Longoria fine, says there had "to be a day" to rest
Evan Longoria said he feels fine after playing six consecutive days as the DH since coming off the disabled list, but is out of the lineup tonight by mutual consent in an effort to keep his left hamstring feeling good.
"There was going to have to be a day at some point where I give it a rest,'' Longoria said. "When I look at the schedule I don't want to take a day off at any point. And it's always tough to look at it and say, this is the day to take off, because there's really no days that you can just concede a day. They're all important at this point.''
That said, tonight's game made the most sense since the Rays did have a 3-hour flight from Minneapolis on Sunday night, and in the past the hamstring "has been a little bit more sore" after flying, due to dehydration as much as anything.
Plus, after Tuesday's game, the Rays face Mariners ace Felix Hernandez on Wednesday, and then four top-notch starters in Anaheim. (And since Anaheim is near Longoria's hometown, he is going to want to play there all weekend anyway.)
"So looking ahead, it just seemed like the best-case scenario to take a day today,'' Longoria said.
Overall, Longoria said he the hamstring has held up well in his first week back. "I felt pretty good,'' he said. "I haven't had to push it too hard, which is a blessing in disguise. We've been able to win some games and I haven't had to put myself out there too much.
"I'm pretty much the moral support around here,'' Longoria said. "I've been back in the lineup and kind of just pencil my name in, but since I've been back I really haven't done any of the huge damage. We've been hitting the ball really well as a team so it takes a lot of pressure off me. Makes it easy. I just get to show up and play again.''
In his six games, Longoria has hit .261 with a double and four RBIs.
Going forward, said there will be occasional other days off. "We're going to have to have one every so often to kind of give everyone piece of mind,'' he said.