4/12/2014 12:14 A.M. ET
Rays owner Sternberg part of diversity task force
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- Rays principal owner Stu Sternberg is on Major League Baseball's On-Field Diversity Task Force, launched by Commissioner Bud Selig. The task force has set three preliminary priority initiatives that will guide the start of the Committee's comprehensive long-term action plan.
MLB will strive to address the talent pipeline that impacts the representation and development of the sport's diverse players and on-field personnel, particularly focusing on African-Americans. The three initiatives now underway include:
• Expanding MLB's reach and involvement with existing urban baseball initiatives, such as Jr. RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities), the MLB Urban Youth Academies and various grassroots programs around the country.
• Implementing programs focused on improving the quality of coaching as a way to make the game more engaging, including the use of new initiatives and mobile coaching tools being developed.
• Focusing MLB's marketing reach on urban communities by using a variety of resources, including raising the profile of current and former Major Leaguers. These players would not only engage youth, families and their communities, but could also serve as coaches, program leaders or inspiring figures for youth in urban communities.
Rays to summon Bedard before finale
CINCINNATI -- After Friday night's game, the Rays announced they will be adding Erik Bedard to their 25-man roster.
The veteran left-hander will be activated for Sunday's game to serve as the team's long man in place of Cesar Ramos, who will move into the starting rotation in Matt Moore's absence.
A corresponding roster move will take place prior to Sunday's series finale against the Reds.
Outfielder Kevin Kiermaier, who was recalled for Friday night's game to add depth to the Rays' bench, will likely have a return trip to Triple-A Durham.
In Spring Training, Bedard competed for the fifth spot in the Rays' rotation that Jake Odorizzi eventually won. Bedard has since been pitching for Durham.
Ramos to take hill vs. Reds in Moore's place
CINCINNATI -- Cesar Ramos will be the Rays' starter Sunday against the Reds in the finale of the three-game series. Ramos will be taking Matt Moore's spot in the rotation after the Rays placed Moore on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday.
The decision came down to Ramos and Erik Bedard, who is currently pitching at Triple-A Durham.
Manager Joe Maddon explained the choice.
"Based on the Spring Training that he had and a lot of the conversations we had with [Ramos] and all the other pitchers as we broke Spring Training, [we were] trying to stay true to our word," Maddon said. "We felt like this was the right thing to do right now, given that opportunity.
"He's been pitching well out of the bullpen for us in the brief time that he's pitched with us this season. It's not been that far removed -- I still believe he's able to throw at least 75 pitches in a game. It's just trying to be consistent with our message, too."
Rays recall outfielder Kiermaier from Triple-A
CINCINNATI -- The Rays recalled outfielder Kevin Kiermaier from Triple-A Durham prior to Friday night's game against the Reds at Great American Ball Park.
Kiermaier, who turns 24 on April 22, was hitting .310 with two home runs, a triple and a stolen base in seven games with the Bulls this season.
"[I] just told myself to stay simple," Kiermaier said of his promotion. "And I felt pretty good the whole Spring Training. I just want to carry that over into the regular season, when it really counts. ... Seeing it well. I've had good results so far. It's always nice to get off to a good start and have something to work with and get your confidence going."
Kiermaier is best remembered for joining the Rays' roster for the Game 163 tiebreaker at Texas last season, and he appeared in the American League Wild Card Game at Cleveland as well.
"Someone was joking, 'Finally, your first time getting some service time,'" Kiermaier said. "Still kind of feels the same. I didn't really sleep last night. I was really excited to get up and get on a plane and get here."
Kiermaier said he's been in Cincinnati twice before to watch games.
"To be up here and maybe get into the game is really cool," Kiermaier said.
Home is three hours away for Kiermaier, who said his parents will make the trip from Fort Wayne, Ind., for Friday's and Saturday's games.
"So it's going to be really cool for them and for me," Kiermaier said. "I couldn't ask for a better city to start off."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.