Tag: Evan Longoria

Kevin Cash

Kevin Cash on umpiring in the Rays-M’s game: “It’s terrible. They ought to be embarrassed.”


Rays manager Kevin Cash was not a happy camper after last night’s game. Particularly, after a call that led to a replay review.

In the first inning, Mariners outfielder Seth Smith scored on a fielder’s choice. While Smith slid before the tag was applied, Rays catcher Rene Rivera had the ball and blocked the front of the plate with his foot, applying the tag. There wasn’t a question over the plate block, just over whether Smith got his foot on the bag:


Cash took issue with the initial “safe” call, which weighed the replay review in the Mariners’ favor, given how the burden of proof works on replay challenges. And after the game he sounded off:

Noting he had no recourse “other than just to tell them how bad they stink,” Cash made clear how much he disagreed with the call.

“Terrible. Terrible. It’s embarrassing,” he said. “We spend so much time on pace of play, let’s just the damn call right on the field. It’s terrible. They ought to be embarrassed. Feels like we got beat twice tonight.”

Cash was also upset on base-runner placement on a later review in which an Evan Longoria hit was initially called foul but then ruled fair. The runner who was on first at the time time was awarded third base but Cash thought he should be awarded home, believing he would’ve scored had the umps called the ball fair initially. Which seems correct, as the left fielder fell down trying to catch it and the baserunner, Joey Butler was in between second and third already. Watch it here.

It’s easy to understand Cash’s frustration. Maybe even more so on the second play than the first. But it’ll also likely be the case that Major League Baseball will fine Cash for his postgame comments. Because, while umpires don’t have much apparent accountability for their actions, managers do.

Evan Longoria scratched from lineup with flu-like symptoms

Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria hits a single during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston, Tuesday, May 5, 2015. It was Longoria's 1000th career hit. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Evan Longoria was scratched from tonight’s lineup against the Rangers due to flu-like symptoms.

Normally we wouldn’t do an update on a situation like this. Players are scratched due to illness all the time, but this one is interesting, as it will end Longoria’s streak of 198 consecutive starts. Believe it or not, that’s the longest current active streak in MLB.

Longoria also has the longest current active streak of games played with 270. Barring something like a pinch-hit appearance, that will likewise end tonight. We’re a long way from Cal Ripken, Jr. territory here.

Let’s all just stare at Kris Bryant’s numbers for a while

Kris Bryant

In preparation for 23-year-old Cubs uber-prospect Kris Bryant’s long-awaited MLB debut this afternoon let’s all just stare at his final minor-league numbers, which were compiled in 181 total games spent mostly at Double-A and Triple-A:

– .327 batting average
– .426 on-base percentage
– .667 slugging percentage
– 55 home runs
– 49 doubles
– 107 extra-base hits
– 152 RBIs
– 147 runs scored
– 18 stolen bases
– 99 walks
– 206 strikeouts

For those curious, here are the highest OPS totals by a 23-year-old third baseman since 1960:

1.008 – Troy Glaus, 2000
1.004 – Ryan Braun, 2007
.998 – Miguel Cabrera, 2006
.965 – Gary Sheffield, 1992
.923 – Scott Rolen, 1998
.912 – David Wright, 2006
.889 – Evan Longoria, 2009
.885 – Aramis Ramirez, 2001
.878 – Eric Chavez, 2001
.870 – Dick Allen, 1965

Based on the incredible hype attached to Bryant a lot of people will probably be disappointed if he turns into, say, the next Troy Glaus instead of the next Mike Schmidt, but either way I’m just glad to have all the hot takes about service time manipulation put away until the next great prospect is ready for a call-up.

My gut-feel prediction for Bryant’s career is that he’ll hit for crazy power, post good but not great batting averages because of high strikeout rates, and make 10 or so All-Star teams.

Evan Longoria day-to-day after suffering bruised hip on hit-by-pitch

Rays Blue Jays Baseball

Evan Longoria was forced to exit tonight’s game against the Blue Jays after he was hit by a pitch and Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he is considered day-to-day with a bruised hip.

Rays right-hander Chris Archer hit Russell Martin and Edwin Encarnacion with pitches earlier in the game, though neither of them appeared to be intentional. Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada then drilled Longoria in the left hip in the eighth inning, which you can watch here. Things got a little heated between Archer and Mark Buehrle in the aftermath and Rays manager Kevin Cash told Topkin after the game that thinks the pitch had intent behind it. It’s hard to blame him.

Fortunately, it looks like Longoria should be OK, but we’ll have to see if the bad blood spills over into future matchups between these clubs.

2015 Preview: Tampa Bay Rays

Kevin Cash

Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2015 season. Next up: The Tampa Bay Rays

The Big Question: Is the party over?

The party I refer to is the seven-season party in which the Rays were competitive. Or maybe just six, as they only won 77 games last year. But perceptions and expectations matter, right? People thought they’d contend last year. When the season started there was hope. This, in contrast, to the feeling Devil Rays fans had between 1998 and 2007. What I’m really asking is if, for the first time since the Rays took control of the AL East midway through the 2008 season, do their fans lack any basis of hope? Has the club that Andrew Friedman built and Joe Maddon managed ceased to be and are the Rays back out in the wilderness in which they roamed back when they had neon stingrays on their uniforms?

Hard to say. But we can say that the departure of Joe Maddon and Andrew Friedman should not, in and of itself, cause Rays fans to despair. Kevin Cash is a rookie manager, but he comes from a good pedigree, having been mentored by Terry Francona for the past few years. Matt Silverman may not be a household name, but he served in the same front office as Friedman for quite a long time. It’s not like the wheel which rolled the Rays into contention is being totally rebuilt. In some ways it’s the same plan as before — look for bargains, trade a guy earlier rather than too late and hope that the pitching comes through — just with fresh faces implementing them. It’s not like they went out and hired Dusty Baker and Jim Hendry here.

But, on the talent side, well . . . it’s gonna be rough for the Rays to convince people, like they’ve convinced us so often in the past that, with a little luck, they can be in the thick of the AL East race. Even a generally down AL East. Their big offseason pickup: Asdrubal Cabrera, who will be a defensive liability at short. Second base looks like the witness protection program. They upgraded at DH with John Jaso, and he’ll be a positive contributor if he doesn’t have to catch. They lost Ben Zobrist who was probably their best offensive performer last year. This from a team which already had the worst offense in the American League.

Good outfield defense, some live bullpen arms and a shot at a good rotation (see below) is nice, but it’s not enough. The Rays look to be in the middle of a transition period, and shouldn’t be expected to contend.

What else is going on?

  • Offense is the real question here, but are there answers? Eh, maybe. I mean, it’s not hopeless. Evan Longoria hit a mere .253/.320/.404 last season. He’s better than that. Desmond Jennings has long been thought to have the potential to be an offensive star. He’s 28 now and hopes for sustained stardom are probably gone, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see him have one or two spike years around now. A big x-factor is Steven Souza, who has raked in the minors in the past. Jaso can hit. James Loney has come back to life and died again a few times in his career. It’s not a lot to build on outside of Longoria — and it may be wishcasting to even hope for half of that stuff to break right — but I suppose it’s not nothing.
  • The rotation could be a strength, at least if you’re an optimist. Matt Moore, Chris Archer, Alex Cobb, Drew Smyly, and Jake Odorizzi figure to be a solid rotation at some point this season, but it’s nowhere near a lock that they’ll all be together at once at any time. Moore, of course, is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and could be back by July. But Cobb and Smyly have had health problems this spring. Alex Colome is supposed to be there until Moore arrives, but his spring has been interrupted with pneumonia. Unlike in the past where the Rays had a “next-man-up” feel to their starting pitching, there isn’t a ton of depth to make up for injured starters anymore.
  • I mentioned Jaso catching above. He’s not likely to do a lot of that due to the pickup of Rene Rivera. Rivera has had only 673 plate appearances across six seasons as he backed up in San Diego, Minnesota and Seattle while shutting to and from the minors. He’s been knocking around forever, but he’s supposed to be an amazing defensive catcher, though. And he even hit a decent amount last year in San Diego, where he saw his most consistent playing time as a big leaguer. Could be an interesting dude.
  • The bullpen should be serviceable. The closer and setup men, some of whom may be interchangeable if Kevin Cash wants to play the hot hand, look to be Jake McGee, Grant Balfour, Brad Boxberger and Kevin Jepsen. McGee had elbow surgery this offseason and will hopefully return in the season’s first month. Jim Miller and Ernesto Frieri are knocking around. Each are projects who pitched well once but then sort of melted down. The Rays could try to rehab and flip them. Heck, they may be flipping a lot. I bet Asdrubal Cabrera is on the block by June. Like I said: team in transition.

Prediction: I can envision a path to the division title for every team in the AL East except for the Tampa Bay Rays. They are rebuilding in their own particular Tampa Bay Rays way in which the Rays are always kinda rebuilding, but there are far fewer usable parts here. I think that amounts to Fifth Place, American League East.