SEATTLE — Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Wil Myers found himself playing first base in the sixth inning during Monday’s 12-5 loss to the Seattle Mariners and Myers might find himself playing their a few more times this season.
“Wil may do that during the course of the season in different moments like you saw in the five-man infield,” manager Joe Maddon said. “You might see if we do a lot of crazy stuff, pinch-run say for (James) Loney late in the game and here’s the 10th or 11th inning.”
Myers, who used first base coach George Hendrick’s first baseman’s mitt, said he doesn’t mind playing there occasionally.
“Absolutely,” Myers said, “I don’t mind moving around, playing wherever. Change-up a little bit is kind of nice.”
Myers played first base in New York during the last road trip when Maddon used the five-man infield during the 13th inning of the Rays 14-inning win against the Yankees when the Yankees loaded the bases with one out. Myers had one put-out, taking the throw from Sean Rodriguez, who moved from first base to directly behind second base. He moved back to right field after that out.
Myers made one play Monday, ranging to his right to grab a chopper by Seattle’s Brad Miller and getting the out at first unassisted.
With the Rays trailing 9-0 in the sixth inning, Maddon went to his bench to get Loney, Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist out of the lineup. Problem was, he had only two infielders on the bench – Rodriguez and Logan Forsythe. So Rodriguez went in at second to replace Zobrist, Forsythe went in at third for Longoria and Myers came in from right field.
“I thought it was the perfect night to give him more comfort in that particular moment,” Myers said. “He’s all for it. He doesn’t shy away from that at all.”