Davis getting comfortable in new role this year

Davis getting comfortable in new role this year

BOSTON -- Wade Davis looks as though he's getting comfortable in the bullpen. On Friday, he threw a season-high three innings against the Red Sox, allowing no runs on two hits while striking out three.

"It's been going good," Davis said. "Every day I'm starting to learn new things to get my mind ready quicker and my body loose. Every time the phone rings, you almost have to have your mind right as soon as it goes off. Every day is getting a little easier."

Despite having 65 Major League starts under his belt, Davis became the odd man out in his bid to earn a spot in the Rays' starting rotation this season. So he has been adapting to his new surroundings, which includes embracing the culture in the bullpen.

"It's pretty cool. It's more relaxed than you think," Davis said. "At the same time, we have good conversations. It's great people down there, and everybody's ready to go, too. So it's a pretty cool experience."

Davis noted that the mood of the bullpen depends on how the game is going at the time.

"If the starter's cruising, you kind of keep it relaxed," Davis said. "About the fifth inning, I start getting up, getting loose, getting my mind ready. It's go time from there."

Among the many aspects of making the transition from starter to reliever has been getting used to the idea that he could be in the game on any given day.

"I'm definitely getting used to that," Davis said. "I'm definitely on the right approach to it. The body will probably take a lot longer. Once I start getting into the games more often, start doing that, I think it will be a little bit easier.

"That's been the biggest thing, is mentally every day waking up, I've got to be ready to go. Even though you might not, but you're still in the game mentally. I feel like I'm playing the game every day, which is different than the starting. They've got you one day then four days of nothing."

Davis added that getting used to the idea that he might pitch every day remains the hardest part.

"Because I've been having those four days off in between for 12 years since high school, so it's just a little bit of an adjustment getting to the ballpark, have to be ready to pitch today," Davis said.

Manager Joe Maddon complimented Davis for being all in since they told him he was headed to the bullpen.

"Once we told him everything we were thinking, by the time we left that room, I felt like he was all in regarding it," Maddon said. "To me, he was kind of excited about it. He gets it -- the fact that it makes us better right now. He also knows he'll be a starter in the future, so I think he's kind of interested in seeing how he can do there -- and I think he can do really well."