Wil Myers has already done a lot for the Rays in his young career, yet he has done something else that perhaps has bee missed. Since his arrival, Myers has caused the Rays lineup to be as close to a regular lineup as they have had in recent memory. When everyone is healthy, the Rays now have five players vying for two positions – left field and designated hitter. This certainly has not been lost on Joe Maddon.
“You knew once [Myers] got here, if everybody remained healthy, that you’d have some issues in regard to keeping guys sharp,” Maddon said.
This has forced Maddon to get creative and pick his spots to get players in the lineup. Subsequently, the bench may not be as sharp as it typically is going forward, when every player was virtually assured of getting in the lineup several times a week. Myers presence certainly helps a lineup that has been excellent all season, even if he is causing the lineup to be virtually set each day.
Teams have become a lot more cautious with young pitchers over the years, and the Rays are no exception. It appears that cautious approach my be the reason as to why Taylor Guerrieri has been withdrawn from the Futures Game on Sunday. The Rays have stated that they would prefer that Guerrieri gets extra rest over that time frame, hence his withdrawal. In the midst of his first full season in the minors, this course of action certainly makes sense as the Rays look to protect one of their top pitching prospects.