07/02/12 8:30 PM ET
Amid slump, Scott's mind ahead of body
By Bill Chastain and Greg Zeck / MLB.com
Scott entered Monday's action hitting .207 with nine home runs and 36 RBIs. He had just one hit in his last 30 at-bats dating to May 30 -- a period during which he missed 16 games due to back stiffness. Scott is 0-for-11 since returning from the disabled list on Thursday.
Anybody who has talked hitting with Scott immediately understands that he knows a lot about the subject. Rays manager Joe Maddon said that having that kind of deep understanding can sometimes be detrimental to the pursuit of hitting Major League pitching.
"He can be his own worst enemy; he can be very analytical," Maddon said of Scott. "And that's why I've been really pushing for everybody to simplify things right now and not get so complicated. That's what I've been trying to do among the coaches and the with the players. I really believe in simplification and fundamentals when things aren't going well."
Scott said that he works on his mechanics in the hope they'll become second nature once he steps into the batter's box, leaving him to worry only about what kind of pitch he is going to see.
"You're trying to train your muscle memory; you're training your mechanics," Scott said. "You're trying to make sure that ... your mechanics are right and that they're sound and they're doing what they need to do to be successful. That knowledge, I'm very comfortable with that. I've been very efficient in my career and I've learned a lot, and I have a very good understanding about it. But what's been eluding me the past six weeks -- the past two months -- has been the feel."
Scott elaborated by saying his mind knows what needs to be done to hit, but his body is not allowing that to happen.
"And that's what makes this game so frustrating," Scott said.
Scott noted that understanding how to hit and being able to hit are two entirely different matters.
"Some guys that play, you watch them, and they don't understand hitting," Scott said. "They don't know how to explain hitting. But they have a feel, and they go up there and rake.
"So if I had a choice between what was more important, having a knowledge of hitting or having the feel, I'd go with the feel any day," Scott said. "That's kind of like the expression, 'I'd rather be lucky than good.' Because, if you have a good feel for hitting, it doesn't matter if you understand it. You're getting results."
So is Scott getting back the feel? The question was put to the DH.
"Today, I feel really good," Scott said. "Today was a good day."
Bruised Hellickson expects to make next start
ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson threw a 40-pitch bullpen session on Monday and said he expects to make his next start. Hellickson sustained a bruised right shin and was forced to abruptly leave Saturday's 6-2 loss to the Tigers upon being struck by a third-inning line drive just below the knee.
"It's still a little sore, I guess, but it's tolerable, and I threw my bullpen [session] just fine," Hellickson said. "It didn't really affect it at all; it just felt normal."
Hellickson added that with each passing day, his leg feels significantly better, saying his level of discomfort was "night and day" from Sunday to Monday, giving him the belief it will be even better for Thursday's scheduled start against the Indians.
Monday's bullpen session included all of the usual pitches for the righty.
Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said he has not heard yet from his training staff about whether it believes Hellickson will be healthy enough to pitch on Thursday.
Hellickson was making his first start since coming off the disabled list when the injury occurred. He left after 2 2/3 innings, having allowed one run on four hits while walking one and striking out one.
"I wasn't too concerned," Hellickson said of the injury. "I knew it didn't get the bone. I knew I was going to be sore, but it was just a bruise. I felt good about being able to come back."
On the season, Hellickson is 4-4 with a 3.44 ERA and 53 strikeouts across 81 innings.
Lobaton feels at 'home' with impromptu wedding
ST. PETERSBURG -- Jose Lobaton's wedding ceremony came off quickly and with little planning on Monday morning at Tropicana Field.
According to Rays vice president of communications Rick Vaughn, the catcher asked the club for permission on Sunday afternoon to hold the ceremony at home plate on Monday morning.
"It came together in a very short time," Vaughn said.
Lobaton and Nina Dominguez were married by a notary at 10 a.m. ET.
Also on hand were Rays first baseman Carlos Pena and his wife, Pamela, along with Dominguez's mother.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Greg Zeck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.