MLB notebook: Rays' Cobb favors headgear for pitchers
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — 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.
“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 said. “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.”
A-Rod recovering some power
Alex Rodriguez is getting his power swing back.
The 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 baserunning 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, recovering from a broken left ankle also took batting practice.
Astros jettison two
The Astros optioned infielder Marwin Gonzalez to Triple-A Oklahoma City and cut left-hander Wade LeBlanc.
The team said corresponding roster moves would be made Tuesday when Houston begins a series at home against the Cardinals.
The 24-year-old Gonzalez has a paltry .250 on-base percentage with four homers and 14 RBI. The switch-hitter has started 50 of 77 games this season, making eight errors while mostly sharing time at shortstop with veteran Ronny Cedeno.
Giants' Pagan needs surgery
Giants center fielder Angel Pagan is scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday to repair a tendon in his left hamstring.
Pagan is expected be out at least another 12 weeks.
Pagan, who turns 32 on July 2, signed a four-year, $40 million contract in December after helping the Giants win their second World Series title in three years. He is batting .262 with three home runs and 24 RBIs.
It was the latest dose of bad news for the Giants, who entered Monday trailing NL West-leading Arizona by three games. It came on the same day they reinstated slugging third baseman Pablo Sandoval from the disabled list after he missed 14 games because of an injured left foot.
Carrasco optioned to minors
The Indians optioned right-hander Carlos Carrasco to Triple-A Columbus and recalled pitcher T.J. House from the same minor league club.
The 23-year-old House is poised to make his major league debut, and he couldn't be more excited.
Before Monday's game against the Orioles, House said when he learned of the promotion, “It kind of floored me a little bit.”
Veteran pitcher Garcia to minors
The Orioles optioned veteran pitcher Freddy Garcia to Triple-A Norfolk, an assignment the right-hander has the right to refuse.
The 36-year-old Garcia is 3-5 with a 5.77 ERA in 11 games with the Orioles. Garcia can accept the demotion or declare himself a free agent.
Manager Buck Showalter said, “Freddy has a decision to make. He can stay with us and go to Triple-A or do something else. Hoping he stays.”
Garcia was optioned because the Orioles recalled rookie right-hander Kevin Gausman from Norfolk on Monday.