Evan Longoria and fan crushes

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An interesting little dustup in the baseball blogosphere this morning as Dave Brown at Big League Stew took an awesome picture — and wrote an awesome post, by the way — of a young female fan getting Evan Longoria’s autograph at Rays’ spring training.  The headline: “Looks like someone has a crush on Evan Longoria.”

Metsgrrl doesn’t like it, asking why it’s not possible that the young lady in question is simply a big Longoria fan like so many boys are. Why must it be a “crush?”

I see where Metsgrrl is coming from, but given that Dave’s post was totally solid and not at all sexist — and given that I routinely describe myself and others as having “crushes” on ballplayers — I’m not inclined to get too worked up about it. We all write less-than-stellar headlines from time to time.

Dallas Keuchel to return to Astros’ rotation on Friday

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Astros manager A.J. Hinch told the media, including MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, that starter Dallas Keuchel will come off of the disabled list and rejoin the rotation on Friday against the Tigers. Keuchel has missed nearly two months with a neck injury.

Prior to landing on the DL, Keuchel was 9-0 with a 1.67 ERA and a 69/18 K/BB ratio over 75 2/3 innings. He seemed to be on his way to potentially win another Cy Young Award.

Hinch also noted that Collin McHugh will start on Saturday and Lance McCullers will start on Sunday.

Video: Ketel Marte hits an inside-the-park home run

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Braves starter Aaron Blair had a nightmarish bottom of the third inning on Wednesday afternoon against the Diamondbacks. He had just given up a run on a Daniel Descalso triple hit to center field that center fielder Ender Inciarte read poorly. In the following at-bat, Ketel Marte laced a curve ball to right field. Sean Rodriguez wasn’t able to get to it in time, so the ball bounced off the fence and caromed back towards the stands along the right field line. By the time Rodriguez was able to retrieve the ball, Marte was already on his way home and scored standing up.

The inside-the-park homer will certainly provide a boost to Marte’s stats. He entered Wednesday’s action batting .196/.255/.370 in 51 plate appearances.