Saturday, May 26, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Longoria playing through foot injury

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' Evan Longoria was the DH for the second straight game Friday and could be there the rest of the weekend as he's dealing with a "pretty painful" case of plantar fasciitis in his right foot.

Longoria said the foot has been bothering him for a couple of weeks, with the long games on the turf against Boston contributing to the problem. He said it won't keep him out of the lineup and hopes that after Monday's off day it will clear up enough for him to return to third base during Tuesday's doubleheader in Boston.

Plantar fasciitis involves inflammation in the band of tissue that runs on the bottom of the foot. Manager Joe Maddon compared the pain to stepping on a nail.

"It kind of gets to the point where I don't really feel like I'm doing any good to go out there and run on it," said Longoria, who had two hits, including a double, in Friday's 7-2 loss to the Royals. "It's something I haven't dealt with before, and it's pretty painful. It's kind of a weird deal, but it's not going to keep me off the field."

Longoria said the foot mostly bothers him while he's standing around and feels pretty good at the beginning of the game, but by the end, it gets sore. He's the only Rays player to start every game so far this season.

Kelly Johnson, who made his first big-league appearance at third base Thursday, started at third again Friday.

FAMILY MATTERS: RHP Alex Cobb returned Thursday night from the Boston area, where he attended the funeral of his grandmother, Nancy Miller, who died Monday at 85. Cobb, activated from the bereavement list, said it was nice to go back to her house and "catch up on some memories."

Cobb said Miller, a librarian at his elementary school, loved books and joked that he "hated them," causing some fun back-and-forth. Miller would pay for Cobb's family to go on vacation to Cape Cod or to Bermuda. "Always something she did to bring the family together," he said.

Because the service was Wednesday, Cobb pushed back his between-starts bullpen to after Thursday's game. Cobb said he is eager to get back on the mound today and bounce back from Monday's outing, when he allowed six first-inning runs and went just four. "I stopped being so aggressive, and I let the situation get the best of me," he said.

MEDICAL MATTERS: LHP David Price, out since mid May with a triceps strain, likely will make his first minor-league rehab start Tuesday, though it hasn't been decided where. Price said he felt great one day after throwing a simulated game, and Maddon said if all goes well, Price would need less than three starts before returning.

STEPPING IN: It appears the team is looking at RHP Alex Colome to start in Tuesday's doubleheader in Boston, using the 26th-man rule. Colome was limited to just 45 pitches in Thursday's start at Triple-A Durham and was impressive in winning his major-league debut May 30 against the Marlins. Maddon said they're still discussing options and will decide soon.

DRAFT BREEZE: Second-round pick Riley Unroe, 17, finalized his deal with the Rays and was at the Trop on Friday. A high school shortstop out of Mesa, Ariz., he admitted it was a tough decision to turn down a scholarship from Southern Cal.

Unroe was joined Friday by his dad, Tim, who played in the majors, including for Maddon with the Angels.

"It's surreal," the younger Unroe said. "I worked my entire life, ever since I was 2 years old, watching my dad play. Just to finally realize that it's my turn to go out and prove myself and make it to this stage is life-changing."

MISCELLANY: DH Luke Scott, mired in a 9-for-59 slump, said Thursday's two opposite-field hits, including a double, were a "good sign" he's coming out of it. … The Rays will donate $2,500 to the Tampa Bay Lions youth football league, whose field house was set on fire by arsonists earlier this week.

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