Longoria starting rehab assignment
Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria will begin a minor league rehab assignment Thursday with Triple-A Durham.
"Finally get to play baseball again," Longoria said with a smile.
Though there's no timetable on how long Longoria's rehab stint will be, he said he will work exclusively at DH, with hopes he can return to the big league club sooner.
Longoria, out since May 1 with a partially torn left hamstring, said he's "ready as I'm going to be" offensively, with the main issues how he feels when he plays defense, and accelerates on the bases. It'll be a matter of "feel" at the plate for when Longoria believes he's ready to rejoin the big league club.
Longoria will "take it easy" on his rehab stint, with manager Joe Maddon saying he hopes he won't be sliding, with the star third baseman acknowledging he won't be able to run at full speed when he returns to the Rays.
Longoria said he hopes that in the coming weeks he can work his way back into playing third base defensively one, two or three times a week, depending how it comes along. He said he's been told by doctors he can't make the injured hamstring any worse, but can push through and play through some of the pain the rest of the season.