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Former Twister Steve Geltz back in the Bigs with Rays. From Rays site.

POSTED September 03, 2014
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney


ST. PETERSBURG -- Reliever Steve Geltz, despite a blown save against the Red Sox in his Rays debut on Monday, was happy to be thrown into a high-leverage situation, the right-hander said on Tuesday afternoon.

"It's my job," Geltz said. "I shouldn't expect to pitch in any situation other than what they tell me. I'm not gonna say, 'Hey, I need to pitch in this ...' No. You can pitch me up 10-0, or losing 10-0, or if it's 1-1."

Geltz, one of the club's September callups, entered Monday's game in the eighth inning with two outs, the potential tying run on second and Yoenis Cespedes up, to protect Tampa Bay's 3-2 lead. Cespedes greeted Geltz with a game-tying single to left before Geltz struck out Mike Napoli to end the inning.

The Rays eventually won, 4-3, on Matt Joyce's 10th-inning walk-off single.

Geltz hadn't pitched since 2012, when he logged two innings in two games for the Angels. Throwing him into a key spot was right in line with manager Joe Maddon's philosophy on using callups.

"Once you get them absorbed, then they can really help you," Maddon said. "If a guy comes up and sits around for four or five days, he feels like he's on the periphery all the time, really not part of this. So then all of a sudden, you ask him in a crucial moment to come on in the game, and the guy hasn't pitched -- that's just really a bad way to do business, I think."

Also, the Rays can't just give the ball to Brad Boxberger and Jake McGee every time.

"I believe -- I know -- to get Geltz and [Jeff] Beliveau and [Kirby] Yates involved, and pitching like they can, can really help us this last month," Maddon said. "Because to win a lot of games, we can't rely on just two guys."

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