KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Tampa Bay Rays recalled LHP Jeff Beliveau to take LHP Matt Moore’s spot on the roster and give a fresh arm to the bullpen after RHP Heath Bell worked 2 2⁄3 innings in Monday night’s loss to the Royals. But the big question is: Who will replace Moore in the rotation?
Moore’s next scheduled start would have been Sunday in Cincinnati.
Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the candidates are LHP Cesar Ramos, LHP Erik Bedard, RHP Nathan Karns and LHP Mike Montgomery, with Ramos and Bedard “the leaders in the clubhouse.”
Ramos, who lost out on the fifth spot in the rotation during spring training to this afternoon’s starter, RHP Jake Odorizzi, would come out of the bullpen and need to be stretched out a little more if he were going to join the rotation. Bedard, who also lost out to Odorizzi, pitched four innings Monday at Triple-A Durham and is on schedule to start Sunday. He also would give the Rays a veteran arm for the rotation.
“We’ll work through it,” Friedman said. “It’s why we always talk about why depth is so important. We have some guys that we feel like will give us a chance to win every fifth day, so we’ll continue the conversation and figure which one makes the most sense on Sunday.”
Because of Thursday’s off day, the Rays could move RHP Chris Archer up a day and have the new pitcher pitch Monday or Tuesday if they move Odorizzi up a day.
Rays manager Joe Maddon said the Rays were leaning toward having the new pitcher work Sunday.
Odorizzi, who came to the Rays from the Royals in the Wil Myers-James Shields trade, will make his second career start at Kauffman Stadium. His first was his major-league debut on Sept, 23, 2012, against the Indians.
Odorizzi also pitched at the stadium earlier that season when he started the All-Star Futures Game opposite Yordano Ventura, who started Tuesday night for the Royals.
So, Odorizzi has some fond memories of Kauffman Stadium.
“Anytime you make your debut, it’s going to be special regardless of where it’s at. And anytime you go back to wherever it is, you’re going to have those types of memories,” Odorizzi said. “I have good memories of pitching here, and hopefully I’ll make more good ones (today).”
Odorizzi sailed through the first five innings of his big-league debut before allowing three quick runs in the sixth inning of what became a 15-4 Indians win.
“If you’re not focused on making your pitches against a big-league lineup, they can hurt you quickly,” Odorizzi said. “I think that was a good learning experience right out of the gate.”
RHP Jeremy Hellickson threw his curveball Tuesday for the first time since his elbow surgery. ... Bell was relieved to learn that Royals 2B Omar Infante, a former teammate in Miami, sustained only a sprained jaw and received just six stitches after being struck in the face Monday by a pitch from Bell.