ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays righty Roberto Hernandez's scoreless, nine-pitch ninth inning during Friday's 7-2 win over the Yankees was his first relief appearance since 2006, which was his first season in the Major Leagues.
Hernandez has started 23 games for Tampa Bay this season but has lost 13 of them, the second-highest loss total in the American League. If All-Star starter Matt Moore -- who has been on the disabled list since July 29 with left elbow soreness -- continues to work his way back into the rotation, Hernandez's relief appearances could become more frequent.
Manager Joe Maddon said Hernandez was "wide open" to the idea of pitching out of the bullpen.
"If you put him on the right hitters, he should have some success," Maddon said. "It's good for him, and it's good for us. He looked very comfortable. He was not rushed in any way. He threw strikes. The ball was alive. I kind of liked it. It was a test run, and it looked good. He gets ready pretty fast. We know that in the future and can get him out there against the right guys."
Although no starter for Tuesday's series opener against the Angels has been announced, Hernandez still figures to be an option. Maddon said Friday's appearance will function as his standard bullpen session between starts.
Rays employing DH spot to keep Myers fresh
ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays rookie Wil Myers has served as the team's designated hitter four times in his past eight games, including Saturday night's contest against the Yankees, but both Myers and manager Joe Maddon insist nothing is wrong.
"I like it," Myers said. "DH is fun. There are no problems physically -- I'm fine. Joe said I'm not used to playing late in September and October. He just wants to make sure I'm rested."
Myers' increased time at DH is at least partially related to Luke Scott's lower back injury, which landed the veteran on the disabled list. Scott has been Tampa Bay's primary DH this season.
Maddon prefers to rest Myers for the stretch run and said the 22 year-old outfielder has no qualms about sitting down for half of a game.
"If we're going to play him in October, we need to take advantage of these moments," Maddon said. "There's no other reason. He could have played the outfield easily tonight. The most overriding point is he does not mind DHing. I've had young players in the past who do, and if it really bothered him, I would play him in the outfield."
Myers joins Rays staffers at coaches clinic
ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey arrived at Tropicana Field early on Saturday -- not to give special instruction to one of his pitchers, but to participate in a youth coaches clinic.
Hickey, head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield, strength and conditioning coordinator Kevin Barr and outfielder Wil Myers teamed to speak with 50 local baseball coaches about a myriad of baseball topics.
Porterfield and Barr touched on player safety, while Hickey fielded questions on everything from the pillars of his coaching principles to what age is appropriate to throw a breaking ball.
"It's a lot more productive if you can educate coaches, rather than trying to get to kids one at a time," Hickey said. "I really think the youth leagues will be better off when the coaching is better educated. I do really enjoy that."
The coaches had plenty of questions for Myers, a rookie. He didn't exactly have all of the answers.
"I just took some pictures with them," Myers said. "I don't have any wisdom to give anybody. It was cool to have them ask me what my pregame routine is. I thought it was kind of funny they were asking for advice from a 22-year-old."
Sam Strong is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.