LAKELAND — The plan was for DH Luke Scott to get four to eight at-bats on Friday, shuttling between the Rays' Double-A and Triple-A games in Port Charlotte to test his tight right calf in advance of Tuesday's opener.
"My belief is I will be ready, barring any setbacks," Scott said Friday morning, before leaving the Trop.
But after flying out to rightfield in his first plate appearance, Scott left the game. He was sent for an MRI exam, and he likely will start the season on the disabled list.
"We're probably going to have to make some kind of decision or move," manager Joe Maddon said.
It's Scott's second setback during spring training. He missed a week with a tight left hamstring after exiting following one at-bat against the Twins on March 3.
Scott, 34, hit .324 with three home runs, six doubles and nine RBIs in 12 games this spring.
"He was doing really well," Maddon said. "Like I've talked about often, we build this whole thing in the offseason to look a certain way. So you rely on different guys to be in different spots. And then right out of the chute, you have to do something differently. But I think we're covered."
If Scott is out, the Rays could put him on the DL backdated to March 24 (the day after his last major-league game) and have him back April 8 in Texas. If the absence is short term, the Rays likely will seek a replacement who is on their 40-man roster such as Stephen Vogt, Chris Gimenez or Brandon Guyer.
If Scott looks to be out for an extended period, they could add a player on a minor-league deal such as Shelley Duncan or Leslie Anderson with the possibility they could be lost via waivers when sent back down.
Rosters have to be set by 3 p.m. Sunday.
HELLICKSON HAMMERED: Seeing three of his pitches disappear over the outfield wall is not the way RHP Jeremy Hellickson planned on spending his last start of spring training
On the day Hellickson was named the No. 2 starter behind David Price, he didn't perform like one, giving up eight runs (six earned) on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts in three innings of a 8-3 loss to the Tigers.
Hellickson, 25, allowed a home run — Prince Fielder, Alex Avila and Omar Infante — in each inning.
"I'm pretty disappointed," he said. "That's not how I wanted to go into the season. I feel good. I'm healthy. That's the main thing."
In Hellickson's previous two starts, one against Detroit, he went at least six innings. Friday, he fell behind hitters and needed 72 pitches to complete three innings. The Tigers sent nine men to the plate in a four-run second, which included a throwing error by 3B Ryan Roberts.
GAME DETAILS: The Rays (15-17-1) did not have a hit until Kelly Johnson doubled with one out in the fifth. … OF Sam Fuld hit a two-run homer in the eighth. … Maddon has been impressed with Johnson's ability to play the outfield.
MISCELLANY: David Price's charity bowling event in Tampa raised $42,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters. … Minor-league teams break camp today.
Times staff writer Marc Topkin contributed to this report.