Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Alex Cobb favors pitchers having the option of wearing protective headgear on the mound.
Cobb returned to Tropicana Field on Monday, nine days after being struck in the right ear by a ball hit by Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer and nearly seven weeks after Toronto’s J.A. Happ also was hit in the head by a batted ball while pitching there.
Sitting on a platform in the auxiliary clubhouse in which Happ also answered questions about the scary incident that knocked him out of a game in early May, Cobb — who is making progress in his recovery, spoke to the media for the first time since being carted off the field and taken to a hospital on June 15.
Cobb, like Happ, was released from Bayfront Medical Center less than 24 hours later.
“I remember deciding what pitch to throw. ... I remember seeing the ball come back,” said Cobb, who is out indefinitely with a concussion. “Might have caught a glance of the ball and subconsciously turned my head, thankfully.”
The injury renewed debate about what can be done to protect pitchers from batted balls.
“Even after J.A. Happ went through this, we were asked pretty heavily about this topic. I came right out and thought there should be something for us to have the option to do,” Cobb said.
“I don’t want it to turn into something where every pitcher on the mound has to wear something. That’s everybody’s personal choice,” Cobb added. “It’s one where you want to have a little say-so that if this incident happened again you were able to do everything you could to protect yourself, your future, your family.”
Cobb, who remained conscious the whole time, said he has experienced nausea, severe headaches that have begun to subside, as well as symptoms of vertigo.
Still, he is beginning to feel better each day.
“I’m having my days,” the 25-year-old Cobb said. “Today has been the best day by far.”
Cobb said he visited the doctor Monday and was told he is healing quicker than expected. There is still no timetable for him to return.
After initially being reluctant to watch a replay of the line drive, Cobb said he watched it later that night or the following morning.
He said he initially thought the injury wasn’t that serious, and wanted to get up and walk off the field.
Rodriguez slowly returning to form
Alex Rodriguez is getting his power swing back.
The New York Yankees third baseman, coming back from hip surgery in January, hit a ball to the base of the center-field fence and another on the warning track in left center off a minor league right-hander Monday as he continued taking simulated at-bats.
In sessions late last week, A-Rod primarily hit grounders mixed in with a couple liners.
Rodriguez also had an extensive base running session and did sliding drills on a mat in the outfield, two key steps before starting a minor league rehab assignment.
The Yankees have not said when Rodriguez will begin playing in games, but are hoping for after the All-Star break.
Derek Jeter, who is recovering from a broken left ankle, took batting practice with Rodriguez and Eduardo Nunez.