Bedard released, will explore other options
Maddon doesn't rule out veteran lefty possibly returning to Rays
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Rays officially released Erik Bedard on Tuesday so that the left-hander could explore other options.
"However, that does not preclude the potential for him to come back to us at some point," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
On Saturday the Rays announced that right-hander Jake Odorizzi had won the competition to be the fifth starter, which left Cesar Ramos as the team's long man and Bedard facing the prospect of going to Triple-A Durham if he wanted to stay with the organization. Now that he's been released, the veteran can see if other teams are interested in his services.
Maddon did not have any inkling about whether Bedard might return to the Rays.
"I don't, you just have to look at the other teams that need starting pitching right now," Maddon said. "That would be the ones that he's obviously contacting. And if it doesn't work out, he'd have to make his choice.
"I would like to believe if it doesn't work out, based on the relationship we've built, that he'd want to come back to us. We really would like to have him back. But again, when it comes down to a veteran player like that, it's all about him and his family first. So I'm hoping that he gets another job on the Major League level, but if not that he would come back. That would be great."
Maddon added that Bedard "has a lot left."
Bedard allowed 13 earned runs in 17 innings this spring.
Keeping Bedard would help the overall depth of the organization's starting pitching.
"You always can use that depth," Maddon said. "Stuff happens, and it can happen really quickly. You know, we've got [Jeremy Hellickson] on the horizon. Obviously we've got some guys down [at Triple-A Durham]. [Nathan] Karns is a strong candidate, too. The more depth you can build up, the better off you are."
Right-hander Alex Colome's 50-game suspension was brought up in the context of questions regarding the Rays' starting pitching depth.
"Colome not being available right now, he is a guy we were counting on in that particular role, being the sixth, seventh or eighth guy going into this camp," Maddon said. "We just always, I think, appreciated the term 'depth' and what it means."
Maddon said the organization has not talked about the prospect of adding another veteran arm at Durham.
Moore has mild soreness, on track to start Friday
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Rays left-hander Matt Moore said he felt fine on Tuesday, a day after he had tests to check out whether he was medically OK.
Moore had X-rays at a medical office in Port Charlotte on Monday afternoon. He has mild soreness, but managed a light workout Monday.
Rays manager Joe Maddon told reporters that the left-hander was not likely to be held back after being struck in the mouth by a comebacker off the bat of Boston's Xander Bogaerts on Sunday in Fort Myers, Fla.
Head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield "told me that he thinks he will be able to [make his start Friday against the Tigers]," Maddon said. "Ronnie told me after all the tests were good that Matt's going to be on a normal schedule. As of right now, we plan on everything being the same."
Moore received four or five stitches on the inside of his lower lip, but otherwise avoided serious injury. He received the stitches from Red Sox team doctors on-site at JetBlue Park and had no signs of concussion-like symptoms, nor did he require a trip to the hospital.
Right now the order of the rotation unofficially looks like this: David Price, Alex Cobb, Moore, Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi. However, Maddon has not yet officially announced the order other than Price starting Opening Day.
Cobb offers his take on protective cap model
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- A representative for 4Licensing, the manufacturer of the IsoBlox protective cap for pitchers, showed up at Rays camp Tuesday with the first model to be worn by pitchers.
Rays right-hander Alex Cobb, who was sidelined last season after getting struck on the side of the head by a line drive, spoke to reporters about the cap and the progress that is being made to bring about a product that will add to safety for pitchers.
"I think it's not too practical right now," Cobb said. "It's too heavy. But they have already addressed that being an issue and they know that that's a problem they have to work around. They're going to camps and getting feedback and ideas from guys and they're taking a big interest in our opinions, so when they do go back to the drawing board, they'll have a better idea about what we do want."
Cobb noted that the manufacturer had already been to camps in Arizona and he wasn't sure about how many camps they had been to in Florida. He described the model Rays pitchers were shown.
"It's basically big, thick pads on your head that stick out maybe a full inch or a little more and it's heavy," Cobb said. "And it's hot. It just isn't practical."
Cobb said he did not try throwing while wearing the cap.
"It's to that point where you don't even need to give it that little test trial," Cobb said. "You already kind of know it's not where it needs to be to begin that. ... It's awkward."
Cobb said he understood the state of development given the fact "there's a lot of stuff they have to jump through hoops on to cover both ends and make sure the liability of the whole thing is taken care of."
"So it's understandable, but, like I said they're moving in the right direction right now and they're a lot further than they were at this point last year," Cobb added. "I'm happy after talking to the manufacturer about the information they've gathered from other teams and other players."
Cobb said the representative told him he tried to reach out to him during the offseason, but he wasn't able to contact him because Cobb was out of the country.
"So I got his card, I gave him my number and he'll be in contact with me throughout the year," Cobb said.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.