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Delmon on the way ...




CHICAGO - The Delmon Young era will start Tuesday night for the Devil Rays.

The Rays have decided to call up the talented but occasionally troublesome outfielder from Triple-A Durham and he is expected to be in the lineup Tuesday when the Rays open a three-game series in Chicago against the White Sox.

Young said he was surpised and excited by the opportunity.

“It’s a dream come true,’’ he said from Durham late Monday night. “When you start playing baseball as a little kid you want to play in the big leagues and it’s about to happen.’’

With a second doctor on Monday confirming Jonny Gomes needs season-ending surgery on his right shoulder, the Rays will turn to Young, the 20-year-old who is expected to be a huge part of their future. Young was likely to be called up next week after the end of the Durham season.

He was suspended 50 games after throwing his bat at an umpire during an April 26 game, and created more controversy in late July when he made comments to USA Today critical of the organization for not calling up their top prospects. He also ripped the organization at the end of last season when he was not called up.

But team officials have been pleased with his performance on and off the field more recently.

“We feel pretty confident that he is ready to come up and fit into our clubhouse,” Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said, “although obviously we will continue to monitor that, and also gauge his development on the field.”

Young was in the starting lineup for the Bulls Monday, then pulled out and told his promotion. He has played well since his returning from his suspension in June. Overall, he has a .316 average, eight homers and 59 RBIs.

Times photo; click to enlarge.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:30am]


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