Thursday, February 19, 2009

Salas traded to Indians

Former Biscuit Juan Salas has been traded by the Rays to the Cleveland Indians for a minor-league infielder.

Salas, designated for assignment Feb. 12, was an original Biscuit as a third baseman. He returned -- and reached the major leagues -- as a pitcher.

Second baseman Isaias Velasquez joins the Tampa Bay organization. The 20-year-old hit .281 with 40 runs scored in 64 games last year for short-season Class A Mahoning Valley. He was a New York-Penn League All-Star.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Rays open spring training

Selected quotes, sent out by the Rays, on today's first day of spring training ...

On the change of scenery helping:
“I love the changes here. I’m not denigrating any of the facilities up in St. Petersburg, it’s just that we’re here and once the games begin we’re still able to have extra room to do extra work with our major league guys. They are right here. We have the major and minor league groups together. I want us to be able to homogenize everything that we do between both groups.”

On how it feels to get spring training started and Charlotte Sports Park:
“It feels great. First time out here in the new facility and it’s looking pretty good. This town is pretty excited to have us here and we’re excited to be here. You can never get too big (of a facility). I think we’ve got plenty of facility here and the way they designed it is amazing. Our clubhouse is top notch and I’ve never seen a better clubhouse at spring training. It’s a little bit different than Al Lang, but I think we’ll enjoy it. You’ve got a facility like this and what happened last year and being the American League champs we’re feeling pretty good about ourselves coming in here.”

On the rotation:
David Price is something special. I think he’s got a lot of learning to do and he’s still young and yet he pitches like he’s a veteran. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens this year. We’ve got a great staff; our staff is unbelievable. I’m the oldest guy on the staff, I’m 27 years old, and that’s always a good thing.”

On the chance of not being in the rotation:
“I want to be out there the first day. That’s what you have spring training for I’m out here to prove myself again. That’s what it’s about; it’s going to be a competition.”

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Salas off Tampa Bay's 40-man roster

Pitcher Juan Salas is coming off Tampa Bay's 40-man roster to make room for newly signed pitcher Brian Shouse. The Rays designated Salas for assignment today.

Spring, Albernaz among non-roster invitees

Biscuits catchers Matt Spring and Craig Albernaz are among the non-roster invitees to Tampa Bay's major-league spring training.

There are four others with Montgomery ties: pitchers Jason Cromer, Neal Frontz and Chad Orvella, and infielder Chris Nowak.

Other non-roster invitees -- pitchers Winston Abreu, Jason Childers, Randy Choate, Dewon Day, Julio DePaula, Carlos Hernandez, Calvin Medlock; catchers Nevin Ashley and Michel Hernandez; infielders Tim Beckham, Morgan Ensberg, Ray Olmedo and Chris Richard; and outfielders Ray Sadler and Jon Weber.

The Rays have 61 players in camp and the first workouts are Sunday.

Charlie Montoyo and Xavier Hernandez are working major-league camp, too. They're wearing wide receiver numbers -- 82 and 84, respectively.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

BA: 3 of Rays' top 30 headed to Biscuits

The Baseball America prospect book arrived last week -- and I, shamefully, have been so busy with basketball that I'm just now opening it.

Here are the Top 30, with their projected 2009 teams:
1. LHP David Price, Durham or majors
2. SS Tim Beckham, Bowling Green
3. RHP Wade Davis, Durham
4. SS Reid Brignac, Durham
5. CF Desmond Jennings, Charlotte
6. LHP Matt Moore, Bowling Green
7. RHP Nick Barnese, Bowling Green
8. RHP Jeremy Hellickson, Fungumree
9. LHP Jake McGee, rehab program
10. RHP Jeff Niemann, majors (he's out of minor-league options)
11. LHP Kyle Lobstein, Princeton or GCL
12. RHP Albert Suarez, Hudson Valley
13. C John Jaso, Durham
14. CF Fernando Perez, majors (I say Durham)
15. RHP Heath Rollins, Fungumree
16. RHP Mitch Talbot, Durham
17. RHP Alex Cobb, Charlotte
18. C Jake Jefferies, Bowling Green
19. RF Ryan Royster, Fungumree
20. RF Reid Fronk, Charlotte
21. 1B Mike Sheridan, Bowling Green
22. RHP Chris Luck, Bowling Green
23. RHP Joe Cruz, Bowling Green
24. RHP Alex Colome, Hudson Valley or Bowling Green
25. C Mayobanex Acosta, Bowling Green
26. C Mike McCormick, Charlotte
27. OF K.D. Kang, Bowling Green
28. OF Ty Morrison, short-season team
29. RHP Jason McEachern, short-season team
30. SS Shawn O'Malley, BA isn't sure

31. RF Justin Ruggiano, BA doesn't say (I'll say Durham)
The magazine did a No. 31 prospect for those who ordered the book from them.\

Of course, feel free to compare and contrast with my list from almost three months ago. Obviously, we have different No. 1s.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Biscuits drop treasure in city trove

The city received more than $41,000 in the Biscuits' quarterly rent payment that was due at the end of January.

The $41,119.35 ranks next-to-last in the all-time quarterly list, trailing only the $37,487.16 paid for the same quarter last year. The latest payment covers the months of October, November and December. Those months have led to the five smallest rent payments in the team's history. Why? Well, there aren't any games being played.

The Biscuits have paid a total of more than $3.5 million in rent since opening their doors in 2004.