Evan Longoria Placed On DL; Felipe Lopez Called Up | The Process Report

Evan Longoria Placed On DL; Felipe Lopez Called Up

Our worst fears were realized this afternoon when it was announced that third baseman Evan Longoria was placed on the disabled list with a strained left oblique that forced him out of last night’s game. Joe Maddon mentioned a three week minimum for Longoria, but we’ll have to wait and see.  The Rays have called up Felipe Lopez to take his place. Since the minor league season has not started, Lopez made the trek from Port Charlotte and will join the team immediately. The Rays will make a corresponding 40-man roster move before today’s game. Mike Ekstrom was designated for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.

R.J. discussed the options to replace last night and Lopez gives the team the most flexibility. Instead of looking at the situation as who will replace Evan Longoria (the answer is no one), you have to look at it as who will replace Sean Rodriguez now that he will be the de-facto starter. In Lopez, the Rays get a similar player to Rodriguez, although less effective both offensively and defensively.

Lopez can play seven positions and gives Maddon a switch-hitting option on the bench or in a platoon.  Some will groan about Casey Kotchman not getting the call, but the name of the game is positional flexibility and Kotchman has none. The one caveat is Lopez is out of options and would likely be claimed on waivers. At the same time, given the projected time table for Longoria’s absence, the team is going the player they feel best fits the club and will worry about roster spots later.

While Rodriguez and Lopez will replace Longoria in the lineup, there is a decent chance they will unable to duplicate his projected production. In his career, Longoria has worth about half a win per 50 plate appearances. If he misses a month (100 plate appearances or so), we’re looking at the team losing a full win. That said, Rodriguez and Lopez are not a replacement level player which reduces that loss.  Between their offensive ability and random variance, the impact could me much less than feared.

Andrew Friedman often preaches about organizational depth. On the other hand, no one likes to see that depth tested by losing your best player after two games. The Rays talked about doing things another way this year; however, doing it without Longoria was not part of the plan. Heal quickly, Evan.

One Comment

  1. […] Yesterday, I talked about the impact of losing Evan Longoria for three-to-four weeks. With the potential to miss 20-t0-25 games, we could be looking at dropping nearly a full win above replacement level if Longoria loses 100 or more plate appearances. The good news is that Longoria’s stand-ins should perform above the proverbial replacement level. Plus, there’s always the chance of a player catching fire and playing above his means in small samples (the converse is also true). […]

Leave a Reply

#layout { padding-left:20px; }