ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb left a hospital and went home Sunday, a day after he was hit in the right ear by a line drive.
The Rays announced during their game against Kansas City that Cobb had been released from Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg. The team said he will be placed on the seven-day concussion list.
There was no timetable for when Cobb will rejoin the rotation.
Cobb texted teammates Sunday morning, including pitcher Matt Moore, saying he had a headache but would soon be out of the hospital.
In a message posted on his Twitter account, Cobb thanked Rays head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield and the doctors at Bayfront, and said that he “Woke up with only a minor headache.”
Cobb was struck by a liner off the bat of Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer in the fifth inning of Saturday’s game but remained conscious the whole time. He was taken off the field on a stretcher.
Moore was among a group of about 15 players, which included Hosmer and former Cobb teammates and current Royals James Shields and Elliot Johnson, who went to the hospital after Saturday’s game.
“I think he was very happy to see how many people wanted to come and see him,” Moore said.
It was a tough week for Cobb, who left the team after starting Monday night’s game against Boston because of the death of his grandmother. He was informed of the death after the game in which the 25-year old gave up a season-high six runs over four innings in a 10-8, 14-inning loss to the Red Sox.
This latest incident of a pitcher being hit by a batted ball is sure to spark more discussions about new pitching protection equipment.
“Whoever comes up with the solution for this, they’re never going to have to work again in their lives,” Rays pitcher David Price said. “It’s scary. We know about that. You think about it, and then you don’t think about it when you’re on the mound. But when you see it happen, and you see line drives and hard groundballs up the middle, it definitely crosses your mind.”
Moore said he would be willing to wear headgear if it was developed.
“A cricket helmet, or whatever it was, I would give it my best effort to make sure I pitch with that,” Moore said. “If I could prevent something like that by wearing something, without a doubt I would.”
While pitching for Oakland on Sept. 5, Brandon McCarthy suffered what were described at the time as life-threatening injuries when he was struck in the head by a line drive off the bat of Erick Aybar of the Angels. The pitcher had an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and a skull fracture. Emergency surgery was performed that night and he was released from the hospital six days later.
McCarthy, now with Arizona, is taking medication and says he’s confident he’ll be fine after he recently collapsed at a restaurant with a seizure related to the head injury.
The Diamondbacks’ right-hander underwent extensive examinations at the Mayo Clinic after the episode Monday. He was having dinner with his wife at a Phoenix restaurant when he passed out.
“You never want to see anybody go through that,” Shields said. “You just never know what’s going to come out of it. You look at McCarthy, he walked off the field. Next thing you know, they’re doing surgery on him.”
Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ was also struck by a liner against the Rays last month at Tropicana Field and suffered a skull fracture.
Happ was discharged from an area hospital the following day. The left-hander hurt his knee when he fell to the mound and remains on the disabled list.
Rays reliever Jamey Wright feels it is imperative that the issue continue to receive serious review.
“We don’t want somebody getting killed before something is done about it,” Wright said.