07/05/07 11:23 PM ET
Notes: Glover closing door
With Reyes on disabled list, righty getting save opportunities
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
Glover entered Thursday night's game against the Red Sox with a 3-3 record and a 5.36 ERA in 33 games this season. Moving into the new role won't bring a different approach, according to Glover, who has primarily been used in the eighth inning lately.
Pitching the ninth is "really just an inning later and a lot of times it's the same situation I was pitching in," Glover said. "I really don't think there's anything I need to change approach-wise. Just go out there and try to get three outs.
"Mentally, you act like it's any inning, three to nine. The whole object when you're out there is to put up a zero every inning I throw. That's the goal. And that will remain my same goal."
Glover is one of three non-roster invitees to make the club out of Spring Training this season, which has made for an interesting journey for the right-hander.
"I think a lot of my career has been about making adjustments throughout the course of a season, bouncing from different roles," said Glover. "Coming in and fighting for different jobs on a team. So it's something I've been a part of my whole career. It's definitely a situation I didn't really think I'd find myself in this year, particularly since it's a role, technically, I've never really done before. Hopefully I'll be successful doing it until Al gets better."
Glover called losing Reyes "a huge blow to us."
"Al's been so consistent all year long," Glover said. "He's done a real good job. For us to lose him, it puts more of a strain on everybody. And we're kind of in the midst of an unfortunate streak right now. It's just another hard blow we have to deal with right now. But this team is resilient."
Reyes is scheduled to play catch on Saturday in Kansas City.
Navarro injured: Devil Rays catcher Dioner Navarro had to leave Thursday night's game after running into Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett in the sixth inning.
Navarro was taken to Massachusetts General to have X-rays.
With two outs in the sixth, the Rays catcher hit a ball to Red Sox first baseman Eric Hinske, who fielded the ball and tried to flip it to Beckett covering first. Hinske and Beckett could not make the connection and the ball fell to the ground. Navarro ran into Beckett's left shoulder after passing the bag and then fell to the ground.
After being escorted a little wobbly off the field, Raul Casanova came in to pinch-run and take Navarro's place behind the plate.
Shields looking to rebound: James Shields will make his final start of the first half Friday night against the Royals, and the right-hander sounded upbeat about the way his season has gone so far.
"I think the whole first half, my development part is exactly where I needed to be and where I wanted to be," Shields said. "One of my goals was to get 200 innings, and I think I've set myself up nicely to do that in the second half."
Shields (6-4, 3.76 ERA) said he is learning every start.
"I think I'm learning from my losses and my wins," Shields said. "It's all about minimizing the damage. And if you can do that, you can keep your team in the ballgame."
Shields is aware that the word is out about his devastating changeup.
"I know these teams have the scouting report on me and these teams are looking for the changeup, they're sitting on changeup," Shields said. "I think the difference between this year and last year [is that] I've been able to throw my curveball for strikes -- and I throw a cutter now."
In his last outing against Cleveland, Shields said he threw just 14 fastballs out of 112 pitches.
"I threw a lot of cutters," Shields said. "And the reason was they weren't making the adjustment. I didn't want to change my game plan because they weren't hitting it. ... It's hard to really sit on one pitch when you're throwing four different pitches. I've never done that before. It was actually kind of weird."
Upton update: B.J. Upton was in the lineup at second base for Class A Vero Beach on Thursday. Rays manager Joe Maddon said Upton will continue to play through the All-Star break and they are strongly considering a move to make him the center fielder, which would allow Delmon Young to move back to right field.
Rays sign another: The Rays signed their 41st selection from the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, right-hander Austin Hinkle of Coastal Carolina University. They have now signed 19 picks, including 13 of their first 26.
Up next: The Rays begin a three-game series in Kansas City against the Royals on Friday night at 8:10 ET. Shields will start for the Rays and will be opposed by left-hander Odalis Perez.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.