Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Erik Bedard okay after bout of soreness

SEATTLE — The Rays were concerned enough about LHP Erik Bedard's sore pec and undisclosed issues with other pitchers that they put Triple-A Durham LHP Enny Romero on a plane to provide potential depth.

But by late Monday afternoon, they were comfortable with what they had and decided Romero would not be needed, having him turn back when he landed in Detroit for a layover.

"We just wanted to make sure that everybody was well," manager Joe Maddon said. "We just had a couple little things that we were concerned may cause us to do something different, but everybody checked out fine.

"The fact that we're playing in Seattle makes it more difficult to get somebody here if in fact somebody was unable to go or something was more seriously wrong, so we had to take precautions to get (Romero) on the plane coming out this way."

Bedard, who went out for a brief throwing session with head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield, said he had been bothered by some soreness but was good to go and would start as scheduled Thursday. RHP Jake Odorizzi, who starts today, said he was fine.

Maddon wouldn't say who else was a concern, but it seemed to be among the relievers. "We just had a couple issues, guys that were sore, worked too much," he said.

Romero, who made a dramatic big-league debut starting for the Rays on Sept. 22, seemed excited to be coming, tweeting that he was Seattle bound and that he was "very happy to be blessed with another big-league opportunity."

He never got that far, as the Rays reached him in Detroit to tell him he wasn't needed and would instead be heading back to Durham.

NO JAKIN': Odorizzi was much improved in his last start, striking out 11 Indians over five shutout innings, his only regret not being able to work deeper. He said the key to his success was a better mix of his pitches, and he credited C Ryan Hanigan.

"That was the highlight — the big overall picture was how we mixed and stuck to what we wanted to do the whole time," Odorizzi said. "Now it's time to eliminate some three-ball counts when possible and not make extra pitches when I don't need to. That's the biggest part in making the next step, is cutting out the pitches that don't take you too far."

COBB SET: RHP Alex Cobb felt good Tuesday, having thrown his second simulated game the day before, and is set for what could be the final test in his return from a strained oblique with a rehab start Saturday. "He came out of it well,'' Maddon said.

If Cobb, likely to pitch for the Class A Stone Crabs in Port Charlotte, gets through that start okay, he will be set to rejoin the rotation May 22 vs. Oakland.

WIL THE FIRST: RF Wil Myers made his second appearance of the season at first base late in Monday's blowout loss, and Maddon said he is likely to see further action in late-/extra-inning maneuvers. Myers, who played first in high school and third in the minors with Kansas City, said he welcomes the opportunity. "It's not something outrageous like I feel some people thought it was," Myers said. "I can play first base. I played a lot of infield in high school."

ABOUT MONDAY NIGHT: A rough start by LHP Cesar Ramos and some shaky defense (four errors in the first two innings) put the Rays in a massive 8-0 hole early against Seattle ace Felix Hernandez, and they went on to lose 12-5. Ramos redeemed himself by working into the seventh inning, retiring his final 12 batters, allowing the Rays to use only one other reliever, RHP Josh Lueke.

MISCELLANY: Maddon shook up the lineup Tuesday, moving Myers into the leadoff slot for the first time, Evan Longoria to his preferred No. 3 spot and Ben Zobrist to cleanup. … Hanigan went into play Tuesday sharing the team lead in RBIs with 1B James Loney at 22 and leading all AL hitters with a ratio of at-bats per RBI of 4.09.

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