Tampa Bay Rays
Scott's return to Rays could take time
ST. PETERSBURG -
The Rays are preparing for at least two weeks without DH Luke Scott, and possibly longer, as he recovers from a right calf strain sustained because he drank too much water this spring and didn't replenish his body with enough electrolytes.
Scott will be placed on the disabled list today, retroactive to March 24. That makes him eligible to return April 8. The corresponding move will be made today, with the decision based on how much time the Rays anticipate Scott will miss. Manager Joe Maddon said it could be as long as five weeks, but because Scott is a designated hitter, he could return in two or three weeks.
"(It's) one of those things we're very unsure of," Maddon said. "The fact that he's a DH, and not a position player on the field a lot, may expedite the process also. So it could be two to three weeks, it could be a little bit more than that, we just don't know."
The Rays will recall someone on the 40-man roster if they believe Scott will return in April. That makes OF Brandon Guyer a leading candidate, with C Chris Gimenez and C/OF Stephen Vogt on the short list. If Scott could miss the first month, they could go with a player not on the 40-man roster, making Shelley Duncan the likely candidate.
The Rays will lose one player off the 40-man today when they clear room for RHP Jamey Wright, who is currently on a minor-league contract.
An MRI on Scott's calf Friday revealed a small strain. He received a cortisone shot Saturday. He said he expects to be back sooner rather than later.
"That's definitely the goal," Scott said. "That's being optimistic. That's what we hope for, come off as soon as possible or whenever I'm ready. But at the same time, just make sure that the thing is right."
Scott, who missed a week this spring because of a tight left hamstring, said the injuries are related.
"The only thing we can possibly think of is I drank too much water and I flushed out all the electrolytes in my body and my body was cramping up," said Scott, who drank a gallon of alkaline water a day during camp. "That's why we were getting the movement of everything. "My left hamstring tightened up. It was gone after a few days, then my right hamstring tightened up a little bit and it was gone. Then my right calf, so I couldn't understand why. I think it was because I was drinking just too much water."
With Scott out, Maddon said he is leaning toward a lineup against right-handed pitchers that will include INF/LF Kelly Johnson as the DH, Sam Fuld in left field, Matt Joyce in right and Ben Zobrist at second base.
Moore rebounds well LHP Matt Moore turned a long first inning into an efficient outing Saturday against the Tigers at Tropicana Field.
After throwing 25 pitches in the first inning, Moore settled down and needed 29 over the next three. He allowed a hit, walked one and struck out five during his tune-up for his regular-season start.
"That's what he's supposed to look like," Maddon said. "That's what he can look like."
Tough finish At one point this spring, the Rays were 13-7. But a 1-8-2 finish after Saturday's 3-3 tie against the Tigers dropped their Grapefruit League record to 15-17-2.
"I would like to have finished better regarding winning games, getting into that winning atmosphere and attitude, never deny that," Maddon said. "I never want to play a game and not win, but I'm not upset either (because) there's so many good things."
Noteworthy 1B/OF Leslie Anderson was named the Al Lopez Award winner as the top rookie in camp. Anderson led the Rays with a .396 batting average. His 12 RBIs were second to 3B Evan Longoria's 14. … Longoria did not play Saturday for the second straight day. He said it was because he had enough at-bats and wanted to be fresh for Tuesday's opener.
Column: A trip down the Apalachicola shows a natural river fighting for its life in a war over water