Zobrist honored to be selected for 2013 All-Star Game

ST. PETERSBURG -- Ben Zobrist and Matt Moore will represent the Rays in Tuesday's All-Star Game, but Moore isn't the only person from the Rays clubhouse making his All-Star debut.

Head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield -- now in his 17th season with the club and eighth as the head trainer -- will participate in his first Midsummer Classic as the trainer for the American League team.

Porterfield was selected through a vote by the members of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society.

"You're representing your colleagues," Porterfield said. "They feel good enough about you representing them and that's a big thing."

Everyone in Tampa Bay's clubhouse had a different reason why Porterfield is the best trainer in baseball, but they agreed that he has been vital to their success over the past several seasons.

"He deserves every honor that baseball can bestow upon him, because that guy not only works his tail off on a daily basis, but he cares about his players and this organization," Zobrist said. "He wants to do the best job he can possibly do, and he cares about our long-term health. It's important to realize everyone has a life after baseball, and that's why he takes such care to keep us healthy and prolong our careers as long as he can. I think the world of him."


Since his selection, Porterfield has been gathering information from other American League trainers on their respective All-Star players' conditions and injuries.

"I know a lot of those players just from being on the other side," Porterfield said. "To actually sit down and talk with them and meet them on a more personal basis will be pretty neat."

Porterfield said he is most excited for his 17 year-old son, Alec, to accompany him onto the field.

Strength and conditioning coordinator Kevin Barr will also make the trip as a part of Jim Leyland's staff.

Longo disappointed with recent at-bats

TB@HOU: Longoria reaches into camera well, makes grab

ST. PETERSBURG -- With all the success the Rays have been finding at the plate, Evan Longoria's slump has gone largely unnoticed.

Longoria's batting average fell to .281 after Friday's loss, its lowest point since April. Entering Saturday's game, he has just six hits in July, and he struck out looking to end the game Friday with the winning run at first base.

Longoria has shown signs of frustration, tweeting an apologetic message to Friday's starter David Price and throwing his bat down after a recent unsuccessful at-bat..

Manager Joe Maddon said he knows Longoria is frustrated, but he hasn't taken notice of anything unusual.

"He's a pro," Maddon said. "He knows he'll get through this whole thing. I haven't seen him upset with himself. I know he wasn't pleased with the last at-bat [Friday] night, but he's fine."

Longoria sat out for three games at the end of June to nurse the plantar fasciitis that flared up in his right foot. Recently, he has shown no signs of the injury, leaping for line drives and stealing a base on Wednesday.

Maddon doesn't feel Longoria's slump is linked to the injury.

"It's one of those injuries where you manage the pain, and he's been able to do that, so that's just up to him on a particular night. But he's told me he feels pretty good," Maddon said.

Maddon misses the days of disco

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tropicana Field caught some Saturday Night Fever on Saturday, with KC and the Sunshine Band scheduled to perform at Tropicana Field after the game.

Manager Joe Maddon and several players shot promotional videos in their best disco attire, inspiring Maddon to reflect on the era.

"It became more of a favorite era of mine after it was over," he said. "When I was living it, I was kind of the anti-disco guy. I was more rock-and-roll and long hair. I was always appreciative of how the women dressed during that era, but it was never about going out with the shirt open down to your navel with the chains. That was never a part of my gig."

Extra bases

•The Rays announced their post-All-Star break rotation on Saturday. David Price will face Toronto on Friday, followed by Jeremy Hellickson, Chris Archer, Matt Moore and Roberto Hernandez.

• Pitcher Alex Cobb will throw live batting practice before Sunday's game. Cobb suffered a concussion on June 15 when a line drive off the bat of Kansas City's Eric Hosmer hit him on the right side of the head.

• Price threw his second complete game in as many starts on Thursday. Price is the first pitcher to throw back-to-back complete games since Roy Halladay in May 2006.

• The 17 balls Price threw Thursday are the fewest in a complete game since Johan Santana threw 16 for Minnesota on May 6, 2005.