Rays make first roster moves
The Rays made their first roster moves of the spring, optioning LHP James Houser to Triple-A Durham and reassigning six others to minor-league camp, including RHP Chad Orvella.
The others sent down the long hall to the minor-league side of the building are RHPs Neal Frontz and Calvin Medlock, LHP Jason Cromer, and Cs Craig Albernaz and Nevin Ashley.
The moves reduce the number of players on the spring roster to 56, though three are participating in the World Baseball Classic - 2B Akinori Iwamura, INF Willy Aybar and LHP J.P. Howell.
Orvella, who missed all of last season with a right shoulder injury that required May surgery, said he was "a little bit" surprised to be sent out this early, but knows he needs innings to get back into form. He said he feels great and "absolutely" thinks he'll pitch in the majors again this season. He pitched in 69 games for the Rays during 2005-07.
"The starters are starting to pitch a little more so the innings are starting to go away, and I need to get my innings too,'' Orvella said. "It was not unexpected that I was being sent down or anything, but possibly this early. ... I'm using spring training to get my arm healthy again whether it's here or it's down there - it's just innings at this point.''