8/10/2014 9:27 P.M. ET
Myers goes 1-for-3 in first rehab game
Recovering from stress fracture in wrist, outfielder singles for Triple-A Durham
By Bob Sutton / Special to MLB.com
DURHAM, N.C. -- After missing about 2 1/2 months with a stress fracture of his right wrist, Wil Myers lists boosting confidence among his goals during a rehabilitation assignment.
The Tampa Bay Rays outfielder, who was the 2013 American League Rookie of the Year, began that process by going 1-for-3 for the Triple-A Durham Bulls on Sunday in the first game of an International League doubleheader.
"The biggest thing is I have to come back and play with more confidence," Myers said. "I'm excited to get back and get some at-bats."
Wearing a brace on his wrist, Myers' knack for power appears restored, based on a couple of launches in batting practice. Still, he said it will take time.
"The strength is back," Myers said. "It's pretty much like Spring Training for me again."
Myers, playing as the designated hitter and batting second, struck out on five pitches in the first inning and singled to center field to lead off the fourth against Buffalo Bisons left-hander Daniel Norris, a 21-year-old making his Triple-A debut. The hit came on an off-speed delivery.
Myers went down on a called third strike against right-handed reliever Sergio Santos in the last inning of the seven-inning game.
Myers, who wasn't in the lineup for Game 2, said he expects to take part in a two-week assignment with Durham, with the aim of reaching 40 to 50 at-bats before coming off the Rays' disabled list. The beginning of the rehab was delayed a day by Saturday night's rainout, though he took batting practice with the Bulls the two previous days.
Myers, who was with the Bulls last year before a mid-June promotion to Tampa Bay, said not playing for a couple of months has been frustrating.
"It's the longest time, by far, I've been on the DL," Myers said. "You learn a lot from it and you have to come back better."
His right wrist was immobilized for six weeks after taking an outfield spill in a collision with teammate Desmond Jennings at Boston's Fenway Park in late May. He has batted .227 with five home runs in 53 games with the Rays this year.
"I definitely didn't start out as good as I thought I would the first two months," he said.
Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said it's up to Myers to assess how the wrist feels.
"He has been out two months or whatever," Montoyo said. "Hopefully it doesn't take much for him to catch up. I'm not going to count on Wil [getting the Bulls out of an offensive slump]. But, who knows, with a kid with tools like that, you never know. He's Wil."
Myers said one benefit is working with Bulls hitting coach Dave Myers, with whom he developed a rapport in the spring of 2013.
Dave Myers said the outfielder's bat speed has looked good, beginning with workouts when he rejoined the team a few days ago.
"I was impressed that he would come here that close to ready to go," Dave Myers said. "I think he's in a good spot physically."
Wil Myers said he's trying to take advantage of other aspects of this detour while playing with the Bulls. For home games, he's playing less than a 90-minute drive from his hometown of Thomasville.
He said he has a good mindset regarding the baseball aspect of the rehab assignment.
"Things happen and it's just part of the game sometimes," he said. "You just have to get better when you come back."
Bob Sutton is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.