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Maddon cites mechanics, timing for Longo's funk

ST. PETERSBURG -- Evan Longoria entered Thursday afternoon's game against the A's batting .196 with a .266 on-base percentage, 29 strikeouts and 11 walks in his last 29 games since April 20.

Prior to that, he was hitting .348 with a .413 OBP in his first 18 games of the season.

Rays manager Joe Maddon, who batted Longoria in the second spot of the order for the second consecutive game on Thursday, noted that he does not believe that pitchers throwing around him has been a part of the problem.

"Actually I think [Longoria has] been seeing some pitches," Maddon said. "He's just been off a little bit. Overall, I can't say that right now. There's times that he's not going to get pitched at, I agree with that, but I don't necessarily see that right now.

"I just think he's off mechanically. Although it's getting closer. He's done this in the past. ... I think he's gone through this a couple of times, where he's gone through a period and it's kind of rugged. And he has such a different mechanical setup."

Maddon called Longoria's mechanics "unique."

"A lot of times good hitters, good baseball players, have something that they do uniquely to them," Maddon said. "And he does regarding his setup, how he starts the bat, et cetera. So when he gets off, it's off, and he has to get this unique timing back. And when he does, it's pretty special."

Maddon added that Longoria hasn't been chasing pitches out of the zone, but he has been missing some of his pitches.

"He's probably missed his pitch a little bit," Maddon said. "For the most part, his chase rate has not been bad. Overall, the timing's been off to the point where he has not been able to generate his normal bat speed on his pitch."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for David Adler is an associate reporter for
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