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Bradford's arrival bumps Reyes from Rays bullpen

Al Reyes, throwing against the Orioles earlier this season, has a 5.14 ERA since the break and was designated for assignment to make room for reliever Chad Bradford.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

Al Reyes, throwing against the Orioles earlier this season, has a 5.14 ERA since the break and was designated for assignment to make room for reliever Chad Bradford.

SEATTLE — Today's arrival of RHP Chad Bradford led to the departure of veteran RHP Al Reyes , who was designated for assignment after Friday's game.

Reyes, 38, has been inconsistent after two stints on the disabled list for shoulder issues. In eight games since being activated after the All-Star break, Reyes was 1-0 with a 5.14 ERA in seven innings.

"I wasn't surprised,'' Reyes said. "(Thursday) my agent called me to tell me about it so I was waiting today for them to call me into the office.''

Reyes said before Friday's game that his shoulder "feels fine," so a return to the DL wasn't as likely as him being dropped. The Rays have 10 days to trade, release or pass him through waivers.

"It's not easy,'' manager Joe Maddon said. "We had to choose someone and we chose him. … He did a lot for us last year. We're going to miss him.''

Reyes, making $2.3-million, is 2-2 with a 4.37 ERA overall and has pitched just 222/3 innings, allowing 21 hits and 10 walks.

He said the shoulder problems and the lack of consistent work led to his inconsistent performances. "I wasn't getting the ball the way I like to,'' he said. "I'm not the kind of pitcher to go out every four or five days. I'm better when I'm pitching more consistent.''

Reyes saved 26 games for the Rays last season.

Bradford was acquired in a waiver-claim trade with Baltimore on Thursday.

BARTLETT DELAYED: SS Jason Bartlett's bruised right index finger is still not healed enough for him to throw and it's now possible he won't be activated until next week in Oakland.

That not only keeps the Rays from having their best defense on the field, but it also further delays the activation of OF Rocco Baldelli, who hasn't seen live pitching since Aug. 1.

Bartlett hasn't played in the field since being hit by a pitch Sunday, though he is able to hit and could be the DH tonight and/or Sunday.

"He threw and it was okay, but still not where he needs to be," Maddon said. "He's just not there yet. He's making progress. We're seeing progress on a daily basis, slow progress, but not good enough to play short yet."

Maddon admitted the Rays don't know how much longer it would take for Bartlett to return but "probably not" tonight. And with the Rays off on Monday, it seems they could give him the additional rest and wait until Tuesday.

Bartlett's problem has been the pain, caused by swelling, when he releases the ball. But Rays head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield is concerned that in trying to alter his motion to lessen the discomfort Bartlett could create other problems.

"Ronnie's still very optimistic," Maddon said. "Our concern is to have him throw in a manner other than normal just to try and get it over there, and then your concern is that he's going to hurt his arm. So I'm really not sure."

ROUGH ENDING: RHP Dan Wheeler said the only thing that feels worse than giving up a losing homer, as he did to Raul Ibanez in the ninth inning Thursday to give Seattle a 2-1 win, is knowing how hard his teammates had worked to be in that position.

"It's such a tough spot because I'm sitting down there for eight innings watching these guys battle and try to pull out a game, and then I take the mound and don't even get an out and a guy hits a home run," Wheeler said.

"So it feels like you let the team down. And I don't feel that, but it does. But I know I'm going to get another shot to get back out there and help the team, so I don't dwell on it. … But there's no worse feeling in this game than coming in and something like that happening."

MISCELLANY: MLB officials toured Tropicana Field on Friday for potential postseason issues. … LF Carl Crawford extended his hitting streak to 10 games, with a .333 average in that stretch. ... Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki extended his hitting streak to 14 games. ... The Rays went into play Friday ranked 29th with a .240 average with runners in scoring position. … RHP Matt Garza starts tonight saying his problem in his last outing against Cleveland was trying to be fine and "miss bats" rather than his usual aggressive approach of making batters put the ball in play.

Bradford's arrival bumps Reyes from Rays bullpen 08/08/08 [Last modified: Saturday, August 9, 2008 9:25pm]
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