Longoria heads to WBC
3B Evan Longoria is joining Team USA for the final round of the World Baseball Classic.
The Rays just made the announcement; Longoria had been considered a likely addition following the injury to 3B Chipper Jones, but had not heard anything as of this afternoon. David Wright has been playing third but he was hobbled Wednesday when he fouled a ball off his left foot and cracked the nail on his big toe.
"Albeit brief, this should be a great opportunity for Longo,'' Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said in a statement. "He's played a lot this spring so he's definitely ready to compete in that type of environment.''
Longoria, who had been hoping for the call, won't be gone long as Team USA plays in the semifinals on Sunday and possibly the finals on Monday. Longoria will join teammate LHP J.P. Howell on Team USA and could face 2B Akinori Iwamura, who is playing for Japan.
Longoria was among five players on the provisional roster that could have been added to the injury-depleted team, including OFs Grady Sizemore and Ryan Ludwick, 1B Derrek Lee and C A.J. Pierzynski.
“We’re obviously disappointed to lose a player the caliber of Chipper Jones, but at the same time so very fortunate to add a player as talented as Evan Longoria,'' USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler said. "With the opportunity to make a roster change, Evan is too valuable not to have on our club.”