Evan Longoria turned back the clock in 2016, blasting a career-high 36 homers, tallying his best RBI total (98) and ISO (.248) since 2011, and his best slugging percentage (.521) since 2012. He was as durable as ever, playing 160 games for the second straight season, and he's now only missed six games in the last four seasons overall. There's no reason to believe an encore isn't possible despite the somewhat drastic jump in his home run totals, especially after he posted a near six-percent jump in hard contact in 2016. While his strikeout rate did see a slight bump up to 21.0 percent, Longoria's bat speed proved to be as healthy as ever last season given his power numbers, and he'll therefore profile as a top-10 fantasy option at third base in any format heading into the coming season. Overly aggressive bidders may regret raising his baseline, though.
Longoria (neck) will play third base and bat third in the lineup in Monday's Grapefruit League game against the Pirates, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Manager Kevin Cash said that Longoria was feeling better after fighting a stiff neck Sunday, so the veteran will return to the lineup after just a one-game absence. After slugging a career-high 36 homers last season, the 31-year-old showed that he's still capable of offering elite production. Considering that he's appeared in at least 160 games four straight times, Longoria's durability no longer seems to be a concern either.
Longoria was scratched from the lineup with neck stiffness prior to Sunday's Grapefruit League game against the Phillies, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Longoria missed some time earlier in camp with an illness, but this is his first injury-related departure from the lineup. It doesn't appear to be anything too serious, and he's considered day-to-day for now.
Longoria went 1-for-3 with a solo home run in Sunday's 8-2 Grapefruit League win over the Blue Jays. Despite a very good spring, Longoria had yet to homer prior to Sunday, when he launched a sixth-inning Brett Obelholtzer pitch down the left-field line. Based on his work this spring, Longoria seems primed to build on his resurgent 2016, as he's now slashing .400/.400/.550 with three RBI. However, Sunday's blast was notably his first extra-base hit over 20 at-bats.
Longoria went 2-for-3 in Friday's 5-2 Grapefruit League win over the Tigers. The veteran slugger, coming off a career-high 36 home runs in 2016, has quietly been swinging the bat well this spring. Factoring in Friday's pair of singles, Longoria is hitting .500 (4-for-8) with one RBI over the three games he's seen action in.
Longoria (illness) missed a second straight day of workouts Tuesday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Although he made an appearance in the clubhouse, Longoria was subsequently sent home due to the high fever he still was saddled with. He remains firmly day-to-day, and his availability for Friday's Grapefuit League opener would get murkier with each additional day he's sidelined.