Brignac excited to return to Tampa Bay

Brignac excited to return to Tampa Bay

TORONTO -- After two seasons of fairly regular duty with the Rays, Reid Brignac was optioned to Triple-A Durham on April 21 and he had not been recalled until Friday (officially Saturday when the Rays are allowed to expand their roster). Brignac could not hide his happiness at rejoining the club.

"I didn't expect anything," Brignac said. "I was just honored and tickled to be called back up again. I'm just extremely honored to be back with this group of guys, a lot of friends up here. I missed these guys. I'm just happy to be back and involved with them again."

Brignac said he didn't know what to expect when he got sent down.

"Andrew [Friedman, Rays executive vice president of baseball operations] told me it could be two weeks, it could be three months," Brignac said. "I didn't set any expectations. I knew I wanted to get back and feel good about myself as a player again. And that's where I'm at."

Brignac was asked if this year has been his hardest, given his circumstances.

"Yeah, sure, a lot of adversity this year I had to go through," Brignac said. "I took a lot of positive things away from it, as well. Just getting back and playing every day, figuring out myself and my swing again -- really happy where I'm at from an offensive standpoint."

After hitting .193 for the Rays in 2011, Brignac was hitting just .118 in eight games this season before getting optioned. Rays manager Joe Maddon has often said that Brignac's defense is "Gold Glove caliber," but that he needed to work on his offense. Brignac said one of his objectives at Durham was "just getting back to feeling good."

"I've just reverted back to a few things I used to do," Brignac said. "Opened my stance a little bit, got my hands back a little bit, just feel good. I've done real well with my plate discipline while I was there. That's what I was there to focus on and get better at. I felt like I improved a lot."

Brignac hit .231 with eight home runs and 46 RBIs in 99 games with the Bulls. While in Durham, Brignac said he tried not to think about when he might be back with the Rays.

"I just knew I had to do what I was there to do and just believed that they still had a plan for me and whenever my time came back around, it came back around," Brignac said. "It was frustrating at times. But that's baseball and that's the business aspect of the game. Most people don't ever get to realize about baseball. A lot of business goes into it. And it's not just waking up to go and play baseball."

When asked if Sean Rodriguez getting hurt had anything to do with him getting recalled, since Rodriguez also plays shortstop, Brignac said he did not know.

"That's a managerial decision," Brignac said. "I don't have anything to do with it. I'm just happy to be back and that's what I'm focusing on."