NEW YORK — The best thing about today's start for LHP Drew Smyly is that it will be like any other. Which is to say, it won't have the questions, concerns and attention that his Friday outing did as he made his season debut after a stint on the disabled list due to shoulder tendinitis.
"It feels pretty normal," Smyly said. "It's good just to get back in that routine now that the first one is over with. It's just like anything, getting ready for this start. Hopefully it goes well and five days after that, the same thing."
Smyly, unbeknownst to him, was limited to 80 pitches in his debut, forcing manager Kevin Cash to take him out after 42/3 innings, one out shy of qualifying for a win. Cash indicated there will be a limit again today, though somewhat increased. "It won't be a 42/3-inning dreaded decision," Cash said. "Hopefully not."
Smyly said he felt fine in the days since Friday's debut.
"My body was obviously pretty tired the next day, but my arm felt really good," he said. "That's a good sign that you're using more body than arm though."
XAVIER IN, EVERETT OUT: Lefty reliever Xavier Cedeno, acquired Monday from the Dodgers, joined the Rays on Tuesday and made his debut, replacing LHP Everett Teaford, who was designated for assignment.
Cedeno was pleased to have a place to go, having been idled since April 14, when he was designated for assignment by the Nationals then traded to the Dodgers then designated by them and acquired by the Rays.
"It's been tough, but we worked through it," Cedeno said. "It gets to your mind, (but) we've got to shake it off and keep going forward."
Cedeno was home in Puerto Rico throwing and working out to stay in shape then flew to Tampa on Monday night to be checked by the Rays doctors then to New York Tuesday morning.
He came on in the seventh, getting Brett Gardner to hit into a fielder's choice and striking out Brian McCann.
Cedeno said he welcomes a heavy workload: "I'm a guy that can probably throw three-four days in a row."
Cash said the Rays will "be a little cautious with his workload" since he hasn't pitched in more than two weeks.
Teaford, who made his Rays debut Monday, will be in limbo as the Rays have the usual 10 days to trade or release him or put him through waivers. Cash said if he doesn't end up elsewhere in the big leagues, "we'd love to have him (back at Triple A). He's versatile and an awesome guy and a good pitcher."
MEDICAL MATTERS: LHP Jake McGee, recovering from elbow surgery, needed just nine pitches in a 1-2-3 inning for advanced Class A Charlotte in his first rehab appearance, with two-three more likely before rejoining the Rays at the end of next week. … OF Desmond Jennings was not in the lineup for a third straight game due to bursitis in his left knee, though Cash said he was "doing better" and was available to pinch-hit. "We'll just kind of factor in day to day," he said. … RHP Alex Colome, his rehab following a bout with pneumonia complete, threw his scheduled bullpen session and was officially named to start Friday. The Rays will have to make room to add him to the 25-man roster.
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MISCELLANY: The Rays made no announcement, but ESPN radio reported that RHP Grant Balfour had cleared release waivers, was a free agent and was close to signing with another team. Balfour was designated for assignment April 19. … The Yankees scratched RHP Masahiro Tanaka from his scheduled start today and put him on the 15-day disabled list with wrist tendinitis and a mild forearm strain. He's expected to miss a month. RHP Michael Pineda will start. … The Rays are 0-5 against the Yankees.