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.
At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.
Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.
The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.
At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).