Rays notes: Wil Myers prepares for 'difficult' absence from lineup
JUN 04, 2014 7:51p ET
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Wil Myers stood with a blue cast near the home dugout Wednesday at Tropicana Field, a rare and awkward experience for him. The young rightfielder talked about how a stress fracture in his right wrist sustained last Friday in Boston was the first baseball-related injury of his life. He'll be out at least two months, a significant chunk of his second major-league season gone.
"It's going to be different," Myers said.
The setback, which occurred when he collided with centerfielder Desmond Jennings in the 10th inning of a 3-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, means another unfortunate turn for a team that began Wednesday's game against the Miami Marlins at 23-36 -- the worst record in the American League.
Myers, placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, had struggled as the reigning AL Rookie of the Year. He has hit .227 with five home runs and 25 RBI, though he had just one home run since hitting one each on May 3 and May 4. He had X-rays Saturday in Boston and flew back to St. Petersburg on Sunday for further examination. Outfielder Jerry Sands was promoted from Triple-A Durham with Myers' move to the disabled list.
The severity of his injury surprised Myers, and others shared his concern.
"It was throbbing walking in from center field," he said. "But I definitely didn't think this. It continually got worse. That night, I didn't really sleep much because of the pain. But I did not expect to be out five to six weeks.
"I think everybody is kind of shocked that it's as bad as it was. I definitely did not think it was as bad as it was. But most of the guys are encouraging."
Said outfielder David DeJesus: "It's unfortunate that it's that way. But we have to have guys come in here and step up. Every team is going to go through their injuries. But how you respond to that shows the type of organization that we have."
Added manager Joe Maddon: "Very difficult. To have had such a difficult start and then get injured like this, obviously not easy."
Myers said he'll run and do lower-body lifts while wearing the cast. He said he'll also be able to do light work with his left arm. When the cast comes off, further evaluation will be required.
"It's definitely tough," Myers said. "Obviously, the team is struggling. But hopefully we can get some guys up here that can contribute."
JEREMY HELLICKSON TO MAKE REHAB START SATURDAY
Hellickson, recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow, threw about 30-35 pitches in a bullpen session Wednesday at Tropicana Field. He's hopeful that he'll only need three rehab starts before returning to the Rays' rotation.
Hellickson has been out since undergoing the surgery in late January. He's targeting a return later this month.
"I guess when I had the surgery at the end of January," Hellickson said, "I didn't think it would take this long.
"Still a few weeks away. But I'm feeling really good."
JOE MADDON INSISTS CLUBHOUSE ATTITUDE IS FINE
Maddon has remained optimistic despite the Rays' slide to the bottom of the AL East. Tampa Bay's eight-game losing streak is the franchise's longest since dropping 11 straight games from Sept. 3-13, 2009.
Tampa Bay has dropped 10 consecutive road games while being outscored a combined 52-19. Starting Wednesday, the Rays play 18 of their next 21 games at home.
"The clubhouse has actually been pretty good," Maddon said. "I have not really noticed anything hardly derogatory. It's just that guys are upset. Guys don't like losing. We don't like 1-0, 3-1 or scoring two runs in the last four games, something awkward like that. Nobody likes that. At the end of the day, the gift of anger doesn't help. The gift of doubt doesn't help."
-- Andrew Friedman, the Rays' executive vice president of baseball operations, said he hasn't put much thought into the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Many have predicted that the Rays could be active at the landmark and look to receive value for left-hander David Price in a possible trade. Like Maddon, Friedman said he's concerned with the current moment. "If we didn't believe in the talent level of this group, we'd have a different mind-set, probably. But we do," Friedman said. "And so what that ends up meaning, we don't know the answer. And nor is it important to get too far ahead of ourselves right now."
-- Maddon said catcher Ryan Hanigan has had positive workouts since being placed on the 15-day disabled list last Wednesday with a right hamstring strain. The team remains positive that Hanigan can return at the end of the 15-day window. "I haven't seen him yet, but I know that his workouts have been really good, really intense, good workouts," Maddon said. "He has pushed himself, and he has come through well."
-- Tuesday's loss to the Marlins marked the seventh time that the Rays had been shut out this season. No other AL team has been shut out more. Entering Wednesday, Tampa Bay had combined for just two runs, the fewest in team history over a four-game span.