Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Minor Moves: Garko, Hudson, Lobaton, Thompson

The Bulls outfielder Kyle Hudson was traded to the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Philadelphia Phillies) for outfielder Rich Thompson. Thompson was the sixth round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2000 draft. He spent his ten year career spent between the Blue Jays, Pirates, Royals, Diamondbacks and Phillies organizations. Much of his career was spent in the minor leagues with six MLB games under his belt in 2004 with the Royals. This season Thompson was hitting .307 with 4 doubles, 2 triples and 11 RBI's in 29 games for the Iron Pigs. 

Thompson replaces Kyle Hudson who was in his first season with the Rays organization. He was hitting .291 with a double, triple and 8 RBI's in 31 games with the Bulls this season.

Another new face is welcomed into the Rays organization as Ryan Garko has been assigned to the Biscuits. Garko was signed by the Rays as a free agent out of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. He began his professional career in the Indians organization as their third round pick in the draft. He worked his way through the organization making his MLB debut with the tribe on September 15, 2005. He went on to play in the majors for seven seasons before heading to the Korean league in 2011.

One final roster move announced today was Jose Lobaton was promoted to the Biscuits to continue his MLB rehab schedule at the Double-A level. Lobaton who is recovering from a shoulder injury spent two games with the Stone Crabs where he went 0 for 5 with a walk.


  1. Why doesn't OF Jesus Feliciano get moved up to TB?

    1. First of all, Feliciano probably has to perform better at AAA. His batting average, at this point, is solid, but not spectacular. He isn't drawing too many walks and isn't hitting for power at all.

      He does fit the role of a pinch runner/defender, but his bat isn't good enough at this point.

    2. As of 5/22/12- In Durham, Feliciano Leads in RBIs, Leads in Doubles, Batted .333 in last 10 games, BA is .302, 0 errors.

    3. As of 5/22/12- Feliciano LEADS AAA Durham in Doubles. Leads in RBIs, 0 errors, Batted .333 past 10 games, BA is .302

  2. They evidently really liked the fit of the speedy Thompson as a center fielder backup. Gotta love this guy's story and pull for him. I am not sure why they decided they needed to go outside the organization for a AAA guy to promote, but here we are. Kyle Hudson showed some promise, but i guess you do what you do.

  3. More inexplicable moves from the vaunted Rays brain trust, which is beginning to resemble an asylum for the terminally confused. What is the plan for Garko? Is this about winning games in Montgomery? What about player development? Thompson, a 33-year old making his first ML start. Brings a tear to the eye. No, it's not what you think - I cry for the younger guys that have slogged through their way through the Rays' system that now have another road block to their dream, and are a helluva lot more deserving of it. As is it, it's gonna get really interesting with (1) Loboton and Allen rehabbing (and presumably headed back to the Rays very shortly), (2) the eventual return of Guyer, Longoria, and Jennings, (3) Juan (and done) Miranda batting a lusty .193 with 1 HR, (4) Leslie Anderson continuing to outperform (what is the plan?), (5) Matsui now getting playing time in Durham (what is the plan?), and on and on and on ... What a joke.

    1. I wish i knew. Hopefully it will all work out. :)

    2. Which players would you like to see receive more playing time or get promoted? Durham didn't have any better options than Thompson, and before you mention Leslie Anderson, look beyond the batting average.

  4. That's the thing, all these additions/moves we've seen recently are going to have to happen again when all the injured players come back. Here are all the guys who will be coming back at some point:

    Longoria - MLB
    Jennings - MLB
    Guyer - probably to AAA
    Niemann - think he'll be a while, MLB
    Farnsworth - MLB
    Fuld - will be a while, MLB
    Chirinos - AAA
    Lobaton - MLB
    Allen - probably AAA
    Ashley - AAA
    Beckham - AAA
    Augenstein - not sure if or when, AA
    Colome - soon to AA
    Velasquez - soon to AA
    Quate and Barnese - not sure when/if, AA
    Kiermaier - A+
    Bailey - A+
    Buente - out for year
    Andujar - no idea if at all
    Kes Carter - soon to A
    Markel - very soon to A
    Linsky and De La Rosa - no idea, A

    The draft is also coming in June and the 3 short-season US teams start June 18/19th. Gonna be a ton of moves in the next month.

    1. Amen to that.

    2. Two questions in regards to the rules. I assume since Guyer was placed on the DL as an MLB player, there is no rule about him having to be activated and then demoted, he can just be activated to AAA? On that same not, can Allen be activated to AAA without being DFA'ed, or claimed off of waivers?

    3. Yes, they will have to be activated back to the MLB roster. Guyer could immediately be optioned back to AAA (there would have to be an opening for him on the 25-man at the time, but then he could be sent down and open that spot again), but I don't know if Allen has options. If Allen doesn't he would have to be DFAd and exposed to waivers before he could go to AAA, doubt anyone would claim him though.

    4. What is wrong with Kes? I knew it was his hamstring, but good gosh. He spends more time on the DL than he does playing. I mean its been over a month for a sore hamstring? Sounds to me like the guy could stand to get a little tougher.

    5. Carter's played in 10 pro games. Last year 3: June 18-20th. This year 7: April 5-13th when he left the game early. I don't know what his injury history was at WKU, hope this is just a fluke. We need every position player we can get.

  5. Because so few position players are doing well the whole "who deserves to be promoted" question can be turned around: Who deserves to keep their jobs/playing time? There just aren't a lot of obvious moves to make right now. Regular mid-season merit promotions are still weeks away too. Rays like to give at least a half season at the lower level so it sticks, worse thing is to promote and have to demote again later.

  6. Nice try, Michael, but's not about what I'd rather see - the deed's been done, the die has been cast. And these newly signed players aren't on development contracts - they're not going to sit. Simply put, I'd rather they had not brought in so many (older) players in the first place, and instead went with a few more of the younger guys and be sure of what they had or didn't have. Are Thompson (age 33), Garko (31), Matsui (37), Feliciano (33), Salazar (31), Coon (29), Anderson (30) and Miranda (29) players Rays fans are itching to see in coming years? And just so I don't completely avoid your question, here's my dream positional lineup for Durham next year: C - Mark Thomas, 1B - Mike Sheridan, 2B - Tyler Bortnick, SS - Hak-Ju Lee, 3B - Cole Figueroa, LF - Henry Wrigley, CF - Ty Morrison, RF - Kyeong Kang. Would they struggle - probably, but it would be fun to see them develop as a unit and as individuals.

    1. I see where you are coming from. But the guys you listed are not ready for AAA yet, so someone has to fill the void.

      Thompson is on the MLB team right now. So yes, he is someone the Rays should have gotten. There are no guys who have worked their way up the organizational ladder who provide the type of play that he does (speed and defense with a mediocre bat).

      Matsui is someone who is expected to make the MLB team sometime soon. He has had a long and successful MLB career, and the Rays are seeing if he still has some gas left in the tank. The minor leagues are a place to store depth and future players, and that is what Matsui is.

      Garko is another guy who the Rays want to check out and see if he has anything left. From your comments, I take it you don't follow the Rays MLB team? They have really struggled against LHP this year, and Garko has shown previous ability to handle lefties.

      As far as the other guys, none of them are really much more than emergency depth. They won't stop any player working his way up the organization from having playing time. As you know, someone has to play for AAA, so the Rays signed these guys.

      The Rays have shown recently that they will promote guys who have been in the org. for a while. Look at Wrigley and Figueroa. I'd imagine Kang will be up there soon.

      Guys like Thomas, Sheridan, Morrison, Lee, Bortnick, etc.. are obviously not ready for the AAA level if you look at their stats. Going by your plan, you would be setting guys up to fail, with is something the organization would obviously like to avoid. You won't see me advocating them moving Vettleson up to AAA this year because he would fail at that level.

      There are times when the Rays make questionable decisions, but I am sure they do their best. I'm not quite sure what your complaint is, so feel free to clarify.

    2. Michael - peace, brother. We all have our opinions and I respect yours. Anyway, I agree that many of the names I listed are not ready for AAA, but it was more "fire for effect" than try to hit the bullseye. And, as I follow the Rays' MiL teams and not the ML Rays themselves, I guess my comments are simply borne out of frustration. Injuries happen and guys earn in-season promotions, but there just seems to be so much more turbulence and instability on the MiL rosters than I have seen in the past. And, when you have your favorites, you want to see them maximize their experience and hopefully get a shot at their dream. Many of the guys they have signed are former MLers, and may have "some gas left in the tank", but they were available without a bidding war erupting (at least not that I am aware of).