ST. PETERSBURG -- Evan Longoria isn't injured badly, but the Rays' third baseman and manager Kevin Cash felt it would be best if he did not start on Saturday due to the left thumb injury he sustained Friday night against the Indians.
Longoria was available to come off the bench Saturday, but he sat out the Rays' 3-0 loss.
In the fifth inning of Friday's 5-0 loss to Cleveland, Giovanny Urshela smoked a single up the left side that caromed off of Longoria's glove. Longoria grimaced after the play, had a visit from team trainers, then left the game an inning later. Fortunately for Longoria and the Rays, X-rays were negative, leaving Longoria's status as day to day.
"Evan's sore," Cash said before Saturday's game. "I watched him swing in the cage, and he looked OK. And he'll definitely be available for us later in the game.
"This isn't the worst thing for Evan. We ask him to play all the time. He wants to be out there all the time. If we can get him a day off his feet, that might be as important as resting his thumb."
Cash said the decision had been a mutual one.
"We felt like it was best that he take a day and not aggravate it more," Cash said. "We want him to be available and good to go for an extended period of time as much as possible."
Longoria said that he felt "pretty good."
"But I'm just going to take a day," he said. "I think I could play, but I think the smart thing to do is just let it feel a little bit better. I definitely think I'll feel better to hit or play defense late in the game. It's a tough call for me, but I'm just trying to make the smart decision so I can be 100 percent tomorrow."
Longoria said he has more pain squeezing his glove than swinging the bat.
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.