ST. LOUIS – Evan Longoria will have to be a cheerleader on the American League bench tonight after an infected ring finger on his right hand didn’t heal quickly enough after taking antibiotics. Angels third baseman Chone Figgins has been summoned to replace Longoria on the roster, while Rangers third baseman Michael Young will get the starting nod and bat seventh in the AL lineup.
“Obviously you don’t come to an All-Star game and want to sit on the bench,” Longoria said at a press conference moments ago. “It’s just unfortunate. Obviously me and Joe (Maddon) went back and forth on what to do. And being here with the American League team it would be a disservice to them to go out and play when I’m not up to full health so we talked about it last night and Chone Figgins is on his way to be the replacement. I was OK with it. We need a good team here. No. 1 priority is with the Rays and to be healthy and be ready to play Friday’s game. Like Joe said we need to put that aside for right now and help this club win.”
Longoria said he was “95 percent” certain “I shouldn’t miss any regular season games.”
“My finger tip was sore for two days, but obviously I’m not going to go to the training staff and say my finger tip is sore. But it just kind of progressed from there. A couple of swollen sore spots on my arm alarmed name that something else was going on. And so I had it checked out and pumped some antibiotics in and hope the infection goes away.”
Maddon said of his decision to go with Young, “Mike was already voted in so I thought it was an easy decision to let him start the game. He’s been an All-Star for several years now (six) and he’s always been a clutch player. Figgy on the other hand, I like his versatility. He plays third base but he also plays second base and the outfield positions.”
Figgins, 31, is hitting .310 with 11 homers and 28 RBIs. He leads the AL with 68 runs scored. He’s tied for the league lead in triples (7) and is fourth with 27 stolen bases.
Young said he found out at this morning’s All-Star breakfast that he’d be starting and hitting behind teammate and center fielder Josh Hamilton.