NEW YORK -- Ben Zobrist took early batting practice with hitting coach Derek Shelton on Thursday afternoon, hours before the series finale with the Yankees. The slumping Rays slugger dropped below .200 in his final at-bat Wednesday night.
Zobrist hit from both sides of the plate for approximately 20 minutes.
"I'm just trying to slow down my body and use my hands more," Zobrist said. "I just feel like my body's getting in the way a little bit, so that's what we're working on, just getting the hands going."
Zobrist classified the major portion of the problem as a "feel thing."
"It's definitely a feel thing, that's a big part of it," Zobrist said. "You can see some of it on video. But overall, I just have to get my hands doing more of the work than what they've been doing."
Zobrist doesn't adhere to the philosophy that not thinking about a slump is the best way to get out of a slump.
"You have to think about it," Zobrist said. "You have to figure out what it is about your swing that doesn't feel right. Because if you don't feel right in the box, then it's going to be hard -- regardless of what pitch is thrown, it's going to be hard to hit it. You have to know that your swing is going to do what you want it to do."
Rays manager Joe Maddon does not believe Zobrist's slump is due to anything the opposing defense is doing in the way of shifts.
"I don't honestly think that's the problem," Maddon said. "You saw the last at-bat last night, pretty much out of the strike zone. Zobrist is really a disciplined hitter normally. And recently you've seen him outside of his zone. And I think that's a bigger problem."
Zobrist agreed that he's been expanding the strike zone.
"Yeah, I have," Zobrist said. "That's a result of not feeling comfortable with your swing. When you aren't comfortable, you feel like you have to get it going a little bit earlier, then you can't wait to see the pitch longer. When my swing feels right and quick, then I can wait and see the pitch. And then I can be more selective."
Maddon, Rays all right with all white
NEW YORK -- Rays players showed up to Yankee Stadium on getaway day Thursday wearing all white for the "all-white" theme trip to Miami.
This is the Rays' 21st such themed road trip engineered by manager Joe Maddon since 2008 and the fourth all-white trip to Miami. The first all-white trip took place in 2009.
Maddon was asked if many of the traveling party were already equipped enough to make this trip without having to purchase new clothes. He smiled, noting that he didn't have to buy anything new.
"For the new guys, I think it's nearly impossible [to not have to buy anything new]," Maddon said. "For the guys who have been around, they're more able to do that."
While some players might be perceived as candidates for struggling with the fashion, Maddon said he didn't think anybody had had a hard time dealing with it.
"You just have to let it go and accept it," Maddon said. "Some guys maybe fight it a little bit. Just accept it. Accept all white, and just go with it."
Scott getting break, but likely to be used in pinch
NEW YORK -- Luke Scott was out of the lineup for the second straight night Thursday after getting just two hits in his last 23 at-bats. And it appears he will have a difficult time getting on the field over the weekend.
The Rays travel to Miami to play an Interleague weekend series against the Marlins. Rays manager Joe Maddon was asked whether Scott could see playing time in the field over the weekend; he has not played in the field this season due to his recovery from shoulder surgery on his throwing shoulder (right) last season.
"Obviously pinch-hitting is a role [he might be used at over the weekend]," Maddon said. "I haven't decided yet whether to put him out there on defense, yet. I still have to look at that. But primarily, right now, it's as a pinch-hitter."
Maddon doesn't think giving Scott a little time off is the worst thing that can happen.
"I just think not grinding so hard should probably help him," Maddon said. "This guy cares about it as much as anybody does. And he works so hard. It might be the opportune time to give him a little bit of a break."
Scott said he could make the necessary throws if he played first. And if he played in the outfield, he said he would simply "hit the cutoff man."
"Whatever they ask me to do, I'll do the best I can," Scott said.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.