ST. PETERSBURG — Tampa Bay Rays RF Wil Myers (right wrist fracture) is expected to return this week. Exactly when will be determined by how well he felt after serving as the designed hitter Sunday for Triple-A Durham.
Myers was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer Sunday, his second in 21 at-bats during his rehab assignment. Where he plays when he returns will be determined by the opposing pitcher.
Best case scenario, Myers returns for the Tigers series that begins Tuesday. If he still feels he needs more at-bats, then his return could be delayed until the Rays start the road trip Friday at Toronto.
“I think after he reports back (after Sunday’s game) I’ll have a better idea, because if he’s effusive about how he felt it could push it up, but if he’s not it could push it back,” manager Joe Maddon said.
Myers played left field for the Bulls on Saturday, a move that is preparing him for playing left field when he returns to the Rays. With RF Kevin Kiermaier’s place in the outfield secure, Myers will have to change positions, though Maddon said that will not be on a full-time basis.
“He can play both (left and right),” Maddon said. “He can play all over the place. He’s not locked into one spot.”
Myers and Kiermaier could find themselves in a lefty-righty platoon in right field with Myers moving to left or designated hitter against right-handed pitchers.
Myers played 151 minor-league games in right field, 100 in center field and seven in left. He started six games in center for the Rays in 2013.
Maddon said the Rays will figure out where Myers plays once he returns. Getting his bat back in the lineup is the main concern.
“He’s actually starting to see the ball better,” Maddon said. “He feels like his timing is timing up, and that he’s getting pretty close.”
Setback for DeJesus?
OF David DeJesus (left hand fracture) reported soreness in his hand Sunday, one day after having two plate appearances for the Gulf Coast League Rays.
As a result, DeJesus will not play tonight for Single-A Charlotte as scheduled. Maddon said DeJesus will take the day off, then hit Tuesday. If all goes well, DeJesus will resume his minorleague rehab Wednesday with the Stone Crabs.
“There’s a little soreness in his hand,” Maddon said, “so they’re going to back him off, but not like totally.”
DeJesus took part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge before Sunday’s game. Afterward, he challenged Myers, who has 24 hours to respond.
Longo vs the Yankees
3B Evan Longoria drove in both runs of Sunday’s 4-2 loss to the Yankees with a first-inning groundout and a seventh-inning single.
Longoria has 76 career RBIs against the Yankees, the most in the majors against New York since 2008. Boston’s David Ortiz is second with 64. Longoria is 10-for-24 (.417) lifetime against RHP Hiroki Kuroda after going 1-for-3 against him Sunday.
1B Mark Teixeira hit his team-leading 20th home run of the season in the eighth inning. This is the latest in the season the Yankees went without a 20-homer hitter since 1995, when Paul O’Neill reached the plateau Sept. 12. It was the latest date a Yankee reached 20 homers in a non-strike year since 1992 when Matt Nokes reached it Sept. 6.
LF Matt Joyce was 2-for-3 against Kuroda to improve to 9-for-23 (.391) against the right-hander. ... Kuroda snapped a four-game winless streak against the Rays. ... The Rays lost their first series to the Yankees since May 24-26, 2013. ... The weekend series drew 86,389 to Tropicana Field. It was the largest for a three-game series since the Rays and Yankees drew 91,179 in August 2013. ...Yankees SS Derek Jeter is 11-for-51 this season against the Rays with seven of those hits coming with two strikes.