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


  1. Ronald Torreyes is hitting .375 in 112 AB's in low A ball for the Reds right now. Hopefully Oscar makes a similar transition, and wouldn't it be awesome if the Rays were as aggressive with him. Although, I'm sure we'll be lucky to see him in the GCL next year.

    Triva answer is Daniel Mayora. I haven't read anything about him, but the numbers he put in AA made him worth watching.

  2. Thanks for checking on Torreyes Anon, agree that Oscar probably won't be in Bowling Green next year. Princeton wouldn't be surprise though.

    Mayora is correct for Name That Minor Leaguer. I'm going to have to start using some of Jim's pics of the GCL Rays guys to make it tougher, you guys are good. Trivia hasn't been answered yet, a little tougher today.

  3. I don't know about shortening it to TEAT. Maybe "If you have any TEA Time-worthy stories..."

  4. Trivia question - Justin Woodall was the best high school athlete in the 2006 draft class.

  5. Oh alright, TEA Time it is. Guess I'll cancel those "I (heart) TEAT" t-shirts and bumper stickers too.

    DiamondTom is correct, good job.

    Alex Colome is moving up to Montgomery and CJ Riefenhauser is moving up to Charlotte. This is getting fun!

  6. Good for CJ, Charlotte is getting a better pitcher than the one they are losing to Montgomery.

  7. The MiLB website administrator/fat-fingerer made an error - they have CJ as a member of the Charlotte Knights instead of the Charlotte Stone Crabs. Oops!!

  8. diamondtom any backup to that comment about Riefenhaser being a better pitcher than Colome? Or you just like one and not the other?

  9. Riefenhauser's numbers were better across the board this year in Bowling Green than what Colome did in B.G. last year. C.J. is also a year younger. Riefenhauser has better command and mixes his pitches. Colome throws hard but even in low class A hitters can send a 97 mph fastball over the fence if they know what's coming and it does not have a lot of movement. The main reason for my comment is that I watch all of the Hot Rods games in person and my eyes tell me C.J. is the better pitcher.