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Would third time be a charm for the Rays, Delmon Young?

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Do the Rays need a hitter in the worst possible way?

And if so, are they open to giving a third strike to outfielder Delmon Young?

Young, the No. 1 overall pick by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2003, was released by the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday, marking another pothole in what has been a rough road for the outfielder. He does not play the outfield well enough to be an everyday player, and he has not hit well enough to make up for it.

Early in his career, Young looked as if he would be a big-time hitter, hitting .317 as a rookie and .288 in his second year. But Young was the key as the Rays traded for Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett and made it to the World Series. Young returned to the Rays late in 2013 and hit .258 in only 23 games.

This year, Young was hitting .270, but the Orioles evidently did not consider him valuable enough to keep.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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