Bill Chastain writes regularly for devilrays.com. We would like to think that a writer that specializes in a certain topic, in this case it is the Tampa Bay Devil Rays…would know more about the topic than the average fan that is reading his articles. No? OK, then is it too much to ask that he know at least as much as the average fan? Apparently it is too much to ask.
Yesterday, Chastain gave us an article entitled “With No. 1 pick, Rays sit atop 2007 Draft“. The first part of the story is a nice little Kansian piece about the When, the Where and the Who. Towards the end, Chastain decides to give us a Devil Rays Draft history lesson, during which he recaps what has happened to several of the recent draft picks since they became Devil Rays. There was just one small problem…We take that back…There were only several large errors…
[On Jeff Niemann] Neimann has struggled with injuries, but is now at Triple-A Durham and appears on the fast track to reach Tropicana Field. He has three quality pitches, he throws strikes and he’s working on a changeup and a splitter. If healthy, he could dominate.
Niemann has never struggled with injuries. Yes he did have one surgery that caused him to miss considerable time and has delayed his arrival to the big leagues. BUT, that was not really an injury as much as it was preventative maintenance. Niemann had the bone shaved down in his shoulder so that it would not cause problems in the future. Even if you do want to call that an injury. That is but one injury. Not injuries.
[On Wade Townsend] Townsend spent the 2006 season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery that was performed on Nov. 21, 2005. He is now pitching for Class A Columbus. Prior to his surgery, he had a good fastball, which is expected to come back.
Townsend did have a mid-90s fastball when he was drafted but most scouts thought his best pitch was his knuckle-curve. Two plus-pitches is why many scouts projected Townsend as a closer in the majors.
[On Reid Brignac] Rising fast: Reid Brignac, a shortstop, was the Rays’ Minor League Player of the Year in 2006 after combining to hit .321 with 24 home runs and 99 RBIs at Class A Visalia and Montgomery. He is earmarked to be the team’s shortstop of the future, a player known for his bat but one who has come a long way with the glove.
We know it is early, but Brignac has regressed with the glove. He has 13 errors in 54 games. 2006 looks like the exception more than the rule.
And our personal favorite…
[On Andy Sonnanstine] Cinderella Story: Andy Sonnanstine, a right-handed pitcher taken in the 13th round of the 2004 Draft, was named the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2006 after setting a Minor League single-season record with 15 wins. What he lacks in physical gifts he more than makes up for with mound savvy and pinpoint control. He is currently pitching at Durham.
Please keep in mind that this article went up on the website on Monday. We guess we can forgive Mr. Chastain for missing the news that the Rays promoted Sonnanstine last Friday and is starting for the Rays tonight in Toronto.
Other Rays news that Mr. Chastain may have missed:
- That short Japanese guy that is playing third base, is not Aubrey Huff.
- No, Lou Piniella is not much calmer these days. That is Joe Maddon in the dugout.
- The Rays are not tied for first place in the AL East. The Yankees really suck this year.
- The team in green is the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
- Bill Chastain is paid to cover the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, not the 4-H hog-tying festival.
With No. 1 pick, Rays sit atop 2007 Draft [DevilRays.com]