5/30/2014 7:40 P.M. ET
Rays push back Cobb, who will start Monday
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
BOSTON -- Alex Cobb will not start for the Rays on Sunday against the Red Sox. Instead he will start Monday night's game in Miami against the Marlins. Erik Bedard will start on Sunday.
Rays manager Joe Maddon noted that they wanted to take advantage of Thursday's off-day by giving Cobb an extra day of rest.
"We just thought it was prudent to give him one extra day," said Maddon, citing the fact that Cobb just came off the disabled list and is still building arm strength. "As long as there's no issues with the hitting [in the National League park], give him one extra day."
Maddon said that he talked to head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield and the pitcher about Cobb having to hit in an NL park.
"And neither of them feels as though there's a concern about swinging the bat," Maddon said. "... Which means Frenchy Bedard will start on Sunday [in Boston]."
Maddon said pushing Cobb back had nothing to do with him getting hit in the right leg during his start on Tuesday night against the Blue Jays. He said Cobb was on board with the move.
"Yeah, we had a good conversation," Maddon said. "Listen, it's all about keeping these guys healthy. If we don't keep our pitchers healthy, we're not going anywhere. And getting Cobber back [from the disabled list], finally, was such a boost to us. So now I think it's wise to take care of him.
"It's wise to take care of the bullpen. Again, to really get this thing down we have to be playing well in August and September. And in order to be playing well, you have to have your pitchers in good order. I'd rather take that moment right now and make sure he feels good."
Rays activate Zobrist from disabled list
BOSTON -- As expected, the Rays activated Ben Zobrist from the 15-day disabled list on Friday, the first day the infielder/outfielder was eligible to come off the DL.
Zobrist has been out since May 15 with a dislocated left thumb. During that period, the Rays went 5-8.
Due to inclement weather and also having to deal with a stomach bug this week, Zobrist played in just one rehab game, on Wednesday night for Class A Advanced Charlotte. He went 1-for-4 with a walk in the Stone Crabs' loss to Dunedin.
"It wasn't exactly how we planned it, but I'm here now," Zobrist said. "I'm excited to be in the lineup."
Zobrist said he felt one game was plenty for him to be ready for action.
"I think so," Zobrist said. "I feel healthy. The DL time is done. I definitely want to be in there to help the team."
Zobrist injured the thumb May 14 at Seattle while sliding head first into second base. He now plans to wear protection over his thumb when he runs the bases.
"It kind of looks like a mitten," Zobrist said. "But it's got a protective shell to protect my thumb if I do anything stupid again. This time hopefully I won't do that."
Zobrist said he feels comfortable in the field without wearing any kind of protection over his thumb. But he did say that he does feel more comfortable hitting left-handed.
"That's because [the injured thumb is] on my top hand," Zobrist said. "Bottom hand, right-handed. I feel like I can take a 100-percent swing. I just haven't swung as much right-handed up to this point. But I know if they put a lefty in there, I'll be able to do it."
Friday marked the fifth consecutive day the Rays have made a roster move.
Molina feels fine, back behind plate
BOSTON -- Rays catcher Jose Molina left Wednesday's game in the ninth inning after taking a foul tip off his face mask.
After the game he told reporters he was fine, despite the precautionary move by Rays manager Joe Maddon.
On Friday night he was back in the starting lineup against the Red Sox.
"I'm good," said Molina, who explained what led to his being lifted from Wednesday night's game. "I just wanted to make sure I was clear to see the ball and catch the ball and concentrate on what I was going to do. It was the eighth inning and I don't want to mess up anything at that point. So I took my time, took a little extra second and that's what happens."
Molina noted that he appreciated Maddon's concern that he might have suffered a concussion. With Ryan Hanigan (right hamstring tightness) going on the disabled list on Wednesday, Ali Solis is the Rays' only other catcher.
Now Molina appears ready to catch more than normal, which is fine with the veteran backstop.
"I'm always ready to play, no matter if Hanny's hurt or who's here, I'm always ready to play," Molina said. "If it comes up that Joe wants me to be used more times than usual, I'll be ready for that."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.