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Ekstrom gets final 'pen spot



RHP Mike Ekstrom gets final bullpen spot, RHP Joaquin Benoit will go to Triple-A for more work.

Manager Joe Maddon said the Rays still expect Benoit, who is working his way back into form after missing all of 2009 following shoulder surgery, to contribute this season.

Maddon said Ekstrom, claimed on waivers from San Diego in February, impressed with his fastball command.

"Also we just think he might be a little bit more able to to at this point to go back to back days than Joaquin can right now,'' Maddon said. "We just want to make sure Joaquin is physically ready to do that strength-wise, etc. It's almost like he's going to go for another month of spring training. And we just see that as being the right thing to do. We really like him a lot, what he did a lot. He showed the arm strength, the pitches, the good changeup, the fastball's up to 95-96, but it's a matter of being functional on a day by day basis. So if we can build up his arm strength to the point that we think we can he's going to be very valuable to us.''


[Last modified: Sunday, May 2, 2010 12:15am]


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