RHP Wade Davis was the odd man out when the Rays settled on a rotation during the final week of spring training. He was sent to the bullpen with the idea he would be considered if an opening occurred in the rotation.
An opening has occurred after RHP Jeff Niemann suffered a small fracture in his right fibula above the ankle during Monday's game, and Davis is not being considered.
"Probably will not go in that direction," manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday.
The reason, Maddon said, is Davis is doing well in the bullpen. He's getting ready quicker, he's handling right-handers and left-handers, controlling the running game and throwing his fastball 93 and 94 mph.
"I like him. I'm not afraid of him in a hot moment, because he's been there before," Maddon said. "He comes out with a real slow pulse. He understands what's going on."
Maddon said Durham Bulls right-handers Alex Cobb and Chris Archer are the candidates to replace Niemann and not Davis, who has 64 major league starts.
A crowded DL
The Rays' disabled list contains eight players with the addition of Niemann, the most they've had at one time on the DL since they had nine on two occasions during the 2009 season.
"Hopefully I'm the end of it," Niemann said.
Niemann joins Kyle Farnsworth (right elbow strain), Sam Fuld (right wrist surgery) Robinson Chirinos (concussion), Jose Lobaton (right shoulder soreness), Evan Longoria (partial left hamstring tear), Brandon Allen (right quad strain) and Desmond Jennings (sprained left knee). Farnsworth, Fuld and Chirinos have been on the DL since the start of the season.
"Come September we're going to have a lot of fresh guys around here," Maddon said. "If we battle through this moment like we have been here, come the latter part of the season we're going to have some fresh folks running around. That's obviously a good thing."
The Durham shuffle
The Rays made their 12th roster move of the season Tuesday when they recalled RHP Josh Lueke to add a fresh arm to the bullpen.
B.J. Upton (who began the year on the DL), Will Rhymes, Brandon Guyer, Chris Gimenez, Cesar Ramos and Allen all joined the team after opening day. Dane De La Rosa, Brandon Gomes and Cobb each spent time with the big club.
"Players who don't make the team immediately have to understand going back and doing what they need to do at Triple A to be the next guy in line is absolutely vital," Maddon said. "I know in the future in the offseason when we're calling the different free agents, the guys that aren't going to get the big bucks, when we talk about opportunity, they're going to listen to us even more."
Searching for hit No. 1
OF Stephen Vogt returned to the Rays after Jennings was placed on the DL, and he is searching for his first big-league hit. He was 0-for-13 during his first stint with the team the first 13 games of the season.
Vogt said he is eager to erase that zero. "It's definitely a different feeling this time around," he said. "It's an 'I've been here before' kind of thing. Now I know what to expect, and I'm ready to get after it."
SS Elliot Johnson started his seventh straight game Tuesday, the most consecutive starts of his career. … This is the second straight year Lueke joined a team in Toronto on the final day of a series. He did it last year with the Mariners. "I've been to Toronto twice and all I've seen is this stadium and the airport," he said.