ST. PETERSBURG — DH Luke Scott was placed on the disabled list Saturday because of lower back spasms. That meant another day at designated hitter for OF Wil Myers.
Manager Joe Maddon said several factors played a role in his decision to use the 22-year-old Myers as the DH.
“I’m really anticipating playing late into this year, like September and October deep, and this guy has not played that deeply into a year. If we can get him a couple of days off his feet I think that’s only going to help,” Maddon said. “And furthermore, he’s done well as a DH. He doesn’t seem to be bothered by it.”
Saturday was the sixth time Myers was used as the DH this season. He had a .429 average, with a home run, five runs and 10 RBIs in his first five games before going 0-for-4 against the Blue Jays.
As for getting the kid off his feet, Maddon mentioned Tropicana Field’s unforgiving AstroTurf. This is the first time Myers has played on the artificial surface during his career.
Also, the major-league season lasts longer than the minor-league season, and Myers has never experienced anything like the pressure of a big-league pennant race.
“These young guys who have not really played meaningful baseball and even more meaningful October baseball, they get tired man,” Maddon said. “I know people say, ‘He’s young.’ They have no idea. A lot of it has to do with the mental component of it, the emotional component of it, so you keep guys physically strong by keeping them off their feet like that.
“It can really help us later.”
Jennings set for Monday
CF Desmond Jennings (fractured left middle finger) will get at-bats today for Single-A Charlotte. If all goes well, he will join the team Monday in Baltimore.
Jennings said he anticipates playing Monday.
Gomes steps in
Maddon said Scott’s back spasms are not believed to be serious.
“He was a little bit better, but even sitting down I could tell it was bothering him, and we did not want to play short-handed,” Maddon said. “More than likely it’s going to take several days, and more than likely, also, it’s going to be a minimal stay on the DL.”
The move was retroactive to Thursday, and Scott is eligible to come off the DL on Aug. 30.
RHP Brandon Gomes replaced Scott on the roster. He may not be here for long, though.
The Rays are down to three position players, a move they were willing to make to have Gomes available for the remaining two games against the right-handed-heavy Blue Jays.
The Rays will have to make another move Monday if Jennings is ready, and Maddon said that will involve a member of the bullpen. Gomes, who has options, will likely be the odd man out.
That means OF Jason Bourgeois likely will remain with the team.
LHP Matt Moore (sore left elbow) said he’s eager to play catch today, but only if his elbow is pain free as he prepares for the throwing session.
If not, he’ll wait at least another day.
“I am excited to get throwing again, but at the same time I understand that time is going to be the biggest part of any kind of treatment,” Moore said.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Gomes, the Rays transferred RHP Jesse Crain (right shoulder strain) to the 60-day DL. Crain is not eligible to pitch until Aug. 29, but Maddon said Crain won’t be ready by that date. ... OF Delmon Young is one of a handful of players the Rays are looking at in an effort to add depth to the roster, but a move does not appear imminent.