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Is Longoria Ready?

A piece from the St. Pete Times details nicely from several different angles within the ball club whether Longoria could perhaps be ready to break Spring Training as the team's starting third baseman.

Longoria himself unquestionably feels ready -- he's rocketed through the Rays minor league system and trained hard during the off-season to be in top form entering camp.  His peers are also convinced he's prepared: "Hell, yes," B.J. Upton said. "Ready right d--- now."  Troy Tulowitzki, Evan's former teammate at Long Beach State has wondered what's took so long for his major league promotion.

Internally, however, it's a bit of a different story.  Andrew Friedman said in the article that Longoria's "development is king," and that while it would be nice to know he could undoubtedly hit the ground running for opening day it doesn't always quite work out that way, but fine tuning his game at Durham could in the end be helpful.

Andrew also goes on to say that contractual issues aren't playing into the decision, but depending on how soon Longoria hits the majors could possibly save the organization tens of millions over the next six years.  

Recently the Rays have said that Longoria could hit .500 in Spring Training and still not earn a promotion, so don't be too surprised if he doesn't make the team.  Evan, according to the article, would not be disappointed and just wants to make it to the show some time in 2008.