We heard last weekend that Evan Longoria was close to ramping up his rehab from a hamstring injury, but it turns out that he’s not quite ready.
According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the team said after last night’s game that Longoria will not resume baseball activities until after the All-Star break. Meanwhile, Rays manager Joe Maddon conceded that his return is “not right around the corner.”
Longoria has been sidelined since suffering a partially torn left hamstring back on April 30. The 26-year-old third baseman began a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham last month, but he was shut down again after experiencing some discomfort in his second game. He’ll likely need a few weeks to get ready once he resumes baseball activities, so his absence is likely to stretch into August at this point.
Longoria was hitting .326/.433/.561 with four home runs, 19 RBI and a .994 OPS in 23 games prior to the injury. The Rays are 29-32 without him and entered today’s action at 44-30, seven games behind the Yankees in the American League East and 1 1/2 games back in the Wild Card race.
Terrible, terrible news: Christian Moreno of ESPN reports that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has been killed in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic. His death has been confirmed by police. He was only 25 years-old. There are as of yet no details about the accident.
Ventura was a four-year veteran, having debuted in 2013 but truly bursting onto the scene for the Royals in 2014. That year he went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 183 innings, ascending to the national stage along with the entire Royals team with some key performances in that year’s ALDS and World Series. The following year Ventura won 13 games for the World Champion Royals and again appeared in the playoffs and World Series.
Ventura was often in the middle of controversy — he found himself in several controversies arising out of his habit of hitting and brushing back hitters — but he was an undeniably electric young talent who was poised to anchor the Royals rotation for years to come. His loss, like that of Jose Fernandez just this past September, is incalculable to both his team, his fans and to Major League Baseball as a whole.
Our thoughts go out to his family, his friends, his teammates and his fans.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.