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OC Register: Angels’ Alex Cobb monitoring finger blister, trade deadline


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ANAHEIM ― Griffin Canning started for the Angels on July 2 and was optioned to Triple-A after the game. Since then, Angels starting pitchers have a 2.72 earned-run average. Only two teams began the day Tuesday with a lower ERA from their starters in that span.

Not coincidentally, health has favored the Angels’ pitching staff. Jaime Barría made a spot start Sunday in order to give Shohei Ohtani an extra day of rest between pitching appearances. Otherwise, Manager Joe Maddon has penciled in the same five starters since Canning’s demotion.

That might change Thursday. Alex Cobb is dealing with a subcutaneous blister on his pitching hand. Right-hander Dylan Bundy threw a bullpen Tuesday afternoon, and Maddon said Bundy has been discussed as a possibility to start the series opener against the Oakland A’s in case Cobb can’t.

Cobb threw a bullpen Monday and felt “pretty good.” He played catch again Tuesday. The 33-year-old right-hander missed 14 games in May because of a blood blister on his right middle finger. This is a different blister in a different area, he said, but it’s one he has dealt with before.

“Certain times I’m able to bounce back in five days,” Cobb said. “Sometimes I need a few extra days. It’s nothing too concerning.”

Still, the Angels might not want to risk his blister re-surfacing in the early innings, potentially turning Thursday’s game into a bullpen game. During their 18-game streak that began July 3, their starters have averaged a little more than six innings per game.

Cobb is 7-2 with a 3.82 ERA in 15 starts this season. If the Angels become sellers by Friday’s trade deadline, Cobb is a potentially useful bargaining chip in discussions with contending teams.

While he and the Angels monitor the blister, Cobb will be monitoring the rumor mill.

“I’ve been in this position quite a bit,” he said. “When you come up in Tampa Bay, every year you think you could potentially get traded. It’s a learning process. You get wrapped up in it, try to hear the rumors, have your agent weed out the stuff you’re reading, what he’s hearing. Do that on your own time. Once you show up to the ballpark, it’s this group of guys trying to win a ballgame.

“We’re five games out of the wild card. It’s an attainable task. We have the best player in the world coming back. We have the other best player in the world. I’ll sign up for that every day.”

WALSH OUT

First baseman Jared Walsh was not in the lineup one day after he was forced to leave Monday’s game with right abdominal soreness.

Phil Gosselin got the start at first base Tuesday against the Rockies, and Maddon said Gosselin will get the majority of the playing time there going forward.

Walsh has 22 home runs, 67 RBIs and a .266 batting average this season. Gosselin has seen time at four positions including first base, where he’s made 17 starts in his career.

Maddon said it’s too soon to say whether Walsh will ultimately be able to avoid going on the injured list.

“That particular injury, we’ve had some weird ones that lack definition, a specific timeframe,” he said. “Let’s see how it plays out.”

UP NEXT

Colorado (RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez, 3-6, 6.06 ERA) at Angels (LHP Andrew Heaney, 6-7, 5.32 ERA), Wednesday, 6:38 p.m., Bally Sports West, 830 AM

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