Notes: Young makes MLB debut

Notes: Young makes MLB debut

CHICAGO -- Delmon Young met a large media contingent prior to making his Major League debut with the Devil Rays on Tuesday night against the White Sox.

"I'm doing all right," Young said. "I just wish the weather would get a little better so we could have a chance to play."

The Rays' infamous outfield prospect served a 50-game suspension this summer for throwing a bat that hit an umpire and the scorn that followed.

Young, who at times has been surly with the media, appeared relaxed and even managed a smile or two during the session that lasted approximately 10 minutes.

Rays manager Joe Maddon said he will pencil in Young on the lineup card as often as possible for the remainder of the season.

"Let him play," Maddon said.

Young and Maddon had what Maddon called a "great conversation" that left Maddon "very excited" about Young being with the team.

The Rays have said the remainder of the season will afford them an opportunity to evaluate Young for next season.

"Anytime you get an at-bat, or you're in the game, you have an opportunity to show someone what you can do," Young said. "You're showing the Devil Rays what you can do, but also, there's 29 other teams you can show that you can play baseball, too."

Young expects to be heckled by some fans and he showed a sense of humor when asked about the most creative thing he had heard from the stands since the bat-throwing incident.

"Really, the standard is: Are you going to throw a bat at me?" Young said.

B.J. Upton arrived to the Rays almost a month earlier than Young, but said he had no advice for his friend.

"He's a pretty smart guy, so I think he'll figure out a lot on his own," Upton said. "Just a matter of time to see when he figures it out."

Young also had some fences to mend inside the clubhouse after the comments he made in a July 28 USA Today article about Upton, Elijah Dukes and Young, each of whom played for Durham at the time.

During the article, Young expressed displeasure that none of the three had been called to the Major Leagues when he said, "I don't know what they're waiting for. They're what, 30 games [actually 20] out of first place? They think we're going to mess up their clubhouse chemistry. B.J. should be up there. What are they waiting for? They always have an excuse."

Young said he planned to offer apologies to the team, which Carl Crawford said probably was a good thing. Crawford also said he was fine with Young being recalled.

"Oh yeah, I'm definitely cool with him being here," Crawford said. "He can play. When you're talking about helping the team, that's something different. Nobody is going to disagree with him being in the lineup. The other stuff is what you worry about."

Gomes relieved about surgery: Jonny Gomes will have surgery to repair an impingement in his right shoulder on Tuesday, which has ended his season prematurely. Gomes, who has been limited to DH duty most of the season because of the injury, said he has felt a little relief in the decision.

"A couple of good things came out of it," Gomes said. "I'll stay with the club another month so they can keep an eye on me. ... And I won't be limping into spring. Coming into spring, I won't be the guy who has to hit off a tee for a while or can only throw 90 feet. I'll definitely be 100 percent."

International League MVP: Kevin Witt learned before Tuesday's game he had been named the International League's MVP for 2006 after hitting .291 with 36 home runs and 99 RBIs.

Witt attributed much of his success to his continuing to learn.

"You grow as a hitter, as a player, really taking everything in over the years, whether it's sitting on the bench watching a game or being around guys who have been around a long time," Witt said. "That's really when you can learn a lot, when you watch guys play. What they do once they get to the park and how they get ready for a game. That's a big part of learning the game."

Witt gave credit to Upton, Young, Dukes and Darnell McDonald for setting the table and supporting him throughout the year at Durham.

"He swung the bat well all year," Upton said. "He played good defense. Pretty much led our team down there, so he pretty much deserved every bit of it."

As for being in the Durham clubhouse during a tumultuous season?

"I got an iPod and a good set of head phones," said Witt with a smile.

Coming up: The Rays will play the second game of their three-game series against the White Sox on Wednesday night in an 8:05 ET game at U.S. Cellular Field. Right-hander Tim Corcoran will start for the Rays and will be opposed by right-hander Jon Garland.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.