Luke Scott May Begin Season on DL | The Process Report

Luke Scott May Begin Season on DL

Update: Luke Scott (right calf strain) will officially start the season on the disabled list. A corresponding move will be made tomorrow when the opending day roster is finalized. Because Scott is expected to miss 2-3 weeks, his replacement is likely to come from the 40-man roster (options listed below). As for the lineup, Kelly Johnson could serve as the team’s designated hitter versus right-handed pitchers with Matt Joyce in right field, Sam Fuld in left, and Ben Zobrist at second base. The lineup versus lefties is a bit more unsettled with the potential for Scott’s replacement to be a right-handed hitter.

Mar. 29: The good news is Luke Scott’s surgically repaired shoulder is still doing just fine. The sore hamstring that sidelined him earlier in spring training appears to be all right as well. Meanwhile, his latest injury – tightness in his right calf – may land him on the disabled list to start the 2013 season.

On Monday, Scott was scratched from a Grapefruit League game after feeling discomfort in the leg. After a few days of rest and treatment, he attemped to play in a minor-league contest earlier today. The tightness returned, and Scott was removed from the game and sent for an MRI. In all likelihood, he will being on the season on the DL with his replacement to be determined by the severity of the injury.

If the ailment is minor, Scott may not miss more than a week of regular season games. Because he has not appeared in a major-league game since the injury, his DL stint will be retroactive to March 24. This means he can be activated on April 8th. If this is the case, his replacement will almost certainly be a member of the current 40-man roster. This is the likely outcome even if he needs some additional time (days, weeks) past the April 8th date.

The most probable candidates are: Brandon Guyer, Chris Gimenez, and Stephen Vogt. Guyer profiles to be the best option both offensively and defensively; however, he is dealing with his own recovery from shoulder surgery. The team may opt to give him additional reps at Triple-A over sitting on the major-league bench.

Gimenez earned a fair amount of hype this spring – legitimate or not – and might have made the club as the backup catcher if not for a remaining minor-league option. He has a fan in Rays’ skipper Joe Maddon and offers positional flexibility (catcher, first base, third base). Vogt offers some of the same defensive flexilbility (catcher, first base, outfield) at a reduced talent level. He is the only left-handed bat of the bunch which may or not factor in to the decision.

If Scott’s injury is something that requires surgery or an extended rehab process, the Rays may look at non-roster alternatives; most notably Shelley Duncan. Duncan has big-league power, but offers little else offensively. He is a slightly below average defender at first base and can roam the corner outfield if needed. Duncan could be used to spell James Loney at first base against a tough left-handed pitcher, as a part-time fill-in for Scott at DH, or as a right-handed slugger off the bench.

The addition of Duncan, however, would require a 40-man roster spot. The only scenario in which that makes sense is Scott landing on the 60-day disabled list and creating the spot organically.

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