ST. PETERSBURG -- Third baseman Evan Longoria and infielder Jeff Keppinger are set to make their first rehab starts since their respective injuries as part of Triple-A Durham.
Rays manager Joe Maddon said Keppinger will be a designated hitter on Friday, play the field Saturday and then see how his toe feels at that point. Longoria will DH Saturday and play the field Sunday.
He added there were discussions of "running it through Tuesday" for both players and then having a discussion with both.
"I'm not overly concerned with Longo's number of at-bats or throwing the ball, he's been doing all of that," Maddon said of Longoria, who has a partially torn hamstring. "Baseball activities, [batting practice], throwing, fielding ground balls, he's fine -- it's about being on his legs, cutting, running the bases, sliding possibly. Those are the areas he needs to be tested in."
Maddon said Keppinger was in a similar position as Longoria as far as testing out his broken toe, and once they play, a better evaluation can be made.
He also said Longoria could be back sooner than the estimated seven- to 10-day timetable and that Keppinger was on a "faster track" to returning.