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Reyes returns to Rays' bullpen

Reyes returns to Rays' bullpen

ST. PETERSBURG -- With an 11-game home win streak, there was only one Rays locker where the mood appeared to be somber. That of pitcher Scott Dohmann, who was designated for assignment prior to Wednesday's game.

After fighting to make the team out of Spring Training, Dohmann was designated to make room for right-hander Al Reyes, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list. The decision is one of several tough calls the club has had to make in the wake of a talent overload.

"He's a big part of what we've done to this point and he's going to be missed," manager Joe Maddon said. "I know he's a big part of the bullpen culture we've created here also. It was just one of those really difficult decisions you have to make."

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Dohmann appeared in 12 games this season, and although his 6.14 ERA was the highest on the staff, he thought he pitched well enough to stay on the team.

"I was totally confident here both chemistry-wise and performance-wise," Dohmann said. "You take away my last three games, which were rough, but in the grand scheme of things I'm very pleased with [the performance]."

With the move, Maddon said Reyes will slide right into the Rays' bullpen as an "interchangeable part" for the game's late innings.

Reyes was placed on the DL on April 16, with right bicep tendinitis, but was slow to come back. The hurler told the media on Tuesday that he was "ready to go" and it was just a question of when the club would choose to activate him.

That decision came early on Wednesday, as Dohmann was dressed in street clothes and prepared to weather the unpredictable waiver wire.

"[I'll] just wait and see what these next few days bring," he said. "It's a fun game, but at the same time there's a business side of it. There's only one way to move in this game and that's forward, and that's where we're going to move."

Although the club would love for Dohmann to clear waivers and accept an assignment to Triple-A Durham, for now the Rays are focusing on riding their current hot streak, and plan to use Reyes in the best way possible.

"It gives us flexibility where we can build to [closer Troy Percival] in different ways, and hopefully we can do that and continue to play well," Maddon said.

The skipper also noted that Dan Wheeler will still be looked upon as the primary setup man in the eighth inning, but the use of Trever Miller and Reyes could become pertinent depending on the opposing team's matchups.

Prior to his injury, Reyes was 1-2 with a 9.00 ERA in seven appearances. He recorded a team-leading 26 saves in 2007.

Brittany Ghiroli is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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