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. Longoria did not make the trip with the team.
Quotes: None reported.
Summary: Willy Aybar was 2-3 with 2 RBI, but committed the team’s first error in only 3 total chances. Longoria has been flawless defensively, errorless in 5 total chances in one fewer innings played…Still, this is not your normal spring position battle. The situation is more pass-fail for Longoria, and so far he is passing with flying colors. Aybar could conceivably ‘win’ the job with a hige spring which could give the team an excuse to end Longoria back to Durham, but so far that has not happened. Interestingly, Joel Guzman has yet to see any spring action at third base logging all his playing time at first base.