Tampa Bay Rays
Rays notes: Archer to start Saturday vs. Indians
MIAMI - The Rays’ rotation remains a fluid situation heading into the next week.
RHP Alex Cobb had his start pushed back after suffering a crack along the edge of the fingernail of his middle finger that prevents him from throwing his curveball without pain.
Cobb’s injury allowed RHP Alex Colome to make his major league debut on Thursday and pushed LHP Matt Moore’s start back to today to open a three-game series in Cleveland. RHP Jeremy Hellickson will take the mound on Sunday, while Saturday’s starter remained “TBA’’ on the Rays’ lineup card until late Thursday when manager Joe Maddon announced RHP Chris Archer would be called up from Triple-A Durham today and start Saturday.
“He did a good job last year and it seems like we are giving an audition to everybody who deserves the chance,” Maddon said.
The Rays will need to make a corresponding move today. Cobb is scheduled to throw in the bullpen on Saturday and hopes his finger is healed enough for him to make Tuesday’s start. The finger was wrapped on Thursday, and Cobb said he has been using healing cream to accelerate the process. Though Cobb is able to throw his fastball without incident and has little issue with the change-up, he is staying away from throwing any off-speed pitches during his workouts. “I just don’t want to aggravate it right now,” he said. “I just want to let it heal and make sure it is ready . . . so the precaution here is to make sure it doesn’t linger through four, five or six starts. We want to beat it now and put it in the past once I’m able to pitch again.” Nothing new Maddon had no update on the progress of LHP David Price, who remains on the disabled list with a triceps strain in his pitching arm. Price played catch, throwing 35 balls on Monday and Tuesday before taking a rest on Wednesday.
Though there was some discussion of Price joining the team during the remaining six games of the road trip, Maddon didn’t think that would be the case.
“Only if (trainer) Ron ( Porterfield) wants to work with him, but Ronnie has not told me that,’’ Maddon said. “They join us whenever Ron Porterfield feels he needs to have them work with him in order for them to do what he wants them to do, and they are getting closer. But Ron has not mentioned that to me yet.’’
Looking back When RHP Roberto Hernandez was pulled in the ninth inning Wednesday, he had thrown 92 pitches through 82/3 innings without allowing an earned run. It marked the first time a starting pitcher had been pulled from a game after throwing 82/3 innings on 92 or fewer pitches in more than five years.
The last pitcher to be pulled from such a start was Detroit’s Nate Robertson on Aug. 23, 2007, against Cleveland when Jim Leyland pulled Robinson after 82/3 scoreless innings.
The start for Hernandez also marked the fewest number of pitches thrown by a Rays starter in eight or more innings of work since James Shields threw 92 pitches in a complete-game, one-hitter against the Los Angeles Angels on May 9, 2008.
Noteworthy Moore flew to Cleveland ahead of the team on Thursday afternoon. … Heading into Thursday, Rays hitters had belted 63 doubles in May, a club record for any month. 3B Evan Longoria entered the game with 12 doubles, also a club record for May, and two short of the team record for any month. … Colome became the seventh different starting pitcher for Tampa Bay this season, one short of the number used by the Rays last season.