Saturday, October 15, 2011

Winter Ball

How do you measure real baseball fanaticism? Well, maybe take a look at Jim Donten’s work over at Rays Prospects He is diligently tracking down once and future Rays who are playing elsewhere this Fall and Winter. As each league opens up, he posts a list of players he's found on the rosters. Then he’s been doing daily updates. That's real dedication and we thank him for it.

Players of immediate interest to WDBB:

Arizona Fall League (Surprise Saguaros)
  • SS Tim Beckham
  • RHP Marquis Fleming
Venezuelan Winter League
  • C Robinson Chirinos (Navegantes del Magallanes) (Note: Robinson has reportedly broken a wrist)
  • C Jose Lobaton (Leones de Caracas)
  • IF Daniel Mayora (Leones de Caracas)
  • LHP Alex Torres (Aguilas de Zulia)
  • C Stephen Vogt (Leones de Caracas)
  • IF Ray Olmedo (Tiburones de la Guaira)
  • RHP Rob Delaney (Bravos de Margarita)
Dominican Winter League
  • RHP Richard De Los Santos (Estrellas de Oriente) (Happy to see him pitching after last year’s troubles)
  • IF Omar Luna (Aguilas Cibaenas)
  • C Nevin Ashley (Gigantes del Cibao)
  • IF Elliot Johnson (Gigantes de Cibao) (Note: Why would he he playing winter ball? Caribbean vacation?
Keep an eye on Rays Prospects (maybe add the RSS feed) to keep up).

Another ex-Bull to keep an eye on this winter:

Jon Weber is playing for Venados dos Mazatlan, as he has for several winters. Turns out that the 33-year old Weber returned to professional baseball with the Indy League Winnepeg Goldeyes last summer and had a decent year.

Update, 18 Oct: Rob Delaney in Venezuela (Thanks, Anon!)


  1. Rob Delaney former Durham Bull is with the Bravos de Margarita in the Venezuelan league

  2. I would have thought the Rays could use Elliot Johnson more than Ruggiano

  3. If I were a betting man, I'd bet that EJ, DJ, or Rugg will not be playing for the Rays next year. And maybe not Reid Brignac either. Of the three, however, EJ might pass through waivers and take a year with the Bulls if only because I think he owns a home in Durham now. At 27 he's running out of time. And then there's the influence of whomever his agent might be ...
    In his favor, of course, is being a switch hitter and his potential. Maybe ...

  4. Yes, EJ lives in Durham in the off-season. Your logic there makes sense, I could see him taking a year here again.

    The Rays seem to be too well stocked on guys that can hit in the minors but not in the majors. I think that, this off-season, they have to focus on bench/platoon type guys that can be average at the plate. This season they were pulled along by their good hitters, but when they were cold they didn't have anyone that could do anything at the plate to give them a couple of runs.

    I think that is probably going to push out some of those players we have seen around the DBAP the last couple of seasons.

  5. On the other hand (running out of hands here), the Rays made it into the playoffs on good pitching and good defense. Have to admit their defensive "diamond" (catcher, SS, 2B, CF) were collectively above average and, unlike the Bulls, they've had a great 3B for years. If you make it to the playoffs with what you've got, on the payroll you've got, why change? That does leave DJ and Rugg out in the cold, though.

  6. I think that the Rays' front office knows that they can't count on a huge Red Sox collapse every year.

    I think the biggest place the Rays should look for an upgrade is catcher. If they aren't going to spend the money for Kotchman, they need a 1B as well.