Giants’ latest surprising injury update is more bad news for Padres’ hopes

The Giants rotation got another boost.

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Alex Cobb (38) throws
San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Alex Cobb (38) throws / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

It's been an offseason of punch counter-punch for the contenders in the National League West. The Los Angeles Dodgers went on a spending spree, but their rotation isn't all it's cracked up to be, especially after watching their $325 million investment get yanked after one inning of work during Thursday's game in Seoul.

But there's no denying the Dodgers are the team to beat in the NL West. The Arizona Diamondbacks, who are the defending NL Champions, made some low-key additions that will put them in position to repeat. Not wanting to be left out, the San Diego Padres added Dylan Cease last week in order to beef up their rotation.

But the San Francisco Giants have added Jung Hoo Lee, Jorge Soler, Matt Chapman, Blake Snell, and Robbie Ray. If that wasn't enough for the Padres to contend with, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that Alex Cobb is scheduled to throw three innings against the Chicago Cubs during the Giants' Cactus League game this Friday. Cobb underwent hip surgery this offseason and wasn't expected back until midseason.

Giants’ latest surprising injury update is more bad news for Padres’ hopes

The Padres chances of competing in the NL West were already going to be difficult. The addition of Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Shohei Ohtani, and Tyler Glasnow turned the Dodgers from division favorites to World Series favorites. The D-backs were already going to be a problem before the offseason additions of Eugenio Suárez and Eduardo Rodriguez.

But seeing Cobb readying to return to a team that already secured the reigning Cy Young Award-winner, a slugger who mashed 36 homers in 2023, and a Gold Glove-caliber third baseman, has got to be a bit demoralizing for the Padres.

On the plus side, the Friars owned Cobb last season. Padres batters hit .361/.376/.722 with three home runs against the right-hander. Only the defending World Series champion Texas Rangers put up better numbers against Cobb in 2023.

The San Diego lineup can compete with almost team in the National League, but their ability to keep runs off the board will be the challenge this season. With a rotation of Cobb, Snell, Ray, Logan Webb, and Jordan Hicks, the Giants are looking to take the opposite approach and keep the opposition's bats at bay in 2024.

Though the Padres were never expected to win the division, competing for a Wild Card was the next realistic expectation, and the Giants getting better only hurts their chances.

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