Rays option Gomes to Triple-A; Wright likely on team
Update 10:02 a.m. Gomes was disappointed, but understood the situation, saying he's going to go to Triple-A and try to keep it up so he'll be ready when called upon.
"I knew it was a possiblity, I'm obviously not happy about it," Gomes said. "But that's how it goes. Now it's on me to keep doing what I've been doing and come up and help the team whenever need be."
Gomes was happy with how his spring went, allowing just two runs in 10 1/3 innings, striking out 11 and walking none while feeling good.
"I think I did everything I could," Gomes said. "I threw the ball well, I felt great all spring. It's a good sign going into the rest of the year, that it's something I feel like I can sustain. So just keep that going, keep doing what I've been doing and stay ready."
Developing: The Rays officially optioned RHP Brandon Gomes to Triple-A Durham, meaning veteran RHP Jamey Wright will likely take the final bullpen spot.
Gomes had a terrific spring, allowing just two runs over 10 1/3 innings, including 11 strikeouts, but Tampa Bay has always appeared leaning towards keeping Wright, who had signed a minor league deal.
The Rays have until noon today to officially decide on whether to keep Wright on the 25-man roster, put him on the DL, or pay him a retention bonus to go to Triple-A. But while Wright has struggled some this spring (6.30 ERA in nine appearances), manager Joe Maddon has said they believe the sinkerballer can help once he gets his ball down.
As for Gomes, who had minor league options remaining, the Rays feel he can still play a role in wins this season.
"He's going to be such a big part of what we're going to do this year — and in the future," Maddon said. "Beyond his skills, this guy is such a great teammate, everybody loves having him there. If you take the Brandon Gomeses of the world, if in fact they don't make a team coming out of spring training, they will impact, and when their time comes, they stay for a long time."