Rays may use full staff earlier than anticipated

Andriese or Ramirez could get call as No. 5 starter on Wednesday

Rays may use full staff earlier than anticipated

BALTIMORE -- The Rays began the season with a four-man rotation due to the many off-days during the early part of their schedule.

They will have another off-day on Monday, which will seemingly allow them to reboot the front end of their rotation on Wednesday with Chris Archer. They would have then needed a fifth starter once the White Sox come to St. Petersburg next weekend.

However, Rays manager Kevin Cash is now hinting that Wednesday might be the day they elect to use a fifth starter.

"We could factor in [April] 13th," Cash said. "... We have not decided. I don't think it will be one of those days [after the rotation rolls through one more turn]. I think we're looking at the series earlier if we decide to do it."

Tampa Bay could recall right-hander Matt Andriese to start on Wednesday, which is the day he is scheduled to start at Triple-A Durham, or they could schedule a bullpen day where all relievers are used. Right-handed reliever Erasmo Ramirez is also a key figure in the consideration regarding the direction the Rays decide to go. If the former starter is used out of the bullpen between now and Tuesday, that will be a factor in Cash's decision.

"We have to see what Erasmo is capable of the day when that day comes," Cash said. "And we'll make a decision. We're more concerned about these games right now. We're not going to do anything other than try to win the ballgames and how it fits with Erasmo and see what kind of length he can provide."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.