Alex Colome arrived in the Tampa Bay Rays clubhouse Wednesday morning expecting to make his major-league debut out of the bullpen. But after Wednesday night's game, the 24-year-old rookie learned he will take the mound for his first career start tonight. The move was made after RHP Alex Cobb came down with a minor finger issue that first popped up in his last start on Sunday against the New York Yankees. Cobb took an extra day of rest before making his bullpen session but saw no signs of it healing in time to make his scheduled start on Friday in Cleveland. So Matt Moore, tonight's originally scheduled starter, will fly to Cleveland ahead of the rest of the team and get the start Friday. “I got a little split between my fingernail and it started bleeding a little bit (during Sunday's game) but I didn't think much of it and figured it would heal,'' Cobb said. “I waited an extra day to throw my bullpen, but I couldn't throw my off-speed pitches, my curveball and change-up, and that would have hurt. The fastball would have been fine but I didn't feel comfortable going into (the next start) not knowing if I could throw my off-speed pitches.'' For Colome, the nephew of former Rays reliever Jesus Colome, it will be the opportunity to live out a dream come true making his first career start. He was originally scheduled to make his 10th start of the season for Triple-A Durham on Wednesday. “I'm going to try to do the same job I did in Durham. I'm not going to try to change anything,'' Colome said. “Throw strikes, throw down, make outs.'' With the bullpen overworked, the plan was to use Colome in relief on Wednesday if starter Roberto Hernandez faltered early. But Hernandez came one out shy of a complete game, which allowed manager Joe Maddon to make the move and allow Colome to pitch in a more familiar role. In nine starts with Durham this season, Colome has a 4-5 record with a 2.60 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings.
Cobb's finger means rotation tweak; Colome starts tonight
Tampa Tribune | May 30