Battling to stay in the wild-card race, the Rays hope their standout third baseman, Evan Longoria, will return this week.
For the second year in a row, Tampa Bay’s general manager, Andrew Friedman, spent the trade deadline at the hospital.
Last year, it was because he had an emergency appendectomy, though it didn’t stop him from working the phones while in the recovery room.
This year, happier circumstances brought Friedman to the hospital — his wife, Robin, delivered their second son, Zach, at about 12:30 Tuesday afternoon, Tampa time — a few hours before the deadline.
Just as last year, the Rays didn’t make any trades, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have help on the way. Battling to stay in the wild-card race, the Rays hope their standout third baseman, Evan Longoria, will return this week.
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The target date is Tuesday, but Longoria has had setbacks before on his road to recovery. When he does come back, he will be the designated hitter at first. The Rays hope he will eventually be able to play third base in late August or September. His return is part of the reason Friedman didn’t feel compelled to add a bat at the deadline.
Longoria has been out since partially tearing his left hamstring in a game against the Mariners on April 30. The Rays were 15-8 then, and going into Saturday’s game were 41-42 since.
Lowe might not
If Derek Lowe, designated for assignment by the Indians, is to continue his career, it almost certainly will be with the Red Sox or Orioles.
Lowe had his greatest success with the Red Sox after the Mariners sent him, with Jason Varitek, to Boston at the 1997 trade deadline in the ill-fated Heathcliff Slocumb trade.
Lowe has been working out in Fort Myers, Fla., where the Red Sox train, with Chris Correnti, his personal trainer dating to his days in Boston. Correnti, who also worked with Pedro Martinez, is an Orioles employee now — their rehab coordinator — so that’s why the Orioles are in play, too. That, and the fact that the Red Sox general manager who made the aforementioned trade was Dan Duquette, current GM of the Orioles.
Notes and quotes
• The Twins just can’t catch a break. Not only are they playing lousy baseball, but for the second year in a row, one of their top former draft picks has had Tommy John surgery.
Last September, it was Kyle Gibson, their first-round pick in 2009. Now it’s Alex Wimmers, their No. 1 pick in 2010. Wimmers had the surgery on Thursday, knocking him out for most of the 2013 season.
The good news, if there is any, is that Gibson is pitching again. On Tuesday he threw three shutout innings in the Gulf Coast League, giving up no hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. Minnesota GM Terry Ryan said Gibson could be promoted to a higher Class A league “because he dominated.”
• With Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence now gone, don’t be surprised if the Phillies make a winter bid for free-agent outfielder Michael Bourn. Bourn was a fourth-round draft pick of the Phillies in 2003.
• One team that stood pat at the trade deadline was the NL East-leading Nationals, despite kicking around on acquiring a veteran catcher, infielder or starting pitcher. GM Mike Rizzo said he decided he’d rather count on his young players to rise up during the stretch drive, and beyond.
“All along, we said we like who we are and we like where we’re at, the composition of the roster,” Rizzo told reporters. “We didn’t see a whole lot of holes to fill. It’s not about complacency. It’s about making good, sound decisions and not taking the short route with rental players that could affect us long-term.”
The Nationals did make a move on Friday, trading for A’s catcher Kurt Suzuki and making him their regular at the position. They sent minor-league catcher David Freitas to Oakland.
• The latest Mike Trout stat to knock your socks off: He’s only the second player in MLB history to enter August hitting .350 or higher with 15 or more homers and 30 or more stolen bases. The other: Rickey Henderson of the Yankees in 1985.
• With Jonathan Broxton traded to the Reds, Greg Holland takes over as Kansas City’s closer. Yes, the same Holland who had an 11.37 ERA on April 21, when he went on the disabled list with a rib-cage injury. Since May 23, he’s had 26 scoreless appearances in 30 games and 42 strikeouts in 31 innings.