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What’s Plan B now that Longo won’t return until August?

Posted Jul 7, 2012 by Roger Mooney

Updated Jul 7, 2012 at 05:05 PM

Rays manager Joe Maddon was asked if there was now a Plan B in place for Evan Longoria, whose left hamstring injury will keep him out of the lineup past the end of the month.

His answer: There really isn’t one.

Looking outside the organization is possible, but so far all executive vice president of baseball Andrew Friedman has come up with were Drew Sutton and Brooks Conrad, a pair of journeymen utility infielders. Sutton has already been released.

Would the Rays look to acquire a legitimate major league third baseman?

“Looking at all of our options, which Andrew does, you got a trade deadline coming up. I don’t even have any idea because we normally don’t do anything at that time,” Maddon said this afternoon. “We’ll just have to see how this plays out for the rest of the month. Maybe somebody will surface from within. They can just really take that job and run with it.”

Longoria, who has not played since April 30 when he partially tore his left hamstring, suffered one setback when he cut short a rehab start June 18 with Triple A Durham. He will not resume baseball related activities until late next week when the Rays return from the All-Star Break.

The startup needed to rehabilitate the injury just so Longoria can return to the field and then the minor league games needed to get into game shape after what will be by then more than a three-month layoff will push Longoria’s return into August.

When in August? Maddon didn’t have an answer.

“It’s such a hard one to create conjecture with other than if you wanted to bend to the negative side on this one you may have to as opposed to the positive side of it, meaning it’s going to take more time as opposed to less time to get him back on the field,” Maddon said.

The Rays have used seven players at third base since Longoria’s injury. They head into tonight’s game with the Indians 29-32 since May 1, the day Longoria was placed on the disabled list.

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