As first reported by beat writer Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, Evan Longoria is back in the Rays’ starting lineup on Tuesday night against the Astros after sitting out all weekend following a flareup of the plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
Longoria is batting cleanup and will serve as the Rays’ designated hitter rather than playing third base. That’s mostly just a precautionary measure.
Longo has posted a .917 OPS and tallied 17 home runs and 47 RBI in 80 games this season. He may need random days off down the stretch to protect his right foot, but it’s not an ailment that should require many extended absences.
Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.
Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.
With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.