After missing six weeks due to a partially torn left hamstring, Evan Longoria is finally ready for game action.
According to Adam Berry of MLB.com, Longoria will join Triple-A Durham tomorrow to work out with the team and will serve as the designated hitter on Saturday. He was cleared for a rehab stint after running the bases prior to today’s game against the Mets.
There’s no clear timetable for his return, but Rays manager Joe Maddon told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times last week that Longoria would likely spend 7-10 days on a rehab assignment.
Longoria, 26, was batting .329/.433/.561 with four home runs, 19 RBI and a .994 OPS in 97 plate appearances prior to the injury. The Rays have gone 20-20 during his absence.
Jeff Keppinger, who is currently on the disabled list with a broken big right toe, is also scheduled to play in rehab games this weekend with Triple-A Durham.
The Rays announced late this afternoon that Luke Scott was placed on the disabled list with mid-back spasms.
Scott hasn’t played since last Friday due to the injury, so his DL-stint will be backdated. He told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that he expects to return when he is first eligible on June 24.
“I’ve been having really, really bad back spasms since Saturday,” Scott said. “I’ve been trying to get them to go away but they haven’t so far. We have a plan and we’ll keep to that plan. It’s a difficult situation, but we’ll have to make the most of it.”
Scott, who signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Rays over the winter, is batting .220/.281/.424 with nine home runs, 35 RBI and a .704 OPS through 196 plate appearances this season. Hideki Matsui figures to get most of the at-bats out of the DH spot for now, although he’s hitting an even .200 (7-for-35) with two homers, a double and a .643 OPS over his first 11 games since being added to the major league roster.
Brett Gardner’s status was very much in doubt this week as he paid visits to both Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Timothy Kremchek, but the Yankees actually got some good news on his nagging right elbow injury.
According to Chad Jennings of the Journal News, the doctors have diagnosed Gardner with an elbow muscle strain, a bone bruise and joint inflammation. Surgery will not be necessary, as the doctors agreed the injury simply hasn’t healed yet. Kremchek administered a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) and cortisone shot today and the speedy left fielder will rest for 3-4 weeks and wear an elbow brace.
Gardner has been sidelined since April 17 due to the injury and has already been shut down from two rehab assignments. Further setbacks are possible, but the timeline presented by Andrews and Kremchek should allow the Yankees to get a good read on his status well ahead of next month’s trade deadline.