5/1/2014 7:30 P.M. ET
Players get immense benefits from days off
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
BOSTON -- Manager Joe Maddon has always talked about the energy Yunel Escobar brings to the Rays, but how can he tell when the shortstop needs a day off?
"In talking to him and watching him on the field, I can see when something might be getting to him a little bit," said Maddon, who noted Escobar had not been in the lineup for Wednesday night's rained-out game. "I was looking to get him the day off. I was going to try and figure out that moment. I was thinking about it [Tuesday] against [Boston starter John] Lackey, but his history against Lackey was really good, offensively."
In answering the question, Maddon alluded to having lunch Wednesday with former Major League shortstop Orlando Cabrera to illustrate what he tries to do with players when they get the day off.
"[Cabrera and I] were together in Anaheim. I remember a day, and I was talking to him about this, we gave him a day off and were playing at Shea Stadium at the time," Maddon said. "He was upset that he had the day off and I went up to him in the locker room and I said, 'Don't argue about the day off, and while you're taking the day off, take the day and enjoy the Major League Baseball game and understand that you're one of the best players in the game -- and really understand it from that perspective."
Maddon surmised that when he gives a player a day off he doesn't want the player to "turn [the game] off," instead, "understand what's going on in front of you, and I think it really refreshes a lot of what you believe and why you wanted to do this in the first place."
Maddon: Parker most comfortable on big league field
BOSTON -- The Rays played a split twin bill on Thursday after Wednesday night's game was rained out. That prompted manager Joe Maddon to dust off an old favorite split doubleheader story that took place in Cleveland and involved former Major Leaguer Dave Parker.
"Parkway was with the Angels back then," Maddon said. "I've told people [Parker] is the most comfortable man on a Major League Baseball field, and I'm kind of feeling my way through this whole thing, I'm just starting out [at the time].
"Split doubleheader, first game's over, we're looking for David, going to have something to eat, whatever. Parkway leaves the ballpark in full uniform and goes to some restaurant and has lunch and then comes back. So for me, that validated what I thought, he's the most comfortable man in a Major League Baseball uniform on a Major League field that I've ever met in my life. To leave the ballpark at lunch in full battle gear. He just went and did it. I even respected him more after that."
Maddon said he has not been tempted to try Parker's antics, but he added: "If one of our guys did, I would not be upset."
Boxberger gives Rays fresh arm in bullpen
BOSTON -- Under the rules governing doubleheaders, the Rays were able to add an extra player for the nightcap of Thursday's twin bill against the Red Sox in the form of right-hander Brad Boxberger.
"Brad Boxberger is in town," said Rays manager Joe Maddon, who noted that he "loved his work" from his previous stint with the team this season. "He's done a great job up here. I loved him in Spring Training. He's got weapons for righties and lefties. He's got a nice, slow heartbeat out there. I really like the way he pitches."
Boxberger, who is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA and two saves in six appearances for the Bulls this season, said the Rays gave him the news at approximately 9:30 Wednesday night that he would be joining the team from Triple-A Durham, but he did not arrive to Fenway Park until the seventh inning of the first game.
In three previous games with the Rays this season, Boxberger has turned in four scoreless innings.
"I would just like to keep it going, no matter how long I'm here," Boxberger said.
Boxberger gave the Rays a lift in their 6-5 comeback victory Thursday night, coming on in relief of starter Chris Archer. He gave up a run-scoring hit to David Ortiz in the fifth, but finished with two scoreless innings. He struck out three and walked three.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.