RHP Wade Davis named Rays fifth starter; RHP Andy Sonnanstine moves to bullpen
Rays manager Joe Maddon announced today that RHP Wade Davis will be the team's fifth starter, with RHP Andy Sonnanstine getting a spot in the bullpen.
Maddon said the decision was impacted a lot by the fact LHP reliever J.P. Howell will miss at least the first month with weakness in his left shoulder. Maddon felt that Sonnanstine would be a better fit than Davis in the bullpen, where Sonnanstine will be guaranteed a spot and used as a long reliever to start, but possibly in other high-leverage situations later.
Maddon said this doesn't mean Sonnanstine won't be a starter again this year. But he acknowledged that if they needed a starter quickly during the season, Sonnanstine would have to get stretched out (meaning a spot starter would likely come from Triple-A) until he does.
The competition between Sonnanstine and Davis was considered "wide-open," with Maddon saying previously he expected to wait until the end of camp. And even though Sonnanstine had a better spring, Maddon considered the "race" over when he knew Howell would be out, thinking Sonnanstine would be the better fit as reliever.