Yankees Rumors & News
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Youth and inexperience haven’t slowed the Tampa Bay Rays. Could injuries to two of their best players?

All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday, joining fellow All-Star Carl Crawford, who was placed on injured reserve just the day before.

It goes without saying that this is a major blow for a ball club enjoying a dream season, the Rays having eclipsed their franchise record in wins on Sunday with their 71st. At this point, Crawford’s bizarre finger injury appears to be the more devastating one, with the looming possibility that the outfielder will need season-ending surgery. Longoria, meanwhile, could return within two to three weeks.

Willy Aybar (.225, 6 HRs) takes over at third base, while minor-league call-up Justin Ruggiano (.315 with 11 home runs for Triple-A Durham) will join Eric Hinske and Gabe Gross in left field.

So what does this mean for the AL East chase? It certainly gives the Red Sox (four games back heading into Tuesday) and Yankees (nine games back) hope – especially considering they each play the Rays six more times in September.

But with the Yankees tripping over themselves lately, they have their own problems to worry about. The Rays’ injuries should make the pennant chase more interesting, though it isn’t exactly how Rocky Balboa would want to go about it.

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