DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Right-hander Esmil Rogers put an end to his rather eventful week by tossing one inning of relief against the Phillies on Thursday afternoon.
Rogers departed the team earlier this week to attend the birth of his child. He returned late Wednesday and that gave him just enough time to prepare for his first outing of the spring.
The relief appearance was a precursor to an upcoming start against the Yankees on Sunday afternoon, but with Rogers competing against a long list of candidates for the fifth spot in the rotation every outing has some importance.
"They're not going to give the spot to me, I have to get it," said Rogers, who allowed a two-run homer to Darin Ruf in his lone inning of work. "I'm going to do everything that I can, I'm going to do my best. They gave me the opportunity to start in Spring Training so I'm going to do everything I can to be there the rest of the season."
Rogers exclusively threw cut-fastballs and changeups during his abbreviated appearance in order to get warmed up for Sunday's start. He did surrender the homer on a first-pitch fastball to Ruf, but then quickly settled down and retired the final three batters he faced.
It shouldn't take long for Rogers to round into form as he spent the offseason pitching in the Dominican Winter League, but even with so much going on in his life during the past couple of months, there doesn't appear to be any concern about fatigue.
"No, no, no. I don't feel tired or anything like that," Rogers said. "I started for a little bit, my arm feels great, my body feels great and I'm ready to use Spring Training to get ready for the season."