ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays have had interest in OF David DeJesus for years. And when they finally got him, working out a waiver claim trade Friday morning with the Nationals, they made sure he got to the Trop in time to be in the lineup, chartering a private jet to fly him in from Kansas City
DeJesus, 33, got a kick out of the first-class treatment, especially after a hectic week in which he was traded twice, first going from the Cubs to the Nationals on Monday. Even better was the opportunity to join the Rays and be part of their push to the postseason.
"It's unbelievable," DeJesus said. "Just five days ago, I was in last place. So when you come over and you get to be part of something special, it's an awesome feeling."
The Rays have big plans for DeJesus, planning to start him regularly against right-handed pitchers, likely at the expense of Kelly Johnson (the DH on Friday against the Yankees). They like the way DeJesus works quality at-bats, makes contact, plays good defense and runs the bases. "He just does a lot of things that we really appreciate and we value," Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said.
DeJesus had an interesting debut, going 1-for-3, turning an ankle as he rounded first and tumbling to the ground. "I was glad to get that one out of the way,'' he said. And he made a key catch in the seventh, running down Chris Stewart's drive just before hitting the wall face first.
The Rays will give up a player to be named — the Nats picking from among fewer than five players — or cash considerations. To make room on their 25- and 40-man rosters, the Rays designated for assignment OF Jason Bourgeois, who played in nine games, hitting .188, and misplayed two fly balls on the last road trip. The Rays have 10 days to trade, release or pass Bourgeois, who was out of options, through waivers.
DELMON UPDATE: OF Delmon Young, signed to a minor-league deal Thursday after being released by the Phillies, made his debut for Double-A Montgomery on Friday, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Friedman said the Rays will evaluate him daily and though the schedule can change, "The thought all along with Delmon was (to bring him up in) the beginning of September."
WIL THE CHILL: Rookie OF Wil Myers was not in the lineup. Manager Joe Maddon said he wanted to give him back-to-back days off, and Thursday's offday and Friday's start of tough RHP Hiroki Kuroda made sense. Myers was the DH in four of his past seven games.
PITCHING IN: RHP Jeremy Hellickson will start Monday's makeup game in Kansas City, but Maddon said the Rays hadn't picked a Tuesday starter. RHP Roberto Hernandez is a candidate even after making his first relief appearance in seven years by throwing a nine-pitch ninth Friday. "That's still being bandied about," Maddon said. … LHP Matt Moore was scheduled to throw a simulated game today as he works his way back from a sore elbow, aiming to rejoin the rotation by next weekend.
GREAT SCOTT: DH Luke Scott was encouraged after taking his first swings since going on the DL on Aug. 15 with back spasms. Scott, who took 30 swings, said barring setbacks, he is on schedule to return when eligible, Aug. 30. "The spasms have calmed down with some muscle-relaxers," he said.
PRICE CHECK: LHP David Price's last start was a struggle as he allowed 10 hits in five innings in Baltimore but took a positive by allowing only two runs in the 4-3 win. "I was able to make some pitches when we needed to," he said.
MISCELLANY: RHP Chris Archer is the first rookie to beat the Yankees three times in a season since Kevin Brown in 1989. … Ben Zobrist tied the team record by playing his 75th consecutive errorless game at second base. … The Rays hit back-to-back homers for the seventh time this season. … SS Derek Jeter (calf) will rehab with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre through tonight's game, so he likely won't rejoin the Yankees here. … New football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp will throw out tonight's first pitch.