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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Maddon to Longoria: Be more selective
Posted Oct 11, 2008 by Tribune Sports
Updated Oct 11, 2008 at 06:09 PM
Manager Joe Maddon said he met with struggling Evan Longoria to discuss his recent struggles at the plate.
Asked before tonight’s Game 2 of the ALCS if Longoria is suffering any lingering physical effects from the fractured right wrist that kept him out for 30 games late in the season, Maddon said Longoria’s struggles aren’t injury related.
“He has expanded his strike zone a bit,” he said. “It happens to everybody. So I talked to him a little bit today. I’m just trying to to get him to go up there and pretty much do what he’s done all year, and that’s use a little more selectivity - looking for his pitches, et cetera.”
Longoria went 3-for-3 with two home runs and and RBI single in the Rays’ division series opener against Chicago last week. Since then, he is 1-for-16 (0 for his last 13). He went 0-for-4 in the Rays’ 2-0 loss to the Red Sox in Game 1 on Friday night, striking out twice and hitting into an inning-ending double play after the Rays’ opened the eighth inning with two base runners.
In fairness, none of the Rays were hitting Friday night. The Rays managed only four hits against 18-game winner Daisuke Matsuzaka and three late-inning relievers.
“I did talk to Longo today, primarily because I want him to organize his strike zone again more than thinking,” Maddon said.