Elijah Dukes is headed down to the Dominican Republic to play winter ball this off season. The Rays outfielder had been deactivated by the team while he has tried to get his life off the field back together. The club has said that he has made strides since being away from baseball and focusing on counseling and his family. He has had some problems with his ex-wife, but they seem to be coming around and she has even allowed him to have unsupervised visits. This move may indicate a movement in towards the next chapter in his life.
The Dominican winter ball is a great place to hone your skills in the off season. Dukes will be able to get back into the swing of things and start getting back into baseball condition. As long as he stays out of trouble while he is down there, this should be a great situation for him. Hopefully Elijah can stay out of trouble and get some good playing time down in the Dominican. If he can stay out of trouble and come back to Spring Training with the skills to play again, the Rays will have another viable option in the outfield that can be used in a trade. The Rays will once again have a good number of outfielders in there system and could trade Dukes away for some much needed pitching help. We are all rooting for Elijah not just to get better as a baseball player, but as a man also.