06/24/12 6:30 PM ET
Defensive miscues piling up for Rays
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
A year ago at this time, the Rays had 32 errors and did not commit their 61st error until Sept. 2 (137th game). Currently, they are on pace for a club-record 141 errors.
"[The defense has] been unsettled, there's no question," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We're trying to balance it out based on the other team's pitchers, based on our pitchers defensively, where the ground balls may go. Based on our pitcher, the kind of hitters they have, you try to put your strongest guy there defensively.
"... For the most part, our record is still pretty good, in spite of all of our defensive mistakes -- which we're not used to. ... If there's one component of the game I think would maintain, in spite of whatever, we have good athletes out there who would normally play good defense. But we haven't."
Maddon has constantly noted that the way this year's Rays have fielded is not in their "DNA," and that he keeps looking for the trend to turn around. When asked if he was concerned that his team was indeed "that team" that makes costly errors, the Rays' manager could not deny how his team has played.
"We have been that team," Maddon said. "We have been that team, and we have to shake it. A whole lot of it is the residue of a lot of different people in spots that weren't necessarily going to be there as often as they are, as per Spring Training."
An old baseball saying points out that defense does not go into slumps. The Rays seem set on disproving that notion.
"Andrew [Friedman, Rays executive vice president of baseball operations] and I were just talking about that," Maddon said. "You always would think that, but our defense definitely has slumped this year."
Molina on pace for busiest season
PHILADELPHIA -- Jose Molina started his 36th game of the season in the first game of Sunday's day-night doubleheader against the Phillies.
The most starts at catcher Molina has had in his 13 Major League season is 81, which means the veteran catcher is on pace to have his busiest season.
"I don't know [if this season will be the most games I've started at catcher in a season]," Molina said. "I feel good. I'm working hard to stay in the best shape possible. I just go out there when Joe [Maddon] says, and [stay] ready for it. To tell you the truth, I'm not even thinking about how many games I'm going to catch. If it's going to be more, maybe less, I really don't care about that. I'm just here to win games, I don't care if it's me or [Jose Lobaton]. Whatever it is, it is."
Scott heads to Durham for rehab stint
PHILADELPHIA -- Luke Scott left the Rays on Sunday afternoon to join Triple-A Durham for a rehab assignment in advance of his coming off the disabled list to rejoin the team.
Scott, who has been on the disabled list since June 15 (retroactive to June 9) with back stiffness, said on Saturday that he thought he needed a short rehab assignment to get his swing right.
"I've got to be honest with myself," Scott said. "... I know I'm not on the fastball. I'm not repeating good swings."
There had been speculation that Scott would be ready to be activated when the club went to Kansas City on Monday to begin a three-game series with the Royals. Instead, he will be the Bulls' designated hitter on Monday and Tuesday.
Scott explained the importance of being able to be "on the fastball."
"If I'm on the fastball and able to put consistent swings on the fastball, I can adjust to the breaking stuff," Scott said. "... Right now, I just want to get to where I'm capable of doing a good job."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.