PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Brandon Guyer is ready to get his career back on track.
The 27-year-old came to the Rays in the Matt Garza trade prior to the 2011 season. The right-handed-hitting outfielder missed the last four months of last season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder on May 31. He now has seven anchors in his shoulder.
Guyer did not make any excuses about how much better he might have played had his shoulder felt better. Instead, he noted that his shoulder "has felt good" over the past three seasons. However, Guyer did allow that his shoulder feels better now than it has since he dislocated it while sliding into home playing for the University of Virginia. The injury came two days prior to the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, when the Cubs selected him in the fifth round.
Guyer said having a healthy shoulder has enabled him to have more extension when swinging the bat, particularly on inside pitches.
Though Guyer missed most of last season, he did manage to serve a three-game stint with the Rays in May. His lone hit was a solo shot off Brian Matusz in a 5-3 loss to the Orioles at Camden Yards. Two of his three career home runs have come in Baltimore. He also played 22 games at Triple-A Durham, posting a .294 average with three home runs and 13 RBIs.
Ramos joins Team Mexico for Classic
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Rays left-hander Cesar Ramos has been added to Team Mexico and will pitch in the World Baseball Classic.
"I found out just after the rosters got announced on TV," said Ramos, who has kept the news to himself. "I got a call from [Mexico captain] Adrian [Gonzalez] and spoke to Adrian about it. He [asked] if I was interested. I told him it would be an honor to represent Mexico, not only for me, but for my family. Both parents being from there, it's a great honor to be asked to play for them and to do it for my parents also."
Ramos' parents, Ramon and Maria, emigrated from Chihuahua, Mexico, 33 years ago to seek better opportunities for their future family. Both work in the garment district of Los Angeles; Ramon is nearing retirement and Cesar's mother works quality control for Nygard. They are now American citizens but still speak Spanish; Cesar learned English at his bilingual preschool.
Ramos' parents, like many of their peers, were taken out of school around the fourth grade to support their large families. Maria was the oldest of 10 and helped raise her siblings. Ramon, who was 10 when his father passed away, was the second of eight children. He originally came to the United States as a migrant worker, often picking crops in the fields.
Shortly after immigrating, Ramon and Maria had two kids (Elena and Cesar) and bought a two-bedroom house they still live in today.
"[My parents] couldn't believe it," Ramos said. "They were all excited back home. My aunts, uncles, cousins' cousins are going to be able to watch me play. I've got a lot of family that have never seen me play before, so it'd be kind of cool for them to see who their cousin who plays here is."
Ramos, who will pitch out of Team Mexico's bullpen, said he will leave for Phoenix on March 3 to report to the team.
Ramos went 1-0 with a 2.10 ERA in 17 appearances last season. He is the fourth Rays player to be participating in the Classic, joining catcher Jose Molina (Puerto Rico), outfielder/infielder Ben Zobrist (United States) and closer Fernando Rodney (Dominican Republic).
Myers brushes off comparisons to Murphy
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Prized phenom Wil Myers has grown accustomed to being compared to former Braves outfielder Dale Murphy.
Myers' lanky frame and the fact that he changed from catcher to outfield made the comparisons inevitable, as did the fact that Myers actually resembles Murphy somewhat facially.
Myers acknowledged that he knew who Murphy was, but that was about it. He's never seen any highlights of Murphy playing nor has he met him.
Myers smiled when asked if he had any interest in watching films of Murphy to get an idea about whom he was being compared to.
"No, not really," Myers said.
Longoria misses practice to attend daughter's birth
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Whenever Evan Longoria is missing, the natural inclination is to think that something physical has gone wrong with the All-Star third baseman. That wasn't the case Wednesday.
Longoria left Port Charlotte to be with his girlfriend Jaime Edmondson on Wednesday for the birth of their daughter. According to Rays spokesman Rick Vaughn, the delivery was being induced. No further details were given.
After missing 85 games last season due to a partially torn left hamstring, Longoria had minor offseason surgery on Nov. 21 to correct the problem. He has appeared healthy all spring.
The due date for Longoria's and Edmondson's baby had been April 1, which presented an interesting hypothetical situation since the Rays are scheduled to open the season on April 2 against the Orioles at Tropicana Field -- a situation that might have been interrupted had the baby arrived a day later than expected.
Earlier this spring, Longoria was asked if the couple planned to name their daughter Eva. Longoria chuckled at the query and replied: "No, no, not Eva."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.