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Hideki Matsui is hitting .158 for the Rays

Jun 22, 2012, 1:40 PM EDT

Hideki Matsui Reuters Reuters

Tampa Bay called up Hideki Matsui last month despite his hitting just .170 in 13 games at Triple-A, which seemed odd at the time and was clearly an example of the Rays simply hoping that the 38-year-old veteran could summon whatever gas he had left in the tank once he was back in the big leagues.

That looked like a good move right away, as Matsui homered in two of his first three games, but since then he’s 7-for-48 (.146) with zero homers and a .393 OPS in 14 games. Matsui is hitting .158 with a .507 OPS overall, which along with his poor showing at Triple-A and career-worst .696 OPS for the A’s last season suggests that he’s just about finished.

It was a helluva run, but Matsui’s roster spot may be in jeopardy once Luke Scott returns from the disabled list next week and it’s hard to see him finding another big-league gig.

  1. mybrunoblog - Jun 22, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    If it is over it has still been a great run for Matsui. After Ichiro he was probably the finest Japanese position player to play in MLB.
    As far as his Yankees time is concerned his 2009 World Series performance solidifies his legacy as a true Yankee hero.
    It’ll be neat seeing him at Yankees old timers days in the coming years.

    • lumpyf - Jun 22, 2012 at 3:06 PM

      Definitely #2 behind Ichiro and no one else is even in the discussion.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 22, 2012 at 3:15 PM

        Darvish might be in 5 years.

      • randomdigits - Jun 22, 2012 at 6:12 PM

        Pretty sure Darvish is going to stay a pitcher.

  2. Old Gator - Jun 22, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    It always saddens me to see a great ballplayer barely hanging on as a pale simulacrum of what he once was. I remember Willie Mays’ last year as a Mutt – the same valedictory sadness. Although I can understand that it’s tough to admit you’ve hit the wall, I definitely admire athletes who bow out gracefully while they’re still performing at a respectable level.

    • natstowngreg - Jun 22, 2012 at 8:06 PM

      One of the saddest thing I’ve seen in about 50 years of following baseball. Willie Mays stumbling across home plate, getting thrown out, then pleading with the plate ump from his knees.

  3. mianfr - Jun 22, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Lots of good memories, Hideki.

  4. sawxalicious - Jun 22, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    Position players….

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