3/4/2013 3:26 P.M. ET
Fontenot opening eyes in bid to make roster
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Rays have a history of bringing in a veteran player to Spring Training who seems off the radar and he ends up contributing before the season is over.
Mike Fontenot is a candidate to be such a player for this year's team. The 32-year-old native of Slidell, La., is a veteran of seven Major League seasons with the Cubs, Giants and Phillies. He signed with the Rays as a Minor League free agent on Nov. 11 after hitting .289 in 47 games with Philadelphia last season.
Fontenot wanted to join the Rays despite the fact that the club's roster looks set unless a rash of injuries take place.
"My main concern when I came over here is, this is a good organization and I wanted to be a part of that," Fontenot said. "I just want to get back playing baseball a little bit. I didn't play the last two months of the season last year. I wanted to get back out there and play a little bit and see what happens."
Fontenot had wrist surgery in September.
"I wanted to be ready for [the 2013 season]," Fontenot said. "[I] just had to get it cleaned up, because it was hurting a little bit, had some calcium deposits. Got that done and everything's been great so far."
Fontenot can play third, short and second, and Monday he found himself in left field against the Red Sox. He noted that the worst thing a player can do is try to play the roster game, or try to figure out what the team is going to do as far as roster moves.
"You can't," Fontenot said. "You just have to get out here and do your thing. A lot of stuff is out of your control. All you can control is your play and the work you put in every day. That's all I'm focusing on right now."
The veteran has been around long enough to know that the status of a team's roster can change in an instant.
"You never know. I thought I was locked in last year in Spring Training with San Francisco and ended up not there," Fontenot said. "I'm just here to have a good time and play baseball."
Manager Joe Maddon clearly is a Fontenot fan.
"Fontenot, he's a nice baseball player, man," Maddon said. "I don't know much about him, because he's been in the other league, but he's really impressive. He's got a really good swing, a really good swing. Technically he's very good. The ball's always on the fat part of the bat when he hits it.
"Defensively he catches the ball cleanly and throws well. He's not tall, but this guy's a really good baseball player. He's a really impressive and I've been watching him very closely. He could be a big part of what we do here. He fits in well. … There's still a chance for him to make the club. I mean that. I've really been impressed with him a lot. Not a little bit. He's good."
McGee not concerned about dip in velocity
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Jake McGee's velocity has been down slightly this spring, but the left-hander isn't concerned.
McGee came into his own last season, looking dominant while going 5-2 with a 1.95 ERA in 69 appearances out of the Rays' bullpen. When McGee is right, it's not unusual to see him consistently hitting 97 mph. Thus far this spring, he's been hovering in the low 90s.
"I'm not concerned about that at all," said McGee, who pitched a scoreless inning against the Twins on Sunday. "Yesterday I felt good. It felt like it was coming out good and still working into it. It's my third game, and it was a little chilly yesterday.
"I could have kicked it up more if I wanted to, but I wanted to do more, like location. It was hard to get a feel for my cutter yesterday because of the cold. [It was] hard to feel the ball."
McGee should again be a weapon out of the Rays' bullpen this season. A nice aspect about becoming more experienced has been the growing understanding of his mechanics.
"I kind of know my mechanics better and what to fix -- when I need to fix it -- if it's kind of getting out of whack or if I need to do a little here and there," he said.
McGee said he will pitch again on Friday, and he's not scheduled to throw on back-to-back days until March 18-19.
Scott gets treatment on left hamstring
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- A day after leaving a game with tightness in his left hamstring, designated hitter Luke Scott stayed behind at the Charlotte Sports Complex as the team traveled to Fort Myers to play the Red Sox.
Scott is unsure how long he'll be out of action.
"[I] don't know," Scott said as he headed off to the trainer's room. Shouldn't be long."
Scott flew out to right field in the second inning in his only at-bat Sunday against the Twins. The veteran said he began to feel the tightness while running, so he left the game.
Manager Joe Maddon does not believe Scott's hamstring is going to be a problem, but he did allow that questions about his concerns for Scott were understandable given the fact he missed 45 games in 2012 due to time on the disable list.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.