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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Will Rhymes one of four signed to minor league contracts with invites to camp
Posted Jan 19, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated Jan 19, 2012 at 05:51 PM
The Rays signed four players to minor league contracts with invites to spring training, including Will Rhymes, who was the Tigers Opening Day second baseman last season.
Also signed were right-handed pitchers Matt Torra and Romulo Sanchez and outfielder Jesus Feliciano.
All but Torra have experience at the major league level.
From the Rays release:
Rhymes, 28, split the 2011 season between the Tigers and Toledo (AAA), batting .235 (20-for-85) in 29 games over three different major league stints and .306 (124-for-405) in 104 games at Triple-A. In 2010 he spent the second half of the season with the Tigers and batted .304 (58-for-191) in 54 games after his call-up on July 25. The left-handed hitter has compiled a career .291 batting average and 138 stolen bases over seven minor league seasons.
Feliciano, 32, combined to bat .268 (114-for-425) with 39 RBI at Binghamton (AA) and Buffalo (AAA) in the New York Mets organization last season. After 12 seasons in the minors, the outfielder served his first and only stint in the major leagues in 2010 with the Mets when he played 54 games as a replacement for Jason Bay while he was on the disabled list. He played for Puerto Rico in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and previously played in the Rays farm system from 2003-04, reaching as high as Montgomery (AA). He has a .283 career average over 14 seasons in the minors.
Sanchez, 27, spent the 2011 season playing for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Japan Pacific League where he posted a 4.96 ERA (16.1-IP, 9-ER) in 15 appearances and was teammates with former Rays infielder Akinori Iwamura. The right-hander has compiled a 4.04 ERA in 28 relief appearances over three major league seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates (2007-08) and New York Yankees (2010). He has a 32-25 record with a 4.09 ERA over seven seasons in the minors.
Torra, 27, re-signs with the Rays after going 5-1 with a 3.67 ERA (61.1-IP, 25-ER) in 11 starts for Durham (AAA) after being acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 1 last season in exchange for cash considerations. Starting in August, the righty went 5-0 with a 1.94 ERA (37-IP, 8-ER) and only three walks over his final six starts. He was originally selected by the Diamondbacks in the first round (31st overall) of the 2005 June Draft and has compiled a 52-45 record with a 4.46 ERA over seven minor league seasons.