Homer off Sale in debut? 'Amazing,' says Adames

May 22nd, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG -- Willy Adames didn't take long to make an impression in The Show during the Rays' 4-2 loss to the Red Sox on Tuesday night.
The highly touted shortstop, who is ranked as the organization's No. 2 prospect per MLB Pipeline, homered in his second at-bat, taking Boston ace Chris Sale deep to left field in the fourth inning to get Tampa Bay on the board and cut the Red Sox's lead to 3-1. Wearing No. 1, Adames started at shortstop, batting fifth.
"It was amazing," Adames said. "When you see all those guys on TV, then you come here and hit a bomb against Sale. Amazing. I can't tell you how happy I am right now, other than not getting the win."

And it almost didn't happen -- Adames arrived about 30 minutes before game time. 
"They told me at 1:20 that I had a flight at 2:50, so I missed the first flight," Adames said. "I took the other [flight] at 3:30, and it was pretty crazy -- I got here late, too."
Willy Adames missed his first flight
Adames became the fifth Rays player to homer in his Major League debut, joining Brandon Guyer, Elijah Dukes, Delmon Young and Brent Abernathy.
"That was pretty special for him," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "The home run, the at-bats, the intensity. ... That's the second guy here recently who has come up between him and Christian Arroyo, who have definitely looked the part with the confidence and it's good to see."
Adames was acquired in the trade that sent left-hander David Price to the Tigers in July 2014. On Wednesday night, Adames will be in the lineup to face Price, who is Boston's scheduled starter.
"I'm really excited about it, because that's the guy I got traded for," Adames said. "I wanted to face him as soon as I got traded. So tomorrow's the day."

In 40 games at Triple-A Durham this season, Adames hit .311/.387/.466 with four home runs. In '17, he hit .277/.360/.415 with 10 homers and 11 steals in 130 games for Durham. Cash told reporters that Adames will likely return to Durham after several days with the team. Adames said he understood.
"That's part of the business, I guess," Adames said. "I'm just trying to do my thing over here. Trying to do my job, trying to do my best, trying to help the team win."
At 22 years and 262 days, Adames became the youngest positional player to make his Major League debut for the Rays since outfielder Wil Myers on June 18, 2013, in Boston and the youngest infielder since Reid Brignac on July 4, 2008, against Kansas City. Adames is the third-youngest active player in the American League behind Gleyber Torres (21 years, 160 days) and Rafael Devers (21 years, 210 days).

Adames allowed that the home run "calmed me down a little bit."
"Because I was a little nervous in the first inning," he said.
Other than the home run, Adames had three strikeouts swinging. He played well in the field, starting two double plays and turning the pivot on another.

Tuesday's move became necessary when Joey Wendle was put on the paternity list as he and his wife, Lindsay, became the parents of a baby boy.
"Well, first and foremost, congrats to Joey and Lindsay Wendle, baby boy, all good from what we're understanding, that's exciting," Cash said. "I think kind of the perfect time. Joey's a smart player. He ducks out when Sale and Price were pitching. That was a great idea on his part.

"But it presented an opportunity for Willy to come up here. He's going to play two or three of the next days. I'm not sure how long Joey's going to be gone, but anticipate definitely today and tomorrow. And then we'll kind of see where we go from there. And then Willy's going to go back."
Rays starting shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria is also unavailable, as he landed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring sustained in a game against the Angels last Thursday.