May 8, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Texas Rangers left fielder Josh Hamilton (32) is congratulated by third base coach Dave Anderson (16) after hitting a two-run home run in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

Rays Notes: Hamilton (!), Guyer

Unbelievable. There are no words to describe what Josh Hamilton did yesterday, especially from a Rays perspective. Hamilton, who we talked about last week because of his connection to the Rays as their former #1 overall pick, in 1999 managed something done just 15 times before him in major league history. Hamilton drilled four homers and for good measure, a double, driving in 8 and setting the AL record with 18 total bases. Hamilton was the Rangers’ offense as they beat the Orioles 10-3, which did keep the Rays in a tie for first place in the AL East. Congratulations to Hamilton, and hopefully he won’t do that to us when he and the Rangers come to the Trop. He’s an incredibly talented player and whenever he’s healthy, no one in the big leagues wants any part of him.

Yesterday, outfielder Brandon Guyer was removed from Triple-A Durham’s doubleheader to fly to New York to join the Rays. Speculation was abound that Guyer being called up would spell the end for Brandon Allen as a Ray. Maybe that will be the case, but not yet. Jeff Keppinger has been moved to the restricted list because of a personal issue, as the Rays’ official website reported, and Guyer was called up to replace him. This seems like a very strange move considering Keppinger is an infielder and Guyer is an outfielder, but because of Ben Zobrist‘s versatility, the Rays have the ability to call up whichever minor league hitter is playing best at the time. Guyer posted a .294/.365/.459 line with 3 doubles, 3 homers, and 13 RBI in 22 games. He recently missed time with an ankle injury, but he’s fine now. Guyer, who homered in his first big league plate appearances in 2011, is a player I’ve talked about nonstop here at RCG (most recently here) and although he’s 26 years old, he has power, speed, and is an excellent defender with an outstanding arm in right field, and I steadfastly believe that he can be an above-average big league corner outfielder if he ever gets a chance. If Guyer can hit, this could be his chance. Guyer will see time in right field with Ben Zobrist at second base and Elliot Johnson and Will Rhymes splitting time at third base, and Guyer can play the other two outfield positions capably as well. If Guyer is ever going to be a big league regular, now is the time, but he has to hit well in addition to continue playing the great defense we’ve see from him consistently. Guyer could be an important player for the Rays, especially with Evan Longoria out and at least for the time being, Desmond Jennings and Jeff Keppinger out as well, and he has the ability to not only advance his career but be a key contributor to this team.

Tags: Brandon Guyer Jeff Keppinger Josh Hamilton

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