[This article was written by Nick Hanson, one of our Charlotte Stone Crabs, GCL Rays, and Extended Spring Training correspondents.]
A few XST observations. I was there for about an hour today and saw the first inning or so of their game versus the Reds organization but had to leave unfortunately. Might be heading out there tomorrow.
The Rays have brought over a few players from their Venezuelan and Dominican clubs to stock up their GCL/Princeton staffs. A possibly incomplete list (based on observations) includes: OF Ruben Contreras (DSL), INF Felix Gonzalez (VSL), RHP Aneuris Mercedes (DSL), C Claudio Fukunaga (VSL), C Gerardo Olivares (DSL), and INF Cristian Vasquez (DSL). They spent the afternoon taking part in a simulated game against Trevor Shull and Jairo De La Rosa, who has converted from being an infielder. According to Princeton pitching coach Marty DeMerritt, there might be a few more Dominican/Venezuelan kids coming over before the GCL season begins.
Outfielder John Matulia (Montgomery Biscuits) is rehabbing with the XST camp. Catcher Stephen Vogt (Charlotte Stone Crabs) is out for the season and recently underwent rotator cuff surgery.