"I told him right to his face, 'Listen, you're the best outfielder in the Major Leagues right now, but you're going to Triple-A,'" Maddon said. "And I felt like I could tell him that because he can handle that thought and not impact or interfere with his work.
"This guy's a Major League outfielder for many years to come," Maddon added, "and he can impact a game with his defense."
In two stints with the Rays this season, Kiermaier is hitting .250 with a home run and two RBIs.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.