Inbox: Myers' arrival has Rays nation abuzz
Beat reporter Bill Chastain answers questions from Tampa Bay fans
ST. PETERSBURG -- The news Rays fans had been waiting for all season finally arrived Sunday afternoon: Wil Myers is coming to The Show.
The much-heralded outfielder was recalled from Triple-A Durham, as Ryan Roberts was optioned to Durham. Myers will join the team in Boston, where the Rays will play three games against the Red Sox in two days beginning Tuesday.
Myers, 22, was the marquee player acquired in the trade that sent James Shields, Wade Davis and Elliot Johnson to the Royals. Known as a player possessing a five-tool skill set, Myers hit 37 home runs for Kansas City's affiliates in 2012. He was hitting .286 with 14 home runs and 57 RBIs in 64 games for the Bulls this season.
Because of the excitement generated by Myers' arrival, many fans have sent in questions and comments concerning him:
Why did the Rays wait until now to bring up Myers?
-- Carl H., Jacksonville, Fla.
Business-wise, Tampa Bay avoided the possibility of Myers becoming a Super Two, which is a practical matter for a franchise that must be more cost conscious than other teams in regard to what it spends. On the baseball side of the equation, Myers needed some work before joining the team this season. Most of the extra polish dealt with his play in the field and his approach at the plate. When Evan Longoria did not make the team out of Spring Training in 2008, everybody on the team was barking about how he should be on the team at that point. Longoria looked like he belonged. I can't say Myers had that same look this spring. Based on the players the Rays had on the roster, there was no reason to rush him.
Where will Myers play and how will that affect the rest of the Rays' lineup? Will Tampa Bay let him play enough to justify bringing him up?
-- Ben S., Sarasota, Fla.
Myers will play mostly right field, which means Ben Zobrist will play more second base. The way Matt Joyce has been hitting, it's likely he'll play most days in left and have some starts in right when manager Joe Maddon wants to stack the lineup with left-handers and give Myers the day off.
What have you heard about Myers' abilities?
-- Diane S., Tampa , Fla.
Again, Myers possesses five-tool potential, and -- according to most of the scouts I've talked to -- the bat speed is real. Hitting coach Derek Shelton noted of Myers' bat during Spring Training: "It's a different sound. You see that when you see the bat speed or the torque he creates. It's loud. You don't hear many guys that can create that sound." Apparently Myers has been creating that sound a lot recently, based on what he's done over his past 23 games, during which he's hit .354 with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs.
Do you think this is a good time to bring Myers up? Will the expectations be too high?
-- Bill S., St. Petersburg
Yes, I think this is a good time to bring him up. First, Myers has been hot, which is obvious from his recent numbers. Next, the fact that the Rays are producing offensively should also bode well for him. In my opinion, it's better to be put in the midst of a group that's getting the job done than it would be for Myers to be put into a group looking to him to carry the load. While I believe the expectations will be high, which would be the case no matter when he received the call, I believe he will better be able to handle those expectations, because the offense is already doing well and he's not being asked to be some kind of savior.
Will Myers fit in or will there be resentment toward him by his teammates because of all the attention he's received?
-- Bill M., Montgomery, Ala.
I don't believe there will be any resentment by Myers' teammates for two reasons: First, Tampa Bay's clubhouse is harmonious to begin with, so it's hard to imagine anybody not fitting in. Next, these guys are professionals. Anybody who can help the club win is good with them.
How do you think Myers will do?
-- Kenneth T., Tampa , Fla.
Given the fact the Rays plan to hit Myers lower in the lineup -- a lineup that has already shown an ability to score runs -- I think this is an ideal time for him to arrive and thrive. Ultimately, the patience by the team in bringing him along a little more slowly than anticipated should pay off. I look for big things from Myers, which obviously is the feeling shared by many.