We call him The Dirtbag because of how he plays and because he played college ball at Long Beach State whose baseball team has the coolest mascot in sports…The Dirtbags.

The biggest question mark for the Tampa Bay Rays in Spring Training is whether or not Evan Longoria will be named the opening day third baseman. Manager Joe Maddon has repeatedly stated that the decision will be based less on his stats, and more on how the 22-year old handles himself on a day-to-day basis and how well The Dirtbag adjusts to everyday life as a major leaguer. From now until the Rays announce a decision on Longoria’s fate, we will track The Dirtbag’s progress through his numbers, our own observations and quotes from Maddon and Andrew Friedman…

Notes on the Dirtbag-O-Meter…

Yesterday at the plate: Evan Longoria went 1-2 with 2 RBI. Longoria came into the game in the 6th, to play third base. In the 7th he struck out swinging for the second out. In the 8th, he hit a 2-out, 2-run home run off of Jeremy Accardo. He handled two groundballs cleanly, one to end the 7th and the other to end the game.

Quotes: NA

Summary: Willy Aybar was 0-2 with a strike out and a walk. To date, Aybar has 32 plate appearances to Longoria’s 30. Longoria has a spring OPS of 1.217 while Aybar is at .798. Longoria is 2-2 in stolen bases, while Aybar is 0-1. Aybar has a groundball to flyball ratio of 0.24, which means he hits flyballs 3/4 of the time. Longoria has 1:1 ratio of groundballs to flyballs. I am tempted to move The Dirtbag up one notch, but we are going to hold steady for one more day.

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2 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Its too bad the Rays are so obsessed with players MLB service time. As if a player will automatically leave the day after they become free agents.

    There is no law that states you can't sign him to a contract before he becomes a free agent. In fact, good, successful teams with limited budgets actually do this quite frequently.

    Its the mindset of a losing franchise.

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  2. Devil Ray Guevara says:

    i understand both sides of the argument. on the one hand you would hope this would not be the basis for decisions when a team is trying to be competitive. On the other hand, it is only 10-11 weeks that we have to wait and we get an entire extra year of his services on the cheap. money saved that can go somewhere else that year. we can't ignore that some teams do have a strict budget.

    now if the Rays are a potential playoff team and Longoria is the best option at third base, then he will just have to finish his learning curve at the major league level. if the rays miss the playoffs by 3 games and they played the first two months of the year with a guy hitting .220 at an offensive position like third base, then the team will have really screwed up and your point is valid.

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