Tampa Bay Rays
Rays Notes: Longoria fighting foot problem
ST. PETERSBURG - 3B
Evan Longoria served as the designated hitter Friday against the Royals for the second straight game and the third time this week. The reason is a case a plantar fasciitis.
“It’s probably been bothering me for like two weeks now, but it kind of gets to the point where I don’t really feel like I’m doing it any good to go out there and run around on it,” Longoria said. “I can DH and still be effective. It’s just kind of … we’ve had some long games, and some of those games in the Boston series, I was hurting by the end of the game. The hope is that, with a couple DH days, stay off of the turf here and then get the off day going into Boston, that should give it enough time to be fine and I should be back out there.”
Longoria has had his share of leg injuries during his career, but he said this is his first bout with plantar fasciitis, which is inflammation of the thick tissue in the bottom of the foot. He’s hoping the rest afforded by being the DH coupled with Monday’s off day will be enough to take care of the problem.
“It’s kind of a weird deal, but again, it’s not going to keep me off the field,” Longoria said. “So whether it’s DH or play the field, I think I should be over it by the off day.
Longoria is the only Ray to play in all 67 games this season, a streak he hopes to extend as long as possible. Kelly Johnson replaced Longoria at third base.
Price update Manager Joe Maddon said the schedule for LHP David Price’s minor league assignment was expected to be finalized Friday.
It’s likely Price will begin Tuesday. Maddon said Thursday after Price threw a simulated game that he might only need two rehab starts, down from the three Maddon had predicted.
The Rays would like Price to make four starts with the big club before the All-Star break that begins July 15.
“It’s one of those things you want to keep fluid,” Maddon said Friday. “You don’t want to etch it in stone. For me, I think that’s possible.
“If there’s any kind of setback, abnormal soreness, I don’t know. It’s possible he can be back sooner.”
Cobb returns Alex Cobb returned Thursday night after attending the funeral of his grandmother, Nancy Miller, in Worcester, Mass. He waited until after the Rays-Royals game to throw his bullpen session.
Cobb returns to the mound this afternoon against the Royals after his worst outing of the season, a four-inning, six-run stint against the Red Sox where all the damage came in the first inning.
Cobb said he made some good pitches but gave some hits then let the game speed up on him.
“I stopped being aggressive,” he said. “I let the situation get the best of me. Runners on, I tried to minimize the damage instead of getting outs.”
Second-round pick signs SS Riley Unroe, the Rays’ second-round pick in the draft, signed Friday for $1 million plus the worth of his full baseball scholarship to Southern Cal.
“What came down to it was the Rays, I heard nothing but good things about them,” Unroe said. “I know they’re going to take care of me. They gave me what I needed to come here. They showed their confidence in me that I can make a statement.”
Unroe’s father, Tim, played first base and third base for three major league teams, including the 1999 Angels, which had a bench coach named Joe Maddon.
Noteworthy The Rays will donate $2,500 to the Tampa Bay Lions youth football league. The league lost all its equipment after its field house was set on fire this week. … Jake Odorizzi On Thursday, the Royals became the fifth team in the last 30 years to score eight or more runs in the sixth inning or later of what was a scoreless game.
Stu Sternberg: Top choices for new stadium are unavailable, but Rays still hope to find a new home in Tampa Bay