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Longoria to the 15-day DL, Lopez added



3B Evan Longoria was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained left oblique, with manager Joe Maddon saying he was expected to miss at least three weeks.

Veteran INF Felipe Lopez, who had been assigned to Triple-A Durham, will join the Rays in time for today's game. A corresponding 40-man roster move has to be made to make room for Lopez.

The Rays had Longoria undergo an MRI Sunday morning, but even before learning the results Maddon said he expected Longoria, a three-time All-Star, to land on the DL. "He's just not feeling that good,'' Maddon said.

Maddon said the minimum absence is likely to be three weeks, meaning Longoria would return in late April. Longoria left Saturday's game in the fifth inning, but said after the game he didn't expect to out long. The oblique is in the abdominal area and is affected by swings and throws among other movements.

"It's just unfortunate," Maddon said. "We're having a hard time scoring runs out of the chute. He's probably our best run producer and now we dont' have him. We're just going to have to make some adjustments and keep playing.''

Sean Rodriguez is likely to get most of the playing time at third base, though Lopez will be used as well. Maddon said he didn't plan to move Dan Johnson to third, which would have instead created an opening for Casey Kotchman at first. The Rays will also have to juggle their batting order, with Ben Zobrist potentially sliding into Longoria's No. 3 spot.

"It's during moments like this a lot of times people surprise, and all of a sudden people's games get elevated,'' Maddon said. "And things turn out to be okay, so we're looking for that to happen."

Lopez, 30, signed a minor-league contract with the Rays during the off-season. He has played parts of 10 seasons in the majors, most recently with the Cardinals and Red Sox.







[Last modified: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 12:15am]


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