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)

Rays days from decision on No. 5 starter

FORT MYERS — Manager Joe Maddon said the Rays will pick their No. 5 starter after watching the three candidates pitch once more each this week.

And one of those three, LHP Erik Bedard, said he likely will leave if not chosen and pursue a starting job elsewhere.

Though Maddon has said for several days that they were close to picking, the decision was made to have LHP Cesar Ramos start and RHP Jake Odorizzi work in relief Thursday, then have Bedard start Friday.

Bedard said if he doesn't make the Rays rotation he likely will exercise a March 31 opt-out clause in the minor-league contract he signed Feb. 14 rather than go to Triple A, noting a recent spate of injuries to starters around baseball.

"Every day it seems like a starter goes down," Bedard said. "So there's a lot of opportunities out there if I'm not on the team."

The Rays likely would let him go sooner anyway as a courtesy, plus they have to pay him $100,000 on March 25 if he's not added to the roster or released.

"We would not want to hold him back if he's not chosen," Maddon said.

MOORE PITCHING: LHP Matt Moore had another mixed outing in the 11-3 win over the Twins, clocked at 96 mph or better 10 times while working into the fifth, allowing one run on four hits but walking six, including four with two outs.

"Everything did feel good so minus the six walks a solid day, but those are definitely a black mark,'' he said.

Maddon called it "a great step forward,'' saying it was "the best stuff'' Moore has had since the 2011 playoffs and they'll take it figuring command will improve. Moore said simplified mechanics led to the increased velocity.

MORE PITCHING: RHP Chris Archer will throw in a minor-league game today rather than face the AL East rival Orioles. RHP Mark Lowe, pushing for a relief job, starts. … With Bedard starting Friday, ace LHP David Price avoids pitching against the same Blue Jays team he'll face 10 days later in the season opener and instead will work in a simulated game. … LHP Jake McGee and RHP Josh Lueke worked in minor-league games and will face the Orioles today in their first back-to-back outings. … RHP Joel Peralta also threw in a minor-league game and RHP Grant Balfour, who had a deal with the Orioles collapse over a failed physical, will do so today. … RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo came through his first BP session and is on track to make his game debut Friday or Saturday.

IF THERE'S A WIL: Maddon employed one of his regular-season tactics by moving struggling OF Wil Myers to the leadoff spot. Myers, who came into the game with four spring hits (all singles), doubled his first three times up.

"I want him just to think differently," Maddon said. "I know it's spring training but we're getting to the end and I want him to feel good about himself going into the season."

Myers, still a little sore from fouling a ball off his right leg Saturday, said he woke up feeling like he'd have a good day and enjoyed the opportunity. "It was good just to put a good swing on a couple balls," he said.

GAME DETAILS: The Rays (a Grapefruit League best 12-4-2) rapped four hits, including three doubles, in a three-run first and posted 20 for the night. … 1B James Loney had three RBIs, giving him eight in two games.

MISCELLANY: C Eddy Rodriguez and OF Jeremy Moore were reassigned to minor-league camp. … INF/OF Sean Rodriguez, out a week with left hamstring tightness, played in a minor-league game and should be in the lineup today. … Tuesday was the Rays' 12th game of at least three hours.

Rays days from decision on No. 5 starter 03/18/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 11:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  2. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  3. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  5. What they're saying about Dave Andreychuk making Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    "Dave helped me so much when I was just starting my career, a young kid that was looking to find his way as a hockey player, a person and a member of the Tampa Bay community. In addition to watching him compile such awe-inspiring statistics, I remember him as a big brother to me and many others, making sure all the …