Sunday, June 17, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria says he's close to beginning rehab assignment

NEW YORK — 3B Evan Longoria said he could start a rehab assignment by the end of the team's road trip and expects to rejoin the Rays around the middle of the month.

Manager Joe Maddon said Longoria, out since May 1 with a partially torn left hamstring, would likely need a seven- to 10-day assignment before returning.

"It's feeling good," Longoria said. "It's at the point where I'm ready to push it. I'm ready to see where we can get on a daily basis. I think we're past all the bad stuff. It's taken a lot of steps forward in the last week and a half."

Longoria is traveling with the team and said the big tests will be in the next couple of days, with acceleration drills and base­running, before he can start his assignment. He said he hasn't missed much hitting and has taken ground balls the past week and a half. But he hasn't run past 80-90 percent.

"A lot of it is being able to get past the mental block of, 'Am I going to feel that again?' " Longoria said. "And that's probably not the case. It's just something, that mental hurdle, that you have to get over when you have stuff like this happen."

Longoria, who has dealt with hamstring issues before, understands it's a challenge knowing how to avoid the same type of injury again.

"It's my cross to bear, I only know how to play one way, and that's 100 percent every day," Longoria said. "It's always a learning experience when you have something like this. I think hopefully I can teach myself when in fact you do need to go 110 percent and those times when you can maybe help not being in a situation like this again and minimize the effort in a situation that may not need it."

Longoria says it has been tough to be away, but he is impressed how his teammates have stepped up and stayed around the top of the American League East.

"It's incredible," he said. "I think our position speaks for itself, but it's pretty crazy to me that we really have not played good baseball at all. I don't feel like we've even played to a percentage of potential that we're able to play. I feel like we've really skated along, we've gotten some lucky victories. They're all good wins, but we've been lucky at times, and pitching has really kept us in a lot."

UP AND DOWN: The Rays activated OF/1B Brandon Allen from the disabled list then designated him for assignment. Allen must clear waivers before accepting an assignment to Durham. The Rays also have 10 days to trade him.

Allen, who has been on the DL since May 10 with a right quad strain, batted .154 in seven games with the Rays, picking up a couple of big hits, including a walkoff homer against the Angels April 26. "This guy helped us win about three games in the limited time he was with us," Maddon said. "We'd love to keep him."

PRICE CHECK: There are a lot of reasons for LHP David Price's recent roll of six consecutive starts of seven innings or more, such as his strike-throwing ability and success with runners in scoring position.

But Maddon said the key has been Price's excellent fastball command, with his average velocity (95.1 mph) second highest in the majors.

"I've never really thrown this hard in my life for a duration of the game," Price said. "That's pretty neat, I enjoy it. My body feels good right now, so does my arm."

DRAFT BREEZE: The Rays stocked up on college pitchers and catchers on the third and final day of the draft. "We came away from this really excited after (Tuesday), and we added some more guys (Wednesday)," scouting director R.J. Harrison said.

MISCELLANY: RHP James Shields left for California to tend to a family matter. The Rays expect him to join the team in Miami. … Maddon said there's no update on INF Jeff Keppinger (broken right toe). … DH Luke Scott got the day off.

Comments
For starters: Rays at Yankees, looking to avoid a four-game sweep

For starters: Rays at Yankees, looking to avoid a four-game sweep

UPDATE, 11:37: Interesting decision by the Rays to move Adames to 2B today and reinstall Hechavarria at SS as he came off DL following Arroyo injury.Here is the Rays lineup:Duffy 3bBauers 1bRamos cCron dhAdames 2bHechavarria ssGomez rfRefsnyder lfFie...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Peering into the crystal baseball to see what Rays could look like in 2019

Peering into the crystal baseball to see what Rays could look like in 2019

The Rays are still talking, as they should, about playing for something this season. The reality is that almost every move they've made, going back to the end of last season, and in some cases further, has been about 2019 and beyond.Clearing out vete...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Rays lose again to Yankees, this time 4-1

Rays lose again to Yankees, this time 4-1

NEW YORK — Kevin Cash was not going to go all Lou Piniella on his Rays, raging and ripping and roaring over their latest mess, a 4-1 Saturday loss to the Yankees that didn't feel that close.Which is too bad because Piniella, the volcanic former...
Published: 06/16/18
Rays journal: Arroyo on DL, Hechavarria returns

Rays journal: Arroyo on DL, Hechavarria returns

NEW YORK — Just when it seemed like SS Adeiny Hechavarria might not play another game for the Rays, he will rejoin them on Sunday.The Rays announced after Saturday's 4-1 loss that INF Christian Arroyo was placed on the DL due to an oblique stra...
Published: 06/16/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

RHP Ryne Stanek did his job as the opener just fine in getting four outs on Saturday, but for the Rays' unorthodox pitching plan to work it takes a team effort. And LHP Ryan Yarbrough's inability to throw strikes quickly put them in a hole.The experi...
Published: 06/16/18
For starters: Rays at Yankees, trying to break through

For starters: Rays at Yankees, trying to break through

UPDATE, 11:49: Cash said he played Cron at 1B in an effort to get him more involved in the game, indicated he may do so again Sunday (with Bauers off vs. LH Sabathia) and should have done so more as Cron struggled. … Cash reiterated that CF Kev...
Published: 06/16/18
Rays owner Stuart Sternberg frustrated, but optimistic

Rays owner Stuart Sternberg frustrated, but optimistic

NEW YORK — So what does the boss — lowercase, of course, around here — think of this up-and-down, hot-and-cold Rays season so far? Appropriately, a variety of things.In a 30-minute chat with the Tampa Bay Times before Friday's 5-0 l...
Published: 06/15/18
Rays journal: Nathan Eovaldi pitches well against his ex-team but gets no help

Rays journal: Nathan Eovaldi pitches well against his ex-team but gets no help

NEW YORK — RHP Nathan Eovaldi made an impressive return to Yankee Stadium on Friday to face his high-powered former teammates.It's too bad he didn't get any help from his current mates, in what ended up a 5-0 Rays loss.Eovaldi was in command an...
Published: 06/15/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

Give RHP Nathan Eovaldi credit for not letting emotions get in the way in his return to Yankee Stadium. He said he planned to treat it as all business, despite memories and friendships and he did just that, working impressively into the eighth.The Ra...
Published: 06/15/18
For starters: Rays at Yankees, with Eovaldi back on a familiar mound

For starters: Rays at Yankees, with Eovaldi back on a familiar mound

Coming off Thursday's 4-3 loss, the Rays will face the Yankees again tonight, and they are starting a pitcher quite familiar with the Yankee Stadium mound, RHP Nathan Eovaldi.Having spent 2015 and 2016 with the Yankees until sustaining the elbow inju...
Published: 06/15/18