Longoria Doubtful For N.Y.
Tony FabrizioST. PETERSBURG - The Rays originally targeted Monday for All-Star 3B Evan Longoria's return from a right wrist fracture, but Longoria isn't quite ready, and it doesn't appear he'll be available for the Yankees series Tuesday through Thursday.
Published: August 31, 2008
Published: August 31, 2008
"I would say probably not," Manager Joe Maddon said Saturday. "I'm not saying it won't happen, but I wouldn't count on it."
Longoria, batting .278 with 22 home runs and 71 RBIs, has been throwing, running and taking "dry" swings with a progression of light bats. Maddon figures he'll need at least a couple of days of hitting before he can play.
"My biggest concern is a swing and a miss, actually," Maddon said. "That's where you get that grab, or bite. When you hit a ball and get that resistance, you don't get that sensation where something may have been hurt."
Longoria sustained the injury when he was hit by a pitch from Seattle's J.J. Putz on Aug. 7.
NO DOGHOUSE: CF B.J. Upton showed what he can do when he plays an entire game with all-out effort.
Besides going 2-for-5 with two doubles, two RBIs and a run in Saturday's 10-9 victory vs. Baltimore, the talented but sometimes lackadaisical Upton made a trio of exceptional defensive plays.
He charged a single by Ramon Hernandez in the first and made a strong, on-line throw home as Nick Markakis streaked toward the plate. Although the throw was high, C Dioner Navarro was able to stretch for it and tag Markakis for the out.
Upton made two impressive running catches, the second a spectacular diving grab that robbed former Ray Aubrey Huff of a hit with two out and the game tied at 9 in the ninth.
"I was kind of in between," Upton said on why he gambled to get Huff's looper into shallow center. "I had already committed to it, so I laid out for it, and luckily I came up with it."
NAVARRO RETURNS: Navarro returned to the lineup after missing three consecutive starts with sore hamstrings and showed little rust. He went 1-for-4 with an RBI double and caught five pitchers in the 3-hour, 25-minute game.
He was also involved in two close plays in the plate - the tag on Markakis in the first and another in the fifth in which he was coming home on a single by Jason Bartlett and was tagged out by Ramon Hernandez.
Maddon had praise for backup C Shawn Riggans, who rallied from a critical drop Sunday at Chicago with solid defensive work this week in Navarro's absence.
The manager noted he likes how Riggans has the flexibility to set up a low target when there are no runners on base.
"I think what I've seen over the course of the year is a young man go from being a minor-league player or catcher to a major-league player or catcher," Maddon said.
NOT YET ON PERCIVAL: Although closer Troy Percival was eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Saturday and appears ready to pitch, the Rays didn't make a roster move.
Maddon indicated the team probably won't do anything until at least Monday, when rosters can be expanded to 40 players and no one would have to be sent down to make room for Percival.
TEAM MEETING: Orioles manager Dave Trembley downplayed holding a closed-door meeting Saturday following the Rays' 14-3 drubbing of his team Friday night.
"Every time I have a meeting, it's blown out of proportion that I had a meeting," Trembley said.
RAYS BITS: The Rays announced a two-year extension with their Single-A South Atlantic League team, which is moving from Columbus, Ga., to Bowling Green, Ky. ... Durham SS Reid Brignac was named to the International League Postseason All-Star team.