Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Crunching the numbers at 3B
Posted Aug 7, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated Aug 7, 2012 at 03:21 PM
ST. PETERSBURG Evan Longoria returns to the lineup tonight, an addition that may or may not have an immediate impact on a struggling offense.
Sam Fuld is batting .345 in his first 10 games back after missing the first half of the season because of wrist surgery.
Jeff Keppinger was 5-for-5 during his first game back after being sidelined with a broken toe.
But, Rays manager Joe Maddon is cautioning anyone who will listen that it might take Longoria some time to regain his form at the plate after missing 85 games with a partially torn left hamstring.
The Rays, who enter tonight’s game with the visiting Blue Jays batting .230 as a team, have certainly missed Longoria’s bat, especially when you consider he was hitting .329/.443/.561 with four home runs and 19 RBI in the 23 games before his injury.
Yet, the eight players who have played third base this season (including Longoria) have combined to hit .257, which is the second-highest average of all the Rays positions.
Right field, with Ben Zobrist leading the way with a .282 average, is tops on the team with a .275 average.
Catcher, at .197, is the worst.
Here is the breakdown:
Right field .275
Third base .257
Center field .247
Left field .228
Second base .226
Designated hitter .215
First base .198
Here is a breakdown of the players who have manned the hot corner for the Rays this season:
Jeff Keppinger (90 plate appearances) .360
Longoria (97) .329
Drew Sutton (34) .281
Sean Rodriguez (93) .221
Will Rhymes (37) .212
Ryan Roberts (40) .094
Brooks Conrad (38) .139
Elliot Johnson (7) .167