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Rays' Wil Myers off to worst start of pro career

BALTIMORE — OF Wil Myers said there is no probably about it: This is officially his worst start in six seasons of pro ball.

Wednesday's 0-for-4 against the Orioles dropped his average to .200, and the other numbers aren't any prettier: two extra-base hits, four RBIs, 16 strikeouts compared to four walks, a .499 on-base plus slugging percentage.

"Just not getting the job done — swinging at bad pitches, going out of the zone, not staying with my plan," Myers said. "Besides the first game of the year, I haven't really done too much at the plate. It's something we're working on in the cage. It's just one of those things I'm going through right now. Just looking to get out of it soon."

Myers had a chance to make amends in the seventh inning, coming up with the bases loaded in a 3-0 game, but after a long foul, he went down swinging against LHP Zach Britton.

"Anytime you're going through any type of slump, it's discouraging," Myers, 23, said. "Especially coming up in a big situation for your team and not being able to get the job done. It's tough."

Besides working on his swing, the 2013 AL rookie of the year has tried varying his approach, going from aggressive to patient, and that isn't working, either.

"It's not something that I'm dreading each at-bat," he said. "You take each at-bat and try to get better at it."

PITCHING IN: The Rays took advantage of Tuesday's rainout to reset their rotation. After LHP David Price opens the four-game series against the Yankees tonight, they will have veteran LHP Erik Bedard make his first Rays start Friday, pitch RHP Chris Archer on his normal day Saturday, then LHP Cesar Ramos on Sunday.

The key decisions there were using Bedard, who has pitched only six innings (four in an April 7 start for Triple-A Durham, two in relief for the Rays on April 13) ahead of Ramos and using Archer to break up what would have been three consecutive lefties.

Ramos, who got pulled in the third inning Sunday in his first crack at filling an open rotation spot, said he welcomed another opportunity.

"The good thing is to go back out there and keep doing my thing, pitch my game," Ramos said. "I don't think you can judge anything once. But that's the only frustrating thing about starting is that you've got to wait. As a reliever you might have it handed to you but the next day you're out there, you go one scoreless, it's all forgotten.

"So I'm just anxious to get back out there and prove that I deserve it, and hopefully run away with it."

YANKEE DOODLES: Some of the big names have changed, what with the signings of C Brian McCann, OF Jacoby Ellsbury, OF Carlos Beltran and RHP Masahiro Tanaka, but there is always something special about playing that team from New York — that spring trains in Tampa.

"They are the Yankees," manager Joe Maddon said. "They have more banners than anybody, more championship pennants than anybody. They're good. They've got some really good players. … And the thing is nobody talks about their pitching. They have really good pitching."

The Rays were a franchise-best 12-7 against the Yankees last season, including four shutouts, and have won eight of the past 10, but Price is well aware of the challenge: "They're always a tough team, they always come ready to play. Obviously their fans travel well, so it's always fun. You don't need anything extra to get up to play against those guys. It's always a battle facing the pinstripes."

MISCELLANY: In addition to being shut out three times, the Rays have gone without scoring until the ninth inning in two other games. … 2B Ben Zobrist and wife Julianna will sign copies of their autobiography, Double Play, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at the Tropicana Field team store. … Tuesday was the 37th postponement in the Rays' 17 seasons.

Zimmer okay after heart surgery

Rays senior adviser Don Zimmer was resting comfortably after six-plus hours of surgery Wednesday to repair a leaky heart valve, the team said. Zimmer, 83, is expected to remain hospitalized for a few days. He has been dealing with several health issues, receiving dialysis three days a week and more recently having shortness of breath and fatigue. When introduced at the March 31 opener, he was sitting in a golf cart wearing oxygen tubes.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Rays' Wil Myers off to worst start of pro career 04/16/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 11:16pm]
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