Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Ruggiano headlines cuts
Posted Mar 24, 2010 by Roger Mooney
Updated Mar 24, 2010 at 05:59 PM
PORT CHARLOTTE Outfielder Justin Ruggiano, who is having one of the better springs among the Rays players, was optioned to Triple A Durham this afternoon as the Rays trimmed 11 players from their roster.
Ruggiano leaves with a .447 average and 11 RBIs. With the backlog of outfielders, there is no room on the Rays roster for Ruggiano, who played 45 games for the Rays in 2008 when he bounced between the Rays and Durham four times.
“I feel like I’m leaving here with my head up and knowing confidently that I’m ready, I’m ready for the next step and I’m ready to stay,” Ruggiano said. “I respect the Rays decision but hopefully the next time it’s more of an opportunity to stay and help out on a regular basis whether it’s a backup role or as a regular outfielder.”
Dan Johnson, whose ninth-inning pinch-hit home run in Boston in September 2008 will live forever in Rays lore, is believed to have been placed on waivers.
Reassigned to minor camp were:
RHP Winston Abreu
RHP Joe Bateman
RHP Jeff Bennett
RHP Richard De Los Santos
LHP Carlos Hernandez
LHP Heath Phillips
INF Angel Chavez
INF J.J. Furmaniak
INF Ryan Shealy
The Rays have 34 players remaining in camp. They have to get down 25 by April 4.