FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Rays reassigned Chris Bootcheck, R.J. Swindle, and Mike Ekstrom to Minor League camp on Tuesday.
Manager Joe Maddon spoke highly of the relievers, particularly Bootcheck, who pitched a scoreless ninth inning against the Yankees on Monday night, striking out two of the three hitters he faced.
"All three guys did well," Maddon said. "I really liked Boot last night. I thought he was really sharp. [Swindle's] 10 appearances during that short period of time shows you how resilient he is. Eck had a little bit of a problem, but his stuff is still high end. I impressed upon him to get into the flow of the game a little more quickly when he gets into the game, but his stuff is very good. We've got to thin things out, and we did. ... Those were the three guys we chose right now."
If Bootcheck is not on the Rays 25-man roster by July 1, he can be released upon his request.
"With Boot, he's doing some really good things right now and I like what he's doing," Maddon said. "I don't know this for sure, but I'd like to believe that his best shot is with us. One of the things that he and I talked about on the phone during the offseason was [that] even if it did not [make] the team in the beginning, [he said], 'I'm sure I'm going to be able to help you guys at some point during the season.' And I'm sure that's true. I like what he's doing. He's doing a couple of things differently, and I like it a lot."
Joyce's back OK, returns to Rays' lineup
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- After getting scratched from Monday night's lineup with a stiff back, Matt Joyce was back in the lineup hitting second and playing right field Tuesday night against the Red Sox.
"I got treatment yesterday," Joyce said. "It's fine now. [It's] nice when things work out."
Kyle Farnsworth put a scare into the Rays in the fifth inning of Monday night's game when he came up favoring his left leg after fielding Ramiro Pena's sacrifice bunt. But Farnsworth remained in the game and retired the final two batters he faced on a fly out and a strikeout.
"Nothing abnormal," manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday. "[There's] no swelling, no nothing. [It's] just one of those things, spooky moment he can't explain. He feels better."
Meanwhile, catcher John Jaso remains sidelined with soreness in his groin after getting hit while catching on Saturday against the Twins.
"He took some swings and played some catch [Tuesday]," Maddon said. "He's still sore, but he's getting better."
Wheeler catches up with former teammates
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Former Rays reliever Dan Wheeler got to see his former teammates Tuesday while wearing the uniform of his new team, the Red Sox.
Wheeler, who remains friends with his former teammates, said of his new situation: "The clubhouse is great. The staff is great. I'm really enjoying it."
Of course, putting on a Red Sox uniform has been special for Wheeler, who grew up a Red Sox fan in Warwick, R.I.
"It was pretty cool," Wheeler said. "It was something I never gave it too much thought. I love where I've played in the past, and then when we started talking about it this winter, it started bringing back childhood feelings. I remember starting to think about it the first time I came to camp and put on the uniform. I couldn't wait to put the uniform on. It's pretty cool."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.