Lost in the news of Evan Longoria’s six-year, $100 million extension is that the Rays third baseman underwent surgery last week to “clean up” his left hamstring after missing more than half of the season with a partial tear.
“With the time we had there’s no doubt that I’d be able to recover and be at 100 percent or close to by spring training,” Longoria said, via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Of course, Longoria was initially expected to miss 6-8 weeks with the partially torn hamstring and ended up playing just 74 total games, so his “no doubt” might have a little doubt.
According to Topkin the surgery removed scar tissue and took place “in Texas by hamstring specialist Dr. Daniel Cooper.”
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.