Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday Rays Notes

Charlotte Stone CrabsThe Charlotte Stone Crabs have their new 10-Game Mini Plans on sale now. For only $60 you get tickets to 9 Friday and Saturday games plus the home opener. Some of the scheduled games are Fireworks Night and giveaway nights including Team Baseball Cap, T-Shirt and Baseball Night. Another nice feature, if you can't make it to one of the 10 pre-scheduled games, you can exchange your ticket for any other home game free of charge. You also get a free Game Program for all the plan games.

The Durham Bulls are featured in two 2009 calendars. The North Carolina Governor's Highway Safety Calendar and the Baseball America Great Parks Calendar both have a Bulls photo for the month of May.

Stacy Long reports the Rays have signed Jake Gautreau: "Infielder Jake Gautreau, who played last year with the independent Fort Worth Cats, has signed with the Tampa Bay Rays and is likely headed to Triple-A Durham this year. Gautreau, a former Tulane star, was in Triple-A from 2004-07, the last with New Orleans, before going to Fort Worth. He was the 14th overall pick in the 2001 draft and hit .282 last year for Fort Worth. He played first, second and third bases."

Buster Olney reports the Rays have signed a LOOGY: "Brian Shouse, a veteran left-handed reliever, has agreed to a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays, according to baseball sources. The deal is pending a physical exam, which he will take on Thursday."

Project Prospect is already projecting 2010's Top 10 Prospects. Rays SS Tim Beckham comes in 10th.

Jonathan Mayo says Hudson Valley Renegades owner Marv Goldklang is part of a group trying to restart the Israel Baseball League: "Goldklang is a limited partner of the Yankees and also owns a host of Minor League teams -- Fort Myers, Charleston, Hudson Valley and a pair of independent league clubs. He was on an advisory committee for the Israel Baseball League back in 2007, but left when he became displeased by the operation. Instead of giving up, though, he wants to give it another try doing it the right way. He's part of a group that includes Jeff Rosen, who owns a basketball team in the Israeli Premier League and some other investors involved in Major League Baseball."

Teddy Mitrosilis describes the growth of Matt Garza at "But that wasn’t getting him any closer to big league superstardom. At some point, if he wanted to take full advantage of his incredible gifts, Garza would have to make the leap from hyperventilating maniac to focused assassin on the mound. There were times at the beginning of the season where you would look at Garza on the mound and just wait for the smoke to ooze from his ears and nostrils. He physically looked that wired. But two monumental things happened last season that turned Garza around and allowed him to become the dominant pitcher the Rays were waiting for, and it all began in the summer heat of Texas."

Wade Davis participated in the 2009 Rookie Career Development Program and has a video interview with him.

And finally, Ken Rosenthal reports that the "C-word" is beginning to be whispered: "Pitchers and catchers begin reporting to spring training in two weeks, yet nearly 90 free agents are still looking for jobs. The union examines trends in every free-agent market, but will not decide whether to file a collusion grievance until the signing period is complete."

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