June 3, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) warms up before a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Griffith-US PRESSWIRE
Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria cold make his long-awaited return from the disabled list as soon as Tuesday, reports the Associated Press.
Longoria has been sidelined since May 1 because of a partially torn left hamstring. His return could provide a power bat in the middle of the Rays' struggling batting order.
The Rays have used eight players at third base since Longoria’s absence and will benefit from having their 26-year old power bat back. He likely will start as the designated hitter upon his return, and Rays manager Joe Maddon believes it may take some time before Longoria is up to full speed:
"He's going to need to come back and be patient because major league players in August have been playing all year. This guy has not. He's on a rehab assignment.
He's basically coming out of spring training with 1½ legs, so you've got to be patient and understand that there might be a little bit of a curve to be worked with here."
Longo was hitting .329/.433/.561 with four home runs in twenty-three games before hitting the DL at the end of April.
Can Longoria boost the Rays into a playoff spot?