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2168538 2038-01-18 05:00:00.0 UTC 2038-01-18T00:00:00.000-05:00 2014-03-04 23:32:23.0 UTC 2014-03-04T18:32:23.000-05:00 cesar-ramos-a-candidate-for-rays-no-5-starter published 2014-03-05 14:50:51.0 UTC 2014-03-05T09:50:51.000-05:00 sports/baseball/rays DTI 118098024 FORT MYERS — The competition for the fifth spot in the Rays rotation now has a fifth candidate. Left-hander Cesar Ramos starts today against the Yankees in what officially marks his previously unannounced inclusion in the battle to replace injured Jeremy Hellickson for the first six to eight weeks of the season. Ramos, 29, had been a starter in the minors but primarily a long reliever in the majors, including most of the past three seasons with the Rays. "If you look at Cesar, he's a guy who has a bucketful of average to above-average pitches," Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said. "We feel like he's a guy who can get out right-handers and left-handers, and he had started in the past." Ramos joins a field that includes lefty Erik Bedard, a veteran in camp on a minor-league deal, plus right-handers Jake Odorizzi, Alex Colome and Nathan Karns. Bedard and Odorizzi had been the leading candidates, and Ramos now appears to be on at least equal footing, with a decision expected by around March 20. "There's definitely guys that probably have a leg up, but at the end of the day, we're going to look at all those guys," manager Joe Maddon said. "I've also said spring training doesn't count as much as what you've done in a past regular season. So this particular moment there's going to be a lot of different thoughts on how to fill this last spot out." Though Tuesday was the first time Rays officials mentioned Ramos as a candidate, they claimed it has been in the works, under consideration, and in discussion with Ramos, throughout the offseason, presumably in the event of a David Price trade. And they insisted it was something they mutually agreed to pursue at the start of spring training — after knowing there indeed was an opening due to Hellickson's unexpected late January surgery, but not in reaction to what they have seen from the other candidates. "We wanted to assess where we were at the beginning of camp and then make a decision from there," Friedman said. Ramos hasn't said much about the possibility — he smiled and played coy when Rays radio pre-/postgame host Neil Solondz asked him about it Tuesday morning at the Port Charlotte complex — but is said to be on board. "He was all for it," Maddon said. "It's something he'd like to do." When Ramos was acquired in a December 2010 trade with San Diego, he told the Rays he wasn't comfortable bouncing between starting and relieving, and they agreed to put him in the bullpen. (He did make one start in 2012 in a rainout-forced doubleheader.) But Maddon said that with experience, he is more willing. "I think now he's better able to handle if he's not in the rotation to go back to the bullpen, and that thought would not bother him as maybe it did in the past," Maddon said. "Furthermore we think that he's capable of pitching five-plus innings with all the different weapons he has, and he's able to get out a righty, too." Bottom line, the Rays seem to figure it can't hurt to take a look, since at worst Ramos will end up back in his long relief role. "I don't know how things are going to play out," Friedman said. "We're going to stretch him out and get a feel for where he slots among the fifth starter candidates. To the extent that it works out well, that's obviously a great outcome, and to the extent it doesn't, there's not really much downside, in that he will be stretched out, which can only help when we get to the beginning of the season." Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@tampabay.com. Follow him on Twitter at @TBTimes_Rays. By Marc Topkin, Times Staff Writer top-news, latest sports, Sports, Baseball, Rays 25681740 Cesar Ramos a candidate for Rays' No. 5 starter By MARC TOPKIN <p>Cesar Ramos may be a favorite to open as the No. 5 starter.</p> 4STC Main Rotation battle gets surprise entry <p><b>Taking the fifth</b></p> <p>There are now five candidates for the No. 5 spot in the Rays rotation, with 2013 stats:</p> <p><b>LHP Erik Bedard</b> 4-12, 4.59 w/ Astros</p> <p><b>RHP Alex Colome</b> 4-6, 3.07 w/AAA Durham, 1-1, 2.25 w/Rays</p> <p><b>RHP Nathan Karns</b> 10-6, 3.26 w/AA Harrisburg, 0-1, 7.50 w/Nats</p> <p><b>RHP Jake Odorizzi</b> 9-6, 3.33 w/ AAA Durham, 0-1, 3.94 w/ Rays</p> <p><b>LHP Cesar Ramos</b> 2-2, 4.14 w/ Rays</p> External input 1 sp_rays030514 Rotation battle gets surprise entry 2014-03-05 05:00:00.0 UTC 2014-03-05T00:00:00.000-05:00 1 Cesar Ramos, 29, had been a starter in the minors but primarily a long reliever in the majors, including most of the past three seasons with the Rays. /resources/images/dti/2014/03/ot_379341_vrag_23_RAYS03011_12698006.jpg WILL VRAGOVIC | Times /resources/images/dti/rendered/2014/03/ot_379341_vrag_23_RAYS03011_12698006_4col.jpg/resources/images/dti/rendered/2014/03/ot_379341_vrag_23_RAYS03011_12698006_8col.jpg 2 /resources/images/dti/2014/03/c4s_bedard030514_12698381.jpg /resources/images/dti/rendered/2014/03/c4s_bedard030514_12698381_4col.jpg/resources/images/dti/rendered/2014/03/c4s_bedard030514_12698381_8col.jpg 3 /resources/images/dti/2014/03/c4s_colome030514_12698383.jpg /resources/images/dti/rendered/2014/03/c4s_colome030514_12698383_4col.jpg/resources/images/dti/rendered/2014/03/c4s_colome030514_12698383_8col.jpg 4 /resources/images/dti/2014/03/c4s_karns030514_12698387.jpg /resources/images/dti/rendered/2014/03/c4s_karns030514_12698387_4col.jpg/resources/images/dti/rendered/2014/03/c4s_karns030514_12698387_8col.jpg 5 /resources/images/dti/2014/03/c4s_odorizzi030514_12698390.jpg /resources/images/dti/rendered/2014/03/c4s_odorizzi030514_12698390_4col.jpg/resources/images/dti/rendered/2014/03/c4s_odorizzi030514_12698390_8col.jpg 6 /resources/images/dti/2014/03/c4s_ramos030514_12698393.jpg /resources/images/dti/rendered/2014/03/c4s_ramos030514_12698393_4col.jpg/resources/images/dti/rendered/2014/03/c4s_ramos030514_12698393_8col.jpg 7 The Rays say that Cesar Ramos, a reliever all of last season, may have the arsenal to thrive in the starting rotation. /resources/images/dti/2014/03/c4s_ramoss030514_12698639.jpg WILL VRAGOVIC | Times /resources/images/dti/rendered/2014/03/c4s_ramoss030514_12698639_4col.jpg/resources/images/dti/rendered/2014/03/c4s_ramoss030514_12698639_8col.jpg true templatedata/tampabaytimes/StaffArticle/data/2014/03/04/118098024-cesar-ramos-a-candidate-for-rays-no-5-starter StaffArticle 2014-03-04 23:32:23.0 UTC 2014-03-04T18:32:23.000-05:00 sports,baseballBaseballsports,baseball,raysTampa Bay RaysFORT MYERS — The competition for the fifth spot in the Rays rotation now has a fifth candidate.top-news, latest sports, Sports, Baseball, Raystop-news, latest sports, Sports, Baseball, RaysMarc Topkin 380332 2038-01-18 05:00:00.0 UTC 2038-01-18T00:00:00.000-05:00 2012-10-25 12:36:06.0 UTC 2012-10-25T08:36:06.000-04:00 marc-topkin published 2013-02-18 17:30:43.0 UTC 2013-02-18T12:30:43.000-05:00 Marc Topkin <p>Marc Topkin has covered baseball for the <i>Times</i> since 1987 &mdash; from the lengthy effort to secure a team, to the awarding of the Tampa Bay franchise in 1995, and through each of the Rays seasons starting in 1998. He has traveled throughout the United States with the team, as well as to Canada, Venezuela, Mexico and Japan, and has covered All-Star Games and the World Series, as well as Super Bowls and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.</p> Times Staff Writer writers DTI 33745506 Marc Topkin has covered baseball for the Times since 1987 — from the lengthy effort to secure a team, to the awarding of the Tampa Bay franchise in 1995, and through each of the Rays seasons starting in 1998. He has traveled throughout the United States with the team, as well as to Canada, Venezuela, Mexico and Japan, and has covered All-Star Games and the World Series, as well as Super Bowls and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. <p>Phone: (727) 893-8801</p> <p>Email: <a href="mailto:topkin@tampabay.com">topkin@tampabay.com</a></p> <p>Blog: <a href="http://blogs.tampabay.com/rays/">The Heater</a></p> <p>Twitter: @TBTimes_Rays</p> <div style="position: absolute; left: -40px; top: -25px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;" data-mce-bogus="1" class="mcePaste" id="_mcePaste"></div> 1 /resources/images/bio-photo/2012/topkin.jpg true templatedata/tampabaytimes/AuthorProfile/data/33745506-marc-topkin AuthorProfile 2012-10-25 12:36:06.0 UTC 2012-10-25T08:36:06.000-04:00 <span style="display:none;" class="author vcard"><span class="fn">MARC TOPKIN</span></span><span style="display:none;" class="source-org vcard"><span class="org fn">Tampa Bay Times</span></span><a rel="item-license" href="/universal/user_agreement.shtml">&#169; 2016 Tampa Bay Times</a><br /><br />Times Staff Writer 2286817 2016-07-26 01:50:56.0 UTC 1 Month Ago history-says-rays-starters-should-prepare-to-be-traded sports/baseball/rays History says Rays starters should prepare to be traded StaffArticle 2280264 2016-06-04 02:31:52.0 UTC 3 Months Ago cash-willing-to-let-rays-starter-work-longer-if-they-earn-it sports/baseball/rays Cash willing to let Rays starters work longer, if they earn it StaffArticle 2282337 2016-06-20 01:01:51.0 UTC 2 Months Ago rays-starter-odorizzi-has-better-effort-against-giants sports/baseball/rays Rays starter Odorizzi has better effort against Giants StaffArticle <p>FORT MYERS — The competition for the fifth spot in the Rays rotation now has a fifth candidate.</p> <p>Left-hander Cesar Ramos starts today against the Yankees in what officially marks his previously unannounced inclusion in the battle to replace injured Jeremy Hellickson for the first six to eight weeks of the season.</p> <p>Ramos, 29, had been a starter in the minors but primarily a long reliever in the majors, including most of the past three seasons with the Rays.</p> <p>&quot;If you look at Cesar, he's a guy who has a bucketful of average to above-average pitches,&quot; Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said. &quot;We feel like he's a guy who can get out right-handers and left-handers, and he had started in the past.&quot;</p> <p>Ramos joins a field that includes lefty Erik Bedard, a veteran in camp on a minor-league deal, plus right-handers Jake Odorizzi, Alex Colome and Nathan Karns.</p> <p>Bedard and Odorizzi had been the leading candidates, and Ramos now appears to be on at least equal footing, with a decision expected by around March 20.</p> <p>&quot;There's definitely guys that probably have a leg up, but at the end of the day, we're going to look at all those guys,&quot; manager Joe Maddon said. &quot;I've also said spring training doesn't count as much as what you've done in a past regular season. So this particular moment there's going to be a lot of different thoughts on how to fill this last spot out.&quot;</p> <p>Though Tuesday was the first time Rays officials mentioned Ramos as a candidate, they claimed it has been in the works, under consideration, and in discussion with Ramos, throughout the offseason, presumably in the event of a David Price trade.</p> <p>And they insisted it was something they mutually agreed to pursue at the start of spring training — after knowing there indeed was an opening due to Hellickson's unexpected late January surgery, but not in reaction to what they have seen from the other candidates.</p> <p>&quot;We wanted to assess where we were at the beginning of camp and then make a decision from there,&quot; Friedman said.</p> <p>Ramos hasn't said much about the possibility — he smiled and played coy when Rays radio pre-/postgame host Neil Solondz asked him about it Tuesday morning at the Port Charlotte complex — but is said to be on board.</p> <p>&quot;He was all for it,&quot; Maddon said. &quot;It's something he'd like to do.&quot;</p> <p>When Ramos was acquired in a December 2010 trade with San Diego, he told the Rays he wasn't comfortable bouncing between starting and relieving, and they agreed to put him in the bullpen. (He did make one start in 2012 in a rainout-forced doubleheader.)</p> <p>But Maddon said that with experience, he is more willing.</p> <p>&quot;I think now he's better able to handle if he's not in the rotation to go back to the bullpen, and that thought would not bother him as maybe it did in the past,&quot; Maddon said. &quot;Furthermore we think that he's capable of pitching five-plus innings with all the different weapons he has, and he's able to get out a righty, too.&quot;</p> <p>Bottom line, the Rays seem to figure it can't hurt to take a look, since at worst Ramos will end up back in his long relief role.</p> <p>&quot;I don't know how things are going to play out,&quot; Friedman said. &quot;We're going to stretch him out and get a feel for where he slots among the fifth starter candidates. To the extent that it works out well, that's obviously a great outcome, and to the extent it doesn't, there's not really much downside, in that he will be stretched out, which can only help when we get to the beginning of the season.&quot;</p> <p><i>Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@tampabay.com. Follow him on Twitter at @TBTimes_Rays.</i></p>trueruntime2016-08-30 05:59:27