Sunday, May 27, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Wil Myers feels confident in return to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG — Wil Myers rejoined the Rays on Wednesday, the broken right wrist that sidelined him for 21/2 months healed, his sore left wrist rested and, perhaps biggest of all, his confidence restored.

"The most important thing going forward for me," Myers said.

In the 53 games before breaking the wrist May 30, Myers wasn't very good, hitting .227 with five homers, 25 RBIs and a .667 on-base plus slugging percentage, all well below his rookie-of-the-year showing the season before.

Though 0-for-3 with a strikeout Wednesday, Myers is aware and determined to make amends. He drew comparisons to how he followed a poor 2011 season with the Royals' Double-A team with a 2012 performance that earned him minor-league player of the year honors and led to his trade to the Rays.

"Obviously I was having a very disappointing season (before the injury), and I really feel like 2011-12 all over again, having a bad 2011 and then coming back in 2012 trying to prove to everybody that was a fluke," Myers said. "So really two miniseasons in one coming into this again."

Myers had been on a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Durham, and the Rays were waiting for him to tell them when he felt ready to return. Myers said he had been feeling good physically and started feeling confident at the plate Sunday, though he acknowledged his timing was still off a bit when he wrapped up with Durham on Tuesday, hitting .250 (6-for-24) in seven games with two homers, six RBIs and seven walks.

As Myers sets out to salvage his season, manager Joe Maddon said, "he can help salvage ours at the same time. A salvage-rescue operation. Getting him back in the lineup hopefully picks up the run production a little bit. When he's confident, that can happen, and he sounds very confident right now."

Myers was the DH on Wednesday, and will be for at least a few days because he is more comfortable at the plate than in the field. When he goes back to the outfield, he will split time between left and right.

Myers broke the right wrist in a collision with Desmond Jennings on the last play of the May 30 game. He said the left wrist had been bothering him since a slide early in the season, aggravating a bone (which is either growing or calcified) that irritates a tendon, and he has already noticed that rest helped his power stroke. He also said he doesn't believe it will require offseason surgery.

The Rays sent INF Vince Belnome back to Triple A to make room for Myers on the 25-man roster and shifted INF Jerry Sands from the 15- to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster.

REHAB REPORT: OF David DeJesus (broken left hand) resumed his rehab assignment with advanced Class A Charlotte on Wednesday, going 1--for-4, with a tentative plan to get 25-30 at-bats and return by Sept. 1. … C Ryan Hanigan (oblique) is expected to join Charlotte on Friday and be on a similar schedule.

MISCELLANY: The Rays have lost five of their past seven series. … Top pitching prospect RHP Taylor Guerrieri's comeback from Tommy John elbow-ligament surgery was put on hold after five outings (and 91/3 innings) in the Gulf Coast League; he is expected to resume pitching in the instructional league. … INF/OF Ben Zobrist said he thought it "was a little odd" when Detroit RHP Max Scherzer hit him in his first at-bat Tuesday, but dropped any concern after seeing Scherzer's control was off. … PGA Tour player John Daly, sporting a Rays T-shirt and flip-flops, threw out the first pitch.

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