After the game last night, the announcement was made that Kapler had been activated from the disabled list and would be replacing Hank Blalock on the roster. It'd been rumored that Kapler would be ready to go any day now, and with Dioner Navarro now off the roster, the decision of who to DFA came down to either Hank Blalock or Willy Aybar. Blalock seemed the obvious answer, although FreeZo made a compelling argument here recently about why Aybar might be the one to get the axe.
In the end, though, the Rays decided to let the new man go. From Topkin:
Kapler (right hip flexor strain) was activated from the disabled list Tuesday night, and will be with the team Wednesday in Boston. Manager Joe Maddon praised Blalock for his professionalism, his work ethic, and impact in the clubhouse, but said there simply weren't enough at-bats or opportunities for him.
"This guy is a real pro, I thought he did a great job for us in the clubhouse," Maddon said. "His work ethic is spectacular. I wish I had a longer time to work with this fellow, because he's an interesting young man....He made a really good impression on all of us."
During his time with the Rays, Blalock posted a .254/.319/.349 line in 69 plate appearances, good for a .668 OPS and a .299 wOBA (Weighted On-Base Average). Considering the Rays signed Blalock for mere peanuts and that he'd had shown flashes of ability over the course of his career (his wOBA was over .360 in 2008, 2007, 2004, and 2003), he was worth the flyer if nothing else.
I hesitate to say that Blalock simply didn't work out with the Rays. Sixty-nine plate appearances is an incredibly small sample size to draw conclusions from, statistically speaking, so a part of me is sad that he's on his way again without being given a real chance blossom. He only produced -0.1 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) during his time with the Rays, which isn't great but is still better than Pat Burrell contributed to them this season (-0.3 WAR in 96 PA). But then again, his power had completely vanished so far this season (.097 ISO) and that had always been his biggest offensive asset. Maybe the Rays had scouting reasons to believe it wouldn't return, or they felt that the players on their current roster provided more all-around value than the defensively "meh" Blalock.
Whatever the reason, he's now jobless. So long, Hank. Here's hoping someone else is willing to give you a flyer.