January 2013

Zobrist Featured on MLB Network

Ben Zobrist will be featured tonight on MLB Network’s “Top 10 Right Now: Right Fielders” at 10 ET.

MLB Network determined its rankings of the top 10 right fielders using “The Shredder,” which uses statistical analysis to measure performance.  In addition, renowned author Bill James and MLB Network analyst Eric Byrnes both give their personal lists of the top 10 right fielders in baseball.

The “Top 10 Right Now” series continues each Friday with the top 10 at two new positions leading up to the “Top 100 Right Now” on Feb. 15.

–Bill Chastain

Luke Scott Back to Rays?

Sounds like Luke Scott could be headed back to the Rays to take care of unfinished business.

Scott missed a lot of time in 2012 due to injuries.  After the season he expressed disappointment in what he was able to produce.  He also expressed a desire to return to the Rays, even though they did not pick up his option for 2013.  Now the situation appears to have run full circle.  Marc Topkin of The Tampa Bay Times reported on Twitter that there was mutual interest between the Rays and the free-agent DH/outfielder.  If that turns out to be the case and a deal is struck, such a deal could have big up side for the Rays.

Remember, Scott was returning from right-shoulder surgery last season and wasn’t able to have his full off-season workouts heading into the season.  In talking to James Shields last week the former Rays right-hander — who shares the same agent as Scott, said he’d heard that Scott was killing it in the gym and hoped to return to full form in 2013.

I couldn’t get Scott on the phone Thursday, but he did text the following: “I am in California training. I will be unavailable for the next few days. I have to get back in the gym. Talk to you later.  Have a blessed day.”

Eye of the tiger?

–Bill Chastain

Hak-Ju Lee at No. 9

Hak-Ju Lee is ranked as the No. 9 shortstop prospect in Minor League baseball according to MLB.com guru Jonathan Mayo. To read about Lee and the others on Mayo’s list here’s the link: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130123&content_id=41116172&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb’

–Bill Chastain

Rays Sign Four to Minor League Deals

Tampa Bay has signed to Minor League contracts outfielder Shelley Duncan along with right-handers Jamey Wright, Juan Carlos Oviedo and Juan Sandoval.

Each of the players was also extended an invitation to the Rays’ Major League Spring Training.

Oviedo is the former Leo Nunez and the club holds a 2014 option on him as well.

–Bill Chastain