SF Giants’ Alex Cobb will miss start of next season after hip procedure

Alex Cobb to undergo hip surgery with six-month timetable for recovery

The San Francisco Giants and Alex Cobb believe they have found a solution to the impinged hip that has plagued him for the majority of the season. However, it will come at a cost: a surgical procedure with a recovery timetable that will keep their No. 2 starter out of the lineup for the start of next season.

Cobb, 36, will have surgery on his left hip on Tuesday in Vail, Colorado, according to the club. Cobb will be unable to pitch for six months following the procedure, which was performed by Dr. Marc Philippon. Cobb won’t be able to pitch again until around the beginning of May, assuming he misses the typical six-week buildup in spring training.

Cobb was named an All-Star for the first time in 2023, finishing with a 3.87 ERA and throwing his most innings since 2018. He was one of only two Giants pitchers to log at least 20 starts and 150 innings. However, he had been pitching with an impingement in his left hip for the majority of the game.

Cobb had a sparkling 2.91 ERA next to his name during the All-Star festivities in Seattle. After the break, he pitched to a 5.25 ERA.

Cobb stated that he first became aware of the problem during a June start in Colorado. But it wasn’t until two months later, after a rough outing in San Diego, that it was made public, with then-manager Gabe Kapler telling reporters in his office and Cobb confirming but downplaying the situation.

He was one out away from throwing a no-hitter just a week before. He also threw a career-high 131 pitches and would only make three more starts before being shut down with two weeks remaining in the season.

Cobb later admitted that the pain in his hip was “prevalent” during the no-hitter bid. “But,” he went on to say, “I would not solely put it on that, nor would I trade that night for anything.”

Doctors initially told Cobb that he didn’t need surgery, but after a month of rehab and multiple treatment therapies, Cobb and Dr. Philippon determined during a recent consultation that surgery was his best option. Cobb had a similar procedure to repair a similar issue in his right hip performed by a different doctor in Nashville in 2019.

The free agent markets will open in the coming weeks — five days after the World Series concludes — and the Giants will enter the bidding knowing they will be missing one starter to start next season. They have already been linked to the exciting Japanese right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto, widely regarded as the best pitcher available, with Farhan Zaidi confirming his recent trip to Osaka to watch the soon-to-be-posted 25-year-old’s recent playoff outing.

However, Zaidi has stated that the Giants do not intend to target anyone other than top-tier starting pitching.

That was before Cobb decided to have surgery. Will this alter the equation?

On the free agent market, new manager Bob Melvin should be an appealing perk for Blake Snell and Sonny Gray, who both played for him in San Diego and Oakland. The Giants, on the other hand, have a number of internal options, which is why Zaidi was hesitant to add any more to the mix.

Kyle Harrison, Tristan Beck, and Keaton Winn all made promising debuts last season and are already on the roster for next season. Carson Whisenhunt, a lefty with a changeup who was drafted in the second round in 2022, should also be in the mix at some point after rising quickly through the system last season.

While Alex Wood and Jakob Junis are set to become free agents, Anthony DeSclafani remains under contract and is expected to return in time for spring training after having season-ending ankle surgery in July. Ross Stripling is expected to return after stating his intention to exercise his player option, whereas Sean Manaea faces the same decision but is expected to opt out, unless his former manager, Melvin, entices him back.

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