CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 7: Hideki Matsui #35 of the Tampa Bay Rays warms up in the on-deck circle but never made it up to bat during the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on July 7, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Rays 7-3. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Hideki Matsui was designated for assignment by the team on Wednesday. Matsui hit a paltry .147 in his time with the Rays.
#Rays designate Hideki Matsui for assignment— Joe Smith (@TBTimesRays2) July 25, 2012
Matsui was signed to the Rays back in April on a minor league deal. After spending a month in the minors, specifically at Triple-A Durham, Matsui was called up to the Rays on May 29. He hit a two run home run in his second at bat in that game.
However, his time with the Rays has not been effective, hitting a paltry .147 in 34 games. He has only hit two home runs, seven RBIs and has struck out 22 times. He has not recorded a hit in his last nine games played dating back to July 2. Much of his struggles may have something to do with his age, he turned 38 on June 12 and given that he has played close to 20 years of professional baseball in Japan and the United States, his body could be breaking down.