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…
Yesterday at the plate: Evan Longoria went 0-1. In the first inning, he was hit by a pitch. In the third, he flied out to center. In the sixth he drew a leadoff walk. In the field, Longoria committed his first error when Shirley Duncan’s groundball went off his glove, but he recovered to grab the ball in foul territory to throw Shirley out by 15 feet at second base.
Quotes: none reported
Summary: The Dirtbag is now 7-19 (.368) with 5 walks (.520 OBP) and 2 strikeouts. Willy Aybar is hitting 6-20 (.300) with 4 walks (.429 OBP) and 4 Ks. Aybar has played 34 innings at third base while Longoria has logged 38 innings…Nothing happened yesterday to warrant a move of the needle.