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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Longoria said his hand needs more time to heal
Posted Mar 6, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated Mar 6, 2012 at 10:43 AM
PORT CHARLOTTE Rays third baseman Evan Longoria said the swelling in his right hand is taking longer to go away than anticipate, and as a result, he won’t join the lineup anytime soon.
“It’s slowly going in the right direction,” Longoria said this morning.
He said he took some dry swings – just swinging a bat – and hopes to hit off a tee tomorrow.
“It’s moving along,” he said. “I guess some places just don’t drain out as well as others. If it was my shin, it would be contused, there will still be a contusion but I would be able to play. It’s just that hands and feet are a little bit different.”
Longoria said he does not see this as a setback, but he is getting anxious.
“My thing is I don’t want to go from playing no games to having to play five, six, seven innings in my first couple of games to play catch-up,” he said. “The sooner I can get back out there the better to juts have good at-bats, see pitches even if the first week or so is just feeling it out. I’ve always been a better game player than I have in practice or batting practice, so there’s definitely a gear shift when I get into games, so I want to see that part of it. I want to get back into actual competition and not so much taking batting practice and taking ground balls.”
Longoria can take infield practice because he can throw. It’s how he moves his wrist while swinging that is impacted by the swelling.
“It’s not so much the forward and back motion it’s the side-to-side motion, because it hit me on the side of the hand, and pretty much all the swelling just moving down the side of my arm,” he said. “Throwing is fine because I can move my arm forward and back, but pickup 30 ounces of bat and try and control it through the zone with a ball coming in is a little bit different. The progression is obviously going to be get in there and hit tee work. If it feels fine doing that we don’t have to go day-to-day. If I feel fine hitting off the tee tomorrow then I’m pretty sure I can push the flips and then batting practice and hopefully the next day batting practice and game. I feel once I do get in there and start hitting again it’s going to be pretty quick to when I get back to playing, hopefully a day or two.”