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: DNP.
Quotes: “It’s important that we get it right, he’s a very important part of our nucleus going forward and we’ll figure it out.” – Andrew Friedman. “You know, I guess it’s a good kind of pressure. You know, a lot of us, pretty much all of the professional baseball players who thrive on that kind of environment and that kind of pressure so it helps out a little bit.” – Evan Longoria.
Summary: Two straight DNPs after yesterdays rainout and he is not in the starting lineup today. Longoria has not started three of last four games. That takes The Dirtbag down one notch.