ST. PETERSBURG -- Within the last week, the Rays' starting pitching depth has been tested.
Jeff Niemann had to leave Saturday's game after experiencing tightness in his right upper arm and shoulder area. That was followed by Friday's news that ace David Price would miss a start due to soreness in his left shoulder.
"We've talked about [the importance of having pitching depth] since Spring Training," manager Joe Maddon said. "Jeff being hurt right now, we can pop [Chris] Archer in there and feel good about it. We even have Wade Davis in the bullpen, I don't want to do that based on what he's done so far and he's not stretched out. My point is that's another good starting arm out there, too. ... And [Cesar] Ramos, he did a nice job on the latter part, and he is stretched out."
Maddon harped on the importance of not dealing starting pitching, even though some felt the Rays should have used its depth to acquire position players to help the offense.
"You can never have enough [starting pitching]," Maddon said. "We have our ways of doing things. We have our ways of evaluating moments and situations. And [Rays executive vice president of baseball operations] Andrew [Friedman] and I have talked about that a lot. ... It's depth to a point and all of a sudden it can become a weakness if you're not careful. ... It really helped us right now."