Wil Myers returns to his Kansas City origins, at least baseball-wise, with the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night. This time he's the reigning American League Rookie of the Year.
Myers was dealt by the Royals in the celebrated trade of Dec. 10, 2012, that sent him and three others prospects to the Rays for established pitchers in James Shields and Wade Davis.
It was one of those "helped-both-clubs" deals. While Myers is a blossoming star right fielder and co-tradee Jake Odorizzi is one of the Rays' starting pitchers this year, Shields is the ace of the Royals' staff and Davis has moved in as the primary setup man.
Myers' success came as no surprise to Royals manager Ned Yost, who was impressed with him immediately when he saw him in the Royals' system.
"Like Salvy [Salvador Perez], right off the bat," Yost recalled. "Just his talent and his ability -- he could really swing the bat for a young kid."
Naturally the deal still causes discussion, especially with Shields approaching free agency next winter. And it did then as well.
"We knew we needed pitching to get us over the hump and sometimes you need to go get it. We got one of the best starters in the American League -- and Wade," Yost said.
"It wasn't an easy decision to make the trade. But, in the end, we felt like if we got some starting pitching, we had a chance to compete and that's exactly what happened."
Odorizzi will join the Kansas City party as he opposes the Royals on Wednesday afternoon.
"It'll be cool," Odorizzi said. "Wil and I going back on the same team together. It'll be pretty special. It'll be neat to see people I haven't seen in a while. I'll be running into people I know left and right. But now I'm on the other side of the field. I'll say my hellos and then get back to baseball."
Myers, in his previous only appearance against the Royals, visited Kansas City with the Rays last Aug. 26 for a makeup game and went 0-for-4.
"The biggest thing is to go in there and win," he said.
Rays: Moore in challenging mood
The Rays embark Monday on a 10-day, nine-game road trip to Kansas City, Cincinnati and Baltimore -- their first road swing of the season.
Matt Moore makes his second start on Monday against the Royals. Moore lasted 5 2/3 innings in his season debut against the Blue Jays, allowing two runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out four in that game.
"I need to challenge guys a little more," Moore said. "Walks weren't really the thing that killed me last time. It was more the at-bats. I need to do a better job of limiting the damage. I need to shut those innings down."
Moore is aware the Royals are an improved ball club. "Their lineup can turn things around pretty fast and make things not so nice," he said.
Royals: Coleman continues to improve
Right-handed reliever Louis Coleman had a good throwing session on Saturday at Surprise, Ariz., and might be ready to go on a Minor League rehabilitation assignment soon.
Coleman is on the disabled list with a bone bruise in the middle finger of his pitching hand, which proved a detriment to his control more than anything else. He's eliglble to come off the DL on Wednesday.
"He's feeling better, he threw really well yesterday," manager Ned Yost said on Sunday.
Coleman was left behind when the Royals left Spring Training. He hurt the finger just after camp opened, but a bone bruise normally takes up to eight weeks to heal.
• Yost, asked if he'd give catcher Salvador Perez a day off against the Rays: "No. I'm going to give him a day after the Rays." Thursday is an open date for the Royals.
• Former Royal David DeJesus, limited to designated hitter by a bruised foot, expects to return to the Rays' outfield on the trip.
• Last season the Royals had a 6-1 record against Tampa Bay. One game, on May 2, was memorably postponed by snow at Kauffman Stadium and had to be made up with a special visit by the Rays on Aug. 26.
• The Monday and Tuesday night games against the Rays are the Royals' first under the lights this year. They opened with five day games and had a sixth rained out at Detroit.
• Fifteen of the 25 players on the Rays' roster were acquired by trade, the most for any club in the Majors on Opening Day. Houston and Toronto were next with 13 each.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.