Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon to Pat Burrell: You're our DH, not rightfielder

Pat Burrell says he’s “just got to commit to the role” of DH and believes he’ll adjust better than he did in his first try.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Pat Burrell says he’s “just got to commit to the role” of DH and believes he’ll adjust better than he did in his first try.

CLEARWATER — Manager Joe Maddon doesn't mind letting Pat Burrell run around on the grass during the spring, giving him a chance Sunday, with a few others planned, to play the outfield.

But Maddon made it very clear that once the games count, Burrell's sole job will be to do a better job at what the Rays brought him in to do.

"I don't want to confuse anything," Maddon said. "The plan is for him to be the DH."

Burrell's interest in playing more in the outfield didn't surprise the Rays given how much he struggled last season in his first experience as a full-time DH, hitting .221 (lowest of all AL players with at least 450 plate appearances) with 14 homers (10 solo, all vs. right-handers) and 64 RBIs.

"I think he thinks that it may help him become a better hitter here, and I understand that," Maddon said.

But Burrell, who played leftfield regularly in Philadelphia, will have to figure something else out because the Rays value defense too much — and have too many other options for their open rightfield spot — to compromise by putting him in the field on a regular basis.

"I'm not going to play him in the outfield if I think we're better suited to have him not play in the outfield and DH," Maddon said. "You look at our team defensively. We talk about that every day. We really pride ourselves in that. We know that's a big part of our success. Obviously we have some really good defenders out there.

"I'm not saying he can't get out there. We'll see how the season plays out. But for right now, he's a DH. And we're going to have to figure out a way for him to deal with that."

The Rays can make suggestions, Maddon said, but ultimately "it's just something he's going to have to figure out on his own."

If that's the case, Burrell said, then so be it. The 11-year veteran will do what he can to improve, hoping the experience of his first season with the Rays helps him get a better handle on the necessary adjustments, such as staying active and involved in the game between at-bats.

"If it comes to the point where it's like last year where I don't get a chance to play much (in the field), I've just got to commit to the role," Burrell, 33, said. "I certainly knew what I signed up for as far as what I was going to do. I knew there was a chance I might play a little, but for the most part I was going to DH, so you just commit to the role and you do the best you can to try to make the adjustments and go out there and be productive.

"Last year, I just didn't have a very easy time doing that, but like I said, I'm confident about this year. I feel like I'm in a much better place physically and mentally as far as knowing what to expect, and I think that's a big thing."

Marc Topkin can be reached at topk[email protected]

Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon to Pat Burrell: You're our DH, not rightfielder

03/07/10 [Last modified: Monday, March 8, 2010 7:50am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cubs down Dodgers 3-2; force NLCS Game 5 Thursday

    Ml

    CHICAGO — Javier Baez snapped an 0-for-20 skid with two home runs, former Ray Wade Davis hung on for a six-out save and the Cubs avoided a sweep, holding off the Dodgers 3-2 Wednesday night in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series.

  2. Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves: 'I'm not making any plays'

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Eli Manning gathered his receivers together on the sideline during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and told them he planned to target the weakest link of the secondary all afternoon.

    Patriots receiver Chris Hogan gets position in front of Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves for a 5-yard touchdown pass in New England’s win on Oct. 5.
  3. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.
  4. Signs point to Jameis Winston dressing vs. Bills

    Sports

    TAMPA — The Bucs didn't sign another quarterback Wednesday, which would suggest they are confident that Jameis Winston can be active as a backup to Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday at Buffalo if he doesn't start.

  5. FSU doesn't feel need for ongoing reminder of last year's beatdown at Louisville

    Sports

    Of course Florida State remembers what happened against Louisville last year. The 63-20 loss was one of the worst defeats in Seminoles history.

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson looks back at the action from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Murray State, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)