New rule will give Rays roster relief on Sunday

New rule will give Rays roster relief on Sunday

New rule will give Rays roster relief on Sunday
PHILADELPHIA -- Part of the puzzle for how the Rays will handle Sunday's day-night double-header was answered late Saturday night when they announced that Alex Torres would be activated under the "extra man" rule for double-headers.

In a rule established in the most recent collective bargaining agreement, clubs can have 26 players on the roster for day-night doubleheaders that occur at least two days after the original game is rained out.

However, the Rays have not said whether Torres will be starting the second game of Sunday's double-header.

The most likely scenario for the second game will see the Rays use a mixed bag of relievers, possibly using Torres in that mix.

If the Rays do use the "mixed bag" approach, they would likely push Alex Cobb to Monday, which would end up putting their rotation back in synch, thereby making up for Friday's rainout.

Torres, 24, is 2-3 with a 6.59 ERA in 17 starts for the Bulls this season. He went 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in four games for the Rays in 2011.

James Shields was supposed to start on Friday night, but instead started on Saturday -- which meant he would have had to pitch on three days' rest for his next scheduled start that would have come on Wednesday. Since that is not likely to happen, nor will it happen with others in the rotation, the Rays have to look ahead and figure out how to fill in for an extra start.

The easiest option would be to have Cobb, who had originally been scheduled to pitch on Saturday, pitch on Monday. That would push the order for the rest of the rotation back a day, making Chris Archer the starter on Tuesday. Matt Moore would then go on Wednesday, with Shields pitching on Thursday. In other words, the rotation would be back in synch.

However, if Cobb is dubbed Monday's starter as expected, the Rays need to find someone to pitch Sunday's second game.

According to Rays manager Joe Maddon, the options for who will pitch the second game on Sunday include Torres, a group bullpen effort, or Cobb could make the start.