Monday, October 31, 2011

Rays keep Shields, Farnsworth, decline Shoppach

Pitchers James Shields and Kyle Farnsworth have had their options for the 2012 season picked up by the Tampa Bay Rays. The team declined its 2012 option for catcher Kelly Shoppach.

Moore wins Topps minor league player of the year

Pitcher Matt Moore, after going a combined 12-3 with a 1.92 ERA between the Biscuits and Durham, won the Topps minor league player of the year award today.

The left-hander finished the year in the major leagues with Tampa Bay and threw seven shutout innings to beat Texas in the AL Division Series. Moore is the second former Biscuit to win the Topps award after Delmon Young in 2005.

"After starting the year in Montgomery and then being a part of the playoffs with the Rays, this award is the icing on the cake for a season I'll never forget," Moore said in a release.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tampa Bay executive going to A's

Dan Feinstein, Tampa Bay's director of baseball operations, is leaving the Rays for the Oakland A's. He'll be Oakland's director of professional scouting and baseball development.

Feinstein, a California native, worked for the A's from 1994-2004. He joined the Rays in February 2006 from the Los Angeles Dodgers, for whom he was coordinator of baseball operations.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sporting News picks Rays manager

Tampa Bay's Joe Maddon won The Sporting News American League manager of the year award. He also won in 2008. Arizona's Kirk Gibson won the National League award.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hellickson wins magazine's rookie award

The AL Rookie of the Year award won't be out for another few weeks, but Baseball America has decided on its major league rookie award. Former Biscuit Jeremy Hellickson, after a 13-win, 2.95-ERA season with Tampa Bay, was named the winner today. Hellickson and outfielder Desmond Jennings landed on the all-rookie team.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Biscuits to buy new scoreboard

The Biscuits are starting the hunt for a new scoreboard with plans to debut it at Riverwalk's Auburn-Alabama game in March.

They're hoping to have the bids back around the end of October and will formally announce the new addition in early November. The team took ownership of the scoreboard in 2009 from the city in exchange for lower rent payments.

"We want it to have a big impact on the fan experience next year when they walk into Riverwalk Stadium," team president Greg Rauch said.

Biscuits owner Tom Dickson promises fans will notice. The current scoreboard has an LED display measuring 22 feet by 14 feet, which he said was impressive when the stadium opened in 2004. The new one will be bigger "by multiples of times," Dickson said.

"It's going to be huge," Dickson said. "There will be lots more bells and whistles and several more cameras. It will be amazing."

Friday, October 14, 2011

Former Biscuit on MLB team headed to Taiwan

Former Biscuits pitcher Jose Veras, now with the Pittsburgh Pirates, will play on a major league all-star team headed to Taiwan.

The team will play five games against the Taiwan national team Nov. 1-6. MLB announced a tentative roster today.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Nowak, Bankston, Harrison on Atlantic list

Three former Biscuits landed on the Atlantic League's postseason All-Star team, including two who tied for the league's top designated hitter.

Chris Nowak of the league champion York Revolution and Wes Bankston of the Bridgeport Bluefish were the co-DHs.

York's Vince Harrison, the most valuable player of the championship series, was the top third baseman.

The league's second-team all-star list includes Somerset shortstop Fernando Cortez and Southern Maryland outfielder Adam Godwin. Godwin is an Enterprise native.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Moore was top prospect in Southern League's year

Left-hander Matt Moore, with the Biscuits through mid-July, was named the Southern League's top prospect for the year by Baseball America today.

Right-hander Chris Archer, a late-season promotion to Triple-A Durham, ranked 11th.

League champion Mobile and Chattanooga had five players each on the magazine's Top 20 list, which included four Mississippi Braves. Tennessee, Huntsville, Carolina and Jackson had one each.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

ALDS, Game 4: Rangers 4, Rays 3

Adrian Beltre hit three home runs and the Texas Rangers eliminated the Tampa Bay Rays from the playoffs with a 4-3 win Tuesday.

Beltre hit solo home runs in the second, fourth and seventh innings to help the Rangers advance to the American League championship series. They won their AL division series with the Rays in four games.

Jeremy Hellickson surrendered Beltre's first two homers and one to Ian Kinsler that led off the game. Matt Moore gave up Beltre's final blast.

Sean Rodriguez doubled, walked twice and scored three times for the Rays, who were in the playoffs for the third time in four years. He scored and Tampa Bay had the potential tying run on base with one out in the ninth. A popout and groundout ended it.

Monday, October 03, 2011

ALDS, Game 3: Rangers 4, Rays 3

Mike Napoli's two-run home run in the seventh inning gave the Texas Rangers the lead in a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday.

The Rangers took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five American League Division Series with Game 4 coming Tuesday afternoon.

Napoli's homer and Josh Hamilton's two-run single gave Texas a 4-1 lead in the seventh.

Desmond Jennings hit two solo home runs for the Rays. After Jennings homered to lead off the eighth, Tampa Bay had two runners on base and one out. Johnny Damon and Ben Zobrist struck out to end the threat.

Longoria finalist for Aaron Award

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria is Tampa Bay's finalist for the Hank Aaron award, which recognizes the top offensive player in each league. Fan voting is open at Longoria, who missed a month with an oblique injury that he rehabbed in Montgomery, hit .244 with 31 home runs and 99 RBIs in 131 games with the Rays this year.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Harrison top star in Revolution title run

Former Biscuits infielder Vince Harrison was the most valuable player in the York Revolution's run to a second straight Atlantic League championship. Harrison hit .529 with five doubles and five runs scored in nine games in the playoffs, which ended today with York's 6-3 win over the Long Island Ducks.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

ALDS, Game 2: Rangers 8, Rays 6

Mike Napoli singled twice, had two RBIs and scored twice to help the Texas Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-6 on Saturday in Game 2 of their American League Division Series.

The series is tied 1-1 with Game 3 on Monday at Tampa Bay.

B.J. Upton doubled twice, singled and scored twice for the Rays. Evan Longoria hit a three-run home run in the seventh to pull the Rays within one, 8-7.

A Mitch Moreland homer in the eighth gave the Rangers a two-run advantage.

Rays announce Monday ALDS sellout

The Rays have announced a sellout for Monday's Game 3 of their AL Division Series against the Rangers. There are a limited number of tickets left for Tuesday's Game 4. The Rays have sold out every postseason home game in their history.