After missing the past three months and 85 games with a hamstring injury Evan Longoria will be back in the Rays’ lineup for tomorrow night’s game.
In preparation for his long-awaited return the Rays optioned Will Rhymes to Triple-A, clearing a roster spot for Longoria to come off the disabled list.
Tampa Bay was 15-8 when Longoria went down on April 30, but has gone just 41-44 since then while using seven different players at third base.
Longoria previously tried to come back in June, but experienced a setback while rehabbing in the minors and had to be shut down again. This time around he played eight games at Triple-A, going 5-for-25 (.200) with seven walks and zero extra-base hits. He also admitted to feeling hamstring soreness as recently as two days ago, so the Rays will definitely have to keep a close eye on Longoria down the stretch.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.