4/22/2014 8:28 P.M. ET
Oviedo back in Majors for first time since '11
By Jim Hawkins / Special to MLB.com
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- One by one, Juan Carlos Oviedo's teammates, as well as Rays' pitching coach Jim Hickey, stopped by his corner locker on Tuesday to say hello and welcome him back.
"It's been a while," admitted Oviedo, who hasn't appeared in a Major League game since Sept. 21, 2011, when he pitched for the Marlins and was known as Leo Nunez. "Thank God I'm still able to do this."
Oviedo was reinstated from the disabled list on Sunday.
"We really believe he can be an influential part of the back end of our bullpen," said Rays manager Joe Maddon. "We're going to give him a chance to get his feet on the ground. He seems to be very calm, exterior-wise. But you don't know how his heart is beating inside. I'm sure it's going to be an adjustment.
"He has not pitched in the big leagues in a while. His velocity is up. We've got to see how it works out against Major League hitters."
The 32-year-old Oviedo missed the entire 2012 season because of visa issues and an eight-week suspension from Major League Baseball for age and identity fraud. He underwent Tommy John surgery in September 2012, which caused him to miss the entire 2013 season.
"At the start, it was a little tough for me," Oviedo said, speaking through a translator. "But you get accustomed to it.
"I feel good. My arm feels good. It's good to be back here."
Oviedo recorded 92 saves from 2009-11 when he was the Marlins' closer. He ranks third on the Marlins' all-time saves list behind Robb Nen (108) and Antonio Alfonseca (102).
Visa problems delayed his arrival at Spring Training this year until March 15, after which he pitched in two exhibition games.
Oviedo later made seven rehab appearances at Triple-A Durham. Over his final five rehab outings, he allowed one run on one hit while striking out six and walking nine in five innings.
"He's been throwing well in Triple-A," said Maddon. "He's had an extensive rehab.
"I got good preparations to get back here," Oviedo said.
The Rays re-signed Oviedo on Jan. 24 to a $1.5 million contract that can escalate to $2.9 million with incentives.
Moore has successful Tommy John surgery
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Matt Moore underwent successful Tommy John surgery to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow Tuesday and will rejoin the team later this week, the team announced.
Moore, who drove to Pensacola, Fla., with his girlfriend Anna to have the operation, which was performed by Dr. James Andrews, will miss the rest of this season and possibly part of 2015.
The rehab process is expected to take 12-15 months.
The 24-year-old Moore was the sixth Rays Major Leaguer to undergo the surgery.
Six of Moore's current teammates -- pitchers Grant Balfour, Brandon Gomes, Jake McGee, and Juan Carlos Oviedo, as well as outfielders David DeJesus and Brandon Guyer -- have had the surgery.
According to recent studies, roughly 83 percent of the 179 pitchers who have had Tommy John surgery have returned to the mound in the Major Leagues.
Jennings returns to lineup on Tuesday
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Desmond Jennings was back in the Rays' lineup on Tuesday night, but manager Joe Maddon admitted "he's not a solid 100 percent," and may not be ready to play back-to-back games.
"We'll see how his leg reacts tonight," Maddon said. "It's up to him as to what he can do on the bases."
"I don't think anybody is 100 percent," insisted Jennings, who was sidelined by lingering soreness in the groin area. "But it's good. It's fine now."
Jennings was injured on April 14 in Baltimore, but played through it until the Rays returned home to face the Yankees.
Maddon used Jennings as the designated hitter last Thursday to keep him off the artificial turf as much as possible. On Friday, Jennings pinch-hit in the seventh inning and was immediately lifted for a pinch-runner after he singled in a run.
Fuld back at the Trop, but as the visitor
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- For outfielder Sam Fuld, Tuesday felt doubly strange.
"It was my first day with the Twins, meeting my new teammates, and at the same time, back here seeing my old teammates," said Fuld, who was non-tendered by the Rays at the end of last season and signed with the Athletics, only to be designated for assignment on April 12 and claimed off waivers by the Twins on Sunday.
"It felt strange and great. It was kind of a crazy day. Very ironic. I have great memories here, and great relationships."
"I'm very happy for him," said Rays manager Joe Maddon. "He's a valuable addition to any organization. Minnesota is going to love him."
Fuld came to the Rays prior to the 2011 season in the trade that sent Matt Garza to the Cubs.
The Twins are hoping the versatile Fuld, who can play all three outfield positions, will upgrade their offensive production. He will also give them another option in the outfield, should center fielder Aaron Hicks continue to struggle at the plate.
In seven games with the A's this season, Fuld batted .200 with two triples, a home run, four RBIs, and five runs scored. Fuld, who was on a Minor League contract, made the team in Spring Training.
• Thursday's flight to Chicago, following the Rays' matinee series finale against the Twins, will be their first themed road trip of the season: "Express Yourself With a Hat 2.0."
• To celebrate Earth Day, Rays fans could purchase a discounted seat in the lower level on Tuesday and receive a recyclable Tampa Bay Rays Earth Day tote bag.
Proceeds of each Earth Day ticket supported Tampa Bay Watch, a program dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Tampa Bay estuary through scientific and educational programs.
Jim Hawkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.