Durham 9, Ottawa 5. The Rays outfield is like musical chairs. Too many bodies and not enough chairs. Well, it might be time to add another name to the mix. Justin Ruggiano. Not the same pedigree of the others, but all this kid does is hit the ball and he hits it hard. Ruggiano was the “other” player the Rays received when they sent Toby Hall and Mark Hendrickson to the Dodgers for Jae Seo and Dioner Navarro. How ironic if Ruggiano ends up being the best player in the bunch. Just a 25th round selection in 2004, he is already knocking on the door of the major leagues and the Rays may have to open it in September. Last year, after struggling in the first 2/3 of the year in the Dodger organization, he came to the Rays and hit .333/.442/.630 in 31 games at AA Montgomery, with 21 extra-base hits. This season he has picked up right where he left off with AAA Durham. Last night he went 3-5 with 2 doubles and an RBI. On the season he is hitting .308 with 14 doubles and 10 home runs. He also had his 9th stolen base last night…Ben Zobrist added a double and 2 RBI, but he is hitting only .238 and he also committed his 7th error in 22 games since being demoted. On the mound, Jason Hammel struggled, giving up 4 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks in 5 innings. He allowed runs in the 3 different frames and now has an ERA of 3.42.
Montgomery 5, Mobile 3. Could this be the game that gets Reid Brignac back on track? Brignac went 3-5 with a solo home run in the 9th. He is now hitting .256. Fernando Perez had 2 hits including his 2 home run and his 12th stolen base. He is hitting .289. Derek Feldkamp gave up only 1 run in 4.1 innings.
Vero Beach 8, Fort Myers 2 (7 inn). Mike Wlodarczyk gave up 2 runs in 4 innings. We wish he would give up a couple of letters from his last name. Erold Andrus hit his 8th home run in the rain-shortened game.
Columbus 4, Charleston 2. On the same day that the Rays added to their minor league pitching depth, the first pitcher they draft last season, Josh Butler (2nd round), picked up his 5th win (5-1) throwing 8 solid innings, allowing 2 runs on 9 hits an no walks. He struck out 5 and his ERA is now 2.15.
NOTES FROM DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Justin Ruggiano is tied for 4th in the IL in HR and he is 6th in OPS.
- Jason Hammel leads the IL in strikeouts with 75. Andy Sonnanstine is still tied for 3rd in the IL with Jeff Niemann (66). JP Howell is 6th with 64.
- Catcher John Jaso is 5th in the SL with a .331 average.
- Evan Longoria leads the SL with 14 home runs, tied for 2nd with 46 RBI and is 3rd with a .965 OPS.
- Chris Mason leads the SL with 8 wins (8-1), is 2nd with a 2.31 ERA, and tied for 2nd with 64 strikeouts.
- Wade Davis is 2nd in the FSL with 75 strikeouts and Jacob McGee is 5th with 71. Davis is 3rd with a 1.88 ERA an McGee is 8th (2.63).
- Heath Rollins is 2nd in the SAL with a 1.51 ERA, 2nd in strikeouts (75) and 6th in WHIP (0.97).