4/12/2014 6:15 A.M. ET
Maddon: Pitchers overworked on youth teams
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- If Matt Moore has Tommy John surgery, he will become the 13th Major League pitcher to do so since the beginning of Spring Training, according to an article in USA Today on Friday.
Joe Maddon was asked about the problem and, typical of the Rays' manager, he didn't straddle the fence when offering his opinion. Maddon said he's put some thought to the question a lot lately, and he recently read an article by noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, which he referenced.
"I think sometimes it would be obvious that we're doing something wrong here, but sometimes you have to look underneath the surface," Maddon said. "And what he's suggesting, and I kind of agreed, has a lot to do with youth sports and travel teams and multiple travel teams, and kids pitching to win when they're really young and throwing too many pitches.
"I'm a total non-advocate of the travel team concept. I think it's insane. I think too many parents are trying to have their kids become professionals at an early age to fulfill their lifelong dreams and not necessarily the kids, and I think that's where it's starting to break down."
Maddon noted that some athletes can be predisposed to injuries.
"[Elbow injuries] have been a part of the fabric of baseball for many, many years. I think the more recent epidemic, to me, curiously, might be tied to what they're doing before they get here professionally."
Bedard to fill long-reliever role after callup
CINCINNATI -- Erik Bedard joined the Major League team from Triple-A Durham on Saturday, and the veteran left-hander was selected after the game, which means he'll be active for Sunday's contest against the Reds.
"I had a good time in Durham; it was fun, good guys, but it's always fun to be in the Major Leagues," Bedard said.
The corresponding move resulted in outfielder Kevin Kiermaier, who was the defensive star of Saturday's 1-0 Rays win, returning to Durham.
During Spring Training, Bedard competed for the Rays' fifth-starter spot. When he did not win the job, the Rays granted him his release so he could look for a Major League job with another club. When that did not come to fruition, the veteran left-hander returned to the Tampa Bay organization.
"I was just looking to see if there was another big league opportunity, but there wasn't," Bedard said. "My gut feeling was to come here. I love the guys. I love the front office, the coaches and all of that. I felt comfortable here, so I came back here."
When another slot in the rotation opened up this week due to Matt Moore's elbow problem, the decision on who would fill the void came down to Bedard and Cesar Ramos. While pondering the decision, Rays manager Joe Maddon referenced conversations he and his staff had with both pitchers during Spring Training, and how those conversations affected his decision to pick one left-hander or the other.
"He just said there were going to be opportunities," said Bedard, when asked about those conversations. "You always want to go to a place where they're going to give you an opportunity to come back to the big leagues. That's what I did."
Ramos will start Sunday, which leaves an open spot in the bullpen for a long man. Bedard will fill that role.
Bedard showed a sense of humor when asked about his role.
"Well, I'm going to be in the bullpen, so, bullpen role," Bedard said.
Bedard was 0-0 with a 2.25 ERA in one start at Durham.
CINCINNATI -- In the third inning of Friday night's 2-1 Rays win over the Reds, Matt Joyce hit a homer off Reds starter Johnny Cueto estimated at 452 feet. He became the first Rays player with multiple home runs this season.
• The Rays' public relations staff has diligently kept a record of Maddon's sometimes-interesting vocabulary, referred to has "Jocabulary". The latest word actually used by the Rays manager: "assumptionism," which is the tendency to assume that something is true or certain.
Maddon used the word as follows: "We really try to avoid teaching 'assumptionism' around her. It's really a bad thing to be that guy."
• Maddon isn't too concerned about Wil Myers, who entered Saturday's action batting .231.
"He hasn't gotten the ball in the air a whole lot," Maddon said. "That's the biggest thing. He needs to get the ball in the air more. And I think that definitely should come. A little bit chasing, conceding to the pitcher, but once you start seeing the ball in the air more consistently, you're going to recognize him more easily."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.