1. Rays

Myers looks ready but has nowhere to play on Rays

Top prospect Wil Myers is batting .380 with eight home runs and 27 RBIs in his past 16 games at Triple-A Durham, but he’s not likely to come up to the majors anytime soon.
Published Jun. 9, 2013

Baseball runs on its own clock, and according to its "Super 2" calendar, this is the week top prospects seemingly can be safely called up without the risk of them qualifying for a fourth year of arbitration eligibility.

But that doesn't mean Wil Myers will be showing up at the Trop soon.

Yes, Myers has been doing better at Triple-A Durham, hitting .380 with eight homers and 27 RBIs in his past 16 games after an unimpressive start, .244/5/25 in his first 41.

Yes, manager Joe Maddon has noticed, saying, "When he shows to be ready, then you have to pay attention. And it looks like he's shown that he might be ready."

And, yes, by waiting this long, the Rays have limited any financial ramifications of a promotion. The first 12 days Myers spent in the minors pushed back his eligibility for free agency an extra season, until after his seventh. And they've potentially saved $10 million or so in salary by waiting through the Super 2 arbitration-eligibility window, though it is an industry estimate based on what the class of players will look like at the end of the 2015 season.

But there is this slight issue for the "Free Wil Myers" brigade:

There's no place for him to play.

When Myers, the 22-year-old multitalented outfielder acquired from the Royals in the offseason, comes up, the Rays want him in the lineup every day. As of now, there is no room for him.

The corner outfield spots have been well covered by the combination of Kelly Johnson, Matt Joyce and Ben Zobrist, and you can't really see any of them going to the bench, with either Sam Fuld, Sean Rodriguez or Ryan Roberts then shipped out. Unless the Rays are ready to give up on struggling Luke Scott and create playing time for Myers by rotating several players through the DH spot, there doesn't seem to be a spot for him.

Though Maddon also said, "When a guy like that is ready, you bring the auger out" to make room, it doesn't appear imminent. Further proof: Maddon said he hasn't talked recently with executive vice president Andrew Friedman about Myers at all.

And here is what Friedman said when asked Saturday about the situation:

"We have a number of players in Triple A who are knocking on the door. We don't look at a calendar to determine when to make a move. We have seen some already this year, and there are others whose time hasn't come yet. Oftentimes it simply comes down to opportunity, like when an injury creates an opening. Until that opportunity arises, our players get to work on their game so they're better prepared when the call comes."


  1. The cover of the book Grassroots Baseball: Where Legends Begin Courtesy Jean Fruth
    The 224-page book features a chapter on Tampa, and an essay by Hall of Famer Wade Boggs.
  2. Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) delivers a pitch in the fourth inning against the Houston Astros in Game 5 of the American League Division Series on Oct. 10 in Houston. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Rays Tales: Team execs on Houston’s big problem, a base for winter acquisitions, trophy time and an upcoming owners meeting.
  3. Jameis Winston (3) points to fans after the Bucs' 2017 victory over the New Orleans Saints. Tampa Bay Times
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Previewing Bucs-Saints, justice for the Astros, answers for the Lightning.
  4. FILE - In this July 24, 2019, file photo, Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander throws to an Oakland Athletics batter during a baseball game in Houston. Verlander has been awarded his second AL Cy Young Award. MICHAEL WYKE  |  AP
    The Mets’ Jacob deGrom wins the NL award for the second straight year.
  5. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash talks with reporters in the dugout the day after clinching a playoff spot. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Former Ray Rocco Baldelli wins top honors after his first season with the Twins, Aaron Boone was second.
  6. Erik Neander, Tampa Bay Rays senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager, addresses the media during a press conference at Tropicana Field Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 in St. Petersburg. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Award came from a vote of team executives; Yankees Cashman was second.
  7. Flanked by his mother, Michelle Alonso, left, father Peter Alonso (blue shirt, standing), girlfriend Haley Walsh, right, and friends, New York Mets rookie first baseman Pete Alonso, 24, reacts as he finds out he has won the National League Rookie of the Year award on Monday at his home in Tampa.  Alonso, a Plant High graduate, made a grand entrance to the big leagues, hitting a major-league rookie and team-record 53 home runs for the Mets. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The easiest part of the day for the travel-weary first baseman may have been receiving the prestigious award.
  8. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash speaks at a news conference before an Oct. 1 American League wild-card game practice in Oakland, Calif. JEFF CHIU  |  AP
    Marc Topkin: The Twins Rocco Baldelli and Yankees Aaron Boone are the other two finalists for the hard-to-define award.
  9. Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe (8) is showered with sunflower seeds after hitting a solo homer in the fourth inning against the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the American League Division Series Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 in St. Petersburg. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Former Plant High and Florida star Pete Alonso a favorite for NL Rookie of the Year, to be announced Monday
  10. Erik Neander, Tampa Bay Rays senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager, says of the general manager meetings, which start this week, "We’d love to find a way to score a lot more runs without sacrificing run prevention.'' DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Rays Tales: Erik Neander says 2019 success provides “a stronger starting point” than they have had in a while. Plus, rumblings.