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Orioles place Alex Cobb on injured list

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Manager Brandon Hyde said of Cobb’s injured list move, “We’re just following protocol.”

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Orioles active roster got a bit of an unexpected shakeup ahead of Friday’s doubleheader against the Yankees when Alex Cobb, the anticipated starter for the first game, was placed on the injured list.

The team did not announce a reason for Cobb being placed on the injured list, with manager Brandon Hyde saying of the move, “We’re just following protocol.” The 2020 season being what it is, the most obvious inference is that this is something COVID-19-related.

Since Friday’s games haven’t been postponed abruptly, that would seem to suggest whatever it is, is not the result of Cobb having a positive test. He may have been exposed to someone who later tested positive, making this more of a precautionary move. The Orioles have chosen since the preseason activities resumed to keep all of this stuff a secret, so inferences are all anyone will have.

The immediate impact of this move is that Thomas Eshelman will be starting the early game on Friday instead of Cobb. Eshelman, according to MASN’s Roch Kubatko, found out he’d be starting the game this morning.

Several other roster moves were announced on Friday along with Cobb being placed on the injured list. Maryland-born reliever Branden Kline had his contract selected from the alternate training site. Infielder Ramon Urias was added to the roster as the 29th man available for the doubleheader.

Additionally, the Orioles added left-handed pitching prospect Zac Lowther to the 60-man player pool. Lowther will head to Bowie, as will outfielder Mason Williams, who cleared waivers after being designated for assignment. These moves leave the Orioles with 38 players on the 40-man roster and 58 players in the 60-man player pool.