ST. PETERSBURG -- Brandon Gomes threw the ball well all spring. In fact, he threw the ball so well that Rays manager Joe Maddon had a difficult time thinking of another pitcher who did quite as well as the right-hander.
Nevertheless, Gomes did not make the club out of Spring Training. The fact he had a remaining option factored into that decision. Friday, he returned to the Rays after just three days with Triple-A Durham.
When Gomes was sent down, he told reporters he would be back. But three days beat even his most optimistic thoughts of rejoining the Rays.
"You can never expect to come up after three games. But I'm extremely happy," Gomes said. "Any time you have the opportunity to come up here and help the team, you're going to be very happy about it. I'm looking forward to another opportunity. I feel great, so I'm ready to go."
Gomes owns a career 4-3 record and a 3.62 ERA in 55 relief appearances over two seasons with the Rays. In Spring Training, Gomes went 2-0 with a 1.74 ERA. He believes he can carry over what he did this spring into the regular season.
"I felt strong mechanically," Gomes said. "All my pitches felt good. I don't see why I can't continue that kind of success, that mindset of just attacking hitters, just going to carry that through the rest of the year."
When asked if he'd learned anything during his three days in Durham, Gomes quipped: "That I can still ride a bus."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.