Evan Longoria headed to disabled list with oblique injury

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According to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, Rays third baseman Evan Longoria began feeling discomfort in his left oblique before Saturday’s game against the Orioles.

But he didn’t ask out of the starting lineup and now it might cost him.

Longoria had to be lifted from the game at the start of the sixth inning and replaced at the hot corner by Sean Rodriguez. He told reporters in the clubhouse afterward that he doesn’t expect to miss more than a week of action, but Rays skipper Joe Maddon would not rule out a stint on the 15-day disabled list.

The Rays will probably hold off on a decision until team physicians evaluate the situation Sunday afternoon — with the help of an MRI and other medical tests, no doubt.

If Longo needs to sit out for a while, look for Ben Zobrist to continue drawing starts at second base and Rodriguez to fill in at third. Matt Joyce will remain the starter in right field.

UPDATE: Topkin heard from Rays manager Joe Maddon on Sunday that Longoria is headed for the disabled list and could miss up to three weeks. The Rays are likely to recall infielder Felipe Lopez from Triple-A Durham to provide depth in his absence.

Dallas Keuchel is unlikely to return before the All-Star break

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Astros’ left-hander Dallas Keuchel might not return to the rotation before the All-Star break, Houston manager A.J. Hinch told reporters prior to Sunday’s game. The club placed their star southpaw on the 10-day disabled list on June 8, retroactive to June 5, after a nerve issue was revealed in his neck.

Keuchel has taken a conservative approach to his recovery over the last several weeks, and while he appears to have made some progress, still has yet to throw off the mound. The injury interrupted the start of an outstanding run with the Astros, during which the 29-year-old lefty furnished a 9-0 record with a 1.67 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 through his first 75 2/3 innings of 2017.

According to Hinch, it’s certainly possible that Keuchel could return to the team sometime within the next two weeks, but it’s clear that the team would prefer to play it extra safe with their ace. Even assuming that he feels ready to reclaim his spot on the Astros’ pitching staff, he still needs to complete a few key activities before competing in another game — like throwing off a mound, for example. In the meantime, Lance McCullers Jr. will continue to head Houston’s rotation as they try to build on their 12.5-game lead in the AL West.

 

Hinch’s full comments are below:

The Mets are promoting Tim Tebow to Single-A St. Lucie

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Mets GM Sandy Alderson told the media on Sunday that the organization is promoting outfielder Tim Tebow from Single-A Columbia to advanced Single-A St. Lucie, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports.

Tebow, 29, wasn’t hitting particularly well to merit the promotion. Across 241 plate appearances with Columbia, he hit .222/.311/.340 with three home runs and 22 RBI. He had just seven extra-base hits (all doubles) in his most recent 20 games. Alderson, however, defended the decision by citing Tebow’s exit velocity and other metrics.

I think we can all agree that the real reason is that promoting Tebow creates another opportunity for the Mets to sell merchandise with his name on it.

One has to feel for the outfielder Tebow will displace. St. Lucie’s regular outfielders have comparable stats to Tebow’s, so they aren’t exactly being replaced on merit. That outfielder will see less playing time, hurting his future prospects. Adding Tebow to St. Lucie’s roster will push someone off of the roster, which will also harm that player’s future prospects. And, remember, these players don’t make much money to begin with.