Losing LongoriaWednesday, May 02, 2012
The Rays won their third game in a row on Tuesday night and sit alone atop the American League East standings with an impressive 16-8 record. But not everything is going right in Tampa Bay.
It was announced a few hours before first pitch Tuesday that Rays third baseman Evan Longoria has a partially torn left hamstring. The three-time All-Star suffered the injury on Monday night while running the bases and is expected to miss between six and eight weeks.
The Rays used Elliot Johnson at the hot corner on Tuesday against the Mariners but seem likely to try a few different looks there over the next two months. Will Rhymes, who was recalled in a corresponding move when Longoria was placed on the disabled list, could see a good amount of the action. Neither are attractive fantasy options.
Longoria, 26, was batting .329/.433/.561 with four home runs, two stolen bases and 19 RBI through his first 97 plate appearances this season. He’s as impossible to replace as it gets in Major League Baseball.
Meet The New Craig, Same As The Old Craig
Cardinals utilityman Allen Craig looked a little rusty Tuesday in his first two at-bats of the 2012 season, flailing at pitches outside the zone for consecutive strikeouts. But he drove in a run with a single to center field in the fifth inning and finished his debut 2-for-4.
Which came as no surprise to anyone who saw the guy play last year.
Craig, 27, batted .315/.362/.555 with 11 home runs and 40 RBI across 219 plate appearances in 2011 before slugging four dingers alongside a 1.013 OPS in the Cardinals’ magical October run.
He can flat-out rake, and told reporters after Tuesday’s game that he expects to have no limitations related to his November knee surgery. Craig should see regular action at first base until Lance Berkman returns from a calf strain and then regular action in the outfield as the Cardinals look to get Carlos Beltran’s knees intermittent rest.
Craig needs to be owned in all NL-only fantasy leagues and deserves in a look in deeper mixed formats. If he gets close to 500 plate appearances, a 20-homer season is well within reach.
Farnsworth Now Facing Extended Absence
The Rays were expecting Kyle Farnsworth to return from his early-April elbow strain in a few weeks and immediately take over ninth-inning duties. How quickly things change.
Farnsworth was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list on Tuesday afternoon, meaning he won’t be eligible for activation until June 5. He still hasn’t begun a throwing program, and the Rays aren’t guessing when he might be cleared to do so.
Fernando Rodney, meanwhile, racked up his eighth save on Tuesday night with a perfect three-strikeout inning against the Mariners and is now sporting a dominant 0.79 ERA through 11 1/3 innings this season. The 35-year-old holds an uninspiring 4.21 career ERA and 1.45 career WHIP, but he has a real opportunity to run away with the ninth-inning job this year in Tampa Bay. Rodney is a must-own and must-start in all fantasy formats.
National League Quick Hits: Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is aiming to return to the starting lineup on Sunday night … Jason Heyward (oblique) is hoping to return Thursday … Padres left-hander Cory Luebke is being skipped in the Padres’ rotation due to minor elbow tightness … Adam Wainwright earned his first victory since the 2010 season on Tuesday night against the Pirates … Andres Torres has three hits and two RBI since returning from the disabled list … Brewers first baseman Mat Gamel left Tuesday’s game with a potentially serious right knee injury … Lance Berkman (calf) won’t return from the disabled list Friday, when he’s first eligible to do so … Jordan Schafer is day-to-day with a left oblique strain … Nationals closer Drew Storen is ahead of schedule in his recovery from elbow surgery … Paul Goldschmidt, who had been slumping, has reached base six times in Arizona’s last two games … Jeremy Affeldt was placed on the disabled list Tuesday with a right knee sprain … Brewers left-hander Chris Narveson had season-ending shoulder surgery on Tuesday … Aubrey Huff (anxiety) is expected to return from the disabled list when first eligible … Chris Young (shoulder) has begun taking swings off a tee … Jeff Suppan will be called up by the Padres on Wednesday to make a spot start against the Brewers … Astros starter Kyle Weiland underwent arthroscopic surgery Tuesday on his right shoulder.
American League Quick Hits: Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie hit a walkoff home run Tuesday against the Rangers … Shin-Soo Choo (hamstring) is expected to return Wednesday … Josh Hamilton remains day-to-day with back spasms … Rays left-hander Matt Moore held the Mariners to one run over five innings Tuesday in his best outing of the season … Chris Sale tossed six innings of one-run ball Tuesday, improving to 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA … Johnny Damon is expected to make his Indians debut on Wednesday … A’s second baseman Jemile Weeks is up to five stolen bases … Mike Aviles has five homers, 18 runs scored and 19 RBI in 22 games … Orioles infielder Chris Davis went 3-for-4 and hit his fifth home run in Tuesday’s defeat of the Yankees … A’s rookie Jarrod Parker turned in six-plus innings of one-run ball Tuesday in a victory over the Red Sox … Brian Matusz limited the Yankees to one run over six-plus innings Tuesday … Curtis Granderson has nine home runs and 17 RBI in 23 games … Royals starter Luke Hochevar is sporting a rough 7.36 ERA and 1.68 WHIP through five starts this season … Kevin Youkilis remains day-to-day with a stiff back … An MRI taken Monday on Justin Morneau’s left wrist showed only inflammation and fluid buildup … Jerome Williams threw a three-hit shutout Tuesday against the Twins … Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold is day-to-day with a bulging disk in his back … Coco Crisp is day-to-day with a sinus infection … Greg Holland (rib) is expected to begin a rehab assignment next week … The Mariners placed Miguel Olivo (groin strain) on the disabled list and activated Mike Carp.