As expected, the Rays have activated Evan Longoria from the disabled list and he’s in the starting lineup for tonight’s game, playing third base and batting third.
Longoria has been sidelined since injuring his oblique muscle in the second game of the season and Tampa Bay got off to a 1-8 start, but the Rays bounced back extremely well without him and are now 15-13 overall.
Longoria has talked about possibly being not quite 100 percent healthy yet, but he homered in three of four rehab games at Double-A.
Sean Rodriguez and Felipe Lopez split playing time pretty evenly in Longoria’s absence, but combined to hit just .197 with three homers in 26 games. Lopez was designated for assignment to make roster room for Longoria’s return, meaning he’s probably done with the Rays.
The Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.
We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”
Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.