’s placement is retroactive to June 15. Right-hander Keaton Winn was called up from Triple-A to take Cobb’s spot on the active roster.
Over 78 2/3 innings this season, Cobb has quietly been one of the most effective pitchers in the game, posting a 3.09 ERA. A strong 6.2% walk rate and a 58.9% grounder rate have helped Cobb offset a below-average 22.5% strikeout rate and quite a bit of hard contact. For the second straight year, the Giants’ mediocre defense hasn’t provided much help for a groundball specialist like Cobb, as he has a .341 BABIP over his two seasons in San Francisco.
Cobb’s performance has been a big reason behind the Giants’ 38-32 record, and it remains to be seen how severe his oblique strain is, or how much time he could miss. A Grade 1 strain would count as relatively good news, as it would likely limit Cobb’s absence to roughly 3-4 weeks, though oblique injuries are notoriously tricky to forecast.
It’s a bad break for a Giants rotation that seemed to be getting healthier when Alex Wood was activated yesterday from his own IL stint (due to a bad back). However, it was one step forward and two steps back on the health front, as the Giants have now lost both Cobb and versatile reliever John Brebbia to the injured list within the last two days. Ross Stripling is still a couple of weeks away from returning from the back injury that sent him to the IL last month, so the Giants might need to again turn to bullpen games until Stripling is activated.
Winn has mostly worked as a starter at Triple-A this season and could also factor into the rotation picture. Sean Manaea could get another look as a starter, but he struggled in the rotation earlier this year and has pitched generally better out of the bullpen, so the Giants might not want to interrupt his progress. Star prospect Kyle Harrison might also be a possibility, except for the fact that Harrison has a whopping 17.9% walk rate over 47 1/3 innings at Triple-A.