6/22/2013 2:40 P.M. ET
Rays' defense much improved from last season
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Heading into Saturday afternoon's game against the Yankees, the Rays had made just 31 errors, less than half their total (63) through 74 games one year ago.
"Overall, I think we've been playing very nice defense," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "[James] Loney continues to make great plays at first base, [Evan Longoria] at third, [Yunel] Escobar [at shortstop]."
Led by 2012 Gold Glove Award winner Jeremy Hellickson, Rays pitchers have made just one error, which tied them with the D-backs for the fewest in the Major Leagues. And Rays outfielders have made only three errors. Only the Twins and the Orioles outfielders have committed fewer errors, with two.
Wil Myers was the Rays' DH on Saturday, but Maddon noted that the rookie has fit in well in the team's outfield.
"Going back to Spring Training, at that time, I was really just looking at [Myers'] bat, but at that time I liked everything else," Maddon said. "And we kept talking about trying to breed or grow a more complete ballplayer. And I think he listened. It's very similar to what we did with Matty Joyce a couple of years ago. I'm comfortable with him out there. He listens and positions himself well. He throws fine. Everything seems to be pretty good. He could be a really good outfielder, not just OK."
Through Friday night's game, the Rays had made only 10 errors in their last 29 games and have not had a multi-error game during that span. The streak of 29 straight games without a multi-error game is the longest current stretch in the Major Leagues.
Maddon encouraged by Price's rehab start
NEW YORK -- Rays manager Joe Maddon was encouraged about the reports on David Price, who made his first rehab start Friday night. Pitching for Class A Charlotte at Bradenton, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner allowed one earned run on two hits and two walks while striking out four in 2 1/3 innings.
"He did well, he did real well," Maddon said. "The velocity was really good, like up to 96 [mph] I heard. He didn't pitch at that, but he arrived at that. Then the curve and the cutter and the changeup were all good. He felt very good afterwards. It was a positive experience."
Price was placed on the disabled list on May 16 with a left triceps strain. The Rays are 18-17 in his absence.
Maddon said Price would be re-evaluated before a decision is made about his next appearance.
Myers not a fan of using batting gloves
NEW YORK -- When looking for unique things about Wil Myers, don't forget that the rookie is one of the few guys in the Major Leagues who doesn't use batting gloves when he's hitting.
"Never have I used gloves, it's just something I've always done," Myers said. "I just don't like the feeling I have with gloves. I tried them when I was in Legion ball a few games. I only used one on my bottom hand. But it wasn't for me."
Myers said he deals with the effects of not wearing gloves all year, since he hits during the offseason as well as during the season.
"Right now, I've got a blister here and here," said Myers, pointing to different spots on his hands and fingers. "I got some calluses on there. Not a big deal."
Rays bench coach Dave Martinez never wore batting gloves during his playing career, so he likes seeing a player not use gloves.
"It's awesome, he goes up there naked," Martinez said. "You don't see that any more. I never used batting gloves. The feel of hitting the ball with just the bare hands is pretty cool. Like I said, you don't see it very often anymore. I can't think of a guy now who doesn't go up there using batting gloves except him."
Archer likes look of wearing pants at the knees
NEW YORK -- Minor Leaguers in the Rays' farm system are required to wear their pants at their knees, which is in deference to the long-pants style preferred by most Major Leaguers.
So it's unusual to see a Rays Minor Leaguer arrive at The Show and not immediately depart from the pants-at-the-knee style, but count Chris Archer as the exception to the rule.
The Rays right-hander noted that now that he has a choice, he prefers to wear his pants at his knees.
"I like to wear them that way," he said. "I think it's a good look."
While he likes the look, he noted that he's free to choose whether he wants to continue with the look. When asked if Sunday's fashion for his start would be a game-time decision, Archer spilled the beans when he said: "Going high."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.