Wil Myers made his first MLB start at Kauffman Stadium today in Kansas City, but it was in a Tampa Bay Rays uniform. The Kansas City Royals traded top prospect Myers to the Rays in December as a key part of the transaction that sent James Shields to Kansas City.
It looked as though there were about 40 fans in attendance as the Royals thumped the Rays 11-1 and held Myers to an 0-for-4 day with two strikeouts. They Royals sit in third place in the AL Central, a dozen games behind the Detroit Tigers. However, today’s game was much more meaningful for the visiting Rays, who have been jostling with the Boston Red Sox all season for first place in the AL East.
Shields is 8-8 with a 3.22 ERA for the Royals in 2013, and Myers is batting .296 with nine home runs and 39 RBIs for the Rays. Despite the result of today’s game, it seems like the Rays came out on top of the trade for the 2013 season, but both players are talented and have much to offer their respective clubs in the future.
Kansas City has a strong young core that, despite the loss of Myers, looks poised to break out in the next season or two. Led by Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler (both batting in the high .290s this year), the team should stay the course and continue improving. They showed today how well they can compete with a playoff-caliber team like the Rays, and should feel confident in their ability to become serious AL Central contenders soon.