Bedard shifts from Rays' rotation to 'pen role

Bedard shifts from Rays' rotation to 'pen role

ST. PETERSBURG -- To make room for Jeremy Hellickson's return to the Tampa Bay rotation on Tuesday, veteran left-hander Erik Bedard, who had been occupying the fifth starter role, was moved to the bullpen.

Bedard started the season as a long man out of the 'pen, but he soon stepped into an injury-depleted rotation. He had a stretch of five straight starts allowing one earned run or fewer from April to May, but the southpaw has been rocky over the last month or so.

"Overall, you look at his body of work," manager Joe Maddon said. "He's had some really good games and some where it was, like, four innings or less. So, you look at the body of work coming into this moment. Helly's ready. So what do you do? You make your best guess. Our best guess is, let's put Frenchy back there and give Helly a chance to become Helly again."

Rookie Jake Odorizzi has earned his place in the rotation, according to the skipper.

"You're not gonna take Odo out of the rotation right now," Maddon said.

Odorizzi, who had won the fifth starter's job out of Spring Training, struggled early on and was not pitching deep into games. But he has rebounded strongly, especially since early June.

"I liked Odo from the beginning," Maddon said. "I remember back when he was not getting results, I thought he was throwing the ball well and having a lot of bad luck."

David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.