By KEVIN KELLY
© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 27, 2001
ST. PETERSBURG -- Jason Standridge left the Rays clubhouse Sunday afternoon with a smile and a few belongings.
The rookie pitcher knew he wouldn't be gone long.
To make room on the roster for Bryan Rekar, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list before his start against Chicago, Standridge was optioned to Double-A Orlando.
The right-hander will make at least one start there and return to the Rays after the roster expands Sept. 1.
"I'm not upset, especially because (manager) Hal (McRae) said he liked my progress and he wants me back here as soon as I can get back here," Standridge said. "There's no reason to be upset. It's just a numbers game. Of course you don't want to leave. It's not the end of the world."
Standridge was used primarily out of the bullpen after being recalled from Triple-A Durham on July 28, but he made quite an impression in his first major-league start Aug. 9.
Standridge pitched 61/3 scoreless innings against the Yankees and got a no-decision in a 3-2 loss. In six appearances, he has a 2.51 ERA with 12 walks and nine strikeouts.
GLANCING BLOW: After throwing 83 pitches, Rekar sat cross-legged at his locker and rubbed the back of his right arm.
A line drive by Magglio Ordonez in the third inning hit Rekar on the back of his arm near where he had the shoulder tendinitis that put him on the 15-day disabled list July 20.
"It already is kind of tight," Rekar said. "Fortunately I have five days for it to get loose."
PINE TIME: As much as Rays fans might wish, top draft pick Dewon Brazelton will not make his major-league debut after he joins the team Sept. 1.
Brazelton, who signed a four-year deal worth $4.8-million Saturday, will spend the last month of the season working with pitching coach Bill Fischer in the bullpen and getting acclimated to life as a professional.
"He'll get to travel a little bit, get to know some of the players and get an understanding and appreciation, hopefully, for the big leagues," McRae said. "So when he comes into camp it won't be all new and he'll know everyone."
CLOSER TYPE: White Sox closer Keith Foulke might not have the 98-mph fastball many in his profession possess, but he has proven effective.
The right-hander pitched a scoreless ninth against the Rays on Sunday for his career-best 35th save. He also saved Friday's game.
"He goes out there and when they've got the lead, more often than not, he's going to close the game down," Rays second baseman Brent Abernathy said. "Last time I checked, that's all you look for in a closer, is someone to get you out of there with a win."
ODDS AND ENDS: Catcher John Flaherty has 13 RBI in his past 21 games. ... Greg Vaughn, who has been bothered by a stiff back, is expected to play outfield during the upcoming Seattle series. ... Double-A Orlando's Stevenson Agosto pitched a seven-inning complete game shutout against Jacksonville in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday. ... Steve Cox, Nick Bierbrodt, Bobby Seay and Randy Winn will attend the Boys and Girls Clubs Steak and Steak Dinner at 7 tonight at the Trop. ... The Rays finished 5-7 against Chicago and haven't won a series against the White Sox since April 10-12, 1998.
What can top draft pick Dewon Brazelton expect when he arrives to Tropicana Field on Saturday? If it's still like it was when Hal McRae was a rookie with the Reds in 1968, the 20-year-old pitcher can bet he'll get the silent treatment.
"They didn't talk to you," McRae said. "It wasn't intentional, but you were not necessary. You were just there."