Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times passes along notice that third baseman Evan Longoria is out of the Rays’ starting lineup again on Wednesday night due to a flu-like illness.
It’s the third straight game that he has been absent.
The Rays went with Felipe Lopez at the hot corner Sunday and will go with him again tonight against Angels ace Jered Weaver. Sean Rodriguez started at third base on Monday and Tuesday.
Longoria, 25, is batting just .246/.356/.430 with four home runs and 13 RBI in 33 games this season. He missed most of April and a part of May with a strained left oblique and is still trying to play catchup.
The Rays are currently 2 1/2 games behind the Yankees and Red Sox in the American League East.
Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz hasn’t pitched in a week due to soreness in his left forearm. He threw a bullpen on Thursday afternoon and said, “I definitely feel like I can maybe help (as a reliever in the playoffs,” as ESPN’s Scott Lauber reports.
The Red Sox clinched the AL East on Wednesday, so they don’t need to rush Pomeranz along. And using him out of the bullpen might ultimately be best as he regressed quite a bit after coming to Boston from San Diego in July. In 13 starts with the Red Sox, Pomeranz has a 4.68 ERA with a 69/24 K/BB ratio in 67 1/3 innings.
Eduardo Rodriguez and Clay Buchholz have been throwing the ball quite well as of late. Paired with Rick Porcello and David Price, the Red Sox still have the depth to be menacing in the postseason.
Remember Jesus Montero? The former Yankees and Mariners prospect? Well, he was picked up by the Blue Jays back in March after the Mariners waived him and played 126 games for Triple-A Buffalo this year. That went alright, I suppose, with Montero hitting .317/.349/.438 with 11 homers. He played a bit of first base too, trying to break the mold he’s been stuck in as a 26-year-old DH.
If this season was a platform for him to make one last push to the bigs, the platform was just pulled out from under him: he has been suspended for 50 games after testing positive for dimethylbutylamine (DMBA), a stimulant in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
The minor league season is over, of course, so he’ll serve that suspension next season. Assuming the Jays keep him in the fold.