Archive for the ‘Rays’ Category

Springer Town

Posted: October 14, 2012 in Rays

Cubs prospect Jeimer Candelario compared to  great one

Cubs Max Ramirez part of the trade for Garza

Alex Reyes of Cardinals International signing

Hunter Renfroe poised to take over in future

Dodgers top prospect Julio Urias , and others

Phillies Cord Sandberg

Jessie Winkler Reds

Pirates Glasnow

Cubs Alcantara


Maikel Franco (3B)
J.P. Crawford (SS)
Tommy La Stella, 2B,
Pierce Johnson (P)
Dominic Smith
Jimmy Nelson, Brewers
Kyle Hendricks, RHP, Cubs
Miguel Gonzalez, RHP, Phillies
Rafael Montero, RHP, Mets:
2B: Arismendy Alcantara – Chicago Cubs
SS: Amed Rosario – NY Mets
LF: Ramiel Tapia – Colorado Rockies
Mauricio Cabrera (RHP) – Atlanta Braves
Tommy La Stella braves
Neil Ramirez cubs cl
Ryan LaMarre reds of
Eddie Butler rockies
chris reed la
Adam Conley marlins
Jason Rogers brewersa
Mitch Haniger brewers
Nick Kingham pirates
Keyvius Sampson padres
Edwin Escobar ** Giants
C.J. Edwards, RHP Chicago Cubs
Jose Peraza (SS) braves 64 sb
Cody Martin Braves sp
Jonathan Gray col
yler Glasnow (RHP) pirates
Rob Kaminsky, LHP, St Louis Cardinals
Devin Williams, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers
Jordan Paroubeck, OF, San Diego Padres
Ryan McMahon, 3B, Colorado Rockies
Trea Turner, ss, North Carolina State
Alex Jackson OREGON
Mitch Haniger MILWALKEE
Sammy Solis NATS
Stephen Piscotty, OF, Cardinals
Dan Corcino
Donn Roach
Onelki Garcia DODGERS SP
Andres Santiago DODGERS SP


archie bradley
Nooag Sndergrad
chris owings
Jake Lamb
Andrew Chafin
Jake Barrett
JR Graham
Tom Lastella
Cody Martin
Ed Salcedo
Chris Bentacourt
Javier Baez
Aris Alcantra
Neil Ramirez
Arodsyz Viscaino
Chris Olt
David Holmberg
Rob Stepehonsen
Ryan LaMarre
Ed Butler
John Gray
Kyle Parker
Joc Pederson
zach Lee
Chris Marsnick
Andrew Heaney
Adam Conley
Justin Nicolino
Jimmy Nelson
Rafeal Montero
Cesar Puello
Maikel Franco
Jesse Biddle
Greg Polanco
James Tailson
Alen Hanson
Raymond Fuenetes
Rymer Lirano
Edwin Escobar
Joe Panik
Heath Henbree
Gary Brown
AJ Cole
Brian Goodwin
Matt Skole
Kycle Parker



One of the interesting things about spring training is the old statement that spring numbers do not matter. We are told to not use spring statistics as a measure of success in the regular season. I can partially buy into that statement. But, why is it that position battles are won or lost based on how each of the players perform in spring game action against lesser talent.

Sometimes the players who are competing are not locked in a competition that is an entirely equal playing field . For example, one player may be facing David Price in game action and does not get his hits off of him. Where as, another batter may face the guy who is a minor league pitcher and takes him deep. How can you compare performance between the two.

Additionally, with spring there is a small sample size. Thus, the correction factor that a batter makes over the course of the season does not come into play much in the spring. So, the guy who is hot right from the start may not be the best suited player for the position over the long season. In other words, the team who has a player who makes adjustemnts to get out of a cold streak might be better overall than the player who temporarily is experiencing success.

The astute General Manager will base his player evaluation only partially on spring data. They must also factor in if a player is dealing with an injury, or if the player is experimenting with something new that he would rarely try in regular season.

One study to take a  look at is the the work of baseball statistician John Dewan  who found that batters who post significantly better slugging percentages in spring training than their career slugging percentages perform better offensively in the upcoming regular season.

Nevertheless, do we make conclusions based on what we have seen from Andy Sonnanstine so far? What about spring numbers Sean Rodriguez put up last year?

After taking in some spring training action in the Tampa Bay area, I am finally back home.  As far as the game we took in last Sunday in Bradenton, the Rays brought mainly back up players to face the Pirates.  Casey Kotchman reminds of a Dave Magadan who in his day was a great contact hitter. Except with Kotchman, you also get great defensive play. I definitely see him securing a roster spot in 2011.

Rays Rev Radio Loboton Mania.

MLB Prospect Portal links to a Spring Training Jeremy Hellickson article.

Closer watch on Tampa  Bay

Rays hr index

Rays ownership could buy minority interest in Mets


Cork Gaines of Rays Index visited Mike Silva for his blog talk radio show NY Baseball Digest. This q&a segment titled Outside the Apple Tampa Bay Rays brought up a lot of hot topics about the ball club. Below is a representation of what was discussed.  It is paraphrased  and not word for word:

On the Rays player movement this off season:

Cork : we knew this would happen for a long time . There is still alot of talent here in Evan Longoria, B.J. Upton, Jeremy Hellickson, David Price and others.

On Manny Ramirez and what if it does not work out:

Cork:  hard to envision it could be any worse than the 9 million the Rays ate on Pat Burrell. It’s a no lose situation. Manny usually starts off good and its a 1 year deal, well worth 2 million.

On the Rays having to count on that Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon to be good this year:

Cork:  The Rays need them to score runs. Without these additions there was not a lot of threats in the lineup. Now the Rays can put Manny 4th  or 5th,  with Damon at the top of the lineup. It slots slots everyone better. Matt Joyce  can be 7th hitter and it puts pressure off of him. It’s like getting a closer in the bullpen where it puts people in better places

On losing Pena:

Cork:  Pena will be missed for his tremendous glove, and without the addition of Manny, the Rays would of really missed his presence in the lineup. Pena was what kept pitchers honest. Pena made the infield defense a whole lot better. The Rays will miss Pena in the clubhouse. The fans gravitated towards  Pena. Now the Rays are going with Dan Johnson playing 1st base. Dan Johnson hits lefties well.  May be playing everyday he could be productive. However Maddon likes platoons so he won’t be out there every day.

On Joe Maddon as the manager:

Cork : The expectations have been raised with Maddon as the manager, an old scool type of baseball man, he is a polarizing  figure. The team has been productive with Maddon. Its either Friedman picking the right players or Maddon doing a good job with them. At times he over thinks things but overall he is a good manager.

On the Garza trade:

Cork: Rays said they wouldn’t do it unless they got blown away from an offer. Chris Archer, probably won’t see a whole lot of him this year,  maybe next year.  Chirnos was the key player in deal. As Jaso is not best defense catcher, but gets on base well and is a serviceable catcher. Chirnos was moved from the infield, Rays could move Shoppach and shave payroll.

On Hellickson and the pitching rotation:

Cork: Helickson might be skipped from time to time. Wade Davis and Niemmann are workhorse pitchers, Price is gonna be great, heavy load last year, maybe a tired arm. The key is James Shields, Rays need him to step up, get him back.

On the bullpen and is Farnsworth like putting kersosene on fire?
Cork: Farnsworth has been better the  past few yrs.  The bullpen is a hodge podge.  J.P. Howell will start on the DL and could be back  mid May or early June. Rays have 25 guys in camp which are relief pitchers. Rays need 1 or 2 to relief pitchers to step it up, but it won’t be lights out like last year. The bullpen will be ok, not great.

On Soriano in New York:

Cork: It will be intersting, for the most part ok, wonder if things turn sour, how will he react? He is the temperamental type, on edge and sometimes channels anger in wrong way. However, not looking forward to facing him.

On the Ken Rosenthal contraction/moving the team piece?

Cork:  contracting with less people as part of the game and less sales opportunities is a silly idea. The Tampa market is untapped for baseball, sports fans haven’t latched on, and building centrally located. It is equivalent  of Citi Field being located in the Hamptons. Since the Trop is surrounded by water to get to the games it usually ends up taking most people  1.5 hours to get to the game, its a problem. The Rays will never draw 3million on consistent basis. But, they don’t need to.  They can be an in the middle attendance team. It’s a good sports area. Rays don’t have history. Most  of the long time clubs all have a history that generatons of fans to build on. The Rays don’t have that. They are now experiencing a good run, 10 year from now it will be something look back on.

On Rays as a playoff team:
Cork: The early thoughts is that they can compete, still looking for bullpen help, Yankees will go out and get starting pitcher help. Rays are a 85-88 win team, break well they could win 92 games. If they get off to a bad start selling of pieces,  then a 75 win team.

Mark Topkin tells us that David Price will start the spring training opener on Saturday. James Shields will pitch on Sunday:

This quote by Andrew Friedman is his spin of saying “what about us in 2011”.

“We did lose a lot, but my goodness, we’ve got a lot here, too.” “As much physical talent in this camp,” executive vice president Andrew Friedman said, “as we’ve ever had.”

Some might say its a dig on the previous group here in Rays land who are now playing for other teams. However, as I stated previously, the Rays home grown pitching is quite impressive and “the straw that stirs the drink” .

Some Tape Measure Blasts from around the web:

In Major League baseball, there is no salary cap, nor is there a minimum salary a team must spend on their payroll. The contract the owners give out is all guaranteed money.  Now why do you think the big market teams are quite upset about having to pay the small market teams ?

Well, the big market teams spend to compete because they are expected to do so with the  financial resources they have at their fingertips. However what is happening is the small market teams are going out to dinner on the big  market teams tab, and buying the cheapest item on the menu, and writing off the most expensive item on the menu to get reimbursed with. The Yankees owner Hank Sterinbrenner is clearly livid over this practice:

Steinbrenner revealed the team contributed about $130 million between revenue sharing and luxury tax, the most of any team in the league and the most, according to Steinbrenner that the team has ever had to contribute. A few days ago, Sox CEO Larry Lucchino indicated the team contributed $86 million. This is obviously a sore subject for the Yankees and Red Sox.

Now, one of the biggest complaints of the Rays bumbling previous owner Vince Namoli is that he walked around with a fat wallet. It seems the Sternberg ownership walks around with the same type of wallets. But, The intent of the collective bargaining process was allowing for home grown players contracts from getting prohibitive before reaching free agency. The players were to take reasonable pay bumps in accordance of improved performance on the diamond. Instead, what we witnessed this off season from Rays was taking a moderate valued contract in Matt Garza and selling it for future dollars.

I can see why teams do not want to pay to help the other teams in general.  We have seen this in the marketplace even where we want to pay for our own healthcare and not be subject to paying for your neighbors.  It’s obvious the owners had already gone to the commissioner  and slapped the Marlins on the wrist for not spending their revenue sharing dollars on payroll. The result was Dan Uggla spent one year extra in Florida before they deemed him too expensive.

It was a speed bump on the radar and eventually the big market teams will come in greater numbers and show they are serious. Selig can only stall them so long. : “Think about it, $ 40 could get you Evan Longoria, David Price, Rays Manager Joe Maddon, plus possibly get autographs from newly signed Rays players Manny Ramirez, Dirk Hayhurst and Johnny Damon. More than worth the one time expenditure.” :”FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal will take any and all baseball questions from fans from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Ken is the senior baseball writer from He appears weekly on MLB on FOX.”

Having your cake and…

Posted: February 21, 2011 in Rays, Stadium

The Field of Schemes tells us a little nugget about the Rays ownership:

“Every year that goes by increases the possibility that we won’t be here. We can’t keep kicking the can down the road. I’m not a guy who kicks the can down the road. If there is something inevitable, you have to deal with it. At some point, my partners in baseball are going to throw their hands up in the air and say ‘enough is enough.'”

Then there is this

Bad economy has a lot to do with the current situation. The TV and radio audience shows the people of Tampa adore the Rays.

In the book that published last year  titled Beyond Batting Average, the author Lee Panas suggests  the Quad is a happy median between traditional stats and sabermetric stats. My Roto site was even referenced in the book:

David Bloom suggests using OBP/SLG/TOB/TB because it combines both rate measures (OBP, SLG) and playing time statistics (TOB, TB).  However, BA/OBP/SLG is still the most common combination in the sabermetric community

The Quad takes into account both counting stats in Times on Base, and Total Bases and the rate stats in On Base Percentage, Slugging average.


  1. Miguel Cabrera 272
  2. Daric Barton 265
  3. Robinson Cano 265
  4. Billy Butler 263
  5. Nick Markakis 262
  6. Ichiro Suzuki 262
  7. Mark Teixeira 260
  8. Shin-Soo Choo 259
  9. Jose Bautista 9 258
  10. Derek Jeter 251
  11. Paul Konerko 248
  12. Evan Longoria 246


  1. Jose Bautista 351
  2. Miguel Cabrera 341
  3. Robinson Cano 334
  4. Josh Hamilton 328
  5. Adrian Beltre 326
  6. Paul Konerko 320
  7. Vernon Wells 304
  8. Carl Crawford 297
  9. Vladimir Guerrero 294
  10. Evan Longoria 291
  11. Michael Young 291
  12. Nick Swisher 289
  13. Mark Teixeira 289
  14. Delmon Young 281
  15. Billy Butler 279
  16. Nick Markakis 274


  1. Miguel Cabrera 0.420
  2. Kevin Youkilis 0.411
  3. Josh Hamilton  0.411
  4. Joe Mauer  0.402
  5. Shin-Soo Choo  0.401
  6. Jack Cust 0.395
  7. Daric Barton 0.393
  8. Paul Konerko  0.393
  9. Billy Butler 0.388
  10. David DeJesus 0.384
  11. Brett Gardner 0.383
  12. Ian Kinsler 0.382
  13. Robinson Cano  0.381
  14. Magglio Ordonez .378
  15. Jose Bautista  0.378
  16. Travis Hafner  0.374
  17. Nelson Cruz 0.374
  18. John Jaso 0.372
  19. Evan Longoria 0.372
  20. David Ortiz 0.370
  21. Nick Markakis 0.370


  1. Josh Hamilton 0.633
  2. Miguel Cabrera 0.622
  3. Jose Bautista 0.617
  4. Paul Konerko 0.584
  5. Nelson Cruz 0.576
  6. Kevin Youkilis 0.564
  7. Adrian Beltre 0.553
  8. Luke Scott 0.535
  9. Robinson Cano 0.534
  10. David Ortiz 0.529
  11. Vernon Wells 0.515
  12. Nick Swisher 0.511
  13. Evan Longoria 0.507
  14. Alex Rodriguez 0.506

As far as Evan Longoria, the fact he shows up on all these charts gives you an idea what type of player the Rays have on their hands for a long while. Sure, losing Carl Crawford is going to hurt early on, but really the player doesn’t really show up on the all inclusive offensive categories. His value comes more on the base paths and on defense. The fact that Evan Longoria did this all without much protection in the lineup makes it even more impressive. Kudos go out to John Jaso and his impressive OBP in his rookie year. We coud use that type of OBP in the leadoff position.

Using these measures, its clear the troubled 1B Miguel Cabrera was the overall best player in the American League last season. Sure, Josh Hamilton hit the top of the charts in the rate stats SLG and OBP which does not take playing time into account. Whereas, the counting stats which rewards players for playing time and excellence is where Josh Hamilton was not much of a factor.  Did the voters get it wrong with the 2011 MVP?  The numbers here sure seem to indicate that fact.

Unfortunately, my schedule and geography is not permitting me to attend the  2011 Rays Fan Fest today.However, I have done my browsing on the web, and the best way to be there without being there can be found here. If anyone is able to go, let me know how the free new turf  looks and feels. Here are some potential Durham Bulls who will be in attendance:

12:00 J.J Furmaniak, Russ Canzler, Desmond Jennings, Chris Carter

1:00pm Leslie Anderson, Ray Olmedo, Justin Ruggiano, Chris Boothceck, Brandon Guyer, Robinson Chirnos, Chris Archer

There’s many more, check the schedule for the full list of players in attendance.