Giants

Longoria crushes first homer of spring, stays hot early on

Giants
Evan Longoria

The Giants still are waiting for Evan Longoria to make his debut on defense this spring. In the meantime, Longoria stayed hot at the plate as the veteran first baseman crushed his first homer in the Cactus League this year in the Giants' 2-2 tie with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday.Ā 

Longoria has played just two games this spring, but is 2-for-5 with a home run and three-run double, giving him four RBI. He's only handling DH duties right now as he dealsĀ with the same plantar fasciitis issue that affected him last season.

"My foot has been bothering me, so that's why we've been holding off," Longoria said Saturday to reporters. "The same thing I dealt with last year, a littleĀ plantar fasciitis, a little nerve pain. Hopefully we've got it taken care of."

Longoria, 35, missed seven games last season. He hit .254 with seven home runs and a .722 OPS in 53 games. What should make the Giants even happier about Longoria's solo shot on Monday is that it came off right-hander Yoan Lopez.Ā 

Last season, Longoria struggled mightily against right-handed pitching. He slashed .234/.281/.390 with four homers off right-handers, compared to .308/.339/.519 with three home runs against lefties. Longoria had a .671 OPS when facing righties. That went up to .859 off southpaws.Ā 

RELATED:Ā What Giants broadcaster Flemming envisions for 2021 season

The Giants added left-handed hitters in Tommy La Stella and Jason Vosler who could step in for Longoria. But Longoria improving as a hitter against right-handers helps the Giants no matter what Gabe Kapler decides to do.

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Longoria is signed through next season, and the Giants need him to be a power bat in their lineup. In his first two games of the spring, he has been exactly that off lefties and righties.Ā 

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