Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria has a partial tear in his left hamstring and will miss anywhere from four to eight weeks.
"Going into the tests I tried to be as optimistic as I can," Longoria said Tuesday. "They've put timetables on it, but I don't know what the timetable is. They say six to eight weeks, but I've come back from stuff quicker. Just stick to the regimen that (head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield) and the guys have me on. They're the best in the game."
Longoria said he felt something grab in his hamstring as he was running to second base on a steal attempt during the third inning of Monday's win against the Seattle Mariners. He slid into the base but said the slide had nothing to do with the injury.
"It's just one of those things. I can look in the mirror and say I've done everything I can do to prevent these kinds of things, but my hamstrings won't cooperate with me sometimes," Longoria said. "I have to stay positive. I hope it would be behind me, but at this point, we're sitting dealing with the same issues.
"I hope to be back out there soon."
Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said he will make a corresponding move later today with Durham Bulls infielder Will Rhymes the likely choice to replace Longoria on the roster.
Elliot Johnson, who replaced Longoria at third Monday and drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 12th inning, is playing third tonight against Seattle.
This is the third time since Longoria's rookie season in 2008 that he has been placed on the disabled list. He missed 30 games in 2008 with a fractured wrist and 26 games last season with a strained oblique. The Rays were 16-11 with Longoria on the DL in 2008 and 15-11 in 2011.
"I have no doubts the team is going to be OK," Longoria said. "I've been on both sides, so I don't have any doubts about their willpower, about their ability to step up and I definitely don't think they're going to fold up the tent. We got a long way to go and we got a really good thing going right now, we're playing real good baseball, so we'll try to keep the momentum going."
Friedman said he thought back to the 2008 season when every position player but second baseman Akinori Iwamura spent time on the disabled list. The team was able to overcome the injuries to have the first winning season in team history and win the American League East title and American League pennant.
"While it's certainly not ideal, I'm excited and anxious to see who's going to step up and do what some of those guys did for us in 2008. We're still a really good team and we're going to have to be much better defensively, be that much better on the base paths, our pitching is going to be very good," Friedman said.
"We're going to score runs, so it's something that is definitely not ideal, but we do have a ton of talent around him that should allow us to win a lot of games."