As expected the Rays have activated Luke Scott from the disabled list after the designated hitter missed exactly a month with an oblique injury.
Scott hit just .225 with a .716 OPS in 68 games before the injury, although prior to being shut down he had shown some signs of life by going 15-for-39 (.385) with three homers in his last 10 games.
To make room for Scott’s return the Rays demoted Opening Day shortstop Sean Rodriguez to Triple-A, where he hasn’t played since 2009.
Rodriguez has basically been an everyday player for the Rays during the past two seasons while moving around the infield, but he simply hasn’t hit. Tampa Bay would rather go with Ben Zobrist and Eliot Johnson at shortstop and Ryan Roberts and Jeff Keppinger at second base, although presumably Rodriguez will be back in September.
Luke Scott finally got a hit last night.
After striking out in his first two at-bats against the Indians, Scott connected for a two-run home run off Justin Masterson in the top of the fifth inning. The homer broke an 0-for-41 hitless streak which dated back to June 2.
Scott, who recently said that he would be driven to drink if he wasn’t a Christian man, expressed relief to MLB.com’s Bill Chastian that the hitless streak is now behind him.
“Just take a 300-pound gorilla and pull it off my back. Just been a lot of weight. A lot of pressure. And I hope this is the start of getting back on track.”
Scott finished five at-bats shy of the major-league record for a position player, which was set when Eugenio Velez went hitless in 46 at-bats between the Giants and Dodgers from 2010 to 2011.
Luke Scott is on an 0 for 39 slump. As you can expect, he’s got some deep thoughts on the matter:
“Does it weigh heavy on my heart? Oh my gosh. I’d say if I wasn’t a Christian man, I’d be an alcoholic or something — this is something that would have driven me to drink.”
Wait, Scott has been acting the way he has been for the past several years while sober?!
The Rays announced late this afternoon that Luke Scott was placed on the disabled list with mid-back spasms.
Scott hasn’t played since last Friday due to the injury, so his DL-stint will be backdated. He told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that he expects to return when he is first eligible on June 24.
“I’ve been having really, really bad back spasms since Saturday,” Scott said. “I’ve been trying to get them to go away but they haven’t so far. We have a plan and we’ll keep to that plan. It’s a difficult situation, but we’ll have to make the most of it.”
Scott, who signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Rays over the winter, is batting .220/.281/.424 with nine home runs, 35 RBI and a .704 OPS through 196 plate appearances this season. Hideki Matsui figures to get most of the at-bats out of the DH spot for now, although he’s hitting an even .200 (7-for-35) with two homers, a double and a .643 OPS over his first 11 games since being added to the major league roster.
Benches cleared in the top of the ninth inning of last night’s Rays-Red Sox game after Franklin Morales hit Luke Scott in the leg. No punches were thrown and no players were ejected, but Rays manager Joe Maddon was pretty incensed after his team went on to win the game 7-4.
According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Maddon said throwing at Scott “reeks of intent” and indirectly called out the Red Sox coaching staff.
“I’m kind of curious regarding who put out the hit, because I know it wasn’t one of their players,” he said. “Truly, watch the video. The people that were incensed, obviously they’re the ones that were probably behind the effort, the really weak, cowardly effort on their part. Did I say that strongly enough? Did I make my point?”
Loud and clear, Joe. Loud and clear. It’s worth noting that Dustin Pedroia was hit by a pitch just three innings earlier, but Maddon insisted it wasn’t intentional because the plunking brought David Ortiz to the plate as the tying run.
Bad blood between the Rays and Red Sox is nothing new. Just last week, Matt Moore hit Adrian Gonzalez and the Red Sox responded by hitting Scott with a pitch. Of course, Scott isn’t a very popular guy in Boston these days after calling Fenway Park a “dump” last month. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine denied any intent at throwing at him last night, instead chalking it up to some karmic coincidence.
“Emotions boiling over at that point? Frustration mounting? I don’t know,” Valentine said. “It seemed like it was with both teams on the field. But with the guy getting hit? Maybe it was the Ghost of Fenway Past remembering that he bad-mouthed all our fans and stadium, or something, just directing the ball at his leg.”
Maddon doesn’t expect any carryover when the two teams meet up again tonight, but promised that “we will respond to others that do attempt to do it to us.”