Rays third baseman Evan Longoria has been out since late last week because of a strained left quad and it sounds like he might not return until this weekend.
Longoria took batting practice before Wednesday’s game and reported good results, according to the Associated Press, but Rays manager Joe Maddon has ruled him out for Thursday’s game and he’s not a lock to start Friday either.
Maddon doesn’t want to push his All-Star third baseman, even with a shot at homefield advantage and the American League East title on the line.
“We’re overly cautious with this,” Maddon said. He’s doing pretty good.”
Longoria, 24, is batting .294/.372/.507 this year with 22 homers, 104 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 574 at-bats. He has also scored 96 runs and hit 46 doubles.
The Blue Jays placed right-hander Aaron Sanchez on the 10-day disabled list with a contusion in his right index finger, per a team announcement on Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to Friday. In a corresponding move, righty Marcus Stroman was activated from the DL (right shoulder fatigue) and will take the mound for the Blue Jays at 9:07 PM ET tonight.
Sanchez, 25, is in his fifth season with the club. He hasn’t looked his sharpest so far this year, going 3-5 in 15 starts with a career-worst 4.52 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 through 79 2/3 innings. It’s not yet clear how long he’ll be sidelined, though he could miss as little as one turn in the rotation before returning to the roster in the next week or two.
Sanchez isn’t the only struggling starter in Toronto’s rotation, either. Per MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm, the team placed southpaw Jaime Garcia on the DL (right shoulder tenderness) as well, with lefty reliever Tim Mayza scheduled to take his spot on the roster. In 13 starts this season, Garcia carried a 2-6 record, 6.16 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 61 1/3 innings. Any further decisions pertaining to the rotation — including Tuesday’s starter against the Astros — have yet to be publicly addressed.