Thursday, March 26, 2009

International League (AAA) News

Durham BullsFrom the International League News & Notes email for March 26th:

ROTATION TAKING SHAPE: With arguably baseball’s top prospect David Price optioned yesterday to Durham, the Bulls rotation is nearly set. Price will more than likely be rejoined by righties Mitch Talbot and Wade Davis. Former major leaguer Carlos Hernandez, who is coming back from shoulder troubles, is expected to join Triple-A newcomer James Houser in the Bulls starting five. If this turns out to be Durham’s rotation, three of the five starters to begin the year will be lefties.

PEN PERFECT: The bullpen certainly has the ability to be one of Durham’s strengths to start 2009. The following pitchers were in major league camp and have been either optioned to Durham or assigned to minor league camp: Winston Abreu, Jason Childers, Randy Choate, Dewon Day, Julio DePaula, Chad Orvella, and Dale Thayer. Every member of that group has either MLB experience or is currently on the Rays 40-man roster.

IN THE FIELD: The following players are still in MLB camp with the Rays, but are expected to be part of Durham’s roster: Michel Hernandez, Chris Richard, Ray Sadler and Jon Weber. Reid Brignac, John Jaso, Elliott Johnson, and Justin Ruggiano were optioned to Durham yesterday, along with Price.

WELCOME BACK: Bulls Manager Charlie Montoyo returned to camp late last week. Montoyo was a coach on Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.
HISTORICAL CLIPPERS FOE JOINS TEAM: RHP Juan Salas was one of five players optioned to Columbus on March 19. Clippers fans might remember Salas, acquired from Tampa Bay on February 19 for INF Isaias Velasquez, as the closer in Durham’s 4-1, no-hit win vs. Columbus on July 16, 2006. Salas (0.2 IP) combined with Jason Hammel (8.1 IP) in completing the second no-hitter against the Clippers in Columbus history.

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