Fossum ready: Casey Fossum make his second start of the spring Saturday against the Indians. The left-hander missed the final month of the 2006 season after undergoing surgery Sept. 8 on his left shoulder. Fossum made his first start of the spring Monday, successfully throwing 20 pitches in one inning against the Tigers. Since then, he has thrown a side session and has experienced no pain.
"I'm ready to go [Saturday]," Fossum said. "Hopefully, I'll be able to relax a little more out there. Actually pitch."
Manager Joe Maddon said Fossum could throw three innings. Fossum has thrown as many as 85 pitches during a bullpen session, so he feels confident he can handle the assignment.
"It's just a matter of me going out there and getting quick outs," Fossum said. "Start to get back into the flow of things."
Fossum said no pitch is off limits for him to throw right now. And even though he hasn't seen a radar reading on his fastball, he feels good about the pitch.
"The only way I can tell right now is how hitters swing," Fossum said. "I feel like right now I have a little more giddyup than I did last year."
Fossum's goal Saturday will be to throw early strikes.
"[I need to] get ahead in the count," Fossum said. "[I also need to] establish my fastball, my breaking ball [and] my curveball early in the count."
Need to step up the wins: Do wins in Spring Training matter? Given the way the Rays have started this spring, the lack of wins is a persistent subject brought up to Maddon. The Rays are 2-14 in Grapefruit League play.
"I'd be a lot more concerned right now if we were 13-1," Maddon said.
The Rays won just 61 games in 2006, prompting a reporter to ask Maddon if he's worried that a losing mentality will fester in the clubhouse if the team doesn't start winning Grapefruit League games.
"[I'm] not at all [concerned]," Maddon said. "The only way that would happen is if I portrayed that to be fact. They will assume my posture. ... So, straight up, I don't like the record. Straight up, it doesn't concern me. Again, my concern with 13-1 would be at that point we would think we were that good. If we're going to get our brains beaten out a little bit, I'd rather it be now."
Maddon attributed a lot of the losing to the fact they are "working on so many things."
"There's usually a moment of regression before you get progress," Maddon said. "So, we don't like the record, it's our fault, it's primarily my fault. What I do like is the work, the camaraderie that's grown from this, the pitching. The ascension of the pitching is beautiful, and the defense. We're just working toward Opening Day and putting this all together."
Maddon liked what he saw Friday when the Rays won their second game, an 8-3 win over the Pirates.
"We played a complete game," Maddon said. "It's kind of nice when you pitch and hit. ... I'm happy we played a complete game."
This and that: The Rays will wear special St. Patrick's Day caps Saturday. ... Don Fehr, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, spoke to the Rays players Friday morning.
Up next: The Rays will host the Indians at 1:05 p.m. ET Saturday at Progress Energy Park. After Fossum departs, right-hander Tim Corcoran will take the mound and hopes to further his case for becoming the team's No. 5 starter. Right-hander Brian Stokes is also scheduled to pitch for the Rays. Right-hander Fausto Carmona is the scheduled starter for the Indians.