ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Up until the summer of 2021, Trey Cobb was a self-described
JARP. Just Another Right Handed Pitcher.
“Every right-handed guy you see come out. We’re all 92-95
miles per hour, with a slider, and maybe a changeup. And that was me, I was
always a pretty good strike thrower, so I was able to make it up to Triple-A,”
Cobb came from a baseball household where his grandfather,
Frank Linzy, played 10 years in the Majors, finishing his career in 1974 with
the Phillies. Linzy was 62-57 for his career with a 2.85 ERA pitching for the
Giants, Cardinals, Brewers, and then the Phillies.
Cobb followed in his grandfather’s footsteps, born and
raised in Oklahoma and then playing college baseball for Oklahoma State. Cobb
helped lead the Cowboys to the College World Series in 2016 before he was
drafted by the New York Mets the next year in the 8th round.
That first time Cobb made it to Triple-A was with the Mets
organization in Syracuse in 2021. While Cobb was extremely good at throwing
strikes, “a lot of those strikes ended up over the fence.”
On July 28, 2021, Cobb was 1-2 for Syracuse with a 7.82 ERA
and had allowed 10 homers in 35.2 innings. It was time for a change, but not
one that was made at Cobb’s behest.
“Around June or so of that year I started to throw 95 or so
from a normal arm slot. So, the Mets staff came to me and said why don’t we try
dropping your arm slot down and have you be a sidearmer? And immediately I was
Switching to becoming a sidearmer is no easy task. Cobb had
thrown over the top for his entire life and had made it to the precipice of the
Majors. Physically it was a tall order, but also mentally it can be hard as
well. Nobody every becomes a sidearmer by choice, only by necessity.
“Me just being who I am as a person allowed me to become a
sidearmer. If I was this big, tough, alpha male and they had asked me to go
sidearmer I probably would’ve said, ‘No. I’m not doing that, I’m doing it my
way!’ But me just kind of being a goober when they asked me I said, ‘Ok, yeah,
let’s go!’ I figured I’d try it out.
Even though the velocity results were immediate for Cobb,
the on field results take a little bit longer.
“I figured I’d go down to Florida in the GCL and start this
transition, but nope it was straight in to a save situation against Rochester.”
Cobb blew the save that day. The first batter he faced was
Derek Deitrich who homered off of him. “And that was the start of my sidearming
Cobb spent the entire offseason before the 2022 season
practicing and honing his new arm slot. That offseason, Jeremy Hefner, pitching
coach for the Mets, attended every one of Cobb’s bullpens as he lived just 20
minutes away in Oklahoma. Eventually, Cobb and Hefner molded the arm slot into
something Cobb could control with an arsenal of pitches to complement it and it
paid off during the 2022 season.
Cobb spent the bulk of the beginning of 2022 with double-A
Binghamton and was electric. He allowed two runs in his first 2.2 innings and
then just one run over his next 17.1 while striking out 26 and walking just
four. Eventually he was called back up to triple-A where he finished the
But naturally, a sidewinder’s journey is never straight.
During the 2022 off-season, Cobb was selected by the Phillies in the triple-A
phase of the Rule 5 draft. And just like that he was in a new organization,
leaving the only organization he’d ever called home in professional baseball.
The silver lining for Cobb though was that it showed his work to become a
sidearmer was paying off.
“It was a huge form of validation. When I got to the
Phillies, they said, ‘When you throw fastballs for strikes, it has the same
result as guys who throw 100, so just go out and throw strikes.’ And that’s way
simpler for me than trying to add a cutter of four MPH or all this stuff.
Validation is the perfect word. We’re doing something here, someone else sees
it and values it at a high level.”
Now underway in his first season with the Phillies
organization, Cobb feels comfortable and most importantly feels like he has the
backing to go through this journey of becoming a sidearmer.
“I feel like our coaching staff, this organization, truly
believes in me and that helps. Your wife is always going to tell you it’s ok,
but when it comes from the coaching staff and they’re saying that too it helps.
After Durham [blown save], AC [Manger Anthony Contreras] talked to me and said,
‘Hey you are going to be in that position again. And sure enough the next week
we’re in extra innings against Worcester and I’m right back out there. It goes
a long for those guys to go out of their way to say, ‘Hey, it’s fine, we’re
going to give you the ball again.’”