PORT CHARLOTTE — While most of the Rays were off Monday, RHP Alex Cobb was working, throwing 86 pitches over 6 2/3 innings in a simulated game against minor-leaguers.
The lack of a competitive environment and blustery conditions could have made for a rough morning, but Cobb said he instead made that part of the challenge and considered it a successful outing. Most important was going out for seven innings, and smoothing out some mechanical issues.
"It turned out to be a really good day," Cobb said. "All things considered, everything worked out really well."
Monday was Cobb's second straight minor-league outing (he didn't want to pitch a second time vs. the Blue Jays, whom he'll face the first week of the season), so he said it will be important to make his last two spring starts vs. major-league hitters.
"You need the competitiveness, you need the game within the game at the big-league level," he said. "They make you pay for your mistakes, and you need that feedback."
NIGHT HOWL: Just as manager Joe Maddon is ready to start playing the regulars together and deeper into games, the spring routine was broken up with the off day then night games — of which Maddon is no fan — tonight and Thursday. "There's going to be an awkwardness about the schedule right now," he said.
MISCELLANY: OF Wil Myers is expected back in the lineup tonight or Wednesday after fouling a ball off his right leg Saturday. … INF/OF Sean Rodriguez, out since Wednesday with left hamstring tightness, is slated to play in a minor-league game today. … LHP Jake McGee is set to pitch in a minor-league game today then for the Rays on Wednesday, one of several relievers making their requisite back-to-back appearances of the spring. … RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo threw 10 minutes of batting practice to minor-leaguers Monday.