ST. PETERSBURG -- Despite Roberto Hernandez's two abysmal outings in back-to-back starts, Rays manager Joe Maddon said that the veteran right-hander will be the team's scheduled starter Wednesday night in Miami against the Marlins.
"He's going to make his next start on Wednesday," Maddon said. "We're just trying to figure out what the problem has been over the past couple of games. We have an idea about that. We just have to get him better in certain moments and execution of his pitches."
Hernandez lasted just two innings a week ago in Baltimore. On Friday night against the Yankees, he allowed five earned runs on six hits and three walks in four innings.
Hernandez is now 1-6 with a 7.50 ERA in 12 career appearances against the Yankees.
"I didn't realize to what an extent he's had [trouble] against the Yankees historically," Maddon said. "I looked at it before the game and I'm seeing all these numbers. But even beyond that, there's even some more negative history."
Maddon knows what he would like to see happen with Hernandez.
"A big part of his success is going to be his ability to slow things down and utilize his experience as a veteran and stay out of big innings," Maddon said.
Cobb accepts challenge of moving up to face Yanks
ST. PETERSBURG -- Alex Cobb will start Sunday's game against the Yankees after being moved up to make the start rather than pitching Monday.
David Price would have pitched Sunday had he not gone on the disabled list. Thursday's off-day made it possible to slip Cobb into Sunday's slot and move Price's replacement, Jake Odorizzi, to Monday, when he will start against the Marlins.
Cobb, who is in his second full season in the Major Leagues, was asked about being moved up, when it wasn't so long ago that he might have been the guy getting moved back.
"It's kind of weird, but I don't think too much has changed, other than my experience," Cobb said. "I think [manager] Joe [Maddon] likes to go with someone who has kind of been in that situation and done it. ... [Odorizzi] has the stuff to pitch and compete against the Yankees tomorrow.
"But when it's kind of a hyped-up game a little bit and there's going to be a little extra added adrenaline and emotion into it, I think [Maddon would] kind of like to go with someone who has been there and done that -- which is weird because I haven't been here that long. But as a pitcher and a competitor, it's a game that you definitely want to get. All the games matter, but when you're facing another AL East team, it's a game you definitely want to have."
Cobb noted that the move wasn't so much a demonstration of the Rays' confidence in him as it was the club going with "the hot hand."
"And I've been pitching pretty well these last couple of outings," Cobb said. "It's nice to be given the opportunity for sure. And they're so big on matchups, that I'm sure their computer spit out something that they like to see. So I'll take it."
Fans can watch Rays Wives in 'Citrus Classic'
ST. PETERSBURG -- Fans are invited to watch the Rays Wives take on the Marlins Wives in the "Citrus Classic" prior to Monday's Rays-Marlins game at Tropicana Field.
Game time for the Rays-Marlins game is 3:10 p.m. ET, while the Rays Wives' game will begin at 1 p.m. and should run until approximately 1:50 p.m.
The Rays Wives are raising pledges to benefit their charity of choice, Autism Speaks. The Rays Baseball Foundation will match each pledge.
After losing to the Marlins Wives at Tropicana Field in 2011, the Rays Wives took last year's contest at Marlins Park, banging out 14 hits in the process.
Alison Shelton, hitting coach Derek Shelton's wife, and Sarah Fuld, outfielder Sam Fuld's wife, will coach this year's squad.
According to Alison, the Rays Wives lost some key personnel, but they are confident about the composition of this year's team.
"We were nervous, but now that we've had two practices, we're excited again," Alison said. "We're going to keep it quiet, who the ringers are. We don't want to give away too much."
Alison pointed out that due to the high turnover of the Marlins' roster during the offseason, they know very little about the Marlins Wives they'll face this year.
"They have all new players, which means new wives, so it could go either way," Alison said.
The Rays Wives were visible at Saturday's game wearing Rays jerseys while collecting money for the event. There will be a table set up for donations on Monday as well. For more information on how to make a donation, contact: email@example.com.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.