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Looks like Evan Longoria(notes) will now have some time to help find his missing AK-47.

The Tampa Bay Rays announced on Sunday that their  All-Star third baseman will head to the 15-day disabled list with a strained oblique.

Rays manager Joe Maddon said the injury, which caused Longoria to leave Saturday's 3-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles early, could keep the team's best player on the shelf for three weeks or more.

From The Heater:

"It's just unfortunate," Maddon said. "We're having a hard time scoring runs out of the chute. He's probably our best run producer and now we dont' have him. We're just going to have to make some adjustments and keep playing."

Maddon later tweeted the news, followed by the team's 2011 slogan:

"Find another way."

But no matter what alternate route the Rays are forced to take —they're calling up Felipe Lopez(notes) for now —this obviously has the potential to be a big blow for the Rays' chances in the AL East. After an offseason that saw them lose Carl Crawford(notes) and Carlos Pena to free agency, they needed every contribution from Longoria.

Especially the Longoria that hit .341/.400/.602 last April.

Longoria's absence now puts even more pressure on the two main offseason additions — Johnny Damon(notes) (who's also a bit banged up) and Manny Ramirez(notes) — to produce. We'll see if they're up to the challenge.

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