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: Started at third base. Went 0-2 with a strikeout, a walk and a stolen base. He is now 2-5 with a double, triple, 3 walks and 3 RBI in the Rays first three games.
Quotes: None reported.
Summary: As much as we would have loved the idea of The Dirtbag going through the spring with an .800 OBP and a 1.667 SLG, it just wasn’t meant to be…On the other hand, the team wanted to see how Longoria handled a prolonged slump. Considering his first 2+ years in pro ball, 0-2 might qualify as a “prolonged slump” for Longoria.