Saturday, August 2, 2008

8-2 CUP O' JO is having problems today so this is a quick-n-dirty version of Pearls... sorry!

Yesterday's Pearls:

Joey Gomes (Joliet Jackhammers):
1-4 with a single and a K in the Jackhammer's 2-7 loss to the League Leading Fargo Redhawks. .281 avg.

Chad Fillinger (Joliet) did not pitch.

Louis Ott (Lakeland Flying Tigers, A, Detroit):
1 -3 with a single, a walk, a run scored in the Tigers 6-4 win over Sarasota.

Tommy Everidge (Midland Rockhounds, AA, A's):
Postponed - rain.

Konrad Schmidt (Visalia Oaks, AA, Diamondbacks):
2-4 with two singles and a run scored and a walk in the Oaks 5-4 win over Stockton.

Stephen Pearson (Wichita Wingnuts, IND):
Day off for the Wingnuts.

Jonny Gomes (Tampa Bay Rays):
Did not play in Tampa's 5-2 win over Detroit last night.

Rays Chatter:
The Rays were not able to trade for a strong defensive rightie Right Fielder before the July 31st trade deadline, but are still feeling the need to strengthen that position as they make a playoff run. If the Rays make a move, Jonny is almost certainly the odd man out. Realistically, the Rays' options are limited to position to players already within the organization as post deadline trades are very difficult to pull off and likely to be blocked in an elaborate game of "chicken" by competing teams. Those complex tactics are worthy of a separate post, if not a separate blog so we won't go into them here. If the Rays feel the need to replace Jonny's bat with a higher average, they have two internal options: Durham Bull Justin Ruggiano is hitting just over .300 in AAA Durham and has done well in his brief stints with Tampa Bay earlier this season though he is not considered much of a defensive upgrade over Eric Hinske. But the Cinderella Story they seem to be pursuing is that of a healthy Rocco Baldelli . Right handed Outfielder Rocco Baldelli, long the sweetheart of the Rays organization, is due to be evaluated for possible activation from the DL. Rocco was a runner up for American League Rookie of the Year in 2003. He has endured a score of injuries over the last 3 years and if he were ever healthy over the course of a season could be a force both offensively and defensively. He has been diagnosed with a mitochondrial disorder which affects his muscles' ability to recover quickly and completely from exercise. Earlier this season, Rocco's return seemed to be a real long shot, but his doctors and trainers think they have managed to control his condition. The ultimate test was a 7 inning stint in RF for the Montgomery Biscuits last night. If all went well, the Rays may well activate him and skip the customary AAA stint to get him to Tampa Bay. If the Rays opt for either Ruggiano or Baldelli, they need to clear a spot on the 25 man roster and Gomes is on the bubble.

After the July 31st Non Waiver Trade deadline, any player on the 40 man roster must clear waivers before being traded or sent down to the minors if he's out of options. Basically, the player must be offered to other teams and that occurs in reverse order of the standings so that the weaker teams are in position to benefit most. If any team claims the player, the players current team can withdraw the "offer" (waiver request) and keep the player but it limits the moves that could be made with that player as the season progresses... and it ties up a roster spot. They, of course, can also opt to let the player go to the team that claimed him and the new team is obligated to the player's current contract. There have been a few cases of teams invoking other rules to try to block trades that they perceive as stengthening a competitor's position. They are risky in that the blocking team may end up owning the contract of a player they don't really have a spot for. If interest in Jonny before the trade deadline was high, the Rays could easily lose him by passing him through waivers. If there was little or no interest, he could easily end up back in Durham and have a chance to get the bat going in time for September call ups. As tough as that is, PTownFan sees Durham as a pretty productive stop on the road to post season play for Jonny. Sitting on the bench has never worked for him. Time will tell. For another explanation of Waiver Wire transactions:

Update: A Rays discussion board has confirmed that Jonny does indeed have one option remaining... so I think he could do one more stint in Durham with out needing to clear waivers. Researching further... stay tuned.

Brandon Morrow (Seattle Mariners):
Did not pitch in last night's loss to Baltimore.

DJ Gentile:
Plays first game in the NBC World Series on Monday.

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