Cobb Looking For A Better 2008 Season

Last season was a year of adjustments for Larry Cobb. The A's 27th round pick in 2006 was asked to make a position switch from outfield to second base. In addition, he had to deal with the injury bug. Now comfortable with his new position and healthy once again, Cobb is ready to put together a better 2008 season with the Stockton Ports.

The 2007 season got off to an ominous start for Larry Cobb. After a strong pro debut season that saw Cobb hit .292 for short-season Vancouver and spend the final few days of the season with Triple-A Sacramento, Cobb began the 2007 campaign back at extended spring training having to deal with a strained rib cage muscle. Once Cobb arrived at Low-A Kane County, he got off to a slow start at the plate, batting only .234 in April and .186 in May.

Then his season took an even worse turn. On June 24th, Cobb and the Cougars were taking on the Clinton Lumber Kings. Cobb, who swiped 10 bases for the Cougars last season, was on first and he took off for second on a three-ball pitch. The pitch wound-up being ball four and Cobb eased into second base on what was assumed to be a dead play. Unfortunately for Cobb, the Clinton catcher didn't get the message that it was ‘ball four' and he threw down to second base. With the middle infielders and Cobb not expecting the ball, the throw sailed wildly, and hit Cobb in the crotch area.

The injury resulted in some internal bleeding and surgery, which cost the College of Charleston alum one month of the season. While the injury was painful, the toughest part of his rehab was dealing with the mental aspects of the injury.

"Mentally, more than anything it was difficult to deal with. I was only out a month and it could have been a lot worse, but, like I said, mentally is was tough just to get back in there and take groundballs again and try to steal bases," Cobb said.

Cobb did get back on the field at the end of July, but he struggled offensively during the final six weeks of the season. Before the injury, Cobb was on a good roll at the plate. He had posted a .383 OBP for the month of June and was starting to feel comfortable with his swing, which he had tinkered with at the start of the season.

Cobb's adjustments were not just on the offensive-side of the ball, however. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of his season was making the switch defensively from the outfield to second base.

"It was [a big adjustment last season]. The last time I played in the infield was in high school. I moved to the outfield in college," Cobb said.

"The transition back into the infield at this level was a lot more difficult because the play is a lot more fast paced."

Cobb said he learned a lot last season and he has continued to learn more about his new position by taking groundballs with A's roving infield instructor Juan Navarette at both the A's fall Instructional League and the A's minor league spring training.

"I want to be a solid infielder. I want to cut down on the errors," Cobb said.

"My goal is to be able to play every position in the infield, besides first."

After an off-season that was a mix of relaxing (fishing) and working, Cobb is refreshed and ready to tackle what he hopes is a much more normal 2008 season.

"I'm looking forward to playing in the new season and looking forward to play for [Stockton manager] Darren Bush," Cobb said.

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