Rays cut three more: Bootcheck, Ekstrom, Swindle
Update 2:58 Ekstrom was disappointed, but understood the move, saying he just didn't pitch well
Ekstrom (0-2, 10.13 ERA) gave up 11 runs and 15 hits in eight innings.
"I didn't pitch very good, so it's not exactly a surprise," Ekstrom said. "I know I can pitch, it's just frustrating that I didn't get it done here. But I'm sure there will be opportunities during the year."
Swindle took the news in stride, saying he appreciated the opportunity (with a team-high 10 appearances), but acknowledged he didn't do well enough against lefties to make the decision tougher on them.
"I got to throw a lot and that was good, that's all I could ask for," Swindle said. "I would have wished to throw a little better against lefties, I didn't get to face that many of them and the ones I did I never quite executed my pitches like I usually do. So that side of things I wish it could have gone a little better. I have no doubt that it will rearrange itself a little better down in Triple-A to get my shot to get back up here. I can't complain, I got a good look and stuff."
Developing: The Rays further reduced the field of pitchers competing for spots in their bullpen, sending RHPs Chris Bootcheck and Mike Ekstrom and LHP R.J. Swindle to minor-league camp.
Ekstrom, who is on the 40-man roster, had the best chance of the three to win an opening-day spot, but had a miserable spring. Bootcheck and Swindle were non-roster invitees who could end up helping the Rays later in the season.
The moves leave 37 players in camp, with the roster due to be cut down to 25 in advance for the opening day roster.