Rumor has it that Cesar Ramos, long reliever in the Rays bullpen, will get the start this Sunday in Matt Moore's stead. Intuitively, this makes sense. Ramos was the second choice for the fifth starter, behind Jake Odorizzi who won the final starting role, and is already a major league athlete.
Maddon says Ramos is starting Sunday for #Rays, they may call up a reliever by then.— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 11, 2014
The Rays are slow to promote pitchers earlier than necessary, so rolling with Ramos fits their tried and true mentality.. Of course, veteran Erik Bedard is ready and able in Durham, and rumor has it that he will be promoted as well! Not for the start, but for Ramos's roll in the bullpen.
Chatter in #Rays clubhouse that Bedard is coming up but Ramos is starting Sunday. Should hear official word soon.— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 11, 2014
This would keep the rotation on five days rest after Ramos, pitting Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi against Baltimore on Monday and Tuesday. Compared to starting a rookie, this is the best foot forward and a logical choice against a division rival. Wins are precious.
As of right now, there's no guarantee Bedard gets the call, because the Rays have chosen to promote another player on offense instead: the suddenly heralded Kevin Kiermaier, center fielder of the future and plus runner.
Matt Moore is still with the Rays, and reportedly fells great:
#Rays Moore plans to wait 3-5 days and play catch to see how elbow feels, then make decision on how to proceed. Hopes to avoid surgery obv.— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 11, 2014
Part of waiting on #Rays Moore is to have team Dr. Eaton compare this MRI to previous, if new damage vs. old. Also that Moore feels so good.— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 11, 2014
Can Moore avoid surgery? That remains to be seen. Is Ramos the future if he cannot? That's no guarantee either.
Perhaps Bedard is promoted now, and is shifted to a starting position once he is more stretched out. Adding him to the 40-man roster is a bold move, as removing him later is not so simple as optioning a minor leaguer on a long term rookie contract.
Nothing is settled, but Ramos seems to have won the final start against the Reds. If anything, that buys the Rays more time to make their final decision.