Extra Bases

Baldelli joins Rays as special assistant

Outfielder Rocco Baldelli, who played 62 games for the Red Sox last season, has joined the Tampa Bay Rays as a special assistant.

Baldelli played for the Rays from 2003 to 2008. He has not ruled out returning as a player, but he told the St. Petersburg Times that he is recovering from a “shoulder issue.”

“I don’t think I’m ready to retire, I’m only 28 years old. But at this point I can’t really do what I want to do on the field. I wasn’t comfortable going to spring training this year, because I wouldn’t be able to perform,” Baldelli told the Times.

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Baldelli also has an ailment known as channelopathy that leaves him with bouts of fatigue that severely limit his playing time.

The newspaper said Baldelli would work with the organization’s younger players.

Baldelli is a career .279 hitter with 59 homers and 257 RBI. He had seven homers for the Red Sox in 2009, when he batted .253 and had 23 RBI.

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