Friday, July 27, 2012

Weekend Notes

Rob Finneran
Dave Gil de Rubio has written an extensive profile of 37th round pick RHRP Rob Finneran of the Hudson Valley Renegades. From his birth in Queens through graduate school at Bentley University to the Renegades bullpen, it is a must-read for Finneran aficionados:
With a number of teams showing interest in Finneran, the last two clubs left standing were the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays, both of which had scouts attending the aforementioned SNH game. Tim Alexander was Tampa’s representative, who couldn’t help but be impressed with what he saw that day.

“You have some certain level of expectations based on the background work you’ve done on an individual along with information that you’ve gathered from colleagues. Then when the kid throws a little bit better than your expectations, you’re pleasantly surprised, which doesn’t happen very often,” Alexander admitted. “Most of the time it’s the opposite way. He showed very good fastball command, his changeup was very good and he was pitching against the best team in the league and I think he had double-digit punchouts. He pitched pretty well, so he’s given himself a chance.”

Catcher Taylor Ward was one of only three Rays 2012 draft picks who did not reach an agreement by the July 13th signing deadline. The 31st rounder explains why:
“The Rays (didn't offer) me enough money, so I decided to go to Fresno State. That was the better deal,” Ward said. He will be receiving a full scholarship to play baseball at Fresno State, turning down the $150,000 signing bonus offered by Tampa Bay.
Although Ward has been to Fresno State to visit the campus, he's unsure of what his academic plans there will be. “It's a nice college town. It was raining when we went up but when the sun came out it was really nice,” he said. “I'm not sure what I'll be studying yet.”
If you're wondering if the 150k figure is real, it just may be. In another interview with Ward he indicates the decision not to sign was made on July 12th. By the deadline the Rays were left with $49,200 of unspent bonus pool. As a 31st round pick the Rays could have signed him for up to $100,000 without using any of the bonus pool budget. So the Rays could have offered him up to $149,200 without incurring any penalties or tax consequences under the new collective bargaining agreement. Regardless, he's off to sunny Fresno to find a major.

The Rays have sold the rights to Durham Bulls OF/1B Brandon Allen to the Fukuoka Softball Hawks of the Japanese Central League. He hit .262/.295/.451 in 122 at-bats for the Bulls and had a home run and a single in 13 at-bats for the Rays. Leading up to the sale Allen had been on the Durham temporary inactive list since July 24th.

Another 2012 draft pick, 4th rounder RHP Nolan Gannon, has now thrown 14.0 innings without an earned run for the GCL Rays. He has allowed only eight hits three walks while striking out 11.

The Rays have signed 18 year-old Dominican RHP Roquely Ortiz and assigned him to the DSL Rays. In his debut earlier today he gave up three runs in two innings.

On another DSL note, back on July 2nd the Rays signed catcher Erick Maria for $300,000. The 18 year-old f.k.a. Eric Otanez made his pro debut on Thursday and is now 1-8 in two DSL games.

----------------------------------- Saturday -----------------------------------

Derek Dietrich
SS/2B Derek Dietrich has been promoted to the Montgomery Biscuits from the Charlotte Stone Crabs. The 23 year-old was hitting .282 for the Stone Crabs and leading the team in doubles (21), triples (9), home runs (10) and RBI (58). His 174 total bases led the Florida State League, and his nine triples and 40 extra-base hits were both third in the league.

Hak-Ju Lee has been Montgomery's shortstop all season and Shawn O'Malley has been the second baseman since his recent demotion from Durham. No word on the Biscuits plans, but unless there is another roster move I'd expect Lee at SS, Dietrich at 2B and O'Malley at 3B, with Greg Sexton backing up 3B and Omar Luna backing up all three plus playing the outfield. What Montgomery really needs is another relief pitcher and one less outfielder.

To fill the open roster spot created by Dietrich's promotion the Stone Crabs have activated catcher Alejandro Torres.

Durham Bulls catcher breakdown:
Catcher     W/L   SB  CS   CS%  PB      ERA (ER/Inn)
Acosta      4-3    5   2   40%   1    3.46(25/65.00)
Albernaz   9-12   16   6   38%   1   5.08(100/177.2)
Ashley     5-11   12   1    8%   0   6.99(101/130.0)
Lobaton     2-2    3   0    0%   0     3.44(13/34.0)
Gimenez   19-14   33  10   30%   5   4.76(155/293.1)
Vogt      11-16   14   7   50%   1   4.51(122/243.2)
Durham Bulls projected starters for four-game series at Norfolk Tides:
Saturday: RH Chris Archer 5-8, 4.64 ERA
Sunday: RH Matt Torra 8-6, 4.37 ERA
Monday: RH Lance Pendleton 6-4, 4.63 ERA
Tuesday: LH Cesar Ramos 3-3, 2.56 ERA
Wednesday: off day

The Charlotte Stone Crabs are 43-58 on the season. The only innings they have outscored their opponents this year are the 8th, 9th, and 10th. Here is a breakdown of their runs scored by inning:
Inning -->    1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12+  Total
Stone Crabs  50 52 40 63 39 42 23 55 35  4  1   1    405
Opponents    58 65 69 70 63 45 43 54 22  2  1   8    500

Ben Kline was 3-5 with an RBI and two runs scored for the GCL Rays today. He also stole two bases and committed two errors. Kline is hitting .425 (31-73) on the year.

LHRP Chris Rearick hasn't allowed a run or even a hit in three appearances since his promotion to Montgomery. Over five innings he has struck out five and walked two.

----------------------------------- Sunday -----------------------------------

Robby Price
Charlotte Stone Crabs infielder Robby Price has a seven-game hitting streak and has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 contests. Over that stretch he is batting .346 (19-55) with 10 RBIs and seven runs scored.

Stone Crabs OF/1B Steve Tinoco had three more hits last night and is batting .345/.398/.393 over 22 games in July, boosting his season average to .298.

Charlotte's projected starters:
Sunday: RH Albert Suarez 5-6, 3.81 ERA
Monday: LH Enny Romero 4-5, 4.06 ERA
Tuesday: RH Victor Mateo 5-3, 4.50 ERA
Wednesday: LH C.J. Riefenhauser 7-7, 4.68 ERA

There are three pitchers who have thrown at least nine innings this season and have yet to allow an earned run, and they all are with the GCL Rays. LH Oscar Armenta is up to 21.1 IP, RH Nolan Gannon is at 14.0 IP, and LH Luke Goodgion has thrown 9.0 scoreless.

The 18 year-old Armenta is in his second season with the Rays organization:
Year   Age    Teams W L  ERA  G GS   IP  H ER HR BB SO  WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9
2011    17 DSL Rays 4 2 3.12 12  6 52.0 41 18  4 11 51 1.000 7.1  0.7  1.9  8.8
2012    18 GCL Rays 0 1 0.00  5  4 21.1 14  0  0  2 21 0.750 5.9  0.0  0.8  8.9
2 Seasons           4 3 2.21 17 10 73.1 55 18  4 13 72 0.927 6.8  0.5  1.6  8.8
Since his mid-June promotion from Montgomery LHRP Frank De Los Santos is 3-1 with a 1.56 ERA in 14 games for Durham. Over 17.1 innings he as struck out 17 and walked only three, two intentionally. FDLS has made six straight appearances without allowing a run. He wasn't bad earlier in the year for Montgomery either, posting a 2.06 ERA over 48.0 innings.

Highlights from the Princeton Rays vs. Bluefield Blue Jays series played July 26th-28th at Hunnicutt Field:

More to come throughout the weekend.


  1. Got Official word Dietrich has been promoted!

  2. I had a chance to watch a couple innings of the GCL Rays game during lunch yesterday. This is the first GCL Rays game have been able to see this season so many of these players I saw play for the first time.

    First off, I was impressed with Gannon. It's easy to see why he hasn't allowed and earned run in so long of a stretch. He commands the strike zone and was keeping hitters off balanced.

    Eiermann... Not sure why he is still in the GCL. I thought last season he showed a lot of potential and it seems to carry over to this season as well. He was the DH, but still swings a solid bat and heads up base running.

    Araujo: such hidden power. Quick glance and you don't see a power hitter but he second he swings the bat, the ability to go yard comes perfectly clear.

    Edwards: showed a lot of range at short, also made a great diving stop while I was there.

    I will have photos posted as soon as I can get on the computer. I already got them on Facebook, just waiting for wife to get done on computer so I can get them up here. This single computer thing is driving me nuts.

    1. Thanks for the updates on the GCL guys, Jim. And the pics. Yeah, computers are like bathrooms any more for families, gotta have more than one.

    2. I was there too. Yeah, Araujo looked good. Bralin Jackson doesn't seem to run as fast as he looks with one SB (Kline has 5), but hits well. Are spectators allowed at all GCL games?


    3. Paul, Yes, GCL is free baseball and if you can extend your lunch the games start at noon and are generally over in 2 hours.

  3. Roquely Ortiz-RHP FB velocity 88-91mph and solid CB-CH from DPL site

  4. Any word on Garvin?

  5. I am surprised that Floethe and Gomez have not been promoted to at least see how they do against FSL hitters. I would actually send them to Montgomery and see how they do. Both 23 and answers need to be answered....they both have the stuff to be successful. However if they are holding them to X amount of innings, they better move them soon. If they are trying to keep BG strong they are going against their philosophy!