LOS ANGELES -- The Rays opened a spot in their bullpen for Josh Lueke on Friday by designating veteran reliever Kyle Farnsworth for assignment.
"We decided to make a move in the pitching staff, so we decided to DFA Kyle Farnsworth and brought up Josh Lueke," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Lueke was having a very good season, it's just something we thought we wanted to do at this particular time. ... If Josh was not looming, we probably would not have done this at this time."
Farnsworth saved 25 games with a 2.18 ERA for the Rays in 2011, both career bests, but has mostly struggled since. He began last year on the disabled list with a right elbow strain and was relegated to middle relief when he returned, going 1-6 with a 4.00 ERA in 27 innings.
Maddon had even more trouble finding work for Farnsworth this season, and the 37-year-old right-hander hadn't been effective when called upon. In 29 2/3 innings over 39 appearances, Farnsworth put together a 5.76 ERA and 1.48 WHIP with only 19 strikeouts.
"Kyle, I spoke with him on the phone yesterday, it's never cool when you have to do that on the phone and not in person, I don't like that, but there was no other way to do it," Maddon said. "It's something [general manager] Andrew [Friedman] and I had spoken about, and we decided to do it. And Kyle [is] a man of not so many words, so he primarily listened to me.
"I thanked him for all the good work he's done here. And really I'd hoped that as he moves forward, that if he wants to pitch again, that he can pitch. But I wanted to thank him for all the stuff he's done for the Rays in the past."
The Rays have 10 days to trade or release Farnsworth.
Lueke, meanwhile, will join Tampa Bay for the third time this season. The 28-year-old right-hander has made 11 appearances in the Majors this season, compiling a 3.75 ERA with 15 strikeouts and nine walks in 12 innings.
But Lueke has thrived with Triple-A Durham this year, racking up 70 strikeouts compared to 14 walks over 50 innings. In 34 appearances for the Bulls, Lueke owns a 0.72 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 14 saves.
"There's been some fine-tuning where I got a little bit too happy with the offspeed and not relied on the fastball," said Lueke when addressing what went wrong earlier with the Rays. "I went back down there and re-established [the fastball]. Get ahead with strike one and just do it like Jake [McGee] does, throw it until they hit it."
Maddon spoke about how he planned to use Lueke.
"Probably more early in the game right now, a little on the lengthy side, although I have no problems with him pitching in the latter part of the game either," Maddon said. "He's got really good stuff. He gets out both righties and lefties."
Lueke's route on Friday saw him leave Durham shortly after 9 a.m., travel through Atlanta, and he stepped into the Rays' clubhouse after 2 p.m.
"Ready to go," he said.
Moore eager to resume throwing off mound
LOS ANGELES -- Matt Moore (left elbow soreness) threw from 100 feet on Friday with Ron Porterfield, Rays head athletic trainer, and reported that all went well.
"I just played catch like a normal day," Moore said. "It was pretty encouraging to come off an off-day and be able to get treatment done and play catch like I did today."
Nothing has changed in the forecast that has Moore throwing from a mound on Sunday, which would be the first time he's thrown off a mound since his last start (July 28) before going on the disabled list July 31.
"I'll play catch [Saturday] and that's the goal, to throw off the bump on Sunday," Moore said.
Looking toward Sunday, Moore said he assumed he would probably throw 20 to 25 pitches.
"I haven't really thought about the regimen [on Sunday] but I think just getting off the hill and knowing I'm at least throwing fastballs, that's a good sign," Moore said. "That's the pitch that will tell you the most where you're at. If you can throw that without any signals coming up, we'll be OK with the other ones."
And after that?
"It's one of those things if the bullpen goes great, we'll probably throw another one Tuesday or Wednesday, and hopefully it doesn't take too much more than that to get ready for a game," Moore said.
Archer, Myers ready for action after early exits
LOS ANGELES -- Chris Archer and Wil Myers, two of the Rays' brightest young stars, had to leave Wednesday night's game against the D-backs due to medical reasons. Both appeared to be fine on Friday.
Myers left Wednesday night's game for a pinch-hitter in the seventh due to symptoms of asthma. Friday night he was back in the lineup batting third and playing center field.
"I feel fine," the unassuming Myers said.
Archer started Wednesday night's game but left the game due to right forearm tightness.
"I played catch today and everything felt normal," Archer said. "Felt good, so I'm planning on making my next start.
"Played long toss today, will throw my bullpen tomorrow, throw my day before bullpen like always ... For whatever reason it tightened up on me, but today it's fine."
D-backs skipper reflects on time with Roberts
LOS ANGELES -- Arizona manager Kirk Gibson had nice things to say about Tampa Bay infielder Ryan Roberts after the Rays' recent visit to play the D-backs.
"He played hard, he was good. I remember we sent him down one time, I was the bench coach, and he said he was going to quit," Gibson said. "Then I talked to him and his wife, Kim, and said, 'You might want to rethink that. I know you're disappointed but the big leagues aren't the only place to be right now. You have a good future ahead of you if you stick in there. I think you'll be happy that you did so.'
"Ultimately he didn't hang 'em up, but he was still emotional about being sent down that day. It was in the middle of the season. It's disappointing but there are a lot of guys that go to the Minor Leagues and do well down there then are back in the big leagues again. Just because you're here and you get sent down, doesn't mean your career is over. It shouldn't mean that."
Gibson addressed what it takes for a player to stick it out like Roberts did.
"Just have a good attitude about it and believe in themselves," Gibson said. "You have to want it. You have to have other people who encourage you to continue, too. Why give in? You only have a limited opportunity to do this in your life. Once you give it up, that's a great opportunity gone. Those guys have a great attitude every day."
Roberts smiled on Friday when asked about his moment with Gibson.
"That's exactly what happened," Roberts said.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.