Nearing return, Smyly joins Rays for trip

Nearing return, Smyly joins Rays for trip

ST. PETERSBURG -- After tossing 94 pitches over four innings with Triple-A Durham in his fourth rehab start, Drew Smyly (torn left labrum) will join the Rays on their road trip through the state of Texas.

Smyly will throw a bullpen Friday in Arlington, and the club will make a decision afterward on whether the left-hander is ready to return to the rotation.

"I feel good," Smyly said. "With every rehab start I feel stronger and stronger. I continue to be extremely encouraged by my days in between starts. ... I feel ready to go."

With three off-days in an eight-day span, the Rays went to a four-man rotation after optioning a struggling Matt Moore to Triple-A, but they should need a fifth starter for their upcoming road trip in which they play the Rangers three times before traveling to Houston for a four-game series.

Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.