Monday, September 04, 2006

Riggans, Salas hit bigs

The Devil Rays gave catcher Shawn Riggans and pitcher Juan Salas the call today. Both deserve it.

Riggans has answered the main question about him the last two years -- he's durable and can stay healthy. He's hit, still plays defense and (stunningly) has shown some speed. I would have imagined pink uniforms for the Biscuits before I could have envisioned Riggans hitting ~two~ triples in a season.

Riggans has also been one of the most affable players to roll through Riverwalk Stadium, period. He called me last fall after a hurricane rolled through his Fort Lauderdale neighborhood because an Alabama Power crew from Montgomery had been the one to turn the power back on. He wanted to extend his thanks.

Salas didn't give up an earned run with Montgomery this year, moved up to Durham and showed enough that his next pitch will be in a Tampa Bay uniform. Salas' biggest frustration may have been the language barrier when I tried to interview him. We needed a translator whenever I needed more than a sentence or two.

Salas is 27 years old, so the Rays needed to get a look at him now to see if he's worth keeping. He has a natural cut fastball and, I'm told, was trying to make it cut with Durham and it didn't have the same effect.

2 comments:

Stacy Long said...

Salas has apparently "matured" since his time in Montgomery.

He's two years older and apparently has yet to reach his birthday.

Everything I have lists his birthday as Nov. 7, 1978, but he's listed as 29 years old in the two major Tampa Bay-area newspapers and mlb.com.

brent said...

The Baseball Cube, (see http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/S/Juan-Salas.shtml) my favorite spot for finding information on minor leaguers, shows his birthday as December 6, 1981, making him only 24. Who knows!!??