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)

Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria trying to combat slump with new batting practice routine

ST. PETERSBURG — 3B Evan Longoria has adopted an unusual batting practice program that he hopes helps him get back to his usual success.

Rather than hit with the team during the standard 4:40-5:40 p.m. slot, Longoria three times this homestand has taken batting practice on the field by himself at around 2 p.m.

The plan allows him to work one-on-one with hitting coach Derek Shelton, and also permits them to use video and hit for extended sessions rather than rotating with other players.

"I've just been trying to get back to my old swing, and we're trying to put videos together of what it was like in 2009-10 and how it's been this year," Longoria said.

"And it allows me when I take a good swing to stay in there and three or four or five or six more until I take a bad one, then take a step back and regroup. Just kind of a different way of going about it."

Though Longoria is just 5-for-31 on the homestand, and hitting .225 overall, he said there has been definite progress.

"I've been feeling pretty good so I kind of want to keep that momentum going and get that swing back into my mind again," Longoria said. "I enjoy being out there with the guys, but just the way my swing feels now, I want to keep a good thing going."

PITCHING IN: Maddon clarified his Sunday answer and said the Rays will not need to call up a starter for next week's day-night doubleheader in Boston since they have a day off before and after the three-games-in-two-days series. Under the current plan, Wade Davis will work the Aug. 16 day game and Jeff Niemann the nightcap, with David Price in the Aug. 17 matinee finale.

MORE MOORE? Top prospect LHP Matt Moore continues to dazzle at Triple-A Durham, earning International League pitcher of the week honors after going 2-0, 1.54 with 19 strikeouts in 112/3 innings. Promoted after going 8-3, 2.20 at Double-A Montgomery, Moore is 3-0, 1.09 in four starts for the Bulls.

Though it's possible Moore will get a late-season callup — "There is a chance," team president Matt Silverman said on 620-AM radio — it is unlikely unless the Rays get back into the postseason race and he could be used in relief, similar to David Price in 2008.

Moore, 22, has thrown 127 innings, plus has pitched in the Southern League All-Star and Futures games.

DOING THE WAIVE: DH Johnny Damon said he heard he has already been through waivers, which would make him eligible to be traded. "I'm not really thinking too much about it because it's something I can't control," said Damon, in a 2-for-31 skid. "Whatever happens, happens. Everybody knows how much I love it here."

RHPs Kyle Farnsworth and James Shields are among other Rays reportedly put on waivers, a common practice as teams will do so with almost all players as they can be pulled back if claimed.

PRICE CHECK: Price was in better spirits the day after his disappointing Sunday start and said his father, who was at the game, texted him with a potential solution. "He said I wasn't finishing my pitches," Price said. "I hope that's it, because that's simple."

MEDICAL MATTERS: C John Jaso (oblique) starts his rehab assignment tonight with Durham and will split time between catcher and DH, though on a conservative schedule that will last at least two weeks. … Maddon said there was nothing new on RHP Alex Cobb, who is on the DL with numbness and a dead arm feeling of undetermined origin.

MISCELLANY: Royals LF Alex Gordon's first-inning double snapped a career 0-for-37 at the Trop. … CF B.J. Upton and Price will visit south St. Petersburg rec centers from 11-1 today as part of the Rays Dugout Club; Price goes to Gladden Park and Campbell Park, Upton to Childs Park and Wildwood. … Price will sign autographs from 11-noon Wednesday at the Florida Blue Center (201 N Westshore Blvd., Tampa).

Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria trying to combat slump with new batting practice routine 08/08/11 [Last modified: Monday, August 8, 2011 11:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Blue Jays

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  2. Baseball team's eclipse watch during game draws fans from far away


    KEIZER, Ore. — They came from Hawaii, Rhode Island and Alaska, and as far as the Dominican Republic and Australia.

    Players for the minor-league baseball Salem-Keizer Volcanoes wear special eclipse jerseys Monday.
  3. Florida State sees plenty of upside in Dade City native Jacob Pugh


    TALLAHASSEE — No, Florida State senior Jacob Pugh is not as versatile as teammate Derwin James.

     Florida State Seminoles linebacker Jacob Pugh (16) and Florida State Seminoles defensive end DeMarcus Walker (44) celebrate after sacking the Miami quarterback Saturday October 8, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
  4. 247Sports: Berkeley Prep's Nicholas Petit-Frere top OT in nation


    Berkeley Prep offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere already is widely considered the best player in Tampa Bay.

    Berkeley Prep rising senior defensive end Nicholas Petit-Frere (78) performs a pad drill during spring football practice at Berkeley Prep in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, May 12, 2017.
  5. Full disclosure: My AP Top 25 ballot


    Now that you've seen the preseason AP Top 25, here's what I submitted in my first year as a voter. The AP doesn't give us many guidelines in the preseason. I didn't try to predict how …