Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rays Announce Arizona Fall League Players and Staff

The following players and staff from the Tampa Bay Rays organization will join the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League:

- INF Tim Beckham - Durham Bulls

- OF Kevin Kiermaier - Charlotte Stone Crabs

- INF Hak-Ju Lee - Montgomery Biscuits

- RHRP Lenny Linsky - Charlotte Stone Crabs

- LHRP Chris Rearick - Montgomery Biscuits

- LHP C.J. Riefenhauser - Montgomery Biscuits

- RHRP Kirby Yates - Montgomery Biscuits

- INF/OF Richie Shaffer - Hudson Valley Renegades (taxi squad - only eligible to play on Wednesdays and Saturdays)

- Hitting coach Steve Livesey - Rays minor league hitting coordinator

- Trainer Chris Tomashoff - Gulf Coast League Rays

Other orgs who will contribute players to the Desert Dogs include the Oakland Athletics, Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, and Florida Marlins. The last time the Rays sent players to the Desert Dogs was in 2009.

As in past seasons the league will consist of six teams in two divisions, with orgs assigned as follows for 2012:
East Division
Mesa Solar Sox: Astros, Cubs, Dodgers, Orioles, Tigers.
Salt River Rafters: Blue Jays, D-backs, Nationals, Rockies, White Sox.
Scottsdale Scorpions: Angels, Giants, Indians, Pirates, Yankees.

West Division
Peoria Javelinas: Mariners, Padres, Phillies, Reds, Twins.
Phoenix Desert Dogs: Athletics, Braves, Brewers, Marlins, Rays.
Surprise Saguaros: Cardinals, Mets, Rangers, Red Sox, Royals.

Some other notes...

Season schedule: Opening day for the league’s 20th anniversary season is Tuesday, October 9th. The Rising Stars game is scheduled for Saturday, November 3rd at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. The league championship game will be Saturday, November 17th at Scottsdale Stadium.

Weekly schedule: The league plays Monday through Saturday at six Maricopa County spring training stadiums during the six weeks prior to Thanksgiving.

Game times: 12:35 p.m. and 6:35 p.m. local time.

The venues for 2012 remain the same:
Mesa Solar Sox -> Mesa Hohokam Stadium
Peoria Javelinas -> Peoria Sports Complex
Phoenix Desert Dogs -> Phoenix Municipal Stadium
Salt River Rafters -> Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
Scottsdale Scorpions -> Scottsdale Stadium
Surprise Saguaros -> Surprise Stadium

The 2012 Phoenix Desert Dogs schedule:

Week One
Tuesday, 10/9 - Scottsdale Scorpions, 12:35
Wednesday, 10/10 - at Scottsdale Scorpions, 6:35
Thursday, 10/11 - Peoria Javelinas, 12:35
Friday, 10/12 - at Peoria Javelinas, 12:35
Saturday, 10/13 - at Mesa Solar Sox, 12:35
Sunday, 10/14 - Off Day

Week Two
Monday, 10/15 - Salt River Rafters, 12:35
Tuesday, 10/16 - at Salt River Rafters, 6:35
Wednesday, 10/17 - at Surprise Saguaros, 12:35
Thursday, 10/18 - Surprise Saguaros, 12:35
Friday, 10/19 - Mesa Solar Sox, 12:35
Saturday, 10/20 - Peoria Javelinas, 12:35
Sunday, 10/21 - Off Day

Week Three
Monday, 10/22 - at Scottsdale Scorpions, 12:35
Tuesday, 10/23 - Mesa Solar Sox, 12:35
Wednesday, 10/24 - at Surprise Saguaros, 12:35
Thursday, 10/25 - at Salt River Rafters, 12:35
Friday, 10/26 - at Surprise Saguaros, 6:35
Saturday, 10/27 - Scottsdale Scorpions, 12:35
Sunday, 10/28 - Off Day

Week Four
Monday, 10/29 - Salt River Rafters, 12:35
Tuesday, 10/30 - Mesa Solar Sox, 12:35
Wednesday, 10/31 - at Scottsdale Scorpions, 12:35
Thursday, 11/1 - at Salt River Rafters, 12:35
Friday, 11/2 - Surprise Saguaros, 12:35
Saturday, 11/3 - Rising Stars Game, 5:10
Sunday, 11/4 - Off Day

Week Five
Monday, 11/5 - at Surprise Saguaros, 12:35
Tuesday, 11/6 - at Peoria Javelinas, 12:35
Wednesday, 11/7 - Peoria Javelinas, 12:35
Thursday, 11/8 - at Mesa Solar Sox, 12:35
Friday, 11/9 - Scottsdale Scorpions, 12:35
Saturday, 11/10 - Salt River Rafters, 12:35
Sunday, 11/11 - Off Day

Week Six
Monday, 11/12 - Peoria Javelinas, 12:35
Tuesday, 11/13 - at Peoria Javelinas, 12:35
Wednesday, 11/14 - Surprise Saguaros, 12:35
Thursday, 11/15 - at Mesa Solar Sox, 12:35
Friday, 11/16 - Off Day
Saturday, 11/17 - Championship Game, 1:10


- Roster size is 30 players per team.

- Each MLB organization is required to provide at least six players.

- All AAA and AA players are eligible if they were on at least a AA roster by August 1st.

- One player below the AA level is allowed per MLB org.

- One foreign player per org is allowed, as long as the player does not reside in a country that participates in winter ball, as part of the Caribbean Confederation or the Australian winter league.

- No players with more than one year of credited Major League service as of August 31st are eligible, except an org may select one player picked in the most recently concluded Major League Rule 5 Draft.

- Players on a minor league disabled list must be activated at least 45 days before the conclusion of their respective seasons.

UPDATE: Per this article there are some new roster rules for the 2012 season, including:

But under new roster guidelines, teams can send seven players to the AFL. The seven appointments can include two low Single-A or first-year draft picks signed by July 13, two high-A players and three Double-A or higher participants.

That explains the Rays sending 3 players below the AA level. Apparently they have also changed the disabled list rule (being off for 45 days before end of season) since Hak-Ju Lee is being sent while currently on the Biscuits DL. The AFL information page still lists the rules I originally posted, so I'm not sure what other rules may have changed.


  1. Are the roster rules outdated? We have more than 6, and I think more than 1 is below AA.

    1. It's "at least" 6, I updated it. We do have 3 below AA (and Lee is on the DL), will try to see if roster rules have changed. Thanks for pointing that out.

    2. This article has rule changes:


    3. Thank you for the link, added an update.

  2. I wonder why they sent Kiermaier instead of Mahtook or Glaesman. Maybe because Glaesman played in Australia? Didn't Mahtook play last winter too? Maybe they wanted to give them some time to rest.

  3. Mahtook played in AFL last year and did very well,has played in 126 games this year,and is doing fine in AA.

    Glaesmann did pay in Aussie land last year and did very well,and,is doing great this year in his 121 games.(Leading all Rays minor leaguers with 21 HR}

    Keirmaier also played in Australia last year but has only played in 57 games this year while breaking both hands.

    Ritchie Shaffer is having a good season batting 300 in 25 games

  4. Ah ok. Thanks! Maybe this will give them a leg up on starting off next season at higher levels.

  5. It's all about the money baby....... Beckham, suspended player(1st rounder) leads the team in errors and a 2nd rounder(Linsky) who plays a partial season and has a 2 to 1 BB to K line.And Shaffer, another 1sr rounder(not worthy of an NYPL allstar pick). Glad for Rearick, he earned/worked his way to Arizona! Too many players that make the wheel turn left out once again. Enough said

    1. Shaffer signed too late to be included in the All Star league slection process. He did start off very slow, but has improved greatly showijng flashes of why we used a first round pick on him.

  6. I agree! Markel, Floethe and Gomez before Linsky and even CJ. Glausman for sure!

  7. I don't think the player development people only look at performance in the minor league. I bet they also look at their assessment of how well a player projects in the MLB. Since there are only 7 people that can go, it is an investment in the Rays, not a reward for performance in the minors.

    1. I am not sold on anyone but Rearick as a major prospect. Linsky I question his makeup as I do with Beckham>Shaffer will be over his head too fast, Lee is solid as is Kiermeier. CJ had a great start but his finish was not very good. The players feel this is an award for being identified as a prospect, maybe I just disagree with who they consider worthy!

    2. I understand your point although the Rays have a pretty good record picking and developing pitching talent. They have much more insight into the players' underlying skills and make-up than we do. If this was the Pirates organization, I'd be with you.

  8. Remember, this is only one of many offseason leagues. The AFL gets more hype because it's in the US, but the level of competition is good in the Venezuelan Winter League, the Dominican WL, Puerto Rico, Mexican Pacific League, etc. The Rays also seem committed to sending players to the Australian WL again, which isn't as good, but perfect for A-ball level guys.

    Just because guys are going to the AFL doesn't mean the Rays like them more than someone headed to the VWL or others. The AFL is also a hitters league, since most orgs don't want their top pitchers adding more innings on their arms after a long season. So don't get to excited about a great batting average or OPS.

    We'll have coverage of all the fall and winter leagues as they start. Venezuela, Dominican and Mexican start mid-October and Puerto Rico a couple of weeks later.

  9. Doug good point you dont see alot of the rays top hitters in this league either (Ex Dietrich or mahtook) as they would be useless to play in this fall league.. Also, the Rays do have a good record picking up good pitching talent.

  10. After seeing Kiermeier's catch Friday,I now see how he was rated as the top defensive outfielder in the system.It was the best read I have seen all year here in Durham.

  11. MLB Pulled out of playing in Mexico.