Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Journeyman Dana Eveland seeks spot with Rays

PORT CHARLOTTE — Dana Eveland knows the routine by now.

Show up for spring training in a new city, in a new organization, with a new clubhouse filled with new faces and new personalities. Just smile and go with the flow.

"Nothing new for me," Eveland said.

That's because the 32-year-old left-hander is a living definition of a journeyman ballplayer. The Rays are his 11th major-league club since he signed with the Brewers in 2003 out of College of the Canyons (Calif.). His bio reads more like an atlas than a baseball card.

Two seasons in Milwaukee, followed by one in Arizona and two in Oakland. Toronto and Pittsburgh in 2010 before the Dodgers in 2011. Baltimore the next year, Korea in 2013 and the Mets in 2014. Boston, Atlanta and Baltimore (again) last year.

All of that before he signed with the Rays in December.

"I never even considered buying a (house)," Eveland said. "I have a condo in Arizona, because I had a lot of spring training there. That's easy, because everything there is so close."

But that condo won't help him this spring, where he's training at his seventh different site in eight years.

Eveland started his career as a hard-throwing starter. His windup and frame (6 feet 1, 235 pounds) drew comparisons to David Wells.

He started a career-high 29 games with the A's in 2008, posting a 4.34 ERA and 9-9 record and allowing the fewest home runs per nine innings on Oakland's staff. His highlight was a three-hit, one-run complete game against the Rays — still the only complete game of his career.

Fifteen months later, Eveland was out of Oakland and off to the Blue Jays.

Eveland said the constantly morphing scenery isn't an issue on the field or in the clubhouse. The tough part is away from the field; being at camp Wednesday forced him to miss his son's first baseball game back home in Palmdale, Calif.

"That's the hard part," Eveland said. "The baseball part, being here, once you're between these doors and get to turn that stuff off, it makes it a lot easier."

Eveland's game has had to change along with his uniform. He has transitioned from a starter to a reliever and dropped his delivery to more of a sidearm.

"You have to just constantly adjust as you get older," Eveland said. "You're not going to be able to be the same guy forever. … Obviously I've adjusted to try to hold onto my career as long as I can."

That's what sent him to the Rays, where Eveland hopes to contribute as a veteran presence in one of the youngest clubhouses he has entered. Eveland is the Rays' oldest pitcher and a decade older than right-hander Jacob Faria. Among pitchers, only starter Alex Cobb has more service time than Eveland.

But of course Eveland has been in this situation before. He compared the Rays' youth to what he saw in Oakland in 2009, when his 35 career starts made him the most experienced pitcher on staff.

"I feel like I can help somewhere," Eveland said. "I can throw multiple innings. I can get a lefty out. Whatever they want me to go. I also feel like I'm a different guy to lean on for the younger guys, to ask questions at least. I've done it all."

Almost everything, at least.

He still hasn't found a way to stick with one club. Maybe, Eveland said, the Rays will give them that chance for the final few seasons of his career.

"It'd be a nice change of pace for me …" Eveland said. "It'd be nice to make a home somewhere. I've said that every year."

Contact Matt Baker at Follow @MBakerTBTimes.

Today's schedule

The Rays' first full-squad practice will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Charlotte Sports Park (2300 El Jobean Road) and last until about noon. Admission and parking are free. Driving time from the bay area is 1 1/2-2 hours. Suggested route: Interstate 75 South to Toledo Blade Road. Go west 6 1/2 miles to El Jobean Road (SR 776). Go right 2 miles. Stadium complex is on left. Information: (941) 235-5025.

Journeyman Dana Eveland seeks spot with Rays 02/25/16 [Last modified: Thursday, February 25, 2016 11:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays make Hechavarria trade official


    Here is the release from the team ...


  2. Jones: Will Tampa Bay hit a Hall of Fame dry spell now?

    Lightning Strikes

    Marty St. Louis may lack the Hall of Fame stats, but two scoring titles, an MVP award and clutch goals should count for a lot. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
  3. Scotty Bowman says 'it's about time' Andreychuk got HOF call


    For Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman, Dave Andreychuk finally being part of a Hall of Fame class is especially gratifying.

    Scotty Bowman drafted Dave Andreychuk in the first round (16th overall) in 1982 and coached him the first five seasons of his career.
  4. Dave Andreychuk going into Hall of Fame (w/photo gallery)


    Dave Andreychuk said Monday began "business as usual."

    Dave Andreychuk battles Calgary's Andrew Ference during Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final.
  5. UPDATE: Rays finalizing deal to get SS Hechavarria for 2 minor-leaguers


    UPDATE, 4:27: In making the deal, the Rays add an elite-level defender to an infield that could use the help. But it also raises a number of questions, such as will they now move Tim Beckham to 2B? Does this mean Matt Duffy is not coming back this season? Is Daniel Robertson or Taylor Featherston going to …

    Adeiny Hechavarria is a two-time Gold Glove finalist who could help settle the Rays sometimes leaky infield defense.