ST. PETERSBURG -- Evan Longoria might be rested physically after missing much of the season because of a partially torn left hamstring, but mentally, the 2012 season has been a grind.
The third baseman recently noted that he's far more mentally drained at this point than he was during any of his previous seasons in the Majors.
"The monotony and the repetition of playing every day, you don't even really think about it," Longoria said. "It's just what you do. You train for it and you get your body in shape for it and you play. And the two years that I've had when I was pretty healthy ... I'm more tired now just having to sit around and mentally dote on what I could or couldn't have done and how I'm progressing. That stuff weighs on you more than actually going out and playing every day."
Although he did a lot of physical work preparing to make his return on Aug. 7, Longoria said that being in baseball shape is different.
"We worked hard for about a month and a half before I came back," he said. "It's just a different kind of ... You can't really compare the two. It's gym work as compared to baseball shape. That's what we always say -- we kind of play our way into baseball shape during Spring Training.
"Unless you're playing baseball, you can't do it. You can run all you want. You can lift all you want. But it's just nine innings of being on your feet wearing cleats, standing around in the heat, running 90 feet, stopping. Stuff you can't do unless you're doing it."