Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Matsui expected to join Rays on Tuesday
Posted May 28, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated May 28, 2012 at 09:39 PM
ST. PETERSBURG Hideki Matsui is expected to join the Rays on Tuesday in an effort to add another bat to a lineup that doesn’t have too many once you get past the usual suspects.
The Rays made the announcement tonight, a few hours after their 2-1 loss to the White Sox at Tropicana Field. White Sox starter Chris Sale set a Tropicana Field record for strikeouts by a starter with 15. They are expected to make two corresponding moves before the game, one to add Matsui to the 40-man roster, the other to add him to the 25-man roster.
With right-hander Philip Humber starting for the White Sox, Matsui could be in the lineup.
Matsui, 37, will share the designated hitting duties with Luke Scott. He will also see time in the outfield and give manager Joe Maddon a late-inning pinch-hitter option during games in which he did not start.
Matsui batted .170 in 10 games for the Durham Bulls. He had two doubles, four RBI and scored three runs. Rays manager Joe Maddon has maintained that Matsui’s production would not determine when he would join the big club. The Rays just wanted Matsui to get comfortable with his swing and
The Rays signed the nine-year major league veteran to a minor league deal April 30 and sent him to their extended spring program in Port Charlotte. From there, Matsui joined the Bulls.
Matsui, who spent his first seven big league seasons with the Yankees, played last season with the A’s.
He has a career .285 average with .366 on-base percentage and .467 slugging percentage. He has 173 career home runs.