Monday, January 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Myers excited about home debut

NEW YORK — Rookie OF Wil Myers is excited to make his home Rays debut tonight.

Now he just has to find his way to Tropicana Field, learn his way around the home clubhouse and try to figure out the tricky white roof that causes problems for so many.

"I'm looking forward to it," Myers said. "I think it's going to be a lot of fun going back home."

Myers, who made his debut Tuesday in Boston, had a decent first week, posting a .267 average (8-for-30) with hits in his past six games, including Saturday's dramatic grand slam off CC Sabathia.

Myers, 22, likely will be out on the field early this afternoon, taking some fly balls in rightfield to get a sense of the turf, the walls and, of course, the roof. His only experience at the Trop came during the January rookie development program after being acquired in a trade from Kansas City, but they couldn't do much on the field because it was set up for football.

Still, manager Joe Maddon doesn't expect much of a tough transition.

"From an outfielder's perspective it's about the roof, just seeing the ball and knowing to not take your eye off it, that kind of good stuff," Maddon said.

"He's shown me to be very calm about everything to this point. I don't know that it's … it may be a problem, but I think he'll fight through it relatively well."

FINE FERNANDO: RHP Fernando Rodney struck out the side on 14 pitches, hitting 99 mph, for his sixth consecutive save and 15th overall.

"That was as good as we've seen him in a while regarding fastball command," Maddon said.

STU SPEAK: Principal owner Stuart Sternberg said in a recent interview with foxsports.com it's "very unrealistic" that the Rays will leave the Tampa Bay area, at least if it's up to him — though also that "the decision can be taken out" of his hands by MLB — and he hopes serious work on the stadium issue in St. Petersburg will commence at the end of the season. (For more, see tampabay.com/blogs/rays.)

REHAB REPORT: RHP Brandon Gomes, out since early May with a lat strain, begins what is expected to be a 7-10 day rehab assignment tonight by starting for the advanced Class A Stone Crabs in Port Charlotte. … LHP David Price, who had a good bullpen session at the Trop on Sunday, is set to make his second, and perhaps final, rehab start Wednesday in Port Charlotte.

GOOD JEREMY: RHP Jeremy Hellickson starts tonight coming off a solid outing in Boston, but he said he's looking at the bigger picture.

"I never lost confidence when it was going bad, so I don't think a good outing is really going to boost my confidence too much," he said. "I was feeling good with where I was at. Hopefully I can keep it going now instead of being so inconsistent how I had been."

Hellickson has gone a team record-tying four straight games without a walk (James Shields, 2007) and 25 innings.

MISCELLANY: RHP Chris Archer earned his first road win in five starts (seven appearances). … 1B James Loney's .364 road average is best in the AL. … RHP Alex Cobb will speak to the media today for the first time since being hit in the head by a line drive June 15. … Looks like the Tigers will start RHPs Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello at the Trop this weekend.

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