Longoria still missing Forsythe but likes totality of moves
Veteran Rays leader 3B Evan Longoria did a spring opening address this morning, showing off his new bearded look. Among the highlights:
* While still not over the trade of 2B Logan Forsythe - saying at the time he was "surprised and upset" - Longoria said he likes the overall winter moves. "I think we were all a little bit upset by the loss of Logan, I was about as vocal as I've ever been on any given topic or move that we've made, but that being said some of the additions we did make are really good.''
* Coming off a 36-homer season that was one of his best, Longoria changed his off-season routine, cutting way back on his hitting, switching from yoga to pilates (with wife Jaime Edmonson) and going back to the Exos workout facility in Arizona. "I took the Jake Arrieta advice and did a bunch of pilates with my wife and did less hitting, a lot less hitting.''
* The reduced workload was the product of changes he made in his swing last season that obviously stuck with him. "My swing has probably felt as good as It's ever felt coming into spring.''
* While not necessarily buying into some of the computer projections, he said the Rays have a chance to compete for a playoff spot and feels there is a commitment to do so. "I do. It's a different situation - there was so much shuffling. I think the loss of Logan, it can't be overlooked because it kind of cast a cloud but when you look at it in the totality I think - and it's hard to look at right now - but I think at the end of the day we've bettered ourselves a little bit. I can't say we got much better losing him, but if you take him away but you insert the pieces we do have I like it. And I think we've positioned ourselves to be right there. We have to go out and perform, guys have to perform like they're expected to and we have to stay healthy. I don't feel like we don't have a chance.''
* He started growing the beard in November, his wife likes it, and he plans on keeping it - until an extended slump anyway.