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Veteran Duncan makes Opening Day roster

The SportsXchange

Weighing the possibility of being without designated hitter Luke Scott for a month or more, the Rays

cashed in their insurance policy and added first baseman/designated hitter Shelley Duncan to their Opening

Day roster.

Executive vice president Andrew Friedman said they signed Duncan, a veteran of part of six major-league

seasons with the Yankees and Indians, to a minor-league deal to provide protection in case Scott was hurt.

And it looked like a good move already as Scott, who had two stints on the disabled list last year, was

sidelined with a right calf strain and is expected to be out two-to-five weeks.

The risk for the Rays is that Duncan is out of options, so when Scott returns, they would have to risk

exposing him to waivers, and losing him, if they want to send him back to the minors.

Plus, there was a trickle-down effect on their 40-man roster. Already faced with having to create one

spot (for reliever Jamey Wright), the Rays then had to carve out another for Duncan.

They ended up designating for assignment two catchers who were pegged for Triple-A assignments, Robinson

Chirinos and Stephen Vogt. They still have Chris Gimenez at Triple-A, but no one else with big-league

experience

"Sometimes you have to do certain things you're not incredibly comfortable doing for the sake of putting

the best roster out there," Friedman said.
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