Thursday, March 31, 2011

Frisco, Pelicans rosters

The rosters have been finalized for both AA and HighA, while the starting rotations for the other 2 clubs have been noted by Evan Grant. I have updated the system roster accordingly.

Low A consequences: Villanueva wins a spot in Low A; Braden Tullis and Nick McBride not in roto to begin season

HighA Notables: Santiago Chirino Hill, Jared Hoying, Ryan Strausborger and Mike Olt skip lowA; Matt Thompson, ODLS, and Andy Doyle MIA; Kiker still getting chances; Gomez and Bell start in pen.

AA Notables: Lemon MIA; Osuna repeats; Mendonca promoted; Robinzon Diaz retained; JJ Ruiz does not start in AAA; Morrison, Sarmiento, and Castillo start on DL; Bleier is rehabbing but is not currently on the DL

AAA consequences: nice veteran lineup; horrible veteran bullpen; 3 legit prospects in the roto

Kevin Goldstein says that Marcus Lemon has been traded for a PTBNL.
Scott Lucas has Kevin Castner as "retired" on his roster - haven't heard that from anyone else. I think Cole noted that he was pitching on the back fields only a few weeks ago. Lucas also notes that TK Ahn has been released (finally).
I noted in the Fall that both D-Gut and Miggy V were candidates to be released in the off-season. D-Gut has been released per Jason Cole. Miggy V was not invited to spring training to my knowledge and remains on the suspended/restricted list - there is still time. Hopefully Texas just makes it a first principle to avoid wasting time with these types in the future, or at least, choose to stick to their draft rhetoric: "we are only interested in high makeup guys..." Wait, they did sign the PEDS-suspended Omar Quintanilla so first principles will only take you so far it seems...

The SWST has noted a few more minor leaguers who have been released:
Koncel, Meiners, Nelo, Taubenheim
The last one of note was another headcase who was suspended for PEDS last year and another who I predicted was a candidate for release: Christian Santana.

Still waiting on Hickory to release their roster. The rosters for the other three clubs have been set. Jason Cole confirms that OF Salvador Sanchez is converting to the mound, a possiblity that I noted at the time of his signing due to his age (25.5), size (6.6/195) and the Rangers general proclivity to do this sort of thing.

Scott Lucas _might_ think that T-Mart and David Herrera will debut with the Crawdads. That would be cool. I'm willing to finally put my man crush on Edwin "Easy Eddie" Garcia on the back burner in service to the cause of Herrera, Chirino, T-Mart and Villanueva (but not Leury). I also hope that Telis gets a chance to start in Hickory (rather than in extended) as he simply has to have as many innings behind the plate as possible after missing a season of development there due to his TJ surgery.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

j2 signs

I'm a little out of pocket these days so I only have time to update the roster. The Rangers' transaction page lists a few more j2 signs. I think that some of them might have been posted (most are from November) only after their contracts/documents cleared. Nevertheless they are there now, so check out the DSL section of the projected system rosters in the side bar for those 9 new names: a couple of OF, a couple more MIF, a couple of corner infielders, and three pitchers.


Monday, March 7, 2011

BA Profie: Cephus Howard

Here is profile on Cephus Howard that BA posted after his 2009 year (sub.) in Indy Ball:

3. Cephus Howard, rhp, Schamburg (Northern)
Age: 24. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 240.

He may be 25 (he's had a birthday since the season ended), but Howard is still an extremely raw pitcher with a good reason to be unrefined. Howard was a catcher growing up, and he didn't begin pitching until after a knee injury and ineligibility as a senior ended his career at USC Aiken (because of a knee injury, he never played in a college game). But even though he was new to pitching, the Angels saw enough to draft him in the 37th round in 2007. The Angels gave him two seasons before releasing him after a very brief stint in high Class A Rancho Cucamonga this season.

Pitching with the Flyers, Howard showed that he's a work in progress with an unrefined delivery but he already has shown control and should continue to improve as he gets more accustomed to pitching. His fastball sits between 88-91, touching 93 mph and he also throws a cutter, a tight slider and an inconsistent 12-to-6 curveball. Howard's stuff was good enough to blow away a lot of Northern League hitters especially as the season went along. He allowed only one hit in his final 7 2/3 innings of work while striking out six. For the season he struck out more than a batter an inning (47 Ks in 42 IP) and had an excellent 1.71 ERA.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cephus Howard

Rangers inked 26yo Cephus Howard yesterday, an enormous RH reliever (6.5-6.6/245) who pitched in Indy ball the last 2 years. He was drafted late by the Angels in 2007. As he didn't even pitch in college - his first year on the mound was in rookie league - I guess he qualifies as a classic Texas bullpen sign: late to the game with a good fastball. He likely will compete for a spot in HighA or AA, possibly even starting out in extended or possibly not making a club at all. Whatever the case, this kid has an interesting story:

Howard says, "In the Spring (after academic suspension) I got a job and I was like, I don't know about this. So I moved to Atlanta and I got a trainer and a pitching coach and it went from there."