Matt Eddy reports the Rays have released RHP Nelson Liriano and RHP Julio Puentes and have reinstated RHP Chris Smith from inactive list. He also says that RHP Ben Hendrickson has signed with the Minnesota Twins.
Liriano, who turned 21 on December 6th, was the closer for the DSL Rays in 2008. He put up excellent numbers: 0.32 ERA in 28.1 IP over 27 appearances, struck out 34 and only walked 4, had 16 saves, a 10.8 SO/9, and a 8.5 SO/BB ratio. Can't pitch much better than that so there must be more to the story. I was hoping to see him close for the GCL Rays this year.
Puentes, who turned 23 on February 2nd, made one relief appearance for the Princeton Rays last year. On June 17th he went one inning, giving up a run on a hit and three walks while striking out one.
Hendrickson, who turned 28 on February 4th, started 27 games for the Durham Bulls in 2008. He was 10-9 with a 4.58 ERA. Over 149.1 innings he struck out 81 and walked 64. Hendrickson was originally drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 10th round of the 1999 draft. Probably a good move for him as he had no chance to reach the majors as a starter with the Rays.