Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Scores and Highlights from 5/1

Durham Bulls 5, Louisville Bats 4 (10 innings) 
The Bulls opened the series against Louisville with a walk-off extra innings win on Tuesday night, giving the Bulls their first back to back wins since the first week of the season. It was the bat of Jesus Feliciano that powered the victory, he was 3 for 5 with 3 RBI's, including the game winner. Shawn O'Malley was 3 for 4 with a walk and 2 runs scored. Kyle Hudson was 2 for 4 with a double, a run scored and 2 stolen bases. After blowing the save in the ninth, Cesar Ramos came back to get the win in the tenth.

Montgomery Biscuits 6, Tennessee Smokies 5
The Biscuits used record breaking performance to power their victory against the Smokies. The Biscuits stole a franchise high 7 bases on the night, including 3 by Henry Wrigley. They also hit a season high 14 hits to help steer them to the win. The Biscuits found themselves in an early hole, but they managed to work their way back until a homer by Kyeong Kang in the eighth put them on top to stay. Every starter in the Biscuits lineup found themselves at least on hit on the night. Hak-Ju Lee and Brad Coon each had a triple while Kang had the Biscuits only homer. Marquis Fleming was the winner with Adam Liberatore getting the save.

Charlotte Stone Crabs 4, Bradenton Marauders 1
The Stone Crabs rode the arm of Braulio Lara to victory on Tuesday as the Stone Crabs snapped their losing streak. Lara's strong performance helped keep the Marauders of the board and help extend his record to 3-0 and remaining the only undefeated starter on the roster. Cody Rogers and Robby Price each enjoyed multiple hit nights. Derek Dietrich struck his first homer of the season. Eliazer Suero and Chris Rearick provided scoreless service from the bullpen with Rearick notching his sixth save of the campaign.


  1. tampa seems to be giving wrigley the run around. shame on them, good kid and player

  2. So is Lyerly going to get a chance or are they just keeping him on the team for no reason? I don't understand why he doesn't get sent to BG when Carter was hurt (and still is). Plus Caminero is batting .151 he only has 1 walk and 16 strikeouts. Why doesn't he get a chance there? They didn't mind putting motter in the outfield (he has never played outfield before) Whats the point of having him if he isn't going to play? There is no way he is going to go to HV for a 3rd year? He is 23.6. I mean if his age is the problem he isn't getting any younger in XST lol. I haven't heard that he is injured.

  3. I agree with the other Anonymous~ Craige Lyerly is probably not going to get anywhere with the Rays. They're just stringing him along. I really wish he would quit on them...before they release him when the new draftees comes along. I also agree with TommyPickle about Henry Wrigley getting the run around. More and more, it's starting to look like if you're not a big money guy, (high draft pick), or another team's retread, your chances of succeeding with Tampa Bay aren't great. In that perspective, things seem to be changing within the TB organization.

    1. It really is a shame. I mean yea they guy had a rough first year. But last year he batted .286 and was second on the HV team in batting average. He didn't have many extra base hits but his speed could make up for that. He could get on first and be on 3rd in 2 pitches. He can fly. He stole 17 straight before being thrown out. But your right he was a 19th round guy and i am sure he got any signing bonus. It sucks. The kid is a great guy and a good ball player. I think he just needs a chance.

  4. I totally agree. In typical TB fashion, we skip over our own talent for players signed from other teams. Instead of giving guys a shot in our own organization, we sign other teams left overs. Come on guys, they are FREE AGENTS for a reason. If they were a productive member of their teams, they would still be with them.

    Its ridiculous the amount of talent we have at AA and below, yet they are unable to make it to AAA because they are position locked by other teams castaways. But come on, its working at AAA take a look at their record.

    There are so many players at our AA team that would be in a great position with other organizations.

    So a word of advice to those in our minor league system, if your not a pitcher, TB will not invest the time to get you to the next level. You will be stuck where you are until you get so tired of it that you retire or they get rid of you. It sucks but that's the Tampa Bay way.

  5. I think it possible to assert that the Rays have misidentified talent, or that they have erred in developing talent. Although I think people would be hard pressed to find many unheralded minor league prospects released or held back by the Rays who proved their merit at the major league level.

    But every informed observer of the Rays agrees that their hallmark is wringing every ounce of talent from whatever source they can find. Keri's book, "The Extra 2%" focuses on that trait to explain their success. Is it credible that they would cavalierly overlook talent because of pedigree? Or that they would prefer outside talent to home grown? That they would block their prospects despite having superior talent on hand?

    Another hallmark of the Rays is their exceptionally conservative promotion policy, one that focuses on developing skills at each level and only promoting those who have met their expectations. With few exceptions (Longoria), their prospects spend at least a full season at each level, sometimes more if the development staff wants to work on specific skills.

    But a review of prospects who have reached the majors since 2008, including their draft round, follows:
    Gomes (18), Riggans (24), F. Perez (7), Jaso (12), Vogt (12), E. Johnson (Undrafted), Jennings (10)

    It makes sense that higher drafted players would receive more attention and move more quickly. It also makes sense that such players would be given more opportunity to show their stuff. That is why they were drafted higher, because teams deemed their talent superior. But to assert that they ignore players whose performance merits promotion is belied by the facts. And if someone thinks a player is getting short shrift, it is likely because they are evaluating differently from the Rays, not because the Rays are ignoring the player.

    1. Great post Robert. I should copy it and post it as an article.

      I haven't heard a word on Lyerly, so I just assume he's healthy and hasn't been needed badly enough. You would think he could get some playing time instead of Motter and Caminero though. Carrying 3 catchers is part of the problem, if they had 2 I'm sure they would add a fourth OF, and I'm not counting Malm's 4 games out there. But I guess Motter counts since he's played more games in the OF (6) this year than in the IF (5). So combined I suppose Malm and Motter make the 4th OF, but why not just add a real OF and drop a catcher?

      As far as Wrigley, why not just promote him? I've certainly not been his biggest supporter over the years but he's hitting and Juan Miranda is complete crap. He's up to 81 plate appearances and still hitting .183 with almost no power, only 5 XBHs, all doubles. And he has FIVE errors, as a 29 year-old freaking first baseman. Let Wrigley split time with Anderson at 1B, DH a little, play some LF. What is the downside to cutting Miranda and promoting Wrigley? No matter who plays first for Durham they aren't getting called up, Tampa can cover that with half the team. Just do it.

      To be clear, I don't think Wrigley will do well at AAA, I just don't see any reason not to give him the chance. He's earned it and he can't do any worse than Miranda.

      The reason I doubt he'll do well is this is his 3rd year at AA, so you would think he'd improve, and it's a very weak Montgomery lineup. Now he is getting on base and hitting for power so far, but how would he do against more advanced AAA pitching. The reason I mention the weak lineup is basically Wrigley and Figueroa (before his promotion) were all there was to fear. I've read how he's changed his approach and whatever. Maybe he has, but I think the extra walks come from other teams just pitching around him. Not intentional walks, but intentional unintentional walks (or whatever they used to call how Bonds was pitched to). Nibble and see if he swings at bad pitches, if not just let him walk and face the rest of a weak lineup. You'd be crazy to give him anything to hit, he's the only real threat to hurt you in the lineup. Kang has some HRs, but he's really become all or nothing, HR or SO (25% of his plate appearances). Wrigley's kind of like little league, when that really big kid came up you'd pitch around him and face the runts.

      But again, despite my doubts, there isn't a single good reason not to promote him. He's hitting well (over a month now, not just a week or so), it's his 3rd year in AA, there isn't anyone above him worth playing at 1B and he can back up the OF, and he's not blocking anyone else's development. I see no reason not to. Am I missing something?

  6. Elkie ShellbachMay 3, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    how does your best power hitter in your farm system the past 3 seasons not get a shot? a kid who has batted clean up for every team in your minors, has shown power and discipline as he has matured through the years with tampa, broken or tied records for tampa's affiliates. it looks like passing up on Buster posey isn't the only crazy move they have decided to go with. since we are on the Henry Wrigley topic, show some respect to an employee you drafted. we as Devil Rays fans wont know what he can do in the bigs unless you let him loose and SMASH AL East pitching.

  7. I agree with moving Wrigley up. I have been a strong supporter of Wrigs and his accomplishments. There is nothing more he can prove at AA, his promotion is long overdue. It sucks watching him sit with AA while players who we signed outside of the organization are getting shots and failing miserably at AAA.

    Doug, I am gonna respectively disagree with your thoughts of Wrigs not succeeding at AAA. Having watched him play in Port Charlotte, he will do fine there. There will be an adjustment period naturally, but his drive and hard work will help push him through it.

  8. Lyerly played RF in the HV XST game yesterday, in the OF with Sale & Dixon. No idea what the plan is for him, but he is playing. O'Connor also had an RBI single as the DH, a good sign about him at least playing as well.

    I am also a Wrigley supporter for some of the reasons mentioned. I believe he has earned it, but with limited knowledge of the inner workings of the Rays it is really tough for any of us to understand why some of the decisions are made.

    1. I would like to see Wrigley moved up also, and do not pretend to know the Rays thinking on the matter, but a look at his career might provide some hints.

      After 4 years of mediocre to poor performance to start his career, Wrigley improved as a 23 year old at A+ in 2010. He still did not walk much (although a bit more than before) but he did not strike out much either and showed some good power in a tough hitting environment.

      As a reward, he was promoted mid-year to AA where all his numbers fell. He walked even less, struck out more and had a lower iso as well. In almost the same number of PAs, his OPS fell from a decent .847 to a terrible (for a first baseman) .690.

      He played at AA again in 2011 and did improve, although his BB rate stayed roughly the same. His OPS last year was .773, still poor for a first baseman, especially one at AA at his age.

      In 97 PAs this season, he has improved dramatically (except for his Ks which have risen quite a bit). Does it seem so illogical though, given his history, to wait a bit before pronouncing him a serious prospect?

      I understand and accept the arguments for moving him to AAA, particularly given Miranda's horrid performance, but I don't think the case is as clear-cut as some have asserted. Perhaps more time at AA, not just to see if the improvement is real but also to reinforce the skills he may have developed, is a legitimate development approach.

    2. I don't think most of us are saying he's a serious prospect Robert, he's almost 26 and in his 3rd year of AA, so he's an org player. But moving him to AAA seems like a good idea, in light of what's there and his performance. Think it'll be 3-4 weeks yet if it happens based on past moves, which is reasonable. As you point out, one month of good performance isn't that big of a deal in light of his career.

    3. Yes, I think we agree. I suppose I was still responding to those who imply or even state that the Rays are entirely unreasonable not to promote him or that the Rays ignore their own prospects or lesser hyped ones in favor of those acquired elsewhere. Statements claiming the Rays are giving Wrigley the runaround are, in my view, unsupportable given his overall record.

      As I said above, I would like to see Wrigley challenged at AAA-and your timeline seems right. I thought that way about Tyler Bortnick last year and hope his early season struggles are temporary. I think Tyler's father expressed some frustration that Tyler was being moved so slowly, an understandable view, but again, I cannot imagine the Rays sacrificing talent because of some predisposition to favor trades or high draft picks. It violates everything we (think we?) know about their approach to building an organization.

  9. Jim D - I'm sure most disagree with me, that's ok! We'll never know until he gets the chance. Just think AAA pitchers are more advanced, many are borderline major leaguers. He won't get three years of AAA to succeed, has to be quicker than he did in AA. And to the people who brought up the majors, even doing well at AAA isn't a guarantee for MLB, look at how well Dan Johnson and Chris Richard hit at Durham and how long they lasted in MLB. But AAA is the first step, and if he's ever going to get the chance it should be coming up, Miranda's had enough ABs to show what he is. End of May/early June is when merit-based promotions usually start, needs to keep hitting until then.

    Jim P. - Thanks for the update on Lyerly and O'Conner. Sounds like O'Conner will be DHing for HV all year due to the hip.

  10. Lyerly to Charlotte, Bailey to DL with the broken hand.

  11. They have been grooming wrigley since 2005, time to let him lose on major league pitching.