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 targets Tuesday for return
Posted Mar 3, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated Mar 3, 2012 at 11:37 AM
PORT CHARLOTTE There is still swelling in Evan Longoria’s right hand this morning putting in doubt Joe Maddon’s talk of a Monday return to the lineup for his third baseman.
“I think that may be a little optimistic,” Longoria said. “I think if it was the regular season I’d play Monday, but it’s progressing nicely now. It’s all fine and good, and I think it would be just silly to play on Monday just because we got 30 more games to go and then 162 more (in the regular season), so the importance is getting it 100 percent. I’m going to get the same amount of at-bats I would every spring. It’s not like we’re in the middle of the spring or at the end of the spring. Right now we fortunately have time on our side, and I’m not waiting for anything to heal. I’m just waiting for the swelling to get out of there, so the smartest route right now is to let it heal 100 percent and get all the swelling out of there. I would say (playing) Tuesday is 99 percent.”
Longoria was struck on the fatty part of his right hand Thursday by a fastball from Matt Bush during the team’s intrasquad game.
He said he would take ground balls this morning at the complex while the Rays played their first game of the spring in Fort Myers against the Twins.