Rays News and Notes: Farnsworth Injured, Vogt Up, Guyer Ensnared

By Robbie Knopf

When Matt Bush hit a motorcyclist with a car and fled from the scene, it ended his time with the Rays and could end his baseball career. Other than the terrible thing that happened to the man involved, who is now in critical condition, there now is another ramification. Bush’s license was suspended at the time of the accident. And he was not in his own car. Rays outfield prospect Brandon Guyer, who we just talked about earlier today, had lent Bush his car, not knowing Bush’s license had been suspended. Because of that, the Tampa Bay Times is reporting that Guyer is being sued along with Bush for 5 million dollars because of his connection to the crash. You have to feel bad for Guyer for getting hurt because of something he simply didn’t know. Hopefully Guyer will be able to get out of this and get on track at Triple-A Durham and the big leagues before too long.

And then there’s the goings-on with the Rays roster. Kyle Farnsworth is experiencing problems with his elbow similar to what he went through this past September and will start the season on the DL. Farnsworth pitched so well in 2011 and hopefully he can get healthy and provide the Rays with more quality high-leverage innings. Joel Peralta and Fernando Rodney will handle the closer duties in his absence. With Farnsworth going on the DL, Josh Lueke is set to take his roster spot with Brandon Gomes not 100% following back surgery.

In addition, the Rays decided that Jeff Salazar, another player we mentioned today, was not a good enough hitter to warrant a major league roster spot and have instead called up the heavy-hitting Stephen Vogt. Vogt can do a lot of things: he can hit for power, a little average, he has a good eye at the plate, and although he doesn’t move well defensively anywhere, he has a good arm and can handle catcher, first base, left field, and even right field in a pinch. Luke Scott might see some time in the outfield with Ben Zobrist at second base to get Vogt some at-bats.

Expected to be announced soon is the winner of the Rays shortstop competition between Reid Brignac and Sean Rodriguez. I would rather Brignac be declared the victor because he has much more offensive upside, is significantly better defensively, and because having Rodriguez on the bench gives the Rays more defensive flexibility as Brignac can only play shortstop and second base.

All in all, the Rays have a few injuries as they begin the season, but they have a strong team and this season should be exciting.