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Thursday, Oct 23, 2014
Rays

Rays Notes: Club is confident it will weather storm

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BALTIMORE — Rays LHP David Price said he and his teammates remain confident that 2014 will be a special year despite the recent injuries to LHP Matt Moore (Tommy John surgery) and RHP Alex Cobb (strained left oblique).

“We got 14 games under out belt. We have roughly 145 left. We haven’t thrown in the towel,” Price said. “It’s two weeks into the season. If we had been 100 percent healthy and started off 3-9 I’d see that question arising, but right now we’re fine.”

But the Rays aren’t healthy, it was mentioned, and Moore is out for the year, while Cobb is out for four to six weeks.

“We still got a lot of good players in this clubhouse,” Price said. “We’ll get it going, and when we do, everybody else will jump right back on the bandwagon like they usually do. It never fails.”

Executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the organization’s pitching depth will be tested, but he believes the Rays can weather this storm.

“We feel like we’re in good position to play competitive games in September,” he said. “It’s an all-hands-on-deck approach right now. We’ll get through these injuries and hopefully at the end of the year we’ll be in position to do some special things and this will be one chapter of the story of the 2014 season.”

Postponed by rain

Tuesday’s game was postponed at 5:21 p.m. because of the day-long rain showers in Baltimore. No makeup date was scheduled, though there was some early talk of a possible traditional doubleheader this afternoon.

“I was not opposed to it,” manager Joe Maddon said. “If the weather was perfect I was all for playing that game. There’s no question. Much rather not have a rainout. Absolutely, regardless of how you’re banged up, you play.”

The Rays return to Baltimore two more times this season, including a four-game Monday-to-Thursday series in late August with all four games played at night. The teams also have a mutual off day June 26, which is the day before the Rays return to Baltimore for a three-game series.

Rotation shuffle

RHP Jake Odorizzi, who was originally scheduled to start Tuesday but who was to be skipped over for RHP Brandon Gomes, will start this afternoon’s game against the Orioles.

Price, originally slated to start today, will face the Yankees on Thursday in the opener of a four-game series at Tropicana Field. LHP Erik Bedard and LHP Cesar Ramos were scheduled to start Thursday and Friday, respectively, with RHP Chris Archer set for Saturday. Maddon said he could start Bedard or Ramos on Friday and the other on Sunday.

Feels like 11th grade

It is expected to be a cold afternoon today in the Inner Harbor with temperatures in the low 40s.

Odorizzi said it won’t be that different from what he remembers from the first few weeks of his high school season in his native Highland, Ill.

“I’ve pitched in cold weather pretty much my whole life,” he said. “It’s something I’m accustomed to, so it’s not that big of a deal.”

No Cleveland repeat

Gomes was informed at 2 p.m. Tuesday when he arrived at Camden Yards that he would start against the Orioles if the game was played.

Odorizzi was sent home Monday because he was ill, but Maddon said Odorizzi’s health wasn’t the reason for the switch. Maddon wanted to avoid what happened last May 31 in Cleveland, where Moore pitched only one inning after rain forced a long delay before the second inning. Moore, undefeated at the time, went on a three-game losing streak.

“I wasn’t holding (Odorizzi) back because of his illness,” Maddon said. “I just did not want to repeat what happened to us last year. From history, it really beat us up for a while. Even though we ended up winning that game, it took a bite out of us and hurt us for a while.”

Noteworthy

RHP Jeremy Hellickson did not throw off the mound as scheduled. He is expected to throw off the mound for the first time since his elbow surgery later this week at the Trop. ... The last time Gomes started a non-injury rehab game was in 2008 when he was pitching in low Class A in the Padres organization. ... The Rays and Orioles will all wear No. 42 today in honor of Jackie Robinson. ... Tuesday was the 37th rainout in club history. They had three games rained out in 2013.

Roger Mooney

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