Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays will give Longoria more at-bats hitting third

Even though Evan Longoria has a .345 average, he doesn't appear to be getting many good pitches to hit.

Getty Images

Even though Evan Longoria has a .345 average, he doesn't appear to be getting many good pitches to hit.

BOSTON — Manager Joe Maddon flipped Evan Longoria into the No. 3 spot in the batting order ahead of Ben Zobrist for the first time this season on Wednesday and said he may continue doing so, at least against left-handers. Longoria hopes it's the start of something.

In theory, Longoria, who had been hitting fourth, should be more productive at No. 3 because he is likely to see better pitches with Zobrist behind him. In reality, Longoria feels more comfortable in the third spot for, among other reasons, the set routine of knowing he will bat in the first inning and the opportunity to get to the plate more often.

"We've talked a lot about it and I've told him that I'm comfortable in the 3 spot, and that's where I'd like to be," Longoria said. "But like we said at the beginning of the year, wherever they feel is the best spot for me, then that's where I'll be. It's not my decision."

Even though Longoria has a .345 average, he doesn't appear to be getting many good pitches to hit. "I haven't seen a whole lot of pitches over the plate in the past week," he said.

The result? A power outage, as all 10 of his hits have been singles, several to the opposite field, and the nine games are the most he has gone into a season without a home run.

"I just think they're not giving him pitches to hit for power with; I think that's part of the issue," Maddon said. "His swing is outstanding."

IF THERE'S A WIL: There are no indications of any consideration to call up top prospect OF Wil Myers from Triple-A Durham, but as of today Myers has spent enough time in the minors (12 days) to delay free agency an extra year until after his seventh season. The Rays likely would have to wait until at least late June to avoid having him be eligible for a fourth year of arbitration.

ALEX THE GREAT: RHP Alex Cobb followed up his strong spring with a solid first outing of the regular season.

But tonight he pitches at the not-so-friendly confines of Fenway Park, where he is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in two starts but doesn't feel "extremely comfortable."

"I've had some decent success, but it hasn't been my crispest performances," he said.

Cobb said his improved curve has made a difference in getting ahead of hitters.

WHAT DEMISE? Maddon said all spring that he didn't buy the story line that the Red Sox would be bad again, noting their solid pitching and improved clubhouse chemistry. "They've got a good group makeupwise, and that's the part I thought was most compelling," he said.

MISCELLANY: Rain is forecast for Boston most of the day and into tonight, with temperatures in the low 40s. … DH Luke Scott hopes to advance his rehab from a calf strain to running the bases today.

. fast facts

The 3-4 question

Evan Longoria's numbers based on where he hits in the lineup:


3 1,417 .267 67 .362 .505 .867

4 936 .284 40 .358 .501 .859

Rays will give Longoria more at-bats hitting third 04/11/13 [Last modified: Thursday, April 11, 2013 9:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    A BIG DAY: Adeiny Hechavarria gets a hug from Steven Souza Jr. after hitting a two-run home run in the seventh. Hechavarria also triples and ends the game with a  stellar play at shortstop.
  2. Rays up next: vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: Off

    Up next: vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field.

  3. Tom Jones' Two Cents: Bucs, Jaguars both get blame for terrible preseason ratings

    TV and Radio

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst of a weekend in televised sports.

    Worst matchup

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) tries to get past Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Brian Dixon (41) and safety Barry Church (42) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) JVS119
  4. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    This is the Blake Snell everyone has been waiting for. Working off his fastball. Challenging hitters. Staying focused regardless of how many runners are on base. Snell has pitched at least six innings for three straight starts. He had a rough start to the year, but it looks like he has figured it out.

  5. Blake Snell shines as Rays beat Mariners to end skid (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell delivered the best outing of his young career and the Rays offense continued its home run-hitting ways for a 3-0 victory Sunday against the Mariners in front of 13,354 at Tropicana Field.

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) with starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) after the top of the seventh inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.