Myers mending, could be a Bull again
Everything is moving toward the Durham Bulls getting an old friend — who happens to be a great hitter — back for part of their August pennant chase.
Wil Myers, who played with the Bulls for three months last season before winning the American League Rookie of the Year Award, said Saturday the plan is for him to report to Durham on Wednesday for an injury-rehabilitation stint.
Myers, out since May 31 with a broken right wrist, took 15 swings during his first batting practice since the injury on Friday. He took more swings on Saturday before telling reporters in Tampa that he is well enough to begin planning to play games in advance of a return to the Rays lineup.
The Tampa Bay Times and MLB.com reported that Myers said he will rest on Sunday before going to Class A Port Charlotte (Florida) for another batting practice on Monday. He anticipates joining the Bulls on Wednesday.
Durham has a day off on Wednesday before starting a five-game series at Durham Bulls Athletic Park against Buffalo on Thursday. Myers said he might not play in his first rehabilitation game until Saturday.
Rays manager Joe Maddon told reporters in Tampa Saturday that Myers is progressing well.
"He's feeling well," Maddon said, according to MLB.com. "He's going to go down there and do some work while we're gone. A lot of drill work, practice work. And maybe by the end of next week be ready for game situations."
The Bulls have a doubleheader with Buffalo on Thursday before playing single games Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Durham hits the road again on Monday for a four-game series at Rochester and returns home to start at 10-game home stand on Friday.
A Thomasville native who played his high school baseball in High Point, Myers batted .286 with 14 home runs and 57 RBIs in 64 games for Durham last season.
Myers had been selected in the third round of the 2009 MLB Draft by the Kansas City Royals. Tampa Bay acquired him in a December 2012 trade from the Royals. Kansas City sent Myers, current Bulls left-hander Mike Montgomery, current Rays starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi and minor-league pitcher Patrick Leonard to Tampa Bay in exchanged for pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis along with former Bulls infielder Elliot Johnson.
After Myers was promoted to Tampa Bay last June, he batted .293 with 13 home runs and 53 RBIs and was voted the American League’s top rookie.
This season, Myers had a .227 average with three home runs in 53 games prior to his injury.
The Bulls, last year’s International League Governor’s Cup champions, began Saturday in first place in the IL South Division with a seven-game lead over second-place Norfolk.
The Bulls began offering a `Wil he or won’t he rehab” ticket package on Thursday. The $25 deal includes tickets to two Durham regular-season games (Aug. 16 and Aug. 31) in addition to a ticket to a possible Sept. 5 playoff game, plus a Wil Myers bobblehead doll.
The deal allows buyers to exchange the Aug. 16 or 31 tickets for any game Myers is on the Bulls roster.