Sands called up, slotted in to DH role

Sands called up, slotted in to DH role

BOSTON -- Jerry Sands joined the team on Sunday to replace injured outfielder Wil Myers, and manager Joe Maddon immediately put him at designated hitter in the cleanup spot against the Red Sox to make his Rays debut.

Sands was claimed off waivers by the Rays from the Pirates in December. He was hitting .268 with nine home runs and 36 RBIs in 54 games for Triple-A Durham.

The 26-year-old's last Major League game was Aug. 6, 2012, for the Dodgers, and his last hit was a pinch-hit double on May 22, 2012.

"We had to put Wil on the DL, so we brought up Jerry Sands, who's been doing a great job in Triple-A," Maddon said. "We had a good look at him in Spring Training. ... Really good guy. Actually plays better defense than he's given credit for. He fits in very well right now."

Maddon noted that given the Rays' lack of offense, there's a chance Sands could stick with the team.

"It's possible," Maddon said. "Absolutely it's possible. He's been in the big leagues before. He's definitely not overwhelmed by any of this. Again, he really presented well during Spring Training. I'd never met him before that. I thought, 'Solid guy, definitely has some severe power.'

"But beyond that, he's a better athlete than you are aware of. He runs better than you think. He plays defense better. He throws really well. So there's other things going on in there, too. But, of course, you want to get the power out of his bat."

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