Giants' Cobb receives good news after scary moment on mound


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- For about 10 seconds on Saturday afternoon, Alex Cobb was lying on the left side of the mound fearing the worst. A line drive back to the mound had caught him on the left knee, and when he felt pain shoot down to his foot, Cobb wondered if the kneecap was broken and his season was over. 

A minute later, he was back on track for Opening Day. 

Cobb suffered the scare of the spring when Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Miguel Vargas smoked a fastball back up the middle in the fourth inning, but the pitcher was able to walk off the field with some help from trainer L.J. Petra. A test came back negative, and he was diagnosed with a left knee contusion.

"It turned out to be the best case scenario," Cobb said. 

The liner ended what had been a very strong day for the right-hander, who could line up as the No. 2 starter this season. He struck out five in his first three innings and felt good about the way the ball was coming out of his hand. 

There's never a good time to get hit by a line drive, but Cobb is built up enough that any sort of delay before his next spring start shouldn't be an issue. He said he's confident he'll be where he needs to be at the end of the spring.

"I'm super optimistic right now that I won't miss any of my next starts, but it's going to be very dependent on how I feel tomorrow and the next day," he said. "But if I do miss a start, maybe it's just a couple of days that it's pushed back. I still have three more outings. As long as you can get built up to five innings, at the start of the season you can go five, six, seven -- I don't think it's going to impact the season."

--- A day after Mitch Haniger was scratched with an oblique strain, David Villar was removed from the lineup because of left hip tightness. Manager Gabe Kapler said there's no long-term concern, but it's still a bummer for a young hitter in line to start at third base despite a slow start to the spring. 

--- Former Giants Steven Duggar and Luke Williams were in the lineup for the Dodgers, who had a split-squad day and didn't bring any regulars to Scottsdale other than Vargas and Chris Taylor. Both former Giants went deep, with Duggar nearly clearing the entire berm in right-center in the fifth inning.

Duggar later drove in two runs with a ground rule double. Williams, who made eight appearances for the Giants last year, added a triple. 

The Dodgers also used two former Giants on the mound. Shelby Miller gave up two runs in an inning-plus and struck out three. Tyler Cyr struck out the side in the eighth. 

RELATED: Sabol continues strong push for spot on Opening Day roster

--- Michael Conforto has been hitting leadoff, something he did often with the New York Mets. That won't be the look on Opening Day, though. Kapler said LaMonte Wade Jr. is likely to get the first look as the leadoff hitter, with Conforto in the heart of the lineup.

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