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.
CC Sabathia‘s contract is set to expire this offseason, but for the long-tenured left-hander, nowhere feels more like home than New York. “I want to see this through,” Sabathia told reporters after a devastating Game 7 loss in the ALCS. “This is where I want to play.” Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman spoke warmly of the veteran starter, but would make no public guarantees that he’d return to the team next spring.
Sabathia, 37, just topped off his 17th season in the big leagues and his eighth career postseason run. He went 14-5 in 27 starts and put up a 3.69 ERA, 3.0 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 148 2/3 innings, good for 1.9 fWAR. He looked solid in the playoffs, too, propelling the team to a much-needed win in Game 5 of the ALDS and returning in the Championship Series with six scoreless innings in Game 3. His season ended on a sour note during Game 7, however. He lasted just 3 1/3 innings against a dynamic Astros’ offense, allowing one run on five hits and three walks and failing to record a single strikeout for the first time in 23 career postseason appearances.
Heading into the 2017 offseason, Sabathia finally arrived at the end of his seven-year, $161 million deal with the Yankees. While he’s repeatedly expressed a desire to keep pitching, despite rumors that his career might be on the rocks following the diagnosis of a troublesome degenerative knee condition, the decision isn’t his alone to make. Brian Cashman will also be seeking an extension with the Yankees this winter, so it’s difficult to say which impending free agents the club will try to retain — and Sabathia’s name isn’t the only one on that list. If it were up to skipper Joe Girardi, who is awaiting a decision on his own future with the organization, the decision would be a no-brainer. From MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:
CC will always be special to me because of what he stands for and the great player that he is, the great man that he is,” Girardi said. “The wonderful teammate that he is. How he pulls a team together. He’s as good as I’ve ever been around when it comes to a clubhouse guy, a guy that will take the ball when you’re on a losing streak or that you can count on, and knowing that it could be the possible last time.