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Myers makes first start in center field

Rookie looks comfortable on defense before exiting with asthma symptoms

PHOENIX -- Wil Myers played center field in the Major Leagues for the first time in the final two innings of the Rays' 6-1 loss to the D-Backs on Tuesday night.

On Wednesday night, Myers got his first start at the position and appeared comfortable doing so, recording three putouts before exiting in the seventh inning with asthma-related symptoms.

Rays manager Joe Maddon was asked why he thought Myers could play a decent center field.

"Because he told me he can," Maddon said. "He played a lot there last year and he's done that a lot in the past. He's very confident about it. I've used that word about him a lot. Just to try and get a little different offensive look today. To get Kelly [Johnson] involved today. ... He's done it. He's very comfortable with it and I have a lot of confidence in him."

A reporter pointed out that in a short amount of time Myers has gained Maddon's trust. If he tells Maddon he can do something, Maddon believes him.

Maddon smiled at the observation.

"He might end up pitching, who knows? He might come in in the seventh or eighth inning at some point," Maddon said. "He might want to manage one of these days. Give me a day off."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for
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