Rays prized outfield prospect Wil Myers already had to wait so long for his first big-league call-up.
Then came Monday''s crazy travel day to Boston, with his plane having to be re-directed due to some bad weather, and then stuck on the runway after landing due to lightning.
But it was all worth it knowing that on Tuesday, Myers, 22, will make his much-anticipated debut against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
"It's very exciting," Myers said Monday night, while standing near the airport taxi stand. "Everything I've worked for all my life is finally coming true."
Myers, the key piece in the blockbuster offseason trade with the Royals, said his parents, Eric and Pam, along with his brother, Beau, and girlfriend, Maggie Reaves, will be in the stands tomorrow to watch him play against Boston in the day-night doubleheader. A lot of his family was in town Sunday when Myers found out he was coming up.
Myers said he was coming off the field after the bottom of the second inning with Triple-A Durham, and manager Charlie Montoyo told him he was coming out of the game and "may or may not be going to the big leagues." …
The Rays made it official Monday, recalling RHP Jake Odorizzi from Triple-A Durham as the 26th man, and having him start Game 2 of Tuesday's day-night doubleheader in Boston.
Of course, Odorizzi's former roomate, OF Wil Myers, will be the headline act arriving at Fenway Park for his big-league debut. But Odorrizi, who scuffled at times in his first two starts with the Rays this season, will pitch the night game after RHP Chris Archer starts Game 1.
The Red Sox will start RHP Alfredo Aceves in the day game and LHP Felix Doubront at night.
RHP Jeremy Hellickson will start Wednesday.
With Odorizzi called up for Tuesday, it means that RHP Alex Colome will likely get the call later this week to take RHP Alex Cobb's turn in the rotation. Cobb was released from the hospital Sunday, having suffered a mild concussion while getting struck by a line drive Saturday. He's on the 7-day concussion disabled list, but there's no timeline for his return.
Update 6:26 p.m. Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman said they've always maintained that when prized OF prospect Wil Myers was ready, they'd auger out a spot for him.
And that's exactly why Friedman said they called Myers up now, saying he's made the necessary adjustments and will "fit right in" to the Rays team. Myers will play regularly, mostly in rightfield, with Friedman saying he'll "inject" another bat against right-handed pitching.
"He's going to play a lot," manager Joe Maddon said. "Of course you don't bring somebody like that up to sit around."
There has always been a lot of expectations placed on Myers, last year's minor league player of the year, since he was the key chip in the offseason trade of RHP James Shields to the Royals. But Maddon said while "outside" expectations are high, they're going to try to "ease him in," hitting him lower in the lineup and telling him to just be one of nine.
Maddon said Myers, pulled in the third inning of Durham's game Sunday, will play one of the games in Tuesday's doubleheader. …
Maybe Rays Cy Young lefthander David Price (left triceps strain) isn't as ahead of schedule in his recovery as originally thought.
Price, out since mid-May, experienced soreness after Friday's simulated game, so they are going to take it slow, having him play catch today and Monday, and throw a bullpen Wednesday. Manager Joe Maddon had said it was possible Price could make his first minor league rehab start this week, on Tuesday, but that clearly won't happen.
Price said it's definitely "not a setback," since nothing was really set in stone on his schedule. He said that he feels "really good" today, one day after his whole arm was sore. Price said that was normal, comparing it to the first live batting practice in spring training, when he throws after not pitching for a while. He considered how he felt Sunday a "bright spot" but is unsure when he'll make his first minor league start.
Price was expected to return in late June, but said the key is for him to come back and stay back, not rush it and hurt himself further.
The Rays will wrap up their 10-game homestand today with a Father's Day matinee with the Royals, with ex-Ray RHP Wade Davis starting for Kansas City.
But the biggest - and best - news so far is that RHP Alex Cobb is scheduled to get released from the hospital today.
Cobb, who suffered a mild concussion when getting struck by an Eric Hosmer line drive in the fifth inning Saturday, also got treated for an issue with draining in his ear, but otherwise, all tests came back normal, the team said.
Cobb is not expected at the ballpark today, and will go on the 7-day concussion disabled list, with no timetable on his return. RHP Josh Lueke was called up, and will be here today.
In other pre-game news, LHP David Price (left triceps strain), who experienced soreness following Friday's simulated game, won't start a minor league rehab assignment on Tuesday. He will play catch today and tommorrow, with a bullpen Wednesday. From there, they'll see how he feels. While Price didn't label it a setback, it does appear like it might push back Price's scheduled return, which was late June. …
Update 3:20 p.m. The Rays said RHP Alex Cobb has been released from Bayfront Medical Center and is heading home.
Developing: The Rays say righthander Alex Cobb, struck with a line drive during Saturday's game, is scheduled to be released from the hospital today, but not expected back at the ballpark.
Cobb suffered a mild concussion, and was treated for an issue with draining in his right ear, but all tests came back normal, the team said. Cobb will go on the 7-day concussion disabled list, with RHP Josh Lueke called up.
The Rays say there's no timetable on Cobb's return, but they're all relieved with how good he feels - and sounds.
LHP Matt Moore said 10-15 players - including Royals RHP James Shields, INF Elliot Johnson and 1B Eric Hosmer (who hit the line drive) - visited Cobb at the hospital last night. They said he seemed "normal" and joking around, despite likely being in some pain.
Hosmer said it made him feel a lot better to see Cobb okay, and said the righthander jokingly ribbed him at at least he got him out on the play. Moore said they told Cobb they're petitioning for him to get the win, drawing a smile. …
Rays RHP Alex Cobb was laughing with teammates, joking with staff at Bayfront Medical Center and doing okay overall late Saturday night after being hit on the right ear by a line drive.
And, he posted on his @Acobb53 Twitter account, he was thankful for the support:
"Can't thank everyone enough for the prayers. Was the only way for me to make it out of there ok. Look forward to getting back out there"
According to someone who visited with Cobb, he had a headache and his right ear was bandaged, but otherwise he felt okay, having been diagnosed with what the team said was a mild concussion. All scans and tests came back normal, and he was was being held overnight at Bayfront Medical Center as much for precautionary reasons as anything.
Cobb is expected to be released Sunday, and the Rays should have a better idea of how long he is expected to be out and how they will shuffle their pitching rotation.
Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer said he "kind of shut down" after his line drive struck Rays righthander Alex Cobb during Saturday's game.
"Scary stuff," he said. "I honestly didn't even want to run to first... I'm not going to lie to you, I was not focused on the game at all. I was thinking about how he was doing."
But Hosmer appeared relieved to hear the news that Cobb is expected to be okay, having suffered a minor concussion. Cobb will stay overnight in the hospital, the Rays said, and Hosmer planned to join Shields and ex-Ray Elliot Johnson to visit him tonight.
"It's fricken scary stuff," Hosmer said. "I'm glad he's allright... There's a lot of things racing through my mind, and I just kind of shut down after that happened. It's not a fun spot to be in. It's tough."
Royals manager Ned Yost said there was nothing Cobb could do, as "you can't hit a ball harder than (Hosmer) hit that ball."
"It just makes everybody in the stadium sick to their stomach when something like that happens," Yost said. …
The Rays snapped their three-game losing streak with a 5-3 win over the Royals on Saturday.
The game was marred by a scary incident in the fifth inning, when Rays starter Alex Cobb was struck on the right ear by a line drive and taken from the field on a stretcher, though he did not lose consciousness.
The Rays took a 3-2 in the third on a two-run homer by Luke Scott, who was back in the lineup hitting third after an extended slump. They added on with homers by Matt Joyce and Evan Longoria.
Alex Torres, who replaced Cobb in the fifth, was awarded the win.
Fernando Rodney, after allowing a two-out hit and a walk, finished for his 14th save.
The teams conclude their four-game series on Sunday, with Roberto Hernandez facing ex-Ray Wade Davis.
UPDATE The Rays got some encouraging news, saying Cobb suffered a mild concussion and all tests were normal. He will, however, stay at the hospital overnight for observation.
UPDATE, 6:31: The Rays seem to think the initial signs are encouraging. Cobb's father and girlfriend were at the game and have headed to the hospital as well. So did Rays LHP David Price, who is on the DL.
UPDATE, 6:03: The Rays said Cobb never lost consciousness, and has been taken to Bayfrnt Medical Center for further evalutation. They also said he was struck in the right ear, ... Per Sun Sports TV data, the ball left Hosmer's bat at 102.4 mph.
DEVELOPING: Rays RHP Alex Cobb was taken off the field on a stretcher after being hit in the head by a line drive in the fifth inning of Sunday's game.
Cobb was hit by Eric Hosmer and went down immediately. Team athletic trainers and medical personnel quickly attended to him, as he kicked his legs several times.
Cobb was struck on the right side of the head, and appeared from replays, to grab an area above and behind his right ear. The blow knocked his hat off immediately.
Cobb was taken off the field on a stretcher, with his arms folded and his head immobilzed. …
UPDATE, 2:31: Maddon said Longoria, bothered by plantar fasciitis in his right foot, is likely to DH again Sunday and then return to 3B on Tuesday in Boston, at least for one of the games of the split doubleheader. ... Though the Rays haven't announced their plans for Tuesday, expect RHP Alex Colome to start one of the games. Either RHP Jeremy Hellickson or RHP Chris Archer will pitch the other game on Tuesday, and the other one will start Wednesday. ... Details of LHP Dvid Price's rehab assignment should be set by Sunday.
UPDATE, 2:24: The Rays lineup has - another - different look, as Luke Scott makes his first start in leftfield, a move manager Joe Maddon said was to get his bat in the lineup with Evan Longoria again the DH. Also Kelly Johnson, mired in a 3-for-33 slump he attributes to bad timing, was dropped in the order.
Rays lineup: Joyce rf Zobrist 2b Scott lf Longoria dh Loney 1b Jennings cf Johnson 3b Lobaton c Escobar ss Cobb p
And the Royals lineup:
Gordon lf Hosmer 1b Perez c Butler dh Cain cf Lough rf Moustakas 3b Johnson 2b Escobar ss Guthrie p …
Rays star third baseman Evan Longoria is the designated hitter for the second straight game - and likely will the rest of the weekend - as he's dealing with a "pretty painful" case of Plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
Longoria said it's been bothering him for a couple weeks, and came to a head during the long games during the Red Sox series. He said it won't keep him out of the lineup, and hopes that after Monday's off-day it will clear up enough for him to return to third base during Tuesday's day-night doubleheader in Boston.
Plantar fasciitis involves pain and inflammation in the tissue that runs on the bottom of your foot. Manager Joe Maddon said the common description is like having a nail on the foot.
"It kind of gets to the point where I don't really feel like I'm doing any good to go out there and run on it," Longoria said. "It's something I haven't dealt with before, and it's pretty painful. It's kind of a weird deal, but it's not going to keep me off the field." …
Matt Moore, coming off two bad outings, has been eager to get back on the mound.
Update 5:45 p.m. Evan Longoria is the designated hitter for the second straight day, and could be the rest of the weekend, as he's been slowed by plantar fascitis in his right foot.
Longoria said it's bothered him for a couple weeks, and started to wear on him during the long games in the Red Sox series. He said he hopes that with a few days off his feet, it'll all be cleared up after the team's off-day on Monday. "It's pretty painful," he said. Longoria said the hardest part is the standing around, hence the DH, but can play otherwise.
Kelly Johnson gets his second straight start at third base, having made his first major league appearance there Thursday. Johnson wasn't challenged very much Thursday, but said he felt fine.
*There's been no set schedule for LHP David Price's minor league rehab starts, but the first one will likely be Tuesday. Price said he feels "great" one day after throwing 54 pitch simulated game yesterday. Maddon has said it could be less than three minor league starts before he returns later this month. …
The Tampa Bay Rays will head into the 2013 season with Evan Longoria, David Price, Fernando Rodney and a few new faces. Can they best the Yankees and Orioles in the highly competitive AL East? Come here to follow Rays news at Tropicana Field and beyond.