Resilient Guyer grateful for chance with Rays

Resilient Guyer grateful for chance with Rays

Resilient Guyer grateful for chance with Rays
NEW YORK -- Brandon Guyer joined the Rays for Wednesday's game against the Yankees after Jeff Keppinger was placed on the restricted list due to a personal matter.

"We just put Kep on restricted list for right now," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "He had to take care of some personal situations back home, and we brought Guyer up for the day, or more."

Keppinger is not expected to be away from the team for long. Maddon said on Wednesday that he should know more "later tonight or tomorrow morning" regarding when Keppinger will return.

"I've already talked to Guyer about it," Maddon said. "It's an uncomfortable situation in some ways. We've done this kind of thing with him in the past, so he knows how to work with it. He's fine."

Guyer will likely be the player headed back to Triple-A Durham when Keppinger returns, but Guyer seemed fine with just having time in the Major Leagues.

Guyer has had a rough stretch, dating back to Spring Training, when Matt Bush was charged in Charlotte County with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of a March 22 accident while driving Guyer's vehicle. Bush allegedly caused serious bodily injury after he reportedly struck a 72-year-old motorcyclist, Anthony Tufano, who was driving home after babysitting his granddaughter.

Guyer noted that he cannot discuss anything dealing with that situation, but he did speak about having to overcome a lot mentally while dealing with the subsequent stress and legal problems created by that situation.

"Some off-the-field stuff," Guyer said. "I just let it get to me, and it was beating me for a while. But once I overcame that, I just mentally got stronger. I think in the long run, it will make me a better player and person. It just took a little bit to get over it and getting back to who I am -- and play like I can.

"It's a challenge. But I've had peaks and valleys in my career. But like I said, I think in the long run, it will help me. Only the strong survive, man. You just have to keep grinding, and that's what it's all about."

Keppinger, who signed with the Rays as a free agent on Jan. 26, started at third base in Tuesday night's 5-3 loss to New York and went 1-for-3 to raise his average to .313 for the season.

Guyer was hitting .294 with three home runs and 13 RBIs in 22 games for Durham.