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
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.