Bradford is scheduled to make back-to-back appearances Wednesday and Thursday, and then will likely make a final appearance with Durham on Saturday before returning to the Rays. Manager Joe Maddon looks forward to having Bradford back in his bullpen.
"For me, it's a big boost," Maddon said. "He's one of my favorite pitchers to give the baseball to in a close situation, because he is so calm. This guy is unbelievably loose and calm at tight moments. He's a high ground-ball rate pitcher, which we love. He's going to probably put the ball on the ground. He's very durable. We've been trying to build up his durability again.
"But I really believe that if you're a right-handed hitter and you see Chad warming up, you're not in the on-deck circle, 'Oh good, Bradford's coming into the game.' He's a solid professional, and I think he adds a lot to us performance-wise and also his presence in the bullpen."
Tampa Bay's bullpen has been on a roll lately. Dating back to June 8 at Yankee Stadium, Rays relievers have allowed two runs in 33 1/3 innings for an ERA of 0.54. In addition to Bradford, the 'pen should get Brian Shouse back at an as-yet-to-be-determined date.
The Rays have been operating without a closer for most of this season, going with matchups primarily. Maddon said he is comfortable with the composition of the bullpen.
"For me, am I comfortable doing it this way? The answer is yes," Maddon said. "I think when you have a bunch of even or ahead guys in the bullpen, which I believe we have, you can match it up and keep it this way for the whole season and win. I believe that. Now, if there was a real qualified closer, I don't know who that guy is, but if there was and he was available, of course ... if we were interested and could do it, that would be great.
"I'm comfortable. I believe that we have that kind of versatility within our group."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.