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.
On Monday, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras showed he was very confident heading into the 2018 season, saying, “I know that I’m going to be better than [Yadier Molina and Buster Posey].” Contreras explained that his goal is to become “the best catcher in the game for a long time — like it was with Yadier Molina, like it is with Buster Posey.”
Apparently, Contreras ruffled Molina’s feathers as the Cardinals’ veteran backstop took to Instagram to respond. Posting a picture of himself with Buster Posey and Salvador Perez, Molina wrote, “Respeten los rangos NOVATOS!! aqui con los q si han probao que son los duros!!” That loosely translates to “respect the ranks,” referring to Contreras as a novice.
Molina is no stranger to using Instagram to air his grievances. He apparently used the social media app to take a swipe or two at manager Mike Matheny last year.
Of course, Molina seems to be misreading the intent of Contreras. Contreras seems to think highly of Molina, having referred to him as being one of the best catchers in the game — even if it was in the past tense. Molina should know, being someone who also competes at the highest level, that having confidence is an important part of the recipe for success. Perhaps this will make for some interesting games during the season, breathing new life into the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry.