This is not the way the Giants anticipated getting Kyle Harrison back in the big leagues this season.
The top prospect returned to the active roster Wednesday without making a start during his recent Triple-A stint, as the Giants put Alex Cobb (hip) and Keaton Winn (COVID) on the IL. Sean Hjelle was recalled along with Harrison, who was sent down last week to work on some mechanical changes and now will face the Los Angeles Dodgers instead of making his scheduled start for Sacramento.
Cobb pitched just two innings on Tuesday night in Arizona because of a left hip impingement that has bothered him throughout the second half. He would be eligible to return in the postseason if the Giants can go on a run over their final 11 games, although that's a long shot for a number of reasons.
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"I would expect that he's done pitching for us," manager Gabe Kapler told reporters in Arizona. "Obviously we never take anything off the table but that's where we are with it right now. I was able to have a quick conversation with Alex and I'm very grateful for how he sacrificed his body for our team. I think he had a great year. It's obviously challenging to be without him going forward, but I just respect the work ethic and the competitiveness and how much he cares about this team."
Cobb has pitched just 10 innings in three starts since nearly no-hitting the Cincinnati Reds. The Giants gave him extra rest before his last two starts, but it didn't help the hip discomfort. He'll finish the regular season with a 3.87 ERA in 28 starts, which is tied for his high since 2017. In July, Cobb made his first All-Star appearance. The Giants hold a $10 million option on Cobb for the 2024 season, which seems like a no-brainer given how important he was to a rotation that often had just two starting pitchers.
Harrison threw a bullpen session at the team's minor league facility this week and Kapler said it "was really good." The rookie will likely make his first career start against the Dodgers either Thursday or Friday.