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UPDATE: Alex Cobb exits after taking a line drive to his head

Jun 15, 2013, 6:00 PM EDT

In the top of the fifth inning in this afternoon’s game against the Royals, Rays starter Alex Cobb took a line drive to the head off the bat of Eric Hosmer. It was a scary moment, summed up by Jeff Passan:

In what became secondary to the injury, catcher Jose Lobaton was able to corral the ball and throw to first for the out. Alex Torres relieved Cobb after he was taken off on a stretcher.

We’ll know more about the severity of the injury later. For now, just hope for the best for the 25-year-old.

UPDATE (7:40 PM) — Cobb is okay. Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times talked to manager Joe Maddon and injured starter David Price.

  1. yahmule - Jun 15, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    Man, that was horrible. I was hoping for a glancing blow, but it seemed to catch him flush.

    • sabatimus - Jun 15, 2013 at 7:27 PM

      Yeah the ball bounced almost exactly back the way it came, meaning his head took most of the force :(

  2. spellingcops - Jun 15, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    Thoughts & prayers. Hate to see this.

  3. indaburg - Jun 15, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    It looked like an eerie replay of J.A. Happ’s head injury at the Trop early in May. My thoughts are with Cobb. His grandmother just passed away this week too. He’s having a very rough spell.

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 15, 2013 at 6:46 PM

      The difference is that the ball rebounded off Happ into the outfield as Happ wasn’t hit dead on. I certainly hope that Cobb will be OK.

      • indaburg - Jun 15, 2013 at 7:18 PM

        Thanks, PC. Me too. The next 24 hours will tell us a lot. Cobb is at the same hospital that took care of Happ.

      • indaburg - Jun 15, 2013 at 7:23 PM

        Just heard on the radio that Cobb is cracking jokes (David Price went with him to the hospital and tweeting) and that the report is “mild concussion.” The phrase mild concussion is a pet peeve of mine–it’s like being mildly pregnant–but it sounds good so far.

        One cool note. James Shields came over to the stretcher before Cobb was taken away to the hospital. Class act.

      • raysfan1 - Jun 15, 2013 at 7:54 PM

        I have the same pet peeve. The brain is injured or it is not. They should have said his symptoms were mild.

      • js20011041 - Jun 15, 2013 at 8:10 PM

        I’m the exact opposite. I’ve never understood why people assume all head trauma to be equally severe. Is there no difference between a mild bruise on the arm, a deep bruise, or a severed limb? The brain is just like any other body part. It can sustain mild trauma or severe trauma. Like it or not, there’s a pretty significant difference between a mild concussion and severe head trauma, in which the person is unresponsive and has enough intracranial pressure to force the brain stem through the base of the skull. Not that he didn’t need to be evaluated, but not all head trauma is the same.

      • indaburg - Jun 16, 2013 at 7:11 AM

        js20011041, you feel differently than I do? Say it ain’t so. You may not listen to me–I’m just a nurse, after all–but raysfan1 is a doctor. Listen to him.

        The brain is not “just like any other body part.” It is the most complex neurological part of our body and still a good mystery to us medical types, although we learn more every day. I don’t have the time nor is a baseball blog the place for explaining anatomy and physiology, but if you think the brain is just like the pinky toe, knee, or even your heart, you might want to brush up on your biology.

        The only thing we can say is what raysfan1 said–are the symptoms severe or not. The only thing certain about Cobb’s injury is that he suffered a concussion with mild symptoms.

      • js20011041 - Jun 16, 2013 at 8:36 AM

        The long term consequences of severe trauma or repeated trauma can be more debilitating than an injury to other parts of the body, but to say that there cannot be minor trauma involving the brain is delusional.

      • paperlions - Jun 16, 2013 at 9:45 AM

        I have no problem with the terminology. “Minor”, “mild”, “severe”, etc. are all on a scale and are simply modifiers used to express where on that scale a brain injury rates. Of course all brain injuries are serious conditions that are not to be taken lightly, but that doesn’t negate the fact that there is still a scale of severity for those injuries.

        …and sorry, indy, but “being a doctor” doesn’t make me blindly take someone’s opinion on something. My doctor prescribed me blood pressure medication for a BP of 142/90 with the justification that the side effects profile is minor. Well, I felt like shit for 10 days, couldn’t focus, was drinking way more coffee just to be able to work (my job requires mental focus the entire time), I was useless at work. I bought a BP monitor, generally got readings that averaged to 120/72, stopped taking the medication and the readings didn’t change. This is the same guy that I asked to check out my LDP levels (high cholesterol runs in my family), he said they don’t need to go into that….despite the fact that 10 yr old research shows that LDP levels are 2-3 times more correlated with cardiac events than LDL levels.

      • indaburg - Jun 16, 2013 at 1:23 PM

        ‘lions, I agree that one shouldn’t blindly trust the opinions of medical professionals. I regularly question the establishment myself, looking for better and more efficient ways of helping people, and I regularly butt heads with doctors (me? argue? crazy talk.) On a personal level, my own doctor was going to prescribe me an anti-hypertensive as a migraine preventative, not unheard of. The issue is my blood pressure normally runs around 90/60. Do you think that’s a wise idea, doc? I’d like to not faint on a daily basis. Yeah, that idea was scratched. But, I would trust the opinion of a medical doctor (raysfan1) over some random dude named js202033309 on the internet, especially when that commenter, raysfan1, frequently expresses fair and intelligent opinions.

        Of course, there is a scale of brain injury. I am not saying all brain injuries are created equal. That is an ignorant, simplistic, and false statement. All I am saying is that a concussion is NOT a minor brain injury. That is all. The symptoms may appear minor, but the injury itself is not. Anyone that thinks differently needs to be educated on the effects of concussions. It may seem like semantics to argue about “mild concussion” vs. “concussion with mild symptoms.” In spite of my difference of opinions with js, he seems like an intelligent person, and he probably knows the difference. The average lay person however thinks minor concussion means that the concussion is something not to be taken seriously. “It’s just like bruise to my muscle. It’s nothing.” It’s not nothing. For years, athletics has ignored the effects of concussions on the brain. Finally, we are getting to the point where they are being taken seriously. I don’t want people to make that mistake again, and I will fight the term “minor concussion.”

        There is still so much we don’t know about the brain. Think about the brain in terms of inner space–our body’s final frontier. We’re still pioneers.

  4. shanabartels - Jun 15, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    I hope Cobb will be okay soon. We can’t let this keep happening. A comebacker to the head is not something we should take lightly.

    • bigmeechy74 - Jun 16, 2013 at 1:17 AM

      That’s great… But what do you propose we do about it

      • paperlions - Jun 16, 2013 at 9:47 AM

        Well, for one, MLB could stop dragging it’s feet on allowing players to wear hats with protective liners. Right now, a pitcher couldn’t wear one if he wanted to.

  5. flamethrower101 - Jun 15, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    Seems like we’re seeing more of this happen recently. I’d like to think of this as just dumb luck that it’s happening so often, but it’s still something nobody wants to see.

  6. randygnyc - Jun 15, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    This is the 4th since Nicasio. MLB has to seriously investigate padded hats. I hope Cobb is ok

    • badintent - Jun 16, 2013 at 12:56 AM

      I said last month that someone is gonna get killed. Bud is so stupid not to put new policies in place, always concerned how the spin and MLBPA will conflict instead of doing the right thing.HOw easy is it to require Kelvar liners in caps. ? Not rocket science.Guess Bud thinks blood and brains cells oozing out will sell more tickets.
      Hope Cobb sues MLB , classic action lawsuit for better batting helmets and caps.Lets get the NFL concessions law firm.

  7. jbeagles23 - Jun 15, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    Hope it’s not severe. Happ was fine head wise after. Still not back from twisting his leg on the play though

  8. thebadguyswon - Jun 15, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    Glad everything is ok. It’s not very often Hosmer hits a ball in the air, he probably didn’t expect him to.

  9. junglerat524 - Jun 15, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    Thank God he’s ok. That was nasty.

    • junglerat524 - Jun 15, 2013 at 8:12 PM

      Hopefully they sedate him tonight so he can get some sleep because if not he’s gonna wake up feeling like he just read one of Old Gators posts.

      • badintent - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:29 AM

        AHEM TO THAT BROTHER !

  10. kcrobert10 - Jun 15, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    I saw this live and man it looked liked it was really bad glad to hear he is ok.

  11. valarmorghuliss - Jun 15, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    MLB is just waiting for the (insert dead players name here) rule to gain momentum before forcing change. After all this evidence that something needs to be done, when that player is killed, be sure MLB will be sued for millions upon millions in damages.

    • badintent - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:32 AM

      Yes ,Bud takes a leave of absence to sell more used cars and consult with his rabbi.

  12. js20011041 - Jun 15, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    I think I’d be remiss if I didn’t take my usual shot at the Rays’ character. I noticed that on this particular play, Hosmer ran through 1st base and didn’t try to take advantage of a man down. Earlier in the year, when Happ was hit in the head, Jennings ended up on third base. Personally, I think that’s a bit of a scumbag move. You could tell that the Jays players just wanted to see if their teammate was ok. Instead, Jennings made them continue playing baseball. I don’t even think Jennings is a bad guy, but the scumbag culture must be ingrained so deeply in that organization that it just infects everyone.

    • raysfaninsrq - Jun 15, 2013 at 10:23 PM

      js, you’re obviously lacking knowledge when in comes to baseball rules and recent baseball history, and it’s even more obvious you have an agenda.

      You are correct Jennings did continue to run the bases and stopped at third. He did so because the ball was STILL IN PLAY. When the ball unfortunately hit and ricocheted off Happ’s head it went into right field and over into the Ray’s bullpen where it was recovered and thrown back into the infield STOPPING PLAY. In today’s unfortunate incident, the ball ricocheted off of Cobb’s head directly back to Loboton who threw the runner out at first, which is why he ran through first, play over and PLAY STOPPED… BASEBALL RULES and not a sigle thing to do w/ scumbag culture or taking advantage of a man down. The same thing happens in all pro sports, play continues until the play is over.

      I’ll bet you’re the “SCUMBAG” who put all the thumbs down on every reference above to hoping Cobb recovers soon. If you’re not then you have my apologies, and there is still an unidentified SCUMBAG trolling this thread.

      • js20011041 - Jun 15, 2013 at 10:54 PM

        I understand the rules. That still doesn’t make it a clean play. It’s a shitty move to essentially force the withholding medical care, even if it is for a few brief seconds, from a man that is seriously injured. Once the ball struck Happ’s head, Jennings should have taken first and let the play end.

        And because you’re wondering, no, I wasn’t the one who thumbs downed the comments.

  13. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Jun 16, 2013 at 2:56 AM

    Good post, but honestly someone classless enough to turn this horrible situation into a terrible attempt at bashing a team he doesn’t like clearly isn’t worth your time. As a Rays fan I obviously can’t stand the Yanks and Sox, but if a guy gets drilled in the head by a line drive? All I’m going to be worried about is his health. There’s a time to put rivalries and dislikes of teams aside and I pity those who are oblivious to it.

    • js20011041 - Jun 16, 2013 at 6:14 AM

      Sorry for merely pointing out that two different teams, when confronted with similar situations, reacted quite differently. It just so happens that the Rays were, once again, engaging in questionable behavior. Which is kind of a pattern for them. I know that if it was my team’s pitcher that got drilled in the head, I’d want play to end as soon as possible, allowing medical care on the field. After watching the replay of it, I honestly can’t see any way that Jennings ends up on 3rd, other than he was continuing to run the bases as Happ’s teammates came to the mound to check on him. You may be ok with that. I’m not. It’s taking advantage of a man that’s down.

      • raysfaninsrq - Jun 16, 2013 at 11:48 AM

        How did they react differently. They both played until the play was called. I’m obviously a Rays fan, and I was shocked when Cobb took the ball to the head, it was very disturbing. That said if the ball had not gone back to Loboton who completed the play by throwing the runner out at first, and instead had done the same thing as the Happ incident, I would have not cried foul. By your estimation, both players should have immediately stopped when the ball hit the pitcher, however neither did, both FINISHED the play to the extent that the play was run. You did not hear one commentator or post game comment regarding any unsportsmanlike behavior, because it’s part of the game. It’s the risk ALL pitchers take when taking the mound.

        I’m as much about sportsmanship as the next guy, it really pisses me off when a batter leans into the ball to be hit by the pitch, or when a “classy” (term used loosely) player such as Jeter fakes getting hit by a pitch and takes first base. The bottom line is what Jeter did in my reference was poor sportsmanship, what both batters did in the hit on Cobb and Happ was play the game… BY THE RULES… Change the rules if you don’t like it, but don’t bash a player and call him a scumbag, or for that matter the whole team, because he played by the rules.

        Sorry your way out in left field on this one!!

      • js20011041 - Jun 16, 2013 at 12:50 PM

        Come on, man. You can’t tell me the running the bases freely while the other team checks on their teammate that just had his head exploded isn’t dirty.

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