Luke Scott injury woes led to limited production in 2012 resulting in the Rays declining his 2013 option.
At the time of the Luke Scott signing site contributor R.J. Anderson stated that Andrew Friedman had finally landed his white whale. Luke Scott was coming off shoulder surgery that cost him most of the 2011 season and the Rays hoped that he could return to the player that posted a slash line of .284/.368/.535 with 27 homers, a wOBA of .387 and a wRC+ of 140 in 2010. The signing was typical of an Andrew Friedman Raysian contract paying Scott $5M in 2012 and the Rays held a 2013 club option at $6M which included a $1M buyout.
The season was one of frustration for Luke Scott as his name was added to a long list of failed designated hitters that the Rays have employed over the years. At the end of August Erik Hahmann wrote The Rays And The DH: A History Of Failure where he provides the Rays team ranking in DH from 1998-2012 in batting average (14th at .244), on-base percentage (14th at .328), slugging percentage (14th at .422), wRC+ (14th at 98), WAR (14th at 8.2), and wOBA (14th at .327).
On the year Scott hit a disappointing .229 with 14 homers, a wOBA of .309 and a wRC+ of 97 and due to numerous injuries he only had 344 plate appearances leading to the Rays to decline his 2013 option making him a free agent. In April he missed 3 games due to a mild hamstring strain, he landed on the disabled list in June and missed 17 games, and a strained oblique caused him to miss 28 games at the end of July and beginning of August. The season included an 0-41 stretch, breaking the team record of 0-37 set by Jose Cruz, Jr. in 2004, in which he only reached base once via a walk while striking out 13 times.
At the end of the season Rays beat writer for MLB.com Bill Chastain spoke of Luke Scott's engaging personality and Scott himself had nothing but praise for the Rays and the organization saying "It's a great organization. Get to play in my home state, great group of guys here. The environment in awesome. It's just a great place to play. I really enjoyed my time here. I hope they'll have me back.". Although the Rays have declined his 2013 option the door for Scott to return has not been closed.
It's often stated that the key to hitting is simply to swing at the pitches you can hit and lay off the ones you can't. This simplistic approach was the foundation of Scott's career success and not adhering to that code is the main reason for his struggles. His lack of command of the strike zone led to career worst marks in OBP, O-Swing% and BB%. He still produced power for the Rays posting a ISO of .210 with 22 doubles, 1 triple and 14 homers.
The lack of plate discipline yet still maintaining power were recognized in the Draysbay staff grades.