Tampa Bay Rays
Rays notes: Scott injury makes room for Duncan
ST. PETERSBURG -
The Rays must feel DH Luke Scott could miss the high end of manager Joe Maddon’s estimate of three to five weeks with a strained right calf because they sacrificed a spot on the 40-man roster to replace Scott.
OF/1B Shelley Duncan, signed Jan. 22 as insurance for an injured Scott, was added to the Opening Day roster by Sunday’s 3 p.m. deadline.
The Rays also added RHP Jamey Wright.
To clear room on the 40-man roster, the Rays designated two catchers for assignment — Stephen Vogt and Robinson Chirinos.
“We discussed a number of different guys, but basically it came down to Shelley because of his extra-base potential,” executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. “We signed him as insurance for Luke and felt like power potential was the most important factor as we went through it.”
Duncan spent the past three seasons with the Indians, splitting the 2010 and 2011 seasons between Triple-A and the big club. He played 81 games with the Indians last season before being designated for assignment Aug. 29.
In six big-league seasons, Duncan has 41 home runs in 830 at-bats. He hit 11 home runs in each of his three years in Cleveland.
Duncan also gives Maddon some roster flexibility because he can play the corner outfield spots and first base. Duncan played 71 innings at first base this spring and hit .224 in 49 at-bats with a team-high five home runs and 10 RBIs.
Other moves The Rays placed RHP Juan Oviedo on the 60-day disabled list. Oviedo, formerly known as Leo Nuñez, underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Sept. 6, 2012.
He has 92 career saves, including 36 for the Marlins in 2011.
As expected, C Craig Albernaz was optioned to Durham.
The Rays, who are thin in minor-league catching depth, likely will re-sign Chirinos and Vogt if they clear waivers.
Friedman’s concern Friedman admitted he worried about depth among the position players heading into the 2012 season, and those worries became real after 3B Evan Longoria, LF Desmond Jennings and INF Jeff Keppinger ended up on the disabled list.
What worries him on the eve of this season?
“I think probably just getting the requisite amount of innings out of our starters (pitchers),” he said. “I really like the depth of our starters and that we have six starters on our major-league roster and really good starters in Triple-A. Just getting to a point where they’re eating enough innings to keep our bullpen fresh.”
Noteworthy Wright and Duncan are the only two non-roster invitees to make the Opening Day roster. The last time the Rays had multiple non-roster invitees begin the regular season on the major-league roster was 2007 with 1B Carlos Peña, RHP Gary Glover and RHP Al Reyes. … No surprise here: OF Wil Myers, RHP Jake Odorizzi and LHP Mike Montgomery, obtained from the Royals in the James Shields/Wade Davis trade, will begin the year at Triple-A Durham. … Former INF Reid Brignac made the Rockies’ Opening Day roster. … INF Elliot Johnson made the Royals’ Opening Day roster.