Countdown to Opening Day: Starter Decision to Come Soon

By Amanda Borges
Assistant Digital Editor

Erik Bedard

The competition for the fifth spot in the rotation is not over yet for the Tampa Bay Rays. Luckily, the decision on who gets it could come as early as this weekend.

There are still three remaining options for the Rays in Jake Odorizzi, Erik Bedard, and Cesar Ramos.

To fast forward a little, each candidate will have one last shot to to prove their skills before the decision is made.  Ramos is scheduled to start tonight against the Twins, Odorizzi will also pitch tonight, and Bedard gets a chance to start on Friday in the matchup against the Blue Jays.

But, time is ticking for the Rays to choose who it will be and manager Joe Maddon is very aware of the time crunch. He told MLB.com that they have to make up their minds.

Depending on their decision, they could lose Bedard to another team. He has a clause in his contract that allows him to go to a different team if he does not make it with the Rays. He has been pretty clear that he will not hesitate to leave and try to pitch somewhere else.

Maddon understands the situation and says they don’t want to hold him back.

“I really like this guy a lot. He’s really ingratiated himself to a lot us of us in a very brief period of time. He’s a professional. He’s definitely still good so it’s just one of those things, where if, in fact he wasn’t a fit for us, and he is for somebody else, you want him to take advantage of that opportunity.”

Maddon also commented that the possibility of losing Bedard will not affect the decision.

Stay tuned for that decision to come by Saturday.

For more on this story visit: Bill Chastain, MLB.com

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