Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rays Cut 11 Including Justin Ruggiano!

It is just 12 days until Opening Day and the have trimmed the number of players in camp to 34. The starting pitching is set. James Shields (28) will be the opening day starter. He will be followed in the rotation by Jeff Niemann (27), Matt Garza (26), David Price (24) and Wade Davis (24). Andy Sonnanstine will remain with the team, but coming out of the bullpen, not starting ball games. Eleven players were cut today. Dan Johnson, who came back to Tampa Bay after a year in Japan, will not be making the squad. Fellow first baseman Ryan Shealy was sent to minor league camp along with pitchers Winston Abreu, Joe Bateman, Jeff Bennett, Richard De Los Santos, Carlos Hernandez and Heath Phillips. Infielder Angel Chavez was also reassigned. The most surprising, make that shocking move involved Justin Ruggiano being optioned to AAA Durham. Ruggiano was leading the team with a .447 batting average and had 3 homers and 11 RBI so far this spring. He also had 3 triples, 3 stolen bases and an .868 slugging percentage. It makes you wonder how good a spring he would have had to have in order to make this team. Meanwhile, aging outfielder Gabe Kapler, who has yet to have a hit for extra bases, remains in camp. No matter how hard I try, I cannot grasp the logic behind cutting Ruggiano, I just can’t. What do you think Tampa Bay?

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