ST. PETERSBURG -- Luke Scott was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, backdated to March 24, after receiving a cortisone shot in his strained right calf.
Scott aggravated his calf Friday after his first at-bat in a Triple-A game in Port Charlotte, Fla. He stressed that the strain was "quite small" but just enough to keep him from pushing off his right leg when running out of the batter's box. While Rays manager Joe Maddon estimated that the injury will keep Scott off the field for two to three weeks, he cautioned that it could be as long as five weeks before the designated hitter returns.
"It's very disappointing to say the least," Scott said. "But I've been down this road before, and it [stinks]."
Tampa Bay will announce a corresponding roster move Sunday, calling up another player from within the organization to take Scott's spot. Maddon said he had some ideas about how to order his lineup against right-handed pitchers, like Orioles Opening Day starter Jason Hammel.
The Rays could use Kelly Johnson as the DH, put Ben Zobrist at second base and run out an outfield of Sam Fuld, Desmond Jennings and Matt Joyce. They could also choose to play Zobrist in right, Johnson at second and Joyce as the DH.
Their options are not quite as clear against left-handed pitchers, like Baltimore's No. 2 starter Wei-Yin Chen. That's why it would seem likely that the Rays will call up a right-handed hitter on the 40-man roster, perhaps Chris Gimenez or Brandon Guyer, if indeed this won't be a long-term injury.
Scott attributed his various strains and muscle tightness to drinking too much water. During Spring Training, he explained, he consumes about a gallon of alkaline water every day, flushing the electrolytes out of his system and causing him to cramp.
Scott doesn't believe the injury will become a lingering issue. He hopes the cortisone injection will help him heal more quickly and that his stint on the disabled list won't last much longer than April 8, when he's eligible to return.
"That's definitely the goal. That's being optimistic," Scott said. "That's what we hope for, come off as soon as possible or whenever I'm ready. But at the same time, just make sure that the thing is right. Going to go through some tests, make sure that it's right before I get out there."