Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Maddon high on Longoria, Price

Here are a few highlights from Rays manager Joe Maddon's talk to the media that just ended ...

**He said he didn't know if Evan Longoria will start 2008 in the major leagues, but third base is being cleared for him. The Rays fully play to play Aki Iwamura at second.

"He's begun the quest to become an All-Star second baseman," Maddon said. "We're pretty much committed to the fact that Aki is the guy there. We'll put him at second base and leave him there whether Evan is ready to do his thing or now, so we aren't bumping Aki all over the place."

**He said David Price, Tampa Bay's No. 1 draft pick in June, could reach the major leagues by the end of next season. He said he didn't know where Price may start his professional career -- Montgomery? -- but said the Rays should be conservative with it.

"He could come quickly," Maddon said. "I've heard that it's possible within the next year. ... Guys like him, you really want to make sure. He's going to show us or tell us when he's ready to be here."

**Also on Longoria: "This guy is a major league-caliber person and I think he'll fit in very quickly," Maddon said. "He gets it."

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