LA Angles: Why Alex Cobb recreation project will work

Alex Cobb, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Alex Cobb, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
Los Angeles Angels
Alex Cobb, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Alex Cobb looked sharp in the Angels 4-2 win over Cleveland on Wednesday.

The right-hander completed three full innings of work while only giving up one earned run. He came back out for the fourth inning and gave up a lead-off hit before he was pulled. While this outing was a very small sample size, his overall stuff looked impressive as he saw an increase in velocity to 94 mph and was able to spot the corners well.

Cobb is the second former Orioles pitcher in the Angels system looking to revitalize his career, the first being Dylan Bundy. Based on how he’s thrown so far in spring training, it seems to be working.

Here’s why the Angels will turn Alex Cobb’s career around this season.

After his pitching performance, Cobb told the media his increase in velocity will make his off-spead pitches even better.

"“The fastball life does feel great right now and I think it’s going to make all the off-speed pitches play a lot better, which is a recipe for success,” Cobb said."

There is no doubt that this should hold true, as Cobb throws four off-speed pitches, which include a sinker, split-finger, and curveball. This make-up profiles him perfectly as a ground ball pitcher.

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According to Baseball Savant, Cobb only threw the fastball five times in the ten games he started for the Orioles last season. That is telling as hitters could expect off-speed pitches and could easily adjust. With Cobb’s ability to trust his fastball with the velocity increase, he can now mix it in with the other three pitches.

It was reported that Cobb went to the baseball facility called Driveline during the off-season to work on getting his fastball velocity to increase. So far, it seems to have worked as he was averaging 94 mph during his start on Wednesday. He was topping out at 93 mph last season so that one mile per hour difference could still be huge against batters.

"“I think the most encouraging thing in spring training for me is just to locate, and when they do make contact, to see it on the ground,” Cobb said."

With the Angels infield defense being solid, it makes sense as to why Angels general manager, Perry Minasian, wanted to get Cobb who pitches to ground balls.

The Angels really depend on these recreation-type deals in both Cobb and Bundy as they will both moreget a majority of starts within the starting rotation. We’ll have to wait and see during the season if Cobb’s trip over at Driveline was worth the Halos time in trading to get him as we won’t fully know until he gets deeper into ball games.

Next. What role will Patrick Sandoval have this season?

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For now, his most recent start did impress, and there look to be strong reasons to think he can go out and repeat the same mechanics.