As Brandon Guyer rehabbed at Triple-A, Tampa Bay Rays fans were beginning to get excited about his impending return. Indeed, Guyer has returned, but the unfortunate part of the equation is who he will be replacing. After Guyer went down with a left thumb fracture, he will replace David DeJesus, who hits the disabled list with a left hand fracture.
Brandon Guyer has the ability to make a major impact for the Rays. Although his overall numbers are not that impressive–he was hitting to a .262/.286/.361 line–he was really hitting his stride before he got hurt and beginning to show the ability that once made him a top prospect. He went 10 for his last 26 with the team including 2 doubles, a homer, and 4 RBI, and the Rays have to hope that he will come back without cooling off too much.
Getting Guyer back will be a lift for the Rays, but DeJesus is a huge loss. The veteran left fielder has a .269/.367/.440 line on the season, leading the Rays in the latter two slash categories. DeJesus has been the Rays’ most dependable hitter against right-handed pitching, rebounding in a huge way from a rough start, and now the Rays will need to find a way to make up for his production. The Rays have already seen Kevin Kiermaier step up this season, but if the Rays are going to stay afloat without DeJesus, it will take a huge effort from Brandon Guyer in addition to that.
When a team falls out of contention, it leads to younger players getting opportunities. For the Rays, Kiermaier and Guyer are truly getting these chances because of the injuries to Wil Myers and now DeJesus, but this is a big opportunity to prove themselves as pieces of the team’s future nonetheless. Guyer will hope to join Kiermaier as a bright spot in this disastrous season and a player who just maybe can get this Rays team moving towards respectability.