Maddon stands by beleaguered 'pen
Relievers have blown eight of past 12 save chances
NEW YORK -- There will be no changes to the Rays' bullpen, according to manager Joe Maddon.
"I'm comfortable with anybody getting the last out among our bullpen guys," Maddon said. "We've just a hit a little bit of a bump in the road. But I really don't want to do anything differently because it's been so successful. Just because we've had a little bit of a hard time it doesn't mean you blow everything up."
Since Aug. 6, the Rays are 12-16. During that stretch, the bullpen has gone 2-8 while blowing a Major League-worst eight saves out of 12 opportunities. In addition, the Rays have dropped to 14 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the American League East and seven games behind the Red Sox in the Wild Card race.
Maddon said the Rays couldn't change the bullpen now even if they wanted to.
"Because that's who we are," Maddon said. "That's how we do business. So I'm going to show our guys support. I'm going to keep putting them out there when they're supposed to be out there. Just as long as they've had adequate rest and I'm not abusing them. It's just going to be business as normal.
"Nothing has changed. This is our bullpen. And this is how we've done things. We've had a hard time, maybe the last 30 days. But I still have a lot of faith in these guys. They're still going to be run out there at the appropriate time. And we'll just take it from there."
Maddon was asked about the prospect of getting reinforcements for the bullpen from Triple-A Durham -- perhaps Dale Thayer could be recalled -- and Maddon said they have talked about that possibility.
"We want to see how we get through this doubleheader, today," Maddon said. "Overall, it's not as bad as people think. They've only pitched in small doses. We have discussed that. We haven't done anything about it yet."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.