Three years ago, Cory Wade was so indispensable to the Los Angeles Dodgers that he appeared in seven of their eight postseason games.OPENING DAY COUNTDOWN Get the scoop on your favorite teams
and their rivals as the season approaches.
Now, he’s trying to earn a spot in the Tampa Bay bullpen, which was riddled by offseason departures. He made a strong impression against Florida on Wednesday, allowing one earned run in 2-2/3 innings.
“I was put in a good situation, to come over here and have a fighting chance to make the team,” Wade said. “I’m really grateful.”
Wade hasn’t pitched in the majors since July 2009. He had a 5.40 ERA in 25 appearances with three Dodgers affiliates last year. But at 27, Wade certainly isn’t too old for a career revival, after undergoing right shoulder surgery in March 2010.
“Essentially, even though I pitched the last two months, it was a lost year,” Wade said. “I struggled in July. I pitched really well in August. But everybody kind of told me it was going to take a full year — maybe even a little longer, until May or June (of this season).
“But when I go out, I feel fine. No issues or anything like that. It’s been good.”
The Rays bullpen could remain in flux long after the Opening Day roster is set. Manager Joe Maddon said Wednesday that he plans to use a closer-by-committee approach.
— Jon Paul Morosi