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: Evan Longoria pinch hit in the 8th, striking out to end the inning in his only plate appearance.
Quotes: None reported.
Summary: Bad News RAYSHEADS…The decision appears to have been made. We are just waiting for the official announcement…We were told that a decision would be made on The Dirtbag by the end of last week. If the Rays were going to keep Longoria on the roster, we would have heard that news already. So what does “no announcement” mean? We assume that the Rays need to keep Longoria around until Willy Aybar is ready to go everyday. Aybar did not play Yesterday as he continues to work through a sore hamstring. In other words, Longoria is in all likelihood headed to the minors as early as today…unless of course they change their mind.