Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hemstitching: Four Bulls (maybe), Ruggiano, Kinas, and More

Justin Ruggiano at the DAP

** 71 Days **

  • The Rays recently signed four players to minor league contracts, most of whom have experience in Durham, if not always with the Bulls. 
    • Will Rhymes has put in a lot of time with Detroit’s AAA team, the Toledo Mud Hens, the last three years (so he’s probably played at the DBAP). Looks to be a solid 2B. Signed to a minor league contract, probably with an invitation to spring training, you’ve got to think he’s on the hunt for the Rays 2B slot. Good possibility to end up with the Bulls this year. He sounds happy.  Stats.
    • Jesus Feliciano, an outfielder, spent most of last year with the Mets’ AAA team, Buffalo. An outfielder, at 32 he might bring some maturity and depth to the Bulls. Trivia: He was in the Devil Rays system back in 2004. Stats.
    • RHP Romulo Sanchez is 27 and has some time with Indianapolis and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, so he’s likely to have visited the DBAP as well. He spent 2011 in Japan, so we’ll have to wait and see how he comes out of spring training. Stats.
    • Then there’s Matt Torra, whom we know and like from his time with us last year. Glad to have him back.
  • Durham Bulls stalwart, Justin Ruggiano, has been designated for assignment. He doesn’t sound too happy about it. Can’t say that I blame him. He spent a good bit of time in Durham last year, but my bet is that if he isn’t picked up on waivers he’ll try free agency. 
  • The Bulls have hired well-known local broadcaster Patrick Kinas to fill Neil Solondz's slot as the “voice” of the Bulls. Thirteen seasons in Double-A. Time to get called up. See commentary at a recent post on this blog.
  • Catcher Nevin Ashley cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Durham. Good news.
  • Dirk Hayhurst, possibly channeling his inner yoda, is offering advice to minor leaguers (here and here) as spring training approaches. His new book, Out of My League, is on the cusp of being published. However, as I recall, that was what he was saying when he showed up here last spring.
  • For the stats geeks among you, here is the godfather, Bill James, speaking out on the subject of great pitchers duels.


  1. I hadn't see all of the Ruggiano quotes. It does make it sound like he is ready to try somewhere else. He has earned his chance to try it if he thinks there is a place that would be a better fit for him.

    I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Rhymes make the Rays out of camp. I would think it would be either Rhymes or Elliot Johnson.

  2. I don't think that Rugg ever quite fit into the way the Rays like to platoon players. I've never studied his splits, but think they're pretty even. And then he's been somewhat in Upton's shadow ever since he (Rugg) came into the Rays system ... and then Jennings. So, unless he wants to try a career and a minor leaguer, maybe try free agency.
    Agree that EJ might be the next to go, but not until the end of spring training.

  3. With the Keppinger signing, Elliot Johnson's situation becomes even more difficult. He's going to need to have a great spring.

  4. This should be an interesting addition to the DBAP.

  5. Was wrong (no surprise there). Russ Canzler was DFAd. EJ still on roster. Interesting to see if Canzler makes it through waivers.

    1. I would be really surprised if someone doesn't grab Canzler.

  6. Agree. Except that if I understand the rule correctly, claiming team has to put him on 25-man roster, and pay at least major league minimum, so a considerable gamble for them if they've never even seen him play at major league level. But I'm no expert. Probably a way around that rule.

    1. Yeah, that is my understanding of the rule, too. I still think there have to be more than a couple of teams willing to risk it for him.