Mark Hendrickson (shoulder) apparently pitched well, and with no ill effects, in an extended spring training game in St. Petersburg, and manager Joe Maddon said the lefty will start Thursday in New York against the Yankees. He also shifted around the rotation slightly. Scott Kazmir will pitch Tuesday against the Yankees, Seth McClung will go Wednesday and then Hendrickson. Doug Waechter will miss a start and go to the bullpen. The move was not a demotion. The Rays are a man short in the bullpen after Jason Childers was optioned to Triple-A Durham to make room for starter Edwin Jackson, who pitched Saturday in place of Hendrickson. The expectation is Hendrickson will come off the disabled list, Jackson will be sent back to Durham and Waechter will start Saturday against the Red Sox.
Maddon said he is behind McClung and expects to keep him in the rotation. McClung was banged around pretty good Friday by the Rangers and is 1-3 with a 10.90 ERA. But Maddon said McClung has too many physical gifts (a 95-mph fastball, for instance) and once he gets it all together, "He's going to be very, very good.'' Maddon said McClung needs to be better at the "nuance'' of pitching, that is, pitch location, letting up on pitches in certain situations, expanding the strike zone, elevating pitches in the strike zone. McClung said he knows he has to be better. He also said he appreciated Maddon's vote of confidence. "I feel like I have the ability,'' he said. "I just have to learn.''