Thursday, April 7, 2011

Opening Day Open Thread

I know Doug said he wanted to get one of these up, so I'll post it now and when he drops by he can add to it.

Anyway, the season opens tonight and we'll be liveblogging all the action, starting at around 6:00 pm or so. Charlotte will have the first pitch, scheduled for 6:30 but likely a little bit later due to opening day ceremonies. Feel free to discuss anything in the comments section, it'll help give us some starting-off points for the liveblog tonight, in addition to all the goings-on in the games. Here again is the opening day info:

Durham Bulls @ Gwinnett Braves 7:05 ET
Richard De Los Santos is the starting pitcher

Montgomery Biscuits vs. Birmingham Barons 8:05 ET
Strikeout king Matt Moore will be on the mound

Charlotte Stone Crabs vs. Bradenton Marauders 6:30 ET
Jake Thompson gets the start

Bowling Green Hot Rods @ Dayton Dragons 7:00 ET
Enny Romero gets the opening day nod


  1. Very exciting day indeed here at Rays Prospects!

    I believe Hak-Ju Lee should be able to go tonight after suffering a bout of the chicken pox. Obviously, never exposed to that virus while growing up in Korea.

    Interested to see how Luke Baily does. He probably was the hottest player (offense and defense) that I saw in spring training.

    Now I need to get back to work because I can barely stand the excitement :-)

    Shoutout to my friend Bev and her husband who are Renegades hosts!

  2. Are you going to the game, Daniel (sorry I have no idea where you live)? Do you have any idea what position Tyler will be playing?

    I am pretty surprised Thompson gets the nod over Colome. I wouldn't be surprised if the org. has THompson ranked higher.

  3. Michael - we live near Cleveland Ohio so we won't be at the game. We spent a week at spring training about a week or so ago. We'll be listening on the Internet. I don't see why these MiLB teams don't video stream the games. It does not take much investment to do it. We watched almost all college games we were unable to attend for example via Internet video.

    Colome still has the big fastball. Ive' seen some guys have success with him with two different strategies. One is to wait for his offspeed stuff and hit that. Another is to sit on his fastball. Minor league guys can hit 96 if they don't have to fear the offspeed stuff. I think that is where Colome needs to go to progress. He has to make hitters worry about something else. That said, when he is on, he can basically beat the other team with one pitch - the good ole country fastball. He reminds me a little of a young Bartolo Colon although Colon could throw in the hundreds and I don't think Colome is quite that high.

  4. Daniel- I would be very interested in watching these games on Milb TV. If they showed more games, I would purchase it. But as of right now, I just don't feel it is worth it.

    Agreed on the bastball part. I was annoyed when the Giants were playing the Dodgers on opening day. Broxton was pitching and Belt (a rookie) was at the plate. One of the commentators said the minor leaguers never see a fastball at 95+ and made it sound like Broxton would just have to throw 97 and be fine. That really annoyed me, as I know that a stright fastball will be hit no matter how hard.

    As far as Colome's fastball, most web-sites and prospect guys (Sickels, Law, and BA) were saying Colome throws 91-93 and touches 95. That kind of contradicted reports I heard that Colome was 92-95 and could hit 96-97. What is your take on that?

    I really feel this is the year Tyler can make more beleive in him. The Rays are big on guys with versatility, so I am sure there is room for him at the big league level when he gets there.

    Best of luck for Tyler!

  5. I changed the comments so you don't have to keep clicking the popup window to see new ones. Now just hit refresh.

    Feel free to ask all of your questions here during the day. We'll save them up and answer during the games tonight. One thing we do not have is the extended spring training roster, so we can't verify if someone who was expected in full-season ball is in XST or has been released (Wilmer Almonte for example). Other than that, ask away!

    Agree with Daniel, I'm very excited about tonight. Been thinking about it all week!

  6. Michael - good questions.

    Two years ago whenever I saw Colome pitch in the NYPL - he was 94-96. Last year, I think he might have dropped down a few to the 91-93 range but I did not see any radar guns to confirm that. A few weeks ago, I stood behind the guns for a few innings while he pitched and he was 93-94. I think your latter reports are the accurate ones in that he is a 92-95 guy who touches 96-97. When he is feeling good, his fastball explodes and is tough to hit. If he devlops an offspeed, he'll be in the big leagues sooner than later.

    One guy who caught my eye last year was Albert Suarez. His fastball velocity when up as the game went along. He is a bulldog type of player who has a great personality. Hope he can get over the injury bug because he has great makeup and physical ability.

  7. People forget about Suarez because he missed alomost all of 2009 after he was hurt early in the season for HV and had TJS. Then in 2010 he rehabbed and was limited on pitch number and type (fastballs). This year he should be unlimited again, may miss a few starts later in the year to keep his innings down. Don't be surprised if his name starts popping up again on prospect lists like it did before 2009. He's still very young too, 21.5, younger than Jake Thompson for example. I'd take him over Wilking Rodriguez to give an ex of a prospect most people have heard of. Thanks for pointing him out Daniel.

  8. I am watching Suarez. Honestly, since I haven't followed Ray's prospects for too long, I don't know much about Suarez.

    Doug, I have a question. Are all the players the play in the DSL, VSL, etc... signed by the club? If so, many of these signing go unheard of, right?

    Also, I never knew the Rays had signed Romero or Lara. How does stuff like that work?

  9. If I understand your question Michael, yes, all of the DR, VZ, Brazil, Australia, Czech, etc. players are signed by the Rays organization, not the DSL Rays or VSL Rays. Just like all other players the Rays assign them to an affiliate. DR and VZ players tend to start in the DSL and VSL for a few reasons, they are very young and it's better to keep them close to home, getting Visas to come to the US can take time, and the Rays teach them English and US culture.

    I have a post going up in the next few days with all of the international free agents the Rays signed during 2010. Some you may have heard of (Y. Araujo, D. George) but most are small bonus guys. In the post I'll include guys who played a little in the DSL/VSL and guys who haven't played at all yet.

    Romero and Lara are like all other international free agents, they can sign with any team once they are of age. International free agents include any players who are not citizens of the US, Canada or Puerto Rico.

  10. Why does this excite me more than the big leagues opening day? Let's go Moore, Thompson and Romero. I figured it would be Torres or Cobb for AAA but um lets go Jennings, Chirinos and what the hell, Kotchman! Jennings at the top of the lineup, Chirinos giving us a C that can hit and well, having someone besides Dan Johnson sounds nice.

  11. FYI, here are the organizations we are playing today:

    AAA - Gwinnett Braves - Atlanta Braves
    AA - Birmingham Barons - Chicago White Sox
    A+ - Bradenton Marauders - Pittsburgh Pirates
    A - Dayton Dragons - Cincinnati Reds

  12. I don't know much about the other org's players, any top propects we should watch for on those teams?

  13. Oh, I forgot 2 other trade pieces, be awesome Guyer and Figueroa

  14. Heading over to CSP for the Stone Crabs opening day. I can't stay the whole game so I will try to stop by online for a little when I get home.