Orioles right-hander Alex Cobb has returned to the injured list, this time with a lower back strain.
Cobb experienced back spasms during pregame warmups before Tuesday night’s 13-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics. Cobb, who held the New York Yankees to two runs in 5 2/3 innings in his only start of 2019, was expected to start Wednesday, the third game in Baltimore’s four-game set with the A’s. The move is retroactive to Saturday.
“He’s got some back spasms,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “He felt good yesterday. Then today he went out and threw and his back tightened up on him a little bit. He had some back spasms, and so we’re pushing him back. Obviously, we’re putting him on the IL, and we’ll replace him.”
Cobb, 31, began the season on the injured list because of right groin soreness. In his absence from the rotation, right-hander Nate Karns opened two bullpen games with two innings in each. Karns, too, was placed on the injured list Tuesday, suffering from a right forearm strain.
Right-hander Dan Straily will start in Cobb’s place, Hyde said after Tuesday night’s 13-2 loss to Oakland. The Orioles signed Straily, 30, to serve as their fifth starter, though Hyde hoped to build him up before he entered the rotation. Straily allowed five runs in 1 1/3 innings in relief in his Orioles debut Sunday, throwing 44 pitches. As a result, he likely won’t be available for a full start Wednesday, and the Orioles will recall left-hander Josh Rogers to take Cobb’s spot on the 25-man roster.
“It’s not full-go because [Straily] just threw,” Hyde said. “We just called up Rogers, so Rogers will be here tomorrow to give us a little bit of depth. [Straily is] going to be limited because of the short notice.”
Rogers, 24, was scratched from starting the opening game of a doubleheader Tuesday at Triple-A Norfolk. Acquired from the Yankees in last summer’s Zack Britton trade, he made three starts with the Orioles in 2018, allowing 11 earned runs in 11 2/3 innings.
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Someone capable of eating multiple innings Wednesday would be valuable for Hyde. The Orioles lead the majors in innings pitched by relievers, and their bullpen covered six innings Tuesday after left-hander John Means lasted three in his first major league start.