Aybar’s Been Great in Longoria’s Absence

August 20, 2008 at 11:34 am Leave a comment

(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

When the Rays lost their best player in Evan Longoria everyone, including me, thought it would be impossible for the Rays to fill the hole that was left at thirdbase. The Rays inserted Willy Aybar as the starter at thirdbase and he has done nothing but impress in Longoria’s absence.

In the superstar’s absence Aybar has hit .364/.429/.682 with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 3 homers, and a 5/4 BB/K rate in 44 at-bats while playing good defense. Aybar has raised his averages from .222/.301/.347 to .251/.328/.417 in 11 games since Longoria has been out after seeing his averages drop from .264/.361/.415 on June 30th.

Aybar has filled in wherever manager Joe Maddon has asked him and he has come through in a big way this time. He always puts the ball in play and takes a lot of pitches. Hats off to him for helping keep the Rays at the top of the AL East.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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