Luke Scott placed on disabled list with calf strain, could miss five weeks

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UPDATE: Marc Topkin of the Tampa Times reports that Scott has been placed on the disabled list. He could miss as much as five weeks.

3:20 PM: Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune reports that Scott received a cortisone shot in his calf and hopes to be return by April 8. In other words, he will begin the season on the disabled list.

11:01 AM: Luke Scott was sent for an MRI yesterday after he was forced to leave a minor league game due to continued soreness in his right calf. According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Scott was diagnosed with a calf strain, which means that he will almost certainly begin the season on the disabled list.

The symptoms first popped up on Monday, but it wasn’t a major concern initially. Scott could be looking at an extended absence following his setback, though the Rays will likely know more once he sees the team doctor later today.

Assuming Scott begins the season on the disabled list, Brandon Guyer, Stephen Vogt or Chris Gimenez are the most likely options to replace him on the Opening Day roster. Shelley Duncan and Leslie Anderson are also possibilities, but the Rays would have to make room on the 40-man roster.

Scott, 34, batted .229/.285/.439 with 14 home runs, 55 RBI and a .724 OPS in 96 games last season. After declining his $6 million club option, the Rays brought him back this winter on a one-year, $2.75 million deal.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.

Manny Machado teaches us to never give up

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The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.

Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.

Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:

Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.