PORT CHARLOTTE — The Rays officially released LHP Erik Bedard on Tuesday and saved $100,000, since Tuesday was the deadline for Bedard to receive a $100,000 bonus if he was still with the team but not on the 25-man roster or the major-league disabled list.
As he said Saturday when he announced Bedard would not make the team, manager Joe Maddon said he would like Bedard to accept an assignment with Triple-A Durham.
Maddon said the organization could use as much pitching depth as possible, especially now in the wake of the 50-game suspension to Durham right-hander Alex Colome for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug that begins at the start of the minor-league season.
“We can always use that depth, absolutely,” Maddon said. “Stuff happens, man, and can happen very quickly.”
Cobb gets his wish
Less than a week after RHP Alex Cobb publicly complained that he never saw the prototype for the protective head gear for pitchers that was supposed to be in major-league camps when they opened, one arrived Tuesday.
Cobb and the rest of the Rays pitchers tried on the IsoBlox protective cap that was developed by 4Licensing.
“I think it’s not practical right now,” Cobb said. “I think it’s way too big, too heavy, but they have already addressed that being an issue and they know that’s a problem they have to work around. They’re going around camps and getting feedback from guys, and they are taking a big interest in our opinion, so when they go back to the drawing board they’ll have a better idea of what we want.”
Cobb said the cap is too heavy and too hot, but it is a step in the right direction.
“We’re a lot farther along than they were at this point last year,” he said.
3B Evan Longoria, 1B James Loney, 2B Ben Zobrist and RF Wil Myers each played all nine innings in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to the visiting Red Sox. They were the first players this spring to go the distance.
“I think the weather played into that,” Maddon said. “It’s been so warm. (Tuesday) was kind of a nice day. It was a good day to get them stretched out. It worked out well.”
Myers had an interesting day, running himself into an out at second base when he tried to stretch a single into a double, and missing a fly ball by 1B Mike Napoli in the wind and clouds.
“He misplayed that one ball because it just drifted on him. A tough right field with the wind,” Maddon said. “His subsequent play was better.”
Myers did make two running catches near the wall.
Peralta on Colome
RHP Joel Peralta said he spoke with Colome, and Colome was confused by his suspension for testing positive to using Boldenone, an anabolic steroid commonly used to treat horses.
“He didn’t even know that that’s going to happen,” Peralta said. “He didn’t know he was doing something like that.”
Peralta said he told Colome to be honest about what happened, but said sometimes it’s hard for young players from the Dominican to know what is a banned substance and what is not.
“It’s really sad that it’s at the point of what happened,” Peralta said. “Sometimes, those kids, they don’t have the experience to say ‘no’ and just try things. But it’s too bad.”
Maddon said LHP Matt Moore, struck in the mouth Sunday by a line drive, has been cleared to make his next start. ... Maddon said he would have asked for umpires to replay a close play at first base during the fifth inning when SS Sean Rodriguez was called out. “Under today’s circumstances I probably would have asked for a replay and would have been wrong,” Maddon said, adding replays on a TV camera outside the Rays dugout showed Rodriguez was out. ... The Rays returned C Mayo Acosta and INF Ray Olmedo to minor-league camp. ... Bay area musicians Marshal Gillon (vocals) and Les Sabler (guitar) will perform the national anthem before Monday’s season opener.