ANAHEIM, Calif. — LHP Cesar Ramos starts tonight against the Angels, and with RHP Alex Cobb (left oblique strain) making a rehab start tonight in Port Charlotte and expected back Thursday, it’s reasonable to ask if Ramos is making his last start for now.
“A lot of it is going to be contingent upon what Cobb is able to do (tonight),” manager Joe Maddon said. “If everything is all well then of course he’ll be set up for five days after that. That’s what I expect. There’s still ways to flip it around a little bit going through the next time, so we’re going to wait and see.”
Ramos came out of the bullpen and repalced LHP Matt Moore when Moore suffered his season-ending elbow injury. LHP Erik Bedard was called up to replace Cobb when Cobb went on the disabled list.
Ramos pitched well in his first five starts. He allowed nine runs (five earned) during the first three innings Monday in Seattle, yet drew more praise from Maddon for the way he was able to pitch into the seventh inning by retiring the last 12 batters he faced. That allowed Maddon to use only one releiver that night and kept the bullpen fresh.
“What Ramos did after that second inning is as impressive as anything he’s done up until this point,” Maddon said.
The Rays could go with a six-man rotation for one turn when Cobb returns. That could buy the team some time before making a decision. RHP Jake Odorizzi has pitched well during his past two starts. Bedard gets better with each start. Because he has experience as the long man in the bullpen, Ramos could be the odd-man out based on his versitility.
When asked if he has given any thought to what will happen to the rotation when Cobb returns, Ramos said, “No, I’m just going about my business as I do every day. It doesn’t matter if I’m throwing good or throwing bad, that decision is out of my control. All I can do is keep pitching.”
Erik the solid
A blown save Thursday night cost Bedard a victory after he did not allow an earned run in 62⁄3 innings against the Angels. Bedard has a 0.79 ERA in his past four starts. He has not allowed more than one run in any of those outings.
“I’m throwing strikes and mixing my pitches and getting ahead (in the count),” Bedard said. “It makes it easier when you get ahead.”
The Rays are close to signing minor-league INF Jayson Nix to a minor-league contract. Nix, who was with the Rays in spring trainingg, was released by the Phillies. ... Heading into Friday’s game, the Rays were 5-12 in the Pacific time zone since the start of the 2013 season — 3-10 last year and 2-2 this season. ... With the addition of INF Cole Figueroa, 20 percent of the Rays roster was acquired in trades with the Padres — RHP Brandon Gomes, INF Logan Forsythe, RHP Brad Boxberger, Ramos and Figueroa. ... Thursday was the 23rd time in team history the Rays played a game when the temperature at first pitch was 95 or higher. They are 6-17 in those games. ... Since May 2, the Rays have allowed a major-league-high 19 home runs.