Is Alex Cobb the Next Tampa Bay Rays' Ace?

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Is Alex Cobb the Next Tampa Bay Rays' Ace?
Associated Press
Alex Cobb starts 2014 as the No. 2 starter for the Rays.

Alex Cobb will be the future ace of the Tampa Bays Rays.

He starts the 2014 season on Wednesday as the No. 2 starter for the Rays.

Cobb has ascended up the rotation very quickly considering he was the team's fifth starter at the beginning of the 2013 season. This is an impressive accomplishment, especially since the Rays have one of the most dominant rotations in baseball.

Tampa Bay's starting staff came into this season leading the AL in ERA (3.74), runs allowed (3,922) and  opponents' batting average (.242) since becoming the Rays in 2008.

Becoming a leader in this rotation requires leadership and results.

Cobb has excelled in all of these areas.

When Jake Odorizzi was selected as the Rays' fifth starter, he credited Cobb with helping him develop his new change/split. For a pitcher who is less than two years removed from Triple-A to already assist in developing future starters is a huge plus.

On the field, Cobb has been a model for consistency and effectiveness.

Cobb finished the 2013 season with an 11-3 record with a 2.76 ERA. He pitched a career-high 143.1 innings over 22 starts including a complete game.

If an ace is defined by wins and losses, there is only one pitcher with better results since August 2012.

Cobb is catching the eyes of rival scouts even though he is not a household name, yet. One rival scout even went as far as comparing him to Greg Maddux.

While the name of the rival scout is not known, Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons believes Cobb is among the best.

David Price is still the ace of this staff and will be as long as he is on the roster and the Rays can afford him. In the event that the Rays have to move in a new direction in the next couple of seasons, Cobb is ready and able to take over the role.

All statistics courtesy of baseball-reference unless otherwise noted.

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