ST. PETERSBURG -- Relievers Brandon Gomes and Juan Carlos Oviedo took a big step forward on Sunday morning, throwing their first bullpen sessions since going on the disabled list.
Gomes (right lat strain) said he threw 25 fastballs and felt "great," with no pain and no worries. The right-hander has been on the disabled list since May 8 and should throw two more times in the bullpen before beginning a relatively short Minor League rehab assignment -- maybe three or four appearances -- and making his way back to the Major League team.
"My command was actually surprisingly good for having not thrown for a while. Great first step," Gomes said. "Ball was coming out free and easy. That was definitely positive. ... Very excited. It's nice to just put pants and cleats back on and get back out there. Great day. We'll just keep building off that."
Oviedo (recovering from September 2012 Tommy John surgery) also threw in the bullpen for the first time and reported feeling good about how it went. Oviedo hasn't pitched in a Major League game since Sept. 21, 2011, and isn't expected to make it back until late this season.
Oviedo, known as Leo Nunez during his time as the Marlins' closer, recorded 92 saves from 2009-11. He signed a Minor League deal with the Rays this offseason and has been on the 60-day disabled list since the beginning of the season.