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Rays' Cobb released from hospital

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Published:   |   Updated: June 17, 2013 at 05:59 AM
ST. PETERSBURG -

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb was discharged Sunday afternoon from Bayfront Medical Center and went home to begin his recovery from a mild concussion sustained Saturday when he was struck near his right ear by a line drive.

Cobb was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list before Sunday's game. Josh Lueke was recalled from Triple-A Durham to fill Cobb's spot on the roster.

Cobb will have to pass a series of concussion tests before he can resume throwing, so it is not known when he will return to the team.

Saturday's incident, similar to the one May 7 when Toronto pitcher J.A. Happ was struck on the left side of his head by a line drive from Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings, pushed the talk of pitcher safety back into the forefront.

“We all don't want someone to get killed for something to be done about it,” Rays pitcher Jamey Wright said.

Eight companies are working with Major League Baseball to develop some type of protective head gear, whether it is a padded lining to be worn inside the pitcher's cap or a helmet that will protect more of the skull.

The ball hit by Kansas City first baseman Eric Hosmer came off the bat at 102 mph and hit Cobb in an area not covered by his cap.

Rays pitcher Matt Moore, one of a dozen Rays to visit Cobb in the hospital Saturday night, suggested a padded cap similar to the Elmer Fudd hats worn during cold weather. The padding would cover the pitcher's ears and the base of his skull.

Moore said the possibility of being hit in the head with a line drive is “the scariest part about this game, if you ask me.”

He said he would be willing to try whatever prototype is developed.

“Being a person who has had line drives very close to my head and taken line drives off the body, I don't want to be laying there on my back wondering what if I would have worn something? Or what if I could have worn something?”

Wright, who has been hit on nearly every part of his body except the head, agreed with Moore.

“Heck, yeah, I'm going to be 39 years old,” Wright said. “I damn sure am going to try one. I'm going try them all. I'll be the model for them.”

Wright suggested pitchers could wear batting helmets without the ear flaps, such as the first and third base coaches wear.

“Every time it happens there's going to be questions about it,” Wright said. “Probably needs to be some kind of protection. Guys are hitting them over 100 miles an hour back up the box, 60 feet away, that's not a lot of time. Fortunately, most of them do go off your butt or your shin or your ankle or your foot.”

Having watched Happ and then Cobb, his teammate and friend, take line drives off their heads, made it easy for Moore to say he is willing to wear protective head gear. But he knows the idea will meet resistance.

“I'm sure if you ask the first leatherhead football player that (tried) on a plastic helmet or whatever they had, I'm sure they weren't all about it at first,” Moore said. “And they went from the single bar in football to now some guys have a full cage.”

Cobb was in good spirits Saturday, according to those who visited him at Bayfront.

He joked with Hosmer, who arrived with former Rays James Shields and Elliot Johnson, that at least the Rays got him out. Moore said he told Cobb they were going to petition the league to have Cobb awarded the win in the Rays' 5-3 victory.

Cobb told his teammates he could not recall what happened, and that left Moore with an uneasy feeling.

“I saw J.A. Happ get hit. That was terrible as well,” Moore said. “This one, just for some reason I'm not sure why, I guess I know him better on a personal basis, I hadn't felt that feeling ever in my entire life of seeing one of my really good friends, someone I care that much about, in that kind of pain, that kind of doubt in the air, not knowing what's going on with him, it was a pretty bad for everybody.”


rmooney@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7227

Twitter: @RMooneyTBO

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