Bulls win as Myers gets promoted to Tampa Bay
On the day the Durham Bulls turned back the clock 25 years to celebrate the movie that spawned their worldwide fame, an important piece of their present moved into his future.
While the Bulls were in the process of beating Indianapolis 5-2 Sunday on the 25th anniversary of “Bull Durham” hitting theaters, slugging outfielder Wil Myers was promoted to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo removed Myers, Durham’s right fielder, from the game following the second inning with the news his of his first call-up to the big leagues.
The 22-year-old Myers, who had doubled and scored during Durham’s two-run first-inning rally, spent the rest of the game in the clubhouse.
“Stay away from injury,” Myers said.
Myers recent hot streak, which vaulted his average to .286, had chatter about his imminent promotion heating up. In June, he batted .339 with five home runs and 14 RBIs for the Bulls.
Still, he said he was surprised when he got the word.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Myers said. “But the opportunity arose and luckily they gave me the call. It’s cool to be able to go up when you are feeling good at the plate.”
Montoyo has seen enough to expect Myers will produce big things for the Rays.
“Good for him,” Montoyo said. “He is going to be a star for a long time, I believe. He was fun to watch and he’s a great kid.”
A Thomasville native who attended high school at High Point Christian, Myers is considered the top prospect in minor league baseball. He was named minor league player of the year by several publications last year while in the Kansas City Royals organization.
An off-season trade brought him to the Rays. He hit 14 home runs with an International League-leading 57 RBIs for the Bulls this season.
Tampa Bay executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, who traveled to Durham to watch Myers a few times this season, said Myers’ ability to improve caught his eye.
“He made some real adjustments in the last six weeks,” Friedman told reporters in Tampa Sunday. “That really stood out to us, and that was something that we were really monitoring very closely.”
Rays manager Joe Maddon said Sunday that Myers would play mostly right field when he joins the team in Boston on Monday. The Rays have an off day Monday before a Tuesday doubleheader with the Red Sox.
"Just come and play, be a 22-year-old in the big leagues,” Maddon said. “I mean that sincerely. You're not going to hear a lot of the high expectations coming from this particular desk or this chair. I want him to play. I want him to be a Ray. I want him to run hard to first base. I want him to try to do the right things on the field, continue to work on his defense, try to improve his baserunning.
"We try to grow a complete ballplayer around here, and I think that's what he's turning out to be."
The Bulls won Myers final game with them behind seven strong innings from pitcher J.D. Martin, who allowed two runs on four hits while striking out six.
A Brandon Guyer solo home run in the third put Durham up 3-2. The Bulls tacked on single runs in the fourth and sixth.
Notes – Alex Colome is expected to start for Durham when the Bulls open a four-game series with Louisville tonight at 7:05 p.m. at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Colome will be pitching on three days rest and will be on a short pitch count, Montoyo said….Pitcher Jake Odorizzi who pitched on Thursday night for Tampa Bay and was sent to Durham on Friday, is expected to head to Boston today and start for the Rays in Tuesday’s doubleheader with the Red Sox. Odorizzi is being recalled under an MLB rule that allows for a 26th man, a pitcher, to be added to a big-league team’s roster for a scheduled doubleheader...Indianapolis manager Dean Treanor was ejected Sunday during the pre-game exchange of lineup cards. Treanor was still upset about a close call at first base on Saturday night that went against his team and resulted in the game's final out.