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O's: How Luke fits

Orioles outfielder Luke Scott is probably pretty happy with his nearly $2 million raise today, but he clearly has some reservations about being a full-time designated hitter. Let me put his mind at ease.

While I believe the plan calls for Felix Pie to get the Adam Jones treatment this year -- a full-time role in the outfield no matter how he swings the bat -- Scott might have gotten fewer at-bats overall if the O's had not acquired Pie.

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Chances are, Ryan Freel would have played left field when the O's faced left-handed starting pitchers, and the 25-man roster likely would include one more right-handed hitter who might compete with Scott for the remaining DH at-bats. This way, Scott figures to be the full-time DH, especially if the team starts the season with a 13-man pitching staff.

I suppose if Dave Trembley goes with a 12-man staff, Lou Montanez could get some looks as a right-handed DH, but those lost at-bats would probably be offset by the limited number of games Scott still figures to play in the outfield. Either way, he is more likely to get his 500 at-bats in this scenario than the one in which the O's would have signed or traded for a more established right-handed hitter.

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Associated Press photo


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