Guyer joins Rays, goes deep

Guyer joins Rays, goes deep

BALTIMORE -- Brandon Guyer joined the Rays on Friday and manager Joe Maddon got him right into the swing of things by penciling him into Friday night's lineup, hitting sixth and playing left field. Guyer responded by crushing a two-run homer in his first big league at-bat off Orioles starter Zach Britton in the second inning.

Tampa Bay placed right-hander Jeff Niemann on the disabled list due to back stiffness. Since his next scheduled start was Tuesday, the Rays were afforded the luxury of adding an extra position player to the roster, so they recalled Guyer from Triple-A Durham.

Guyer, 25, came to the Rays in the trade that sent Matt Garza to the Cubs. He has been red-hot for the Bulls, hitting .356 with six home runs and he has a 1.018 OPS in 28 games.

"I got the report from [Durham manager] Charlie [Montoyo], and he's pretty much been playing a complete game," Maddon said. "... The reports read the same way Charlie wrote to me: Hitting well. Hitting with some power, runs really well, can steal a bag, very good outfielder at all the defensive positions. And he throws well. Pretty good scouting report.

"Very eager kind of guy -- will run through things. He's a football player, an ex-football player. He's got a great attitude. I got to know him during Spring Training. Love the way he is, he definitely fits our mode as a Rays baseball player."

Guyer was named the Cubs Minor League Player of the Year for 2010, after he hit .344 with 13 home runs and 30 stolen bases for Double-A Tennessee. He credited his fast start with Durham to following through with the same approach that worked last season.

"I kept things simple and didn't try to do too much, which I think I did earlier in my career," Guyer said. "I just went out there and had fun -- kept things simple. I would say 'KISS' before every at-bat: keep it simple, stupid. That's my motto, and I tried to do that and it worked out great."

Guyer hails from the Herndon area in northern Virginia and lives in Rockville, Md., with his wife, Lindsay Murphy, who is the sports anchor for Fox 5 in Washington, D.C. "We were joking around, because she covers the Orioles all the time, maybe she'll have to cover me [Friday night]," Guyer said. "... She's actually supposed to anchor tonight, but they let her off so she could come to the game."

Guyer is the third player in a span of six days that the Rays have recalled to make their Major League debut, following right-handers Alex Cobb and Brandon Gomes. The Rays now have five players on the active roster acquired in two offseason trades: Sam Fuld, Gomes, Guyer, Cesar Ramos and Adam Russell.