The Orioles didn’t need more injury news, but general manager Mike Elias delivered some Tuesday, announcing that right-hander Alex Cobb will undergo hip surgery this week and miss the rest of the season.
Cobb, who signed a four-year, $57 million contract during spring training 15 months ago, started this season on the injured list with groin soreness and returned to the IL twice with what was described as a lumbar strain. Elias said Tuesday that both issues apparently were referred pain from a previously undiscovered hip injury.
Nashville hip specialist Dr. J.W. Thomas Byrd will perform a procedure to correct a femoroacetabular impingement in Cobb’s right hip.
“It’s basically a bony outgrowth that’s rubbing up against some soft tissue and we do expect him to miss the rest of the season,’’ Elias said. “We made the determination to do it. While I think he could try to pitch right now, he clearly hasn’t been 100% and it’s more important to us to get this issue corrected at the right time and have him 100% in spring training. … We’re fully anticipating a 100% Alex Cobb in Sarasota [Fla.,] next spring. That’s what we want.”
Cobb will rehabilitate after the surgery at the Orioles’ training facility in Sarasota, but Elias also left open the possibility of a second procedure to deal with some nagging knee soreness.
The first two seasons of Cobb’s four-year deal have been a nightmare for a 31-year-old pitcher, whose career was interrupted in 2015 and for most of 2016 by a torn elbow ligament that required Tommy John surgery.
He was signed late in spring training last year and joined the regular-season rotation just 3 ½ weeks later. He struggled badly at the outset, grappled with a chronic blister problem and suffered through the worst statistical season of his career.
This year, he felt sore soon after being named the team’s Opening Day starter. He missed that start and debuted April 4, only to be sidelined for two more weeks with back soreness. He pitched two more times before being shut down again and eventually going on the 60-day injured list.
“Obviously, the timing’s unfortunate, but it kind of took us by surprise in spring training,’’ Elias said. “He thought he might have had it licked when he came back and tried to pitch, but the judgment was made on his part and that of our entire medical staff and training staff to just go ahead and get this taken care of, because it’s something that’s fairly easily correctable and will put him in a position to be 100% in 2020.”
Fourth-rounder Ortiz among announced draft signings
Baltimore Orioles Insider
The Orioles announced the signings of 20 of their 41 draft picks Tuesday, but the club is still working toward signing its picks from the first three rounds, including No. 1 overall pick Adley Rutschman.
Players whose signings were announced Tuesday were shortstop Joey Ortiz (4), outfielder Johnny Rizer (7), right-hander Griffin McLarty (8), catcher Jordan Cannon (10), outfielder Mason Janvrin (14), right-hander Kyle Martin (15), right-hander Shelton Perkins (16), right-hander Morgan McSweeney (17), right-hander Malachi Emond (18), right-hander Clayton McGinness (20), right-hander Toby Welk (21), right-hander Shayne Fontana (23), right-hander Garrett Farmer (25), right-hander Nick Roth (26), left-hander Dillon McCollough (27), right-hander Jonathan Pendergast (28), left-hander Dalton Stambaugh (30), catcher Harris Yett (32), outfielder Craig Lewis (33) and outfielder Trevor Kehe (36). The Orioles also announced the signing of undrafted free agent James Ryan, a right-hander out of St. Katherine.
“It’s good to have some progress there,” Elias said. “Expecting to be rattling these off as we go. Obviously, there’s some big fish left, the biggest fish, fishes are left unsigned, and that might take a little bit of work, but I still feel good about everything.”
Elias expressed confidence that Orioles will sign Rutschman, as well as second-rounder Gunnar Henderson and fifth-rounder Darell Hernaiz, both high school shortstops with commitments to College World Series teams. Competitive Balance B round pick Kyle Stowers, third-rounder Zach Watson, sixth-rounder Maverick Handley, 11th-rounder Andrew Daschbach, 19th-rounder Jensen Elliott and 22nd-rounder Jake Lyons were members of teams recently eliminated in the NCAA Super Regionals.
Rutschman, the Oregon State catcher, has had other commitments.
“As I’ve said all along, I’m very optimistic with Adley, but he’s got a lot going on still right now,” Elias said. “He’s completing his finals, I think today, and then he’s got a slate of awards, including the Golden Spikes [Award] and the Dick Howser [Trophy] and there’s a few others, too. Sometimes, it’s best to let the players participate in those types of things prior to really deeply engaging. But everything’s gonna go smoothly, is my expectation.”
Around the horn
Outfielder Dwight Smith Jr., on the seven-day concussion injured list, worked out Monday to test how he recovered is progressing every day, manager Brandon Hyde said. … Mark Trumbo (knee) had a checkup with head athletic trainer Brian Ebel on Monday that went well. … High-A Frederick’s Cody Sedlock, Mike Baumann, David Lebron, Steven Klimek, Willy Yahn, Zach Jarrett and Cole Billingsley were named Carolina League All-Stars. The game will be played at Frederick’s Nymeo Field on June 18.