Monday, December 11, 2017
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

Tampa Bay Rays make a small deal, acquire INF Joey Wendle

While continuing discussions on bigger topics, the Rays made a small deal Monday, acquiring INF Joey Wendle from the A's for a player to be named later or cash.Wendle, 27, spent part of the last two seasons in the majors, hitting .266 over 36 games. ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

UPDATE, 6:14: The Rays continued talks with no major moves seemingly close, but did make a small deal, acquiring INF Joey Wendle from the A's. Wendle, 27, has spent parts of the last two seasons in the majors, hitting .266 in 36 games. He is a lefty ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays manager Kevin Cash on trade speculation, bullpen staffing, Yankees addition of Giancarlo Stanton

Rays manager Kevin Cash on trade speculation, bullpen staffing, Yankees addition of Giancarlo Stanton

Rays manager Kevin Cash was first up in the media room at the winter meetings today and here are a few up the more interesting things he said:* On trade speculation regarding their veterans such as Chris Archer and Evan Longoria: "I know there is a l...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Tampa Bay Rays cornerstone Evan Longoria “somewhere in limbo” due to trade speculation

Tampa Bay Rays cornerstone Evan Longoria “somewhere in limbo” due to trade speculation

Franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria considers his future with the Rays "somewhere in limbo" based on speculation he could be traded as part of a cost-cutting and rebuilding movement."I don't know what to think, really,'' Longoria told the Tampa Ba...
Published: 12/11/17
Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Uncertain with all the talk about potentially rebuilding if the Rays would go as far as trading franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria?So is he."I don’t know what to think, really,’’ Longoria said via text message Sunday night as t...
Updated: 11 hours ago
AL East life gets even tougher for Rays with Yankees acquiring slugger Giancarlo Stanton from Marlins

AL East life gets even tougher for Rays with Yankees acquiring slugger Giancarlo Stanton from Marlins

The Marlins apparently found a trade to Giancarlo Stanton's liking, reportedly striking a deal early Saturday to send the slugging outfielder to the Yankees.That's bad news for the Rays and the other AL East teams, who will now have to face Stanton &...
Published: 12/09/17
Rays radio broadcaster Andy Freed takes part in event supporting fight against ALS

Rays radio broadcaster Andy Freed takes part in event supporting fight against ALS

Tampa Bay Rays radio broadcaster Andy Freed was up early Saturday to meet up with the Bladerunners team in Clearwater at the ALS Association Florida Chapter's annual Ride, Run, Roll to Defeat ALS, supporting Mike Leist, a former history teacher at St...
Published: 12/09/17
Winter Meetings Preview: Ranking the Rays most likely to be dealt

Winter Meetings Preview: Ranking the Rays most likely to be dealt

Rays officials head to Disney for this week’s winter meetings admitting they don’t know what they’re doing. Wait — that’s not exactly right. It’s more that they don’t know what they’re going to do.Having spent months collecting info and discussing op...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/09/17
Dwight Gooden dons Santa suit, but scene is hardly festive

Dwight Gooden dons Santa suit, but scene is hardly festive

NEW YORK — In one sense, there was nothing unusual about what Dwight Gooden was doing Tuesday night. In the spirit of the holiday season, he had been summoned to dress like Santa Claus and, as a result, was decked out in a red suit and hat, a curly w...
Published: 12/08/17

Rays sue outgoing concessionaire over "sad history" of failures

The Tampa Bay Rays sued outgoing concessionaire Centerplate in U.S. District Court on Friday, alleging the company harmed the team’s reputation, damaged its facilities and did not pay a fair share of revenue as part of a "sad history of failing to fu...
Published: 12/08/17