Fun-loving Luke Scott returns to TB Rays healthier - WFLA News Channel 8

Fun-loving Luke Scott returns to TB Rays healthier

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PORT CHARLOTTE, FL (WFLA) -
Luke Scott is always up for a laugh.  That's why he brought in a stuffed boar's head he hunted to show off to his teammates earlier this week.

So when the long-time designated hitter talks about playing in the field this year, it's hard to tell how serious he's being. "Look, I've got all these nice pretty gloves," Scott said while showing off his gloves at his locker. "It's a shame they had to sit on the sideline last year," he adds while patting his hand into a large black Rawlings mitt. "That's a really nice glove."

But it's Scott's bat that has kept the 34-year-old in the majors.

"I saw Luke two years prior with the Orioles do a lot of damage to us," said Rays third baseman Evan Longoria. In 2010, Scott finished a three-year stretch with the Orioles where he averaged 25 home runs a season.  Injuries slowed him down ever since.

Scott had shoulder surgery before the last season, his first and only one with the Rays.  His production was down: 14 home runs and 55 RBI on only 96 games played.  "I don't think he was ever settled in last year. He was always fighting against a nicked-up hamstring and the surgery to his shoulder," Longoria added.

Scott feels he can be the hitter he was in 2010. "I feel good physically. I put in hard work this offseason and had some time to heal," he said.

The Rays are willing to bet Scott is right. The team re-signed him to a one-year $2.75M contract with hopes a healthy Scott can protect Evan Longoria in the batting order. "He's healthy," said manager Joe Maddon. "I really anticipate more and a better season just based on good health."

There is one thing from last season Scott isn't about to change: his facial hair. His distinctive mutton chops helped earn him the nickname, "Wolverine" after the X-Men character who bears a similar look.

"I'm going to stick with them," Scott said of the chops. "I'm going to trim them down. I may shave and then grow them back. I'm going to mix it up a little bit, but I'll keep them."

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