ST. PETERSBURG -- Evan Longoria wants to be at third base every day, but he knows he must bide his time.
Longoria, who came off the disabled list on Aug. 7, played third base on Tuesday for the first time since his return. Until then he had been used exclusively as the designated hitter.
Having Longoria back in the lineup -- anywhere -- has seemed to give the offense a jump-start. Thus the Rays remain cautious about using him in the field too much, because they don't want to risk him re-injuring his left hamstring.
Longoria was back at third on Thursday after being used as the DH on Wednesday. He was removed from Tuesday's game early.
"I tried to plead my case [on Tuesday], to no avail," Longoria said. "I guess that had been the plan from the get-go. I would have liked to go back out. It was only one or two more innings. I had a feeling that my spot was going to come back up."
According to manager Joe Maddon, Longoria will play every other day at third base for the remainder of the homestand.
"Whatever he says," Longoria said. "We haven't really talked one-on-one about it. I know that it's kind of an issue that [the coaches and front office] have been talking about as far as matchups, situations, keeping me fresh and all that. But my legs have felt good. That's the most important thing.
"Whatever they want me to do, I'll do at this point. But at some point in the near future, I'm going to want to go out and play third base every day, because it's much easier to get into the rhythm of the game. It's much easier to stay focused."
Longoria noted that his legs felt better on Tuesday while playing in the field than they did after being the DH on Wednesday "and sitting around in between innings."
"That will be something that's talked about, but whatever their plan is for now, I'm onboard with it," he said.
Longoria said that there are still questions to be answered in regard to balls that he can get to in the field.
"I don't really have questions in my head as far as the health of my leg," he said. "But when you haven't been out there for a while, you've got to answer the questions by doing it. But yeah, I'm ready."