Longoria's return to be discussed
Given how poorly their offense is going, the Rays would obviously benefit from the return of 3B Evan Longoria, who has been on rehab at Triple- Durham as he completes recovery from an April 30 partial tear of his left hamstring.
Manager Joe Maddon said as much after Sunday's game.
"You're not scoring runs you want to get people back obviously, but you've got to make sure that he's ready and well to do that,'' he said. "For me we're just relying on the people there watching him, and him of course. For Longo to say I'm ready and the people watching him are saying he is ready and you might make a move, but we're still going to be patient with that until we get all the right answers.''
Asked about a Tuesday return, Maddon said: "I still think it's 50-50. I think how he does tonight would really matter. He's gone several days in a row. Right now I think the bigger issue from what i'm hearing is more how he feels at the plate as opposed to his body. His body is starting to pick up a little bit, the soreness is dissipating so that's a good thing. I don't know that he feels good in a baseball way yet.''
After going 2-for-3 and sliding for the first time, Longoria said in Durham (courtesy the Herald-Sun) that he felt like he was ready. Overall, he is 5-for-25 with seven walks and a hit-by-pitch.
"I had some better at bats and some results. Overall the at bats were better and I felt better,'' he said. “I felt fine running, not very fast. But right now that’s not really what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to maintain speed. That was the first time I slid, too, so it was an overall adventure of a play. It’s one of those mental blocks that you’ve got to get over. It was a half-hearted slide. But it’s one of those that kind of gets you past the worry of sliding again. Overall, felt healthy. Felt good. Got through the game and it’s a positive day.”
As for the possibility of a Tuesday return? “I’m getting to that at-bat mark that I wanted to be around, right around 30 at bats,'' he said. "My legs are recovering. I’m not feeling the amount of soreness or fatigue that I was feeling at the beginning of the rehab. So it’s one of those things where I hope that’s a possibility. But I have to talk with Andrew (Friedman, executive VP) and Ron (Porterfield, head athletic trainer) and our staff there, get their thoughts and give them mine and see where it goes.”
Having him back would be an obvious boost, Maddon said. "Of course there would be,'' he said. "t definitely does something different to your lineup regarding who hits where, that kind of stuff. No question it would have some kind of positive impact. A hitter of his magnitude in your lineup always does. But my expectations aren't that he's just going to come in and just start railing on the baseball. I don't believe that. I believe he's going to have to work his way through it and get back up to speed with major league baseball players playing in August.''