Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/11/12

Right-hander Wade Davis still considers himself a starter, and the Tampa Bay Rays believe that's his future.

But for right now, Davis is thriving in his first full season as a reliever, boasting a 2.20 ERA while getting used in some high-leverage moments. A key reason for the success is how quickly Davis accepted the new role since spring training, when he lost out on the fifth-starter competition with Jeff Niemann.

Manager Joe Maddon believed the team would be better with Davis used out of the bullpen, and the 26-year-old unselfishly bought in right away. And Maddon said Davis has never been more dominant than he was Thursday night in New York, when he struck out four of six Yankees he faced in a perfect two-inning outing.

"That was as good as you're going to see a relief pitcher throw," Maddon said. "I don't care if you're a closer, setup guy, whatever -- that was outstanding. Anybody that comes out like he did in Yankee Stadium against that part of the lineup and throws like that can pitch anytime, anywhere."

Davis said there's been some adjustments, but his body is responding better, allowing him to work on back-to-back games twice. He has 11 multiple-inning appearances. He's leaned on help from fellow relievers, many of whom had to make a similar transition in their career, and said he's having fun, believing this experience will only help him become more valuable -- and a better starter -- in the future.

"I didn't have any trouble with it," Davis said. "Yes, starting is what I want to do, I want to excel as much as I can in anything I do. But I'm not hurt about it, I'm not frustrated about it. I'm still pitching in the big leagues. I still want to be part of a team that's going to win. It was easy for me for some reason."

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sean Payton responds to rumors he might leave the Saints

NFL denies DeAngelo Williams’ request to wear pink all season

Arby's offers to cater Steve Spurrier's retirement party

WATCH: Antonio Gates catches 100th career TD pass

The Cubs win Game 3 loudly, set MLB record with six home runs

Report: Steve Spurrier retires as head coach of South Carolina


Blue Jays push ALDS to Game 5 with 8-4 victory over Rangers

Mike Moustakas fired up Royals with expletive-laced speech

Report: Big Ben wants to play, but longshot for Week 6

Ex-Celtic Terrence Williams denies ties to Louisville scandal

Did the NFL get major sports blog Twitter accounts suspended?

Clayton Kershaw: MLB 'bullied' into Chase Utley suspension

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Citi Field gave Chase Utley chilly reception

Mike Moustakas fired up Royals with expletive-laced speech

Clayton Kershaw: MLB "bullied" into Chase Utley suspension

Michael Jordan really likes Jeremy Lin

Texas governor makes embarrassing Astros flub

Ruben Amaro Jr. looking to become MLB manager

Steve Sarkisian fired by USC

USC enabled and snitched on Steve Sarkisian

Colin Kaepernick believes the 49ers could still go 12-4

Tommy Lasorda calls for rule change following Chase Utley incident

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker