Maddon: Longoria "closer than you think" to rehab assignment
Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon said third baseman Evan Longoria had an encouraging workout today at Camden Yards, and is "closer than you think" to a rehab assignment.
Maddon said Longoria, out since May 1 with a partially torn left hamstring, will do another workout Wednesday in Baltimore and then be re-evaluated. Maddon said it's possible Longoria could start the rehab assignment on this nine-game road trip, with it only lasting 3-4 games max. It appears the Rays don't mind Longoria working his way back first at designated hitter.
"Are we over the hump yet? Not entirely," Maddon said. But definitely optimistic."
Longoria went through a full workout, which included hitting, throwing and defense. He ran the bases, with Maddon saying he wasn't favoring his leg like the last time. Longoria has said that the backhand play defensively has been an issue before, but Maddon said he did that "successfully" today. A key will be how Longoria feels Wednesday, the day after, with Maddon saying what they're looking for the most is the strength level in the leg.
"If you just came out and watched the whole workout, you'd say there's nothing wrong with this guy at all," Maddon said. "But of course there is. The way the leg is going to hold up or not is based on the strength level in the leg. (Head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield) has been working hard with him to build up the strength and if Ronnie is satisfied with the strength level, that's the most important issue right now."
-- JOE SMITH