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Injury Updates

All from Will Carroll's new UTK column:

Evan Longoria took batting practice with one of the trainers, but he'll need to go off of live pitching before he comes back

B.J. Upton
Upton is making progress and should return to the lineup this weekend. Tampa managed a split with the Red Sox despite not having a full third of their starting players available. To me, the story of this season is not that the Rays made their big leap, but that they managed to find and maintain such a high level despite setbacks, injuries, subpar performances, and other challenges. I'm not sure if it's the existentialist manager with a taste for cabernet, or just a collection of talent that runs deeper than even we expected, but it is impressive. Upton should be limited by the quad, so don't expect him to run, and there's some chance that he'll have to resort to some DH playing time, though without Upton out in center, the team puts together a pretty ugly-looking outfield.

Clearly the lineup will be much, much improved when both return but I wanted to touch on Carroll's point about sustaining success despite injuries. Doing some napkin math the Rays have been without Pena (21), Longoria (30), Crawford (28), and Upton (4) for a combined 83 games due to injury.  While I'm not sure how other teams (read: Boston) match up with that if you would've told me those four miss more than half the season combined I would be asking you if your preference was Stephen Strasburg or a hitter in next June's draft.