Published: August 8, 2013   |
Updated: August 8, 2013 at 06:34 AM
PHOENIX — Tampa Bay Rays RF Wil Myers found himself playing center field Wednesday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks because, well ...
“ 'Cause he told me he can,” manager Joe Maddon said.
Myers, who played center field for two innings during Tuesday's loss, played 101 games there during the 2012 season and considers center field his best outfield position.
“If I had to pick my favorite position, I would say center field, but the situation here it's better for the team that I play right field,” Myers said.
He was referring to Desmond Jennings, the Rays' regular center fielder who is on the disabled list with a broken left middle finger.
Maddon will use a number of players in center field until Jennings returns, including Ben Zobrist, Sam Fuld and Sean Rodriguez.
Maddon went with Myers on Wednesday because it allowed him to get left-handed hitters Matt Joyce (right field) and Kelly Johnson (left field) in the lineup against Diamondbacks righty Randall Delgado.
And, “He's very comfortable with it, and I have a lot of confidence in him,” Maddon said.
Daily Moore update
LHP Matt Moore (sore left elbow) played catch Wednesday at 90 feet and said his elbow felt fine.
Moore said he will play catch Friday in Los Angeles and hopes to throw in the bullpen at Dodgers Stadium, probably on Sunday.
“Hopefully I can get off the mound this road trip,” Moore said.
The Rays are hoping to have Moore back on the upcoming homestand. He is eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday.
“It's possible,” Maddon said.
Moore thinks he can return without having to make a minor league rehab start. He hopes to return after throwing a simulated game or throwing one heavy bullpen session.
“Maybe a couple of good work days in the bullpen, because I haven't missed a whole lot of time, maybe two starts total that I would have been out if things go accordingly,” Moore said.
For the second time in as many starts, RHP Jeremy Hellickson was pulled before recording the final out of the fifth inning. He lasted 4ª innings Tuesday in the Rays' 6-1 loss to the Diamondbacks
“It's pretty embarrassing to not be able to get through the fifth two games in a row,” he said.
Hellickson lost his second straight start, both to the Diamondbacks. Like the first loss last week at Tropicana Field, in which he lasted 4ß innings, Hellickson struggled with his command.
“It was still pretty bad,” he said. “They were taking some good pitches, and I couldn't get an out in the zone.”
The game turned in the fourth inning when he allowed a leadoff walk, then a run-scoring double to Eric Chavez on a 3-1 pitch. He walked the next batter then allowed a three-run homer to Cody Ross.
Myers has reached base in 21 straight games after a single in the first inning Wednesday, the second-longest streak by a rookie in team history. Rocco Baldelli (2003) reached base in 24 straight games. Myers left the game in the seventh inning with asthma symptoms due to the Phoenix altitude. ... Former Rays SS Julio Lugo visited the team before the game. He is playing in an independent league in Arizona.