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 ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -Troubled Tampa Bay outfielder Elijah Dukes was placed on the temporary inactive list Friday, a move the Devil Rays hope will enable the 22-year-old rookie to get his personal life on track.
Dukes, whose temper has been a concern ever since the team selected him in the third round of the 2002 draft, has been under constant scrutiny since his estranged wife revealed she sought a restraining order after being threatened by the athlete last month.
``What this allows us to do, and Elijah to do, is take some time away from the field and to focus on his personal life, re-evaluate everything, and most importantly allow him an opportunity away from the spotlight,'' Devil Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said before Friday night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. ``He himself has accepted this task, and we're very encouraged by it.''
Dukes was benched for two games last month after his wife said she sought a protective order because she and the couple's two children were threatened by the player. Last week, he was given a personal day off after published reports detailed a pregnant 18-year-old girl's claim that Dukes is the father of her unborn child.
Dukes, who started 46 of 52 games he's appeared in this season, was batting .190 with 10 homers and 21 RBIs. He was optioned to the minor leagues in concert with being put on the inactive list.
The Devil Rays replaced him by purchasing the contract of outfielder Dustan Mohr from Triple-A Durham. To create room on the 40-man roster, outfielder Rocco Baldelli (hamstring) was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.
Alan Nero, Dukes' agent, said they have working together with the Devil Rays.
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