Saturday, August 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Longoria snubbed in fans' final All-Star vote

BOSTON — 3B Evan Longoria appreciated the support he did get from fans and the Rays organization while finishing last among the five candidates for the final spot on the American League All-Star team.

Jays OF Michael Saunders won the fan Internet and Twitter balloting, collecting more than 17 million votes. Totals were not released, but Longoria was at the bottom in all updates, also trailing Houston OF George Springer, Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia and Detroit 2B Ian Kinsler. Giants 1B Brandon Belt got the NL spot.

"Personally I'm happy with what I've done the first half," Longoria said. "You'd love to get some recognition for what you've done, but ultimately it comes down to the respect that my teammates have for me, and the coaching staff, and the fans.

"I can't force people to vote. I can't force myself into the game. So for me personally, knowing that the team was in support of me going to the All-Star Game, that they acknowledged that I had a good first half, is really all I can ask for."

Longoria, who after a four-hit game Friday is hitting .287 with 19 homers and 47 RBIs, could still be named to the team if one of the chosen players were hurt or otherwise withdrew, though he might have to get out of a hotel pool to make it.

"I would love to go, there is no doubt about that," he said. "If I got a phone call … that there was an opportunity to go, I would definitely take it. … But at this point I think the focus has changed to some vacation time with my family."

STARRY-EYED: RHP Alex Colome is headed to San Diego for Tuesday's game and will travel in style, hitching a ride with David Ortiz and the five other Red Sox All-Stars on an MLB-arranged chartered jet after Sunday's game. "It might be funny," Colome said. "We'll be talking some (trash) you know."

NICK MEETS WALL: Nick Franklin made the Friday start in tricky, Green Monster-inhabited leftfield, with Oswaldo Arcia on the bench and Corey Dickerson at DH.

Cash said they have been impressed overall how he has taken to the outfield, boosting his chances to become a super-utility type player. "We're trying to balance a look at Arcia and Franklin both," Cash said. "Both of them have done some good things. Nick Franklin has had a lot of good at-bats. I think he's earned the opportunity to get out there somewhat consistently."

Franklin got a pregame tutorial on the nuances of the wall from outfield coach Rocco Baldelli, with no major issues during the game. And he did get two more hits and another RBI, giving him 12 in his last 10 games.

REHAB REPORT: CF Kevin Kiermaier (left hand fracture) "looked great" taking a full round of batting practice early Friday, Cash said, and will hit with the team today and on the field again Sunday, then start a minor-league rehab assignment Monday or Tuesday. … RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) threw a bullpen session at the Trop Friday and is slated for two-three innings Monday with advanced Class A Charlotte in his second rehab start. … RHPs Brad Boxberger (oblique strain) and Chase Whitley (Tommy John surgery) will throw bullpens today and then live batting practice Tuesday in Port Charlotte.

MINOR MATTER: RHP Casey Coleman, a 29-year-old who has time with the Cubs and Royals, signed and joined Triple-A Durham. The son of former Bulls pitching coach Joe Coleman and a third-generational big-leaguer was released July 1 from Seattle's Triple-A team.

MISCELLANY: Cash said they were close to setting the post-break rotation and should announce it today. … C Curt Casali, struck on the side of the head by a backswing Wednesday, said he felt good and ready to return. … First-pitch temperature was a brisk 62 degrees. … OF Andrew Toles, the Rays 2013 minor league player of the year who was released in March 2015 following personal/discipline issues, was called up by the Dodgers. … RHP Ryan Webb, released this week, signed a White Sox minor-league deal.

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