ST. PETERSBURG — DH Luke Scott is headed to the disabled list for at least two-three weeks, and possibly five, with a right calf strain, leaving the Rays looking at 1B/DH Shelley Duncan and OF Brandon Guyer as potential replacements.
A decision will be made by today's 3 p.m. deadline, keyed primarily to how long they feel Scott will be out and how much the player added will play.
While Duncan, who is on a minor-league contract, would seem a better fit, the Rays have to weigh if it's worth taking someone off its 40-man roster to make room, and to risk losing him when Scott returns since Duncan is out of options and would have to be exposed to waivers before he could be sent back to Triple-A Durham.
Guyer would be the easier add since he is on the 40-man roster and would provide some needed depth since OF Sam Fuld, who was considered the backup at all three spots, is likely to get more playing time in Scott's absence. One scenario manager Joe Maddon mentioned is against right-handed pitchers using Fuld and Matt Joyce in the corner outfield spots, Ben Zobrist at second and Kelly Johnson as the DH.
The Rays seem likely to want a right-handed hitter to replace Scott since they were a bit lefty-heavy. C/INF/OF Chris Gimenez would be another option, along with lefty swingers C/1B/OF Stephen Vogt and non-roster OF/1B/DH Leslie Anderson.
They also have to make room today to add RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo to the 40-man roster today, then will place him on the 60-day disabled list and add RHP Jamey Wright as well.
WATER LOGGED? Scott, 34, said opening this season on the DL was "very disappointing, to say the least" after two stints last year, and he hoped the cortisone shot he received from Dr. Koco Eaton will speed the healing of what he said was a "quite small" strain and allow him to return sooner than expected, closer to his April 8 eligible date.
Scott missed a week earlier in camp with left hamstring tightness and also had some issues in the right hamstring. After reviewing his diet, supplements, sleep and training program, he concluded that the muscle issues are the result of drinking too much water.
Scott carries a jug of special "alkaline" water and drinks about a gallon a day, which he said is similar to 1½ to 1¾ gallons of normal water, leading to the conclusion "I drank too much water and I flushed out all the electrolytes in my body, and my body was cramping up."
MOORE BETTER: No. 4 starter LHP Matt Moore put a good finish on a bad spring, navigating a 25-pitch first inning then rolling through the next three in 29 pitches, feeling he found something to build off going into the season.
"I felt like I was just going at a nice tempo that was easy to work at," he said.
Maddon liked it.
"He got into a nice rhythm," he said. "That's what he's supposed to look like, that's what he can look like. The world's about confidence, and as he gains confidence, you're going to see that on a consistent basis."
ANDERSON HONORED: Anderson was named winner of the team's Al Lopez Award as the "most outstanding" rookie in the spring camp after hitting .396 with one homer and 12 RBIs.
He is the first Cuban winner of the award, which is named after Lopez, the Tampa-born Hall of Famer with Cuban roots.
GAME DETAILS: 1B James Loney, INF Ryan Roberts and INF/OF Sean Rodriguez homered in the 3-3 tie with Detroit before an announced 15,167 at the Trop. … Fuld was a late scratch due to an upset stomach. … The Rays finished 15-17-2, winning only one of their last 11.
MISCELLANY: 3B Evan Longoria didn't play for a second straight day, saying he felt he had enough plate appearances (54) and "might as well be fresh for opening day." … RHP Alex Cobb originally was to pitch in a minor-league intrasquad game in Port Charlotte this morning but instead will throw a simulated game during Monday's workout. … No. 3 starter RHP Roberto Hernandez threw three innings Saturday against Orioles minor-leaguers.