ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays designated left-hander Erik Bedard for assignment Monday to make room for reliever Joel Peralta’s return from the 15-day disabled list.
Bedard, 35, was 4-6 with a 4.76 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 17 appearances (15 starts) for the Rays this season after making his debut in the rotation April 13 in a no-decision against the Cincinnati Reds. He was moved to the bullpen after right-hander Jeremy Hellickson’s return to the rotation July 8 in a no-decision against the Kansas City Royals.
Bedard only pitched three innings in two appearances in July, allowing six runs and 10 hits in three innings. Rays manager Joe Maddon said Bedard is best used as a starter, and because Tampa Bay is comfortable in the area, the move Monday was best for everyone involved.
"You can’t really pitch him out of a bullpen," Maddon said.
"He’s a starter. Great guy. He did some really good work for us. … But for right now, it just did not seem to fit."
Meanwhile, Peralta, 38, was placed on the 15-day disabled list last Tuesday (retroactive to July 13) with a virus that he confirmed Monday was chikungunya, acquired during a trip to his native Dominican Republic over the All-Star break. He said he started to feel better about a week ago, when the Rays arrived in St. Louis for a two-game series that began last Tuesday.
He’s 2-3 with a 4.15 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 43 appearances this season.
"It was easier on me than most people, though," Peralta said. "Trainers and doctors controlled it really good, I guess."
With Bedard’s departure, reliever Jeff Beliveau should be prepared to accept a more consistent role in the Rays’ bullpen.
Beliveau, a left-hander, has seen plenty of movement between Triple-A Durham and Tampa Bay since he joined the Rays starting last season. Still, he has only six career appearances with Tampa Bay — five this season — and he has allowed two hits with six strikeouts in six innings this year. His most recent promotion happened last Tuesday.
One of the perks of a longer stay: The chance to do laundry.
"From the looks of it, that’s what it seems like with the moves they made," he said of staying with the Rays. "It’s good. It gives me a little confidence, and I can get on our team here and actually do some laundry."
Catcher Ryan Hanigan (left oblique strain) took batting practice from the cage Monday, and he’s expected to do more batting practice Tuesday before playing for High-A Charlotte on Wednesday in a rehab start. Maddon said another rehab start or two could be possible for Hanigan.
If all goes well, Maddon said, Hanigan could return for the Rays’ upcoming three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels from Friday to Sunday at Tropicana Field.
"I was playing through (the injury) for a little bit, and it just got worse," said Hanigan, who has been on the disabled since July 17 (retroactive to July 9). "And they want it to be completely done and make sure nothing’s in there."