Saturday, July 30, 2011

Scores and Highlights from 7/29

Gwinnett Braves 5, Durham Bulls 0
Stephen Vogt was 2 for 4 in his AAA debut. Leslie Anderson had a double.

Montgomery Biscuits 7, Tennessee Smokies 4
Brett Nommensen was 2 for 4 with an RBI and run scored in his AA debut. Henry Wrigley drove home 2 runs. Matt Sweeney snapped his 0-30 streak with a 2 run single. Marquis Fleming picked up the win and Zach Quate the save.

Tampa Yankees 6, Charlotte Stone Crabs 5 (14 innings)
Dustin Biell was 2 for 6. Ty Morrison had 2 RBI's. Hak-Ju Lee, Mike Sheridan and Tyler Bortnick each had an RBI. Mike Jarman pitched 4 scorless innings. Adam Liberatore had 3 scoreless innings.

Lake County Captains 9, Bowling Green Hot Rods 7
Steven Tinoco was 3 for 4 with an RBI. Cody Rogers was 2 for 4 with a home run. Phil Wunderlich had a home run. Nick Schwaner drove home 2 runs. Omar Bencomo pitched a scoreless frame.

Hudson Valley Renegades 9, Auburn Doubledays 1
Craige Lyerly was 2 for 4 with a 3 run homer. Cesar Guillen was 2 for 4 with a double and 2 RBI's. Juniel Querecuto was 2 for 4 with an RBI. Andrew Bellatti pitched 5 shut-out innings for the win.

Pulaski Mariners 4, Princeton Rays 3
Cameron Seitzer was 2 for 3 with a home run. Jake DePew drove home two runs. Joe Caminero had a triple.

GCL Orioles 5, GCL Rays 1
James Harris was 2 for 4 with a double. Julian Morillo had an RBI. Daniel Bream pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings with 4 strikeouts.

DSL Cardinals 4, DSL Rays 1
Adderly Rosa was 2 for 5 with a run scored. Alexander Simon was 2 for 5 with a double. Carlos Garcia pitched 4 scorless innings with 3 strikeouts.

VSL Rays 5, VSL Mariners 1
Erick Epifano was 2 for 3 with a double. Leopoldo Correa was 2 for 4 with a double and a 3 run homer. Douglas Duran was 2 for 4. Wilmer Dominguez had a solo homer. Luis Guzman pitched 3 no-hit innings for the win.

Touch 'Em All Time

Jim Shonerd handled yesterday's Prospect Hot Sheet chat:
Jason (Amherstview): In your opinion, who do you think are the top candiates for minor league player of the year?

Jim Shonerd: If Matt Moore keeps this up, he has to be the clear favorite. Teheran and Paul Goldschmidt would be worthy candidates, and I'm sure we could come up with more, but I think it's Moore's to lose. Harper could get back into contention if he finishes strong in Double-A.
Cale (Houston): What do scouts like to see this GO/AO statisic be for pitchers? No less than what? Thanks.

Jim Shonerd: Had a scout tell me a couple years ago that 1.50 is the number he looks for. That means you're getting it done.

Ex-Rays News: Recently released VSL Rays RHP Hugo Garcia has been suspended:
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that two free agent Minor League players have been suspended following their violations of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Alejandro Arteaga has received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for Nandrolone and Stanozolol, and fellow free agent pitcher Hugo Garcia received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for Boldenone. In both instances, the suspension will become effective immediately if the player signs with another Major League organization.
Garcia, who turned 19 on July 26, pitched for the Rays' VSL affiliate this year after appearing in eight games for the Mets' VSL club last season. He had an 8.10 ERA in 6 2/3 innings this summer and last took the mound June 17, when he failed to record an out against the VSL Phillies.

Moves: None. Can't remember how long it's been since there hasn't been a single move by any of the ten teams.

Oscar Watch: Hernandez went 0 for 3 with a walk and a run scored on Friday. Ends five-game hit streak and drops average down to .397 on the year.

Malm Watch: 1 for 4 with a HBP, RBI, and two runs scored on Friday. Batting .330/.450/.659 for the month of July.

End Of Season Watch: Last scheduled regular-season game for each affiliate:
Durham Bulls - September 5th
Montgomery Biscuits - September 5th
Charlotte Stone Crabs - September 4th
Bowling Green Hot Rods - September 5th
Hudson Valley Renegades - September 4th
Princeton Rays - August 30th
GCL Rays - August 27th
VSL Rays - August 6th
DSL Rays - August 20th

Hot: Drew Vettleson, Princeton Rays. Single last night extended his hitting streak to nine games. Hitting .344/.426/.633 in 90 at-bats for the month of July. Fourteen of his 31 hits this month have been for extra bases and he has more walks than strikeouts (15 to 14).

Not: Matt Sweeney, Montgomery Biscuits. With a single last night he's now 1 for 25 in the month of July. He batted .134 in April, .195 in May, .116 in June, and .040 so far in July.

Stat 'O The Day: On-base percentage, minimum 100 plate appearances.
Batter            Team  PA   BA  OBP
Oscar Hernandez    VSL 263 .397 .494
Cameron Seitzer*   PRI 140 .345 .443
Taylor Motter      PRI 118 .330 .432
Jeff Malm*         HDV 165 .301 .424
Tyler Bortnick     CHA 443 .299 .421
Robby Price*       BWG 401 .263 .419
Jose Lobaton#      DHM 224 .293 .410
Adderly Rosa#      DSL 198 .268 .409
Jose Bellorin      VSL 214 .317 .403
Kyeong Kang*       MTG 258 .276 .401

Name That Minor Leaguer ===>

Hint #1: Hat is correct.

Hint #2: Venezuelan.

Hint #3: Middle name is Alberto.

Hint #4: Signed July 3rd, 2007.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Rays Organization Attendance

Rays Organization Attendance - 2010
Team, league, number of home games, average attendance, rank in league, stadium capacity, attendance as a percentage of capacity.
Team           League           G     Avg    LgRank  Capacity  %Cap
Tampa Bay      American        49  19,971   13th/14    36,048   55%
Durham         International   53   6,270    8th/14    10,000   63%
Montgomery     Southern        52   3,744    4th/10     7,000   53%
Charlotte      Florida State   53   2,453    2nd/12     6,823   36%
Bowling Green  Midwest         47   3,388    8th/16     4,559   74%
Hudson Valley  New York-Penn   18   4,556    5th/14     4,494  101%
Princeton      Appalachian     18     892    7th/10     3,000   30%
For comparison, here were the final figures from 2010:
Team           League           G     Avg    LgRank  Capacity  %Cap
Tampa Bay      American        81  23,024    9th/14    36,048   64%
Durham         International   71   7,043    8th/14    10,000   70%
Montgomery     Southern        67   4,027    3rd/10     7,000   58%
Charlotte      Florida State   64   2,678    1st/12     6,823   39%
Bowling Green  Midwest         67   3,513    9th/16     4,559   77%
Hudson Valley  New York-Penn   35   4,178    6th/14     4,494   93%
Princeton      Appalachian     31     869    6th/10     3,000   29%
And from 2009:
Team           League           G     Avg    LgRank  Capacity  %Cap
Tampa Bay      American        81  23,148   11th/14    36,048   64%
Durham         International   72   6,783    8th/14    10,000   68%
Montgomery     Southern        66   4,043    3rd/10     7,000   58%
Charlotte      Florida State   60   2,855    1st/12     6,823   42%
Bowling Green  South Atlantic  66   3,530    8th/16     4,559   77%
Hudson Valley  New York-Penn   35   4,609    5th/14     4,494  103%
Princeton      Appalachian     28     926    7th/10     3,000   31%

Touch 'Em All Time

The BA Daily Dish on Montgomery RHSP Chris Archer:
Archer has been enigmatic for much of the year, showing good stuff but mediocre results for Double-A Montgomery. Even yesterday, Archer tossed seven shutout innings, but he wasn't exactly dominant. He struck out just two of the 30 batters he's faced, walked four, hit two batters and threw a wild pitch. The plus fastball and slider are still there, but he's not missing as many bats as scouts would expect given his stuff, and his control remains a ways away from being big league ready.

Draft pick signing news from Marc Topkin:
Fifth-round draft pick 3B J.D. Davis is close to signing, as is 28th-round C Blake Grant-Parks.

Ex-Rays News: Saw this someplace recently (maybe from Stacy Long, can't find it now), but here is the official release of Heath Rollins retiring:
Keating takes the roster spot of right-hander Heath Rollins, who announced prior to Tuesday night's game that he was retiring. The Royals placed him on the voluntarily retired list. Rollins, a 26-year old resident of Lexington, SC, was in his first season with the Naturals and posted a 1-2 record and a 4.34 ERA in 17 appearances, including five starts. The veteran swingman also made four appearances with Triple-A Omaha. Originally the 11th round selection of the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2006 draft, Rollins joined the Royals' organization last December in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft.

Moves: RHRP Mike Ekstrom called up to Tampa; RHRP Rob Delaney optioned to Durham; IF Felipe Lopez traded from Durham to Milwaukee Brewers for cash considerations; CF John Shelby promoted to Durham from Montgomery; OF Brett Nommensen promoted to Montgomery from Charlotte; C Alejandro Segovia assigned to GCL from Princeton.

Prospect Or Not: We use the same playing time cutoffs for prospect status as BA: 130 MLB at-bats, 50 MLB innngs pitched, or 30 MLB relief appearances. Here are the players who were prospects at the beginning of the season and how much career playing time they have accrued:

Jeremy Hellickson - 152.0 innings pitched. No longer a prospect.
Robinson Chirinos - 26 at-bats.
Desmond Jennings - 43 at-bats.
Brandon Guyer - 6 at-bats.
Jose Lobaton - 21 at-bats.
Alex Cobb - 42.0 innings pitched.
Brandon Gomes - 18.1 innings pitched, 18 relief appearances.
Jake McGee - 17.0 innings pitched, 26 relief appearances.
Alex Torres - 1.0 innings pitched, 1 relief appearance.

Oscar Watch: Hernandez was 1 for 2 with a walk and a sacrifice fly on Thursday.

Malm Watch: 2 for 5 with a double on Thursday. Batting .303/.425/.606 on the season.

Stat 'O The Day: Strikeouts per 9 innings pitched, minimum 25 innings.
Pitcher                Team  ERA  G GS    IP  SO SO/9
Scott Shuman            CHA 5.54 31  0  37.1  65 15.7
Brandon Gomes           DHM 1.07 20  0  25.1  40 14.2
Matt Bush               MTG 5.97 28  0  37.2  59 14.1
Marquis Fleming     MTG/DHM 2.35 33  0  61.1  90 13.2
Matt Moore*         MTG/DHM 2.03 20 20 115.1 151 11.8
Enny Romero*            BWG 4.79 19 19  82.2 100 10.9
Jimmy Patterson*        BWG 3.81 27  2  59.0  70 10.7
Jake McGee*             DHM 2.70 24  0  33.1  38 10.3
Matthew Spann*          PRI 3.06  8  4  32.1  37 10.3
Dane De La Rosa         DHM 3.65 38  0  49.1  55 10.0
Chris Rearick*          BWG 1.71 34  0  58.0  63  9.8
Geisel De La Cruz*      DSL 1.88 10  9  43.0  46  9.6
Alex Cobb               DHM 1.87 12 12  67.1  70  9.4
Nate Garcia             BWG 4.03 25  0  44.2  46  9.3
Jorge Rodriguez         DSL 0.90 15  0  30.0  31  9.3
R.J. Swindle*           DHM 4.15 39  0  34.2  36  9.3
Alexander Torres*       DHM 3.04 20 20 106.2 110  9.3
Rob Delaney             DHM 1.78 35  0  50.2  52  9.2
Steve Hiscock           BWG 4.53 28  0  45.2  46  9.1
Austin Hubbard          BWG 2.22 33  0  48.2  49  9.1
Oscar Armenta*          DSL 3.16  9  4  37.0  37  9.0

Name That Minor Leaguer ===>

Hint #1: Hat is correct.

Hint #2: Born in Maryland.

Hint #3: Righty.

Hint #4: Listed at 6'7".

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Matt Moore: Tipping Pitches? Now With Video!

So I detailed here what I thought I saw last night with Matt Moore. Essentially, my theory is that Moore tips his pitches somewhat by pumping his hand into his glove on fastballs and keeping his hand still on off-speed pitches. I have no idea if hitters could even pick up on this from their angle, but I could see it from the CF camera.

I've taken a closer look and I'm pretty sure what I've found backs up my theory. Here's what I did: I charted each pitch, keeping track of what I thought the pitch would be based on whether or not he "tapped the glove," so to speak. Out of 104 pitches, 35 were either out of the stretch -- where I don't think he tipped pitches at all -- leaving us with 69 pitches. Of those 69, I correctly "guessed" on 54 of them, so I was right at a 78% rate which I think backs up my theory. All fifteen times I was wrong I guessed off-speed (I didn't see a glove-tap) and he threw a fastball. Since he can throw a fastball without doing the glove-tap; it shouldn't be too hard to eliminate that altogether (the times I was wrong seemed to bunch together, for whatever that's worth). Here's some video of what I mean (apologies for the not-great quality, but I think you'll be able to see it). Keep a close eye on his left hand just before he breaks his hands...

First, the most obvious example I saw of him doing the glove tap on a fastball:

Now a more subtle glove-tap fastball:

And a fastball with no glove-tap:

A breaking ball (no tap, obviously):

And lastly, here's a four-pitch sequence to Brandon Hicks in the second inning. Can you guess the pitches as he delivers them?

So, do you guys think there's anything to it? Obviously Gwinnett either didn't pick up on it or the stuff was just too good that any adjustments they made didn't matter, as he fanned 13 in eight innings.

Touch 'Em All Time

Danny Wild had this on LHP Ryan Carpenter's no-hit professional debut:
Carpenter threw five hitless innings Wednesday, throwing 61 pitches and striking out three for Class A Short-Season Hudson Valley in a 3-1 loss to Auburn.
Carpenter retired the first four batters he faced before Caleb Ramsey reached on second baseman Raymond Church's fielding error. Carpenter got out of the inning and erased a leadoff walk in the third when he picked Connor Rowe off first. He set down the final eight batters he faced before reaching his pitch count after five.

"I mainly relied on my fastball and tried to get ahead of hitters later in the at-bats with my change-up and breaking pitches," he said. "I used the change to try and get the hitters off balance a little, and that seemed to work well for me."

Moves: RHRP Rob Delaney recalled to Tampa; RHRP Jay Buente optioned to Durham; OF Brandon Guyer placed on Durham DL; C/OF Stephen Vogt promoted to Durham from Montgomery; C Craig Albernaz assigned to Montgomery from Durham; Hudson Valley IF Diogenes Luis released; 2B Jonathan Koscso promoted to Hudson Valley from Princeton; RHSP Albert Suarez assigned to GCL on rehab assignment from Charlotte; signed 3rd rounder Johnny Eierman for $550,000; signed 8th rounder John Alexander.

There are three players currently on rehab assignments with the GCL Rays: Suarez, OF Todd Glaesmann (Bowling Green DL) and RHP Trevor Shull (Bowling Green DL).

Oscar Watch: Hernandez was 1 for 3 (single) with a walk on Wednesday.

Malm Watch: 1 for 4 (single).

Stat 'O The Day: Moore. Matt Moore.
Year          Team  W  L  ERA  G GS    IP   H  ER HR  BB  SO  WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9
2007     Princeton  0  0 2.66  8  3  20.1  12   6  1  16  29 1.377 5.3  0.4  7.1 12.8
2008     Princeton  2  2 1.66 12 12  54.1  30  10  0  19  77 0.902 5.0  0.0  3.1 12.8
2009  BowlingGreen  8  5 3.15 26 26 123.0  86  43  6  70 176 1.268 6.3  0.4  5.1 12.9
2010     Charlotte  6 11 3.36 26 26 144.2 109  54  7  61 208 1.175 6.8  0.4  3.8 12.9
2011    Montgomery  8  3 2.20 18 18 102.1  68  25  8  28 131 0.938 6.0  0.7  2.5 11.5
2011        Durham  1  0 0.69  2  2  13.0   6   1  1   4  20 0.769 4.2  0.7  2.8 13.8
5 Seasons          25 21 2.73 92 87 457.2 311 139 23 198 641 1.112 6.1  0.5  3.9 12.6

Name That Minor Leaguer ===>

Hint #1: Hat is correct.

Hint #2: Lefty.

Hint #3: Played in Futures Game.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Matt Moore: Tipping Pitches? A Brief Explanation

Okay, so Matt Moore went nuts for Durham last night, tying the team triple-A strikeout record by fanning 13 hitters in eight shutout innings. He allowed three hits and walked two. He was, by any measure, dominant. So if he was tipping his pitches, the Gwinnett Braves either didn't notice or Moore's stuff was so good that it didn't matter.

But I mentioned it a bit on Twitter during the Futures Game when I first thought I noticed it, and I took a closer look tonight. I'll have much more, including gif/video, tomorrow night when I'm able to access the archive, but I just mentioned to mention it here real quick (read: I want credit for noticing this if it's indeed happening :P).

If you saw the Futures Game or, you know Moore's delivery. He brings his hands over his head, then back down before breaking his left hand from his glove and delivering. What I noticed was that on fastballs, he has a tendency to sort of pump the ball into the glove before breaking his hands. It's sort of tough to explain (hence the video coming tomorrow), but I'll call it the glove-pound. It can range in how he does it, from the very subtle to sometimes more obvious (I think it's more obvious when he's trying to pump up the velocity, such as on two strikes).

So anyway, he does that on most of his fastballs. It's not a completely reliable tell -- he didn't do it on every single fastball -- but I don't think he once did the glove-pound and then delivered an off-speed pitch. On his curveball (or slider, whatever you want to call it) and change-up, his left hand doesn't move much if at all.

I'm not sure if a hitter would even be able to see this, but the centerfield angle is good for it, and luckily that's the angle used most often by the Durham TV feed. His stuff is insanely good, and Gwinnett took plenty of awkward swings, clearly fooled on whether a fastball or off-speed pitch comes, a credit to Moore's consistent arm slot and arm speed.

Semi-related, but I did a DRaysBay FanPost earlier this year on Alex Cobb's pitch tipping.

Touch 'Em All Time

Adam Lawson caught up with Rocco Baldelli in Princeton:
You can still find Baldelli in the Tampa Bay organization though. His new title as special assistant of baseball operations has him traveling to all the minor league affiliate teams of the Rays. Baldelli spent the majority of the P-Rays' six-game homestand of July 18-23 in Princeton, the place where he started his professional baseball journey eleven years ago.
"Over the course of the year, my typical week changes," Baldelli said. "It has to do with anything going on with the on the field happenings of the organization. Early in the year I do a lot of amateur scouting. After that, it's seeing all the affiliates firsthand."

What goes into broadcasting a game? Benjamin Hill went behind the scenes in Durham:
And perhaps nothing embodies the innovation and optimism of the "new" Durham Bulls than the Explorer Post 50 Program, started by Bulls owner (and Capitol Broadcasting CEO) Jim Goodmon in 1998. The program provides area students between the ages of 14 and 20 hands-on experience in the field of broadcasting.

And "hands-on," in this case, is meant literally. The Bulls broadcast their games in HD (locally on Time Warner Cable and online through, and students from the program comprise the production and camera crews. There are 110 chosen each year to participate, working 10-15 games a season as part of a crew of 16.

Moves: LHP Cesar Ramos optioned to Durham; RHP Jay Buente called up to Tampa; RHP Adam Russell assigned to Durham after he cleared waivers.

Oscar Watch: 1 for 4 with a single on Monday; 2 for 3 (both singles) and a HBP on Tuesday.

Malm Watch: 0 for 3 with 2 strikeouts on Monday; no game Tuesday. Hitting .301/.430/.618 with 11 homers in 35 games.

Stat 'O The Day: Record books. Rays single-season minor league records with 2011 challengers below.

Home runs:
Kevin Witt (2006) - 36
Scott McClain (1998) - 34
Dan Johnson (2010) - 30
Ryan Royster (2007) - 30
Jonny Gomes (2002) - 30

2011: Oscar Hernandez has 19, but the VSL Rays only have 11 games left on the schedule. Next is Derek Dietrich with 14 for Bowling Green.

Steve Cox (1999) - 127
Delmon Young (2004) - 115
Scott McClain (1998) - 109
Scott McClain (1999) - 104
Ozzie Timmons (1999) - 104

2011: Stephen Vogt has 85 for Montgomery, next is Greg Sexton with 66.

Steve Cox (1999) - 182
Delmon Young (2005) - 176
Joey Gomes (2005) - 172
Matt Diaz (2001) - 172
Matt Diaz (2003) - 170
Carl Crawford (2000) - 170

2011: Stephen Vogt has 116, followed by Hak-Ju Lee with 113 for Charlotte.

Batting average (minimum 316 PA):
Jason Pridie (2002) - .368
Matt Diaz (2003) - .354
Stephen Vogt (2010) - .345
Steve Cox (1999) - .341
Toby Hall (2001) - .335

2011: Oscar Hernandez leads at .403 in 251 plate appearances, but with only 11 games left he will not reach the required 316 PA cutoff. Hak-Ju Lee is already qualified and is hitting .327.

Runs scored:
Fernando Perez (2006) - 123
Steve Cox (1999) - 107
Scott McClain (1999) - 106
Jason Pridie (2004) - 103
Jonny Gomes (2002) - 102

2011: Tyler Bortnick has scored 72 for Charlotte, followed by Hak-Ju Lee with 71.

Stolen bases:
Alex Sanchez (1997) - 92
Joey Gathright (2003) - 69
Ty Morrison (2010) - 58
Fernando Perez (2005) - 57
Carl Crawford (2000) - 55

2011: Tyler Bortnick leads with 31 steals, followed by Ismel Antunez with 26 in the GCL.

Heath Rollins (2007) - 17
Chris Mason (2007) - 15
Andy Sonnanstine (2006) - 15
Richard De Los Santos (2010) - 14
Jeremy Hall (2009) - 14
Andy Sonnanstine (2005) - 14
Chris Seddon (2004) - 14
Scott Autrey (2003) - 14

2011: Alex Colome, now in Montgomery, and Victor Mateo in Bowling Green are tied with 10 wins.

ERA (minimum 130 IP):
Chad Gaudin (2003) - 1.81
Jason Standridge (1999) - 2.02
Darin Downs (2009) - 2.23
Chad Gaudin (2002) - 2.26
Todd Belitz (2002) - 2.42

2011: Matt Moore has a 2.18 ERA in 107.1 innings, followed by C.J. Riefenhauser at 2.29 through 106.1.

Innings pitched:
Pablo Ortega (1997) - 188.2
Andy Sonnanstine (2006) - 185.2
Jim Magrane (2001) - 182.0
Dan Wheeler (1998) - 181.0
Andy Sonnanstine (2005) - 180.2

2011: Alex Colome has 111.0, followed by Matt Moore at 107.1 and Shane Dyer at 107.0.

Matt Moore (2010) - 208
Andy Sonnanstine (2005) - 178
Matt Moore (2009) - 176
Jake McGee (2007) - 175
Neal Frendling (2000) - 174
Jake McGee (2006) - 171
Wade Davis (2007) - 169
Wade Davis (2006) - 165
Seth McClung (2001) - 165
Mark Malaska (2001) - 165

2011: Of course Matt Moore leads the way with 138, followed by Alex Torres with 104.

Evan Rust (2002) - 31
Lee Gardner (2003) - 30
John Daniels (1997) - 29
Josh Parker (2003) - 28
Eddy Reyes (1999) - 27

2011: Zach Quate has 16 for Montgomery and Chris Rearick has 15 for Bowling Green.

Name That Minor Leaguer ===>

Hint #1: Hat is correct.

Hint #2: Lefty.

Hint #3: Born in Illinois.

Hint #4: College ball at Eastern Illinois University.

Standings Update

They're updated periodically on the sidebar, but here's an update on the playoff outlook for the affiliates:

Durham Bulls 58-45 1st place, 1.0 game lead
Montgomery Biscuits 16-15 2nd place, 7.0 games back (first half: 34-36, 4th place)
Charlotte Stone Crabs 17-15 3rd place, 0.5 games back (first half: 30-39, 4th place)
Bowling Green Hot Rods 15-15 6th place, 7.0 games back (first half: 41-29, 1st place, clinched playoff spot)
Hudson Valley Renegades 19-18 3rd place, 9.0 games back
Princeton Rays 10-15 1st place, 1.0 game lead
GCL Rays 15-17 3rd place, 3.5 games back

Durham has won the South Division each year since 2007. Bowling Green is headed to the playoffs for the first time. The Princeton Rays haven't won their division since 1998 and I believe that's the last year they made the playoffs, so they have a chance to be the best P-Rays squad in quite a while.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Scores and Highlights from 7/25

Toledo Mud Hens 6, Durham Bulls 2
JJ Furmaniak was 2 for 4 with a home run. Russ Canzler was 2 for 4 with a double. Brandon Guyer had a double. Ryan Reid and Mike Ekstrom combined for 4 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.

Brevard County Manatees 8, Charlotte Stone Crabs 7
Mike Sheridan was 2 for 4 with a double and 4 RBI's. Hak-Ju Lee was 2 for 5 with a run scored. Mark Thomas struck his tenth home run of the season. Tyler Bortnick scored 3 runs. Kirby Yates pitched 2 scoreless innings.

Bowling Green Hot Rods 4, Peoria Chiefs 3
Hot Rods staged three run rally in ninth for the walk-off win. Keith Castillo was 3 for 4 with the game tying 2 run homer. Nick Schwaner was 2 for 3 with a double and a triple. Kevin Kiermaier was 2 for 3. Austin Hubbard with the winner. Steve Hiscock pitched 2 scoreless innings.

Hudson Valley Renegades 2, Mahoning Valley Scrappers 0
Raymond Church had a two run double. Jake Floethe pitched 5 shut-out innings for the win. Robert Dickmann pitched a no-hit inning for the save.

Princeton Rays, Blue Field Blue Jays (Postponed)

DSL Rays 6, DSL Indians 2

DSL Rays 3, DSL Indians 0

VSL Rays 7, VSL Tigers 2
Erick Epifano was 2 for 5 with a run scored. Erick Vasquez was 2 for 4 with a home run and 2 runs scored. Keiverson Reyes was 2 for 4. Leopoldo Correa had a home run. Johan Marval pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings for the win.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Scores and Highlights from 7/24

Durham Bulls 2, Toledo Mud Hens 1
Felipe Lopez was 3 for 4 with a double and a home run. Leslie Anderson was 2 for 4. JJ Furmaniak was 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI. Andy Sonnanstine was the winner.

Montgomery Biscuits 4, Jackson Generals 2
Tim Beckham was 2 for 3 with 2 doubles. Stephen Vogt was 2 for 3 with a triple and 3 RBI's. Henry Wrigley had an RBI. Nick Barnese was the winner. Zach Quate earned the save.

Dunedin Blue Jays 6, Charlotte Stone Crabs 5
Matt Hall was 2 for 4 with a double, home run and 2 RBI's. Tyler Bortnick was 2 for 4 with 2 doubles and an RBI. Ty Morrison had a double and 2 RBI's. Matt Stabelfeld pitched 4 shut-out innings.

Bowling Green Hot Rods 5, Peoria Chiefs 2
Cody Rogers was 2 for 4 with 2 RBI's. Keith Castillo was 2 for 4 with an RBI. Derek Dietrich had a solo homer. Jimmy Patterson was the winner. Chris Rearick earned the save.

Hudson Valley Renegades 6, Mahoning Valley Scrappers 0
Jeff Malm was 2 for 4 with a three run homer. Craige Lyerly was 3 for 3 with a triple and an RBI. Juniel Querecuto was 2 for 4 with a double. Parker Markel pitched 5 scoreless inning for the win. Justin Woodall and Stayton Thomas chipped in to continue to shut-out.

Princeton Rays 9, Bluefield Blue Jays 4
Taylor Motter was 3 for 4 with a double, 2 home runs and 4 RBI's. Jake Hager was 3 for 4 with 2 double and a home run. Cameron Seitzer was 3 for 3 with a double and 2 RBI's.

Touch 'Em All Time

Brian Woodson had this on Princeton catcher Junior Rodriguez:
Rodriguez, a native of La Habana, Cuba, played baseball at Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn., and played it well. He had a career average of .360 for the Flames, and had a sensational senior campaign last spring, collecting 16 home runs and driving in 75 runs. “It was always my dream to come over here and play baseball,” Rodriguez said.

He was signed as a free agent by Tampa Bay on July 26 of last year, and spent the end of summer at Hudson Valley in the New York-Penn League. In 12 games, Rodriguez batted .208 (5-24) with four RBIs, four runs scored, along with a home run and double.

His arrival in Princeton brought a change in positions. “Last year I played third base and right field, this year they decided they wanted to make me a catcher,” Rodriguez said. “I have been working on catching, first base, third base, I haven’t played outfield this year.”

Adam Sobsey added a few details about Matt Moore's AAA debut:
As he trotted out to the mound to begin the second inning, his cleat got caught in the turf near the first-base line. He began to scamper forward in an attempt to regain his balance while in motion, reached a staggering "run," and finally went into a full-on, arms-out, head-first dive into Scott Strickland's lovingly manicured infield grass. Moore had to wait for his catcher, Nevin Ashley, to stop laughing hysterically before he could start his warmup pitches. The Mud Hens clucked at him from their dugout. Moore proceeded to throw 15 of his next 24 pitches for balls.
Is it coincidental that Moore threw only nine of 24 pitches for strikes in the second inning, right after falling on his face? His catcher, Nevin Ashley, went out to the mound after Moore walked his second consecutive batter with two outs. Both men told us that the meeting there was about re-establishing Moore's composure and readjusting his delivery; it was mostly to do with his wrist, Moore said later, a mechanical slippage owing to laziness which was making the ball cut too much. "I knew immediately what it was," he said, "it just took me a couple of extra pitches to figure it out."

Ex-Rays News: After three seasons in the organization as an infielder, Cristian Vasquez was converted to pitcher and made the 2011 GCL Rays roster out of extended spring training. The righthander never appeared in a game this season because he was released on June 20th, the same day as the team's first game. This press release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection describes what happened a few days after that:
Photo courtesy of Customs and Border Protection
Customs and Border Protection Officers (CBP) at JFK Airport intercept a 21 year old man attempting to smuggle over six pounds of cocaine in his luggage. The bag he was carrying contained four pairs of sneakers with narcotics concealed within the soles.

On June 29th, CBP officers at JFK stopped Mr. Cristian Vasquez Martinez, who arrived on a flight from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for an enforcement exam.

Mr. Martinez’s visa information indicated that he was a prospect for the Tampa Bay Rays. Further inspection revealed that he was released by the team deeming his visa invalid. Upon examination of Mr. Martinez’s luggage, CBP officers discovered four pairs of sneakers, which were unusually heavy. A more intrusive exam of the sneakers produced a white powdery substance that field-tested positive for cocaine.

“CBP officers in the New York area remain vigilant in their efforts to combat the illicit trade of narcotics,” stated Robert E. Perez, Director, Office of Field Operations, New York Field Office. “These highly skilled officers are committed to their mission of protecting our nation’s communities.”

The narcotics seized during this inspection carried a street value over $138,000.

Moves: Recently signed LHP Ryan Carpenter assigned to Hudson Valley; RHP Jason McEachern promoted to Bowling Green from Hudson Valley; 2B Hector Guevara placed on Bowling Green DL; RHP Wilking Rodriguez activated from Bowling Green DL; LHP Shay Crawford promoted to Princeton from GCL.

Oscar Watch: Hernandez had a single in four at-bats on Saturday. He was also intentionally walked and stole his third base of the season.

Stat 'O The Day: Cristian Vasquez career batting.
Year     Team   G  AB  H 2B 3B HR SB CS BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
2008      DSL  47 129 21  4  2  0  4  1 26  59 .163 .308 .225 .532
2009      GCL  46 146 25  4  0  1 10  2 10  53 .171 .248 .219 .468
2010      GCL  13  30  4  0  0  0  1  1  2  10 .133 .188 .133 .321
3 Seasons     106 305 50  8  2  1 15  4 38 122 .164 .269 .213 .482

Name That Minor Leaguer ===>

Hint #1: Hat is incorrect.

Hint #2: Born in North Carolina.

Hint #3: Committed to Central Carolina before signing.

Hint #4: Spent all of 2010 with Bowling Green.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Game Pictures from 7/23: Stone Crabs vs Blue Jays

Click on the photo below to view photos from Saturday's Stone Crabs game against the Dunedin Blue Jays.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Touch 'Em All Time

George Kostinas has the latest on unsigned 44th rounder Jordan Leyland, who is playing in the Cape Cod League this summer:
Finally in the 44th round he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

“I expected to be drafted in the 10th round and to sign right away and start playing pro ball,” Leyland said. “I didn’t expect to be playing here this year. I went into this year expecting the draft to go my way. I didn’t have an awful year, but it was not the year I was hoping for, and playing mostly at DH didn’t help me.”
Although he said he was “devastated” about the draft, he was not discouraged. “It has been a frustrating year, but that’s part of this sport. You learn to deal with failure. It’s a failing sport. If you go three for 10, you make millions,” he said.

Leyland would have liked to have signed with Tampa Bay, but they told him they wanted him to play the year out. “I have not gotten an offer yet. They told me they want to follow my summer. Then I’ll weigh out my options and choose what’s best for me when August 15 rolls around,” he said.

Chris Perez spoke with Matt Rice and Raymond Church about the transition to professional baseball:
"In college, you had class and you played, probably, four games a week, so it wasn't every single day. That's been the biggest adjustment, both physically and mentally," said catcher Matt Rice, who was drafted in the ninth round out of Western Kentucky University.
For second baseman, Raymond Church, resting and eating healthier has prepared him for his new full-time job. "I actually changed my eating habits a little bit," the 26th-round selection out of Florida Atlantic said. "I make sure I get breakfast every morning just so my body is prepared, because the biggest thing is to make sure your body is ready to go day in and day out."

Moves: 1B Travis Flores was activated by the GCL Rays; RHRP Marquis Fleming assigned to Montgomery from Durham; OF Desmond Jennings recalled to Tampa; SS Reid Brignac optioned to Durham.

Oscar Watch: Hernandez went one for three with a double on Friday. His hitting streak is now at nine games.

Unsigned Draft Pick Watch: Chris Burgess, a sophomore from Blackhawk College (JC), was the Rays 30th round pick in June. He pitched this summer for the Madison Mallards of the Northwoods League. Over 29.2 innngs he posted a 4.85 ERA with 23 strikeouts and 13 walks. His last appearance was June 28th and he was listed as 'waived' on June 29th according to the league transactions page. Usually when a draft pick is 'waived' or 'released' from his summer league team it means he is signing within a few days, but there is still no word on Burgess.

Web Watch: Jim's Claw Digest now includes coverage of the Gulf Coast League Rays in addition to the Charlotte Stone Crabs.

Hot: Michael Jarman, left-handed reliever, Charlotte Stone Crabs. Over his last 12 appearances he's allowed one run in 24.2 innings for a 0.36 ERA.

Not: Cesar Perez, third baseman, GCL Rays. On the season he's 6 for 77 with no extra-base hits, four walks, and 24 strikeouts. Triple-slash of .078/.123/.078.

Trivia: Lee University is a small-college powerhouse, with five straight 50-win seasons and NAIA College World Series appearances. Name the two former Flames in the Rays organization.

Stat 'O The Day: Total bases.
Batter               Team(s)  AB   H 2B 3B HR  SLG  TB
Stephen Vogt*            MTG 374 112 21  5 13 .487 182
Daniel Mayora        MTG/DHM 352 105 23  5  9 .469 165
Russ Canzler             DHM 328  97 28  1 12 .497 163
Derek Dietrich*          BWG 315  92 21  3 13 .502 158
Brandon Guyer            DHM 308  96 22  2 11 .503 155
Desmond Jennings         DHM 338  93 19  3 12 .456 154
Oscar Hernandez          VSL 200  81 12  1 19 .760 152
Phillip Wunderlich*      BWG 340  94 22  0 12 .447 152
Greg Sexton          CHA/MTG 348 103 25  2  6 .431 150
Leslie Anderson*         DHM 340  95 16  0 12 .432 147
Hak-Ju Lee*              CHA 329 107 11  9  3 .441 145
Tyler Bortnick           CHA 335  99 21  5  3 .415 139
Tim Beckham              MTG 354  96 20  2  6 .390 138
Henry Wrigley            MTG 307  81 26  2  9 .450 138
Cody Rogers*             BWG 333  81 13  6 10 .408 136
John Shelby              MTG 303  76 15  4 12 .446 135

Name That Minor Leaguer ===>

Hint #1: Hat is incorrect.

Hint #2: Born in Venezuela.

Hint #3: Drafted by the Seattle Mariners.

Hint #4: Attended the University of Miami.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Touch 'Em All Time

Adam Lawson profiled Princeton second baseman Ryan Brett:
Brett has been showing off his athletic prowess for awhile. In one of his first swings of his first batting practice at Highline High School in Seattle, Brett hit a pitch so hard it left the yard and broke the windshield of his coach's truck.
Things are a little bit different for Brett now that he is no longer in the Pacific Northwest. Scouts had always talked about his old school, no batting gloves approach at the plate. Now that he is on the East Coast, Brett says that is no longer possible.

"I sweat a lot more here than in Washington," Brett joked. "Now I have to use batting gloves. I can't grip the bat without them. It's definitely a lot hotter here than back home. At home, I was used to playing in 60-degree weather. Now it's in the 80s with 80-90 percent humidity. It's okay, though. I've learned to like the batting gloves."

Jimmy Durkin interviewed supplemental first rounder James Harris:
James Harris doesn't bat an eye when asked which baseball player he tries to emulate on the field. "Oh, Rickey Henderson," said Harris, a recent graduate of Oakland Tech High.
Harris always played basketball growing up and was a first-team OAL All-City pick this past season for the Bulldogs. But he fell in love with baseball the minute he stepped on the diamond when he was 5 years old. "My mom convinced me to play baseball one year," Harris said. "At the end of the season, I said, 'Mom, can you sign me up next year?' It was the last game of the season. We hadn't even got to the summer and I was ready for next year."

Moves: RHRP Dane De La Rosa optioned to Durham; RHSP Wade Davis activated from the Tampa DL; RHP Jim Paduch assigned to Montgomery from Durham; RHSP Alex Colome assigned to Montgomery from Charlotte; LHSP C.J. Riefenhauser assigned to Charlotte from Bowling Green; OF Todd Glaesmann assigned to GCL Rays on rehab assignment from Bowling Green.

Oscar Watch: Hernandez went one for four with a single, lowering his average to .412 but extending his hitting streak to eight games.

Unsigned Draft Pick Watch: 44th rounder Jordan Leyland, a junior 1B from UC Irvine, is playing summer ball for the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod League. In 11 games he's hitting .267/.290/.367 over 30 at-bats, with three doubles, a walk and seven strikeouts.

Trivia: Two players on the Durham Bulls graduated from the same high school. Can you name them?

Stat 'O The Day: Hits leaders.
Batter               Team(s)  G  AB   H
Stephen Vogt*            MTG 93 370 111
Hak-Ju Lee*              CHA 78 325 107
Daniel Mayora        MTG/DHM 92 348 104
Greg Sexton          CHA/MTG 90 344 101
Tyler Bortnick           CHA 90 332  98
Russ Canzler             DHM 91 324  97
Tim Beckham              MTG 89 349  96
Brandon Guyer            DHM 85 305  95
Leslie Anderson*         DHM 86 336  94
Phillip Wunderlich*      BWG 90 336  94
Desmond Jennings         DHM 89 338  93
Derek Dietrich*          BWG 85 312  92
Michael Sheridan*        CHA 85 335  90

Name That Minor Leaguer ===>

Hint #1: Hat is correct.

Hint #2: Born in Colorado.

Hint #3: Middle name is Michael.

Hint #4: Drafted by the Colorado Rockies, but did not sign.

Scores and Highlights from 7/21

Durham Bulls 18, Rochester Red Wings 3
Bulls had 20 hits on the night including 7 home runs. Dan Johnson was 5 for 6 wit a a double and 4 RBI's. Russ Canzler was 3 for 5 with a three run homer. John Matulia had 2 homers. Daniel Mayora, Nevin Ashley and JJ Furmaniak also had homers. Jim Paduch was the winning pitcher.

Montgomery Biscuits 11, Jackson Generals 9 (10 innings)
Cole Figueroa was 3 for 4 with 2 RBI's. Tim Beckham was 2 for 5 with a 3 run homer. Jon Shelby had a solo home run. Isaias Velasquez drove home two runs on a triple in the tenth to win the game. Zach Quate was the winning pitcher.

Charlotte Stone Crabs 4, Dunedin Blue Jays 3
Mike Sheridan and Reid Fronk each had RBI's. Fronk drove home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Mike Jarman pitched 3 scorless innings for the win.

Bowling Green Hot Rods 6, Burlington Bees 5
Steven Tinoco was 3 for 5 with a double and a run scored. Robby Price was2 for 4 with a solo home run and 3 RBI's. Derek Dietrich had a two run homer. Eliazer Suero picked up the win and Chris Rearick the save.

Staten Island Yankees 8, Hudson Valley Renegades 7
Cesar Guillen was 3 for 5 with a home run. Jeff Malm was 2 for 5 with 2 home runs. Craige Lyerly was 2 for 5 with a homer. Justin Woodall pitched 2 no-hit innings with 3 strikeouts.

Princeton Rays 12, Elizabethton Twins 3
Joel Caminero was 4 for 4 with a home run and 3 RBI's. Ryan Terry was 2 for 4 with a two run homer. Ryan Brett had a triple and 2 RBI's. Drew Vettleson had a double. Eduar Quinonez picked up the win. Brandon Henderson had 7 strikeouts in 4 innings.

GCL Twins 7, GCL Rays 5
Ismel Antunez was 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI. Omar Narvaez had a double and an RBI. Ariel Soriano and Cesar Perez had an RBI each. Todd Glaesmann had 2 stolen bases. Theron Geith pitched 1 2/3 scorless innings of relief.

VSL Tigers 5, VSL Rays 2
Leopaldo Correa had a double and 2 RBI's. Gregory Rosal pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Touch 'Em All Time

Adam Sobsey took a look at the revamped Durham rotation:
Moore's arrival moves Brian Baker to the bullpen—for the moment. I think. Don't get to attached to that. It seems like every time Baker is transferred to the bullpen, he winds up starting immediately afterward. It's like, just kidding there, people. All Bakers work with starter, anyway.

With both Torres and Cobb working in Tampa this week, another starter is needed for the Bulls besides Moore. To that end: welcome Jim Paduch, just up from Montgomery, where he made nine appearances. The fun thing about Paduch's stats page on is that there no stats on it whatsoever from 2007-2010—it just skips right past them and goes right from 2006 to 2011. That's because Paduch spent four years in the Independent Leagues, playing in places like Gary, Indiana (for the Thouththore Railcatth), Chico, Calif. and, for all I know, Thingapore. He also appears to have worked as a coach for at least one stretch. Presumably, with Dane De La Rosa up in Tampa, the Rays felt obliged to send Durham another mysterious 28-year-old Indy-ball reclamation project plucked from west coast obscurity.

Jim Callis addressed two James Shields trade proposals in yesterday's chat:
Bevan (SLC): Jim, Yonder Alonso/Yasmani Grandal/B prospect for James Shields. The Rays promote Moore to take Shields spot, and get a very good (and inexpensive) 1B & C of the future. Who says no to this deal?

Jim Callis: That type of trade would make a lot of sense for both clubs. Maybe with Todd Frazier as the third prospect? Would the Reds give up Billy Hamilton? That said, premium starters are so hard to find, that the Rays would be more likely to say no. They might want a better prospect to headline the deal. It would be hard to deal Shields and not get someone who'd make an immediate impact in Tampa Bay.
brad (detroit): Would you rather have James Shields for 3 years or Justin turner for 5-6? How is this trade proposal...Shields for Turner, Rob Brantly and Bruce Rondon.

Jim Callis: I assume you mean Jacob Turner. If I were the Tigers, I'd hate to give up Jacob Turner but could live with dealing the other two guys, and Shields is so affordable for the next three years. The decision would be made easier by the fact that there's no way the Rays would make that deal.

Keep an eye on righthander Jeff Ames, who had a five inning no-hitter yesterday for Princeton:
Meanwhile, the 6-foot-4 Ames —a first round selection in June as a compensatory pick — was dominant on a muggy day, allowing no hits, one walk and six strikeouts in five innings on the mound, improving his record to 2-1.

“It was decently warm, but I just tried to drink a lot of water and stay hydrated and just work my stuff down in the zone,” said Ames, who is one of several P-Rays from the Seattle area. “That was all I was really focusing on.”

Anthony Garcia drew the walk in the fifth, but was nailed trying to steal second base by catcher Jake DePew.
“He had all his pitches working, his fastball was down, threw his off-speeds for strikes, he had a really good slider today,” Johns said. “It is a new slider he has been working on and he threw it really well."

Jonathan Greene interviewed another high 2011 pick, Princeton's Jake Hager:
It has been a whirlwind few weeks for Hager who was selected 32nd overall in June’s amateur draft by Tampa Bay fresh out of Sierra Vista High School in Las Vegas.
“Before the draft started, we kind of knew where I was going because the Rays had contacted me,” Hager said. “Right when I got drafted, I wanted to sign as quick as I could. I wanted to get out here and not wait until the end of the signing period so I could a lot of games in. I’m glad I signed early.”
Along the way, he was also able to rack up a 3-2 record on the mound with a 2.43 ERA. Despite the stellar record and ERA, the 6-foot-1, 170 pound Hager has no plans to pitch any time soon. “I love playing shortstop,” he said with a laugh. “I’m not a big fan of pitching. I did it to help my team out which was great. If I were to pick anything, it would be shortstop.”

A nice story about Montgomery GM Marla Terranova Vickers by Jordan Spence:
Vickers is the fourth woman in Minor League Baseball to serve as a general manager and the first at an AA team and higher.
Day said it was awesome working with Vickers since she was the first person on the ground, before the stadium had even been built. Vickers helped launch the Biscuits brand in 2003 and now her job is to oversee the operations, sales and marketing of the team.
Her career with the Biscuits has even spilled over to her personal life. Her now-husband John E. Vickers III originally submitted the name “Biscuits” in a contest to decide the team’s name in 2003. The name was chosen out of more than 5,000 entries, and picked because it was quirky, fun and celebrated the South, she said.

Good guys part one, the Bowling Green Hot Rods:
A few players spent some time at Wee Care Nursery reading and playing baseball ball with the kids.
"It's just seeing what this game is all about, laughing, having fun with them. It brings us back to reality that we make this game harder than what it really is. It's just a game we played when we were a little kid, so it was really fun," said Luke Bailey.

Good guys part two, the Hudson Valley Renegades:
Support Connection Inc., a Yorktown organization that provides free, confidential support services to people affected by breast and ovarian cancer, has received a $1,000 donation from the Hudson Valley Renegades baseball team.
In addition to the team’s donation, funds were raised from special ticket sales, and fans who attended the game received information about the Support-A-Walk to raise awareness for the cause.

Moves: Signed minor league free agent RHP Joe Bateman and assigned him to Durham. The Bulls once again have more players over 30 on their roster than the Rays (7 to 6). Stacy Long fills us in on what Bateman has been up to this season:
The 31-year-old started this year at Triple-A Sacramento in the Oakland system. He had a 5.40 ERA in 26 games before a demotion to Midland where he appeared in four games. After a three-run, two-inning Midland debut, Bateman totaled seven shutout innings before his release. (Opt-out, perhaps?)

Oscar Watch: Singled in four at-bats on Wednesday. Hernandez is now batting .416 with 19 homers in 190 at-bats on the year.

How does that stack up in VSL history? BBREF only has stats back through the 2005 season (seven years), but in that time no player has ever batted .400 or hit 19 homers in a season. The highest batting average among qualified players was .390 by Ronald Torreyes in 2010 for the VSL Reds. The most home runs was 15 by the Rays own Roan Salas back in 2009 (in 222 at-bats).

Trivia: Which current Rays minor leaguer was rated by Baseball America as the Best Athlete of all high school players in the 2006 draft?

Stat 'O The Day: P-Rays hitters.
Player              G  AB   H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS
Junior Rodriguez   10  33  10  2  0  4   6  0  0  4   9 .303 .378 .727 1.106
Cameron Seitzer*   26  90  30  9  0  4  20  3  1 15  22 .333 .434 .567 1.001
Taylor Motter      23  78  27  6  0  1   8 15  2 16   9 .346 .463 .462  .925
Joel Caminero      21  82  29  5  4  0   9  1  5  1  14 .354 .361 .512  .874
Ryan Brett         25  99  30  6  3  1   8  9  2  7   9 .303 .355 .455  .810
Drew Vettleson*    25 100  27  4  2  3  17 10  1 11  18 .270 .339 .440  .779
Jonathan Koscso    10  23   5  0  0  1   3  0  1  4   3 .217 .379 .348  .727
Joshua Sale*       26  94  20  5  1  3   6  1  2 11  16 .213 .295 .383  .678
Felix Gonzalez#    12  40  11  3  0  0   4  2  0  1   5 .275 .293 .350  .643
Ryan Terry         18  66  15  2  1  0   6  3  0  4  19 .227 .282 .288  .570
Justin OConner     23  90  15  4  0  3  11  2  0  8  40 .167 .235 .311  .546
Deshun Dixon       23  83  15  2  1  2   6  2  1  5  19 .181 .227 .301  .528
Jake Hager         11  41   9  1  0  0   1  2  1  2   3 .220 .256 .244  .500
Jake DePew         22  79  14  2  0  1  11  4  1  8  17 .177 .253 .241  .493

Name That Minor Leaguer ===>

Hint #1: Hat is incorrect.

Hint #2: Venezuelan.

Hint #3: Originally signed by the Colorado Rockies.

Hint #4: Named a league mid-season All-Star four times.

If you see any TEAT-worthy stories or have a good trivia question, let me know at

Ryan Carpenter Signs

The Rays have reportedly signed LHP Ryan Carpenter, their 7th round pick out of Gonzaga University:
The Firebirds bid farewell to left-handed pitcher Ryan Carpenter, who signed on Wednesday with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Carpenter was 3-2 in five starts for the Orleans Firebirds of the Cape Cod League this summer. He had a 2.77 ERA over 26.0 innings with 25 strikeouts and six walks. In his last outing on July 16th he went six innings, allowed one unearned run on two hits and a walk, and struck out five.

The Rays have now signed 34 of their 60 picks from the June draft.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Touch 'Em All Time

Other than transactions, it was kind of a slow day on the minor league front. Apparently the uncertainty over the new CBA even has 13th round high school picks such as Tanner English holding off signing until the deadline:
He said he's got no issue waiting until the Aug. 15th deadline to decide between college and the pros. "It's got to be the right decision for me," English said this weekend. "I don't want to force myself into a decision. There's really no wrong way to go. I just want to make sure it's the right thing to do. If I decide before Aug. 15, I do. If I don't, I don't."

English enrolled for a summer school Spanish course at USC, and he's rooming with potential Gamecock freshmen teammates Grayson Greiner, T.J. Costen and Joel Seddon. The former St. James star said they are mostly getting to know the city. Exactly how long English will be there, though, is yet to be determined. He is using the Beverly Hills Sports Council as advisors during the process with the Rays.

If you don't remember much about English, here is what BA had to say about the 5'9" outfielder prior to the draft:
English is more likely to get drafted now as he's at least a 70 runner on the 20-80 scale whose speed plays well in center field. He has an average throwing arm, and some scouts think he'll be an average hitter as well. He generates surprising bat speed despite his small stature. English has signed with South Carolina and would start as a freshman, replacing Bradley in center field, so he's considered a tough sign.

Speaking of players we don't know much about, recently acquired Durham RHSP Matt Torra sounds like a nice guy:
Former Pittsfield High School baseball standout and current Tampa Bay Ray prospect Matt Torra will again be the host for the 7th Annual Conor Dillon Memorial Golf Tournament.
Besides the lights, lawn mowers, tarps, scoreboards and other initiatives to improve the local playing fields over the years, the tournament has also established a scholarship fund for students of the culinary arts – a passion of Torra’s childhood friend Conor Dillon for whom the tournament is named.
“I am glad that playing professional ball has afforded me the opportunity to help maintain those same fields so that today’s young ballplayers can create memories of their own,” added the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 2005 first round draft choice out of the University of Massachusetts.
“When Matt cracks the Tamp Bay Rays’ pitching rotation, it will create great fanfare here in the Berkshires. But, to hundreds of local boys and girls, he’s been a hero for a long time,” concluded Anderson, himself a Pittsfield native.

In the most-recent Ask BA, Jim Callis described how teams tend to value players by the round they are drafted:
Picks obviously decrease in value and importance the lower they come in the draft, but I'd say most teams put significant value on picks in the first 15 rounds and less after that. Most of the best talents are going to be selected in the first five rounds (unless they fall because of signability), which is why our Top 200 highlights our draft coverage and why the commissioner's bonuses suggests varying bonuses for each of those choices.
But there still are valuable players available in rounds six through 10, and even rounds 11 through 15.
For the final 20 rounds, it's almost all organization players who are signing for $10,000 or less.

If the recent roster moves don't improve things, this may be next:
Eight games behind the division leaders and losing confidence, the Tampa Bay Rays today announced one of their players will have to be killed in order to inspire the team to win the championship in his memory.
The Rays have yet to choose the death-bump player as Maddon and front office staff scour the roster to find the best candidate, ideally someone who is popular in the dressing room but not too valuable on the field. “Picking a rookie is good because the loss of a young person is always sad,” said Rays GM Andrew Friedman. “But then again a veteran in the last year of his contract is also good, since we’re probably going to lose him anyway."
For Maddon, the player’s name is just as important as he’ll have to wield it during pre-game pep talks. “I’ve gone through our roster and we obviously didn’t draft these guys for their Gipper qualities,” said Maddon, referring to George “The Gipper” Gipp, whose death inspired Notre Dame to football glory in 1920. “I mean, ‘Win one for Andrew Sonnanstine?’ Our scouts have got to do a better job.”

Moves: BurGi covered most of them yesterday and the rest were posted in the comments. For the latest rosters as of this morning check the Depth Chart. I won't be around today to update, so please share any moves you see in the comments.

Oscar Watch: After sitting out Monday's game, Hernandez went 4 for 5 with two homers and a double yesterday. He scored twice and drove in six in the Rays 14-10 victory over the VSL Pirates. For the season he's batting .419 with 19 homers and 57 RBI in 52 games.

Trivia: Who was the first player the Rays signed out of Brazil?

Hot: Russ Canzler, Durham Bulls. Since July 6th he's 16 for 37 with seven extra-base hits and more walks than strikeouts (7-6). That's a triple-slash of .432/.500/.703 over ten games.

Stat 'O The Day: Renegades hitters.
Player                G  AB  H 2B 3B HR SB CS BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS
Jeff Malm*           29  98 31  6  0  8  1  2 19 21 .316 .468 .622 1.091
Gerardo Olivares     17  63 22  4  2  2  0  0  4 16 .349 .382 .571  .954
Matt Rice            20  73 23  4  0  3  5  0 10 17 .315 .400 .493  .893
Chris Winder         28 112 33  5  2  2  9  2 18 33 .295 .394 .429  .823
Juniel Querecuto#    28 114 35  8  1  0  5  2  9 18 .307 .355 .395  .750
Kyle Holloway        20  70 16  2  0  3  0  0 11 27 .229 .345 .386  .731
Raymond Church       22  80 20  6  1  0  1  1  6 19 .250 .318 .350  .668
Cesar Guillen        27  93 20  5  0  1  1  0 13 21 .215 .311 .301  .612
Kes Carter*           3  13  3  0  0  0  0  0  2  1 .231 .333 .231  .564
Tanner Biagini       16  60 13  2  0  0  0  0  1 12 .217 .238 .250  .488
Craige Lyerly        13  41  8  0  0  0  5  0  4  7 .195 .283 .195  .478
Brian Bryles         26  94 17  4  0  0  7  2  7 26 .181 .245 .223  .469
Diogenes Luis#       14  47  7  0  1  0  3  2  5 16 .149 .231 .191  .422
Leonardo Reginatto   26  86 15  1  0  0  2  2  5 22 .174 .228 .186  .414

Name That Minor Leaguer ===>

Hint #1: Hat is correct.

Hint #2: Middle name is Javier.

Hint #3: Venezuelan.

Hint #4: Skipped from Princeton last year to Bowling Green in 2011.