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2011 MLB Fantasy Injury Report: How Long Will Tampa Bay Rays’ Evan Longoria Be Out Of the Lineup?

Sun, Apr 3, 2011

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UPDATE: The Rays placed Longoria on the DL Sunday. He’s expected to miss at least three weeks.

Tampa Bay Rays’ third baseman Evan Longoria expects to miss no more than a week after leaving Saturday’s game with a sore left oblique. Manager Joe Maddon, however, has not ruled out a DL stint. Longoria will be reevaluated on Sunday.

In the meantime, Sean Rodriguez will move from second base to third. Ben Zobrist will move from right field to second base, opening up right field for Matt Joyce.

Joyce—a left-handed batter—offers solid pop and a good eye. In 495 career major league at-bats, he’s hit 25 HRs and knocked in 80, but his .240 batting clip is cause for concern. If Longoria is out for less than a week, Joyce probably isn’t worth an add. While his power potential is intriguing, his ineffectiveness against southpaws (career .157 average) suggests he’s probably a platoon player.

Sean Rodriguez, on the other hand, offers decent value in mixed and A.L.-only leagues. Already boasting second and outfield eligibility, the soon-to-be 26-year-old will likely qualify at third base (in Yahoo! leagues) if Longoria is out for five games or more. Despite posing a solid power/speed threat (Bill James projects him to hit 15 HRs and steal 11 bases in just 343 at-bats), Rodriguez is still owned in just 32 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Of course this probably has something to do with his career .233 batting clip.

Manny Ramirez is likely to fill Longoria’s spot as the No. 3 hitter in the Rays’ lineup. Ben Zobrist and Johnny Damon should remain as the No. 1 and 2 hitters, but after that, it’s anyone’s guess as to how Joe Maddon will construct the lineup.

Through two games this season, the Rays have combined for just two runs on eight hits. Longoria is 0-for-5 with two strikeouts and a walk.

Image courtesy of: Chris Creamer, Sportslogos.net

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