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 joins the team, Vogt optioned to Durham
Posted May 29, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated May 29, 2012 at 03:07 PM
ST. PETERSBURG The Rays made it official: DH/OF Hideki Matsui has been added to the roster and will be eligible for tonight’s game with the visiting White Sox.
To make room on the 40-man OF Brandon Guyer (left shoulder surgery) was moved to the 60-day disabled list.
To make room on the 25-man roster Stephen Vogt was optioned back to Durham.
Matsui, who wore the No. 55 during his first nine years in the major leagues, will wear No. 35, leaving No. 55 to LHP Matt Moore.
Matsui, who turns 38 on June 12, was signed April 30 to a minor league contract. He was a free agent after spending 2011 with the Oakland A’s.
Matsui spent two weeks with the Rays extended spring program in Port Charlotte before playing 13 games with the Durham Bulls, where he hit .170 with a pair of doubles, four walks and four RBI. He served as the designated hitter in nine games and played left field in the other four.
Matsui joined the Yankees in 2003 after a 10-year career Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Central League. He hit .304 with 332 home runs with the Giants. He batted .285 with 173 home runs during his nine years in the big leagues, the first seven with the Yankees.
As a member of the Yankees, Matsui was a two-time All-Star and the MVP of the 2009 World Series.
Matsui is the fourth Japanese player to play for the Rays, joining 3B/2B Akinori Iwamura (2007-09), RHP Hideo Nomo (2005) and RHP Shinji Mori (signed in 2006 but did not play in the majors).