The Undercards: Nolan Gannon Shines in Lone Rays Minor League Game

By Robbie Knopf

Just one game in the Rays minor league system on Tuesday, but a few members of the team made it count.

Rookie Gulf Coast League: GCL Orioles 5, GCL Rays 1

Final score wasn’t so pretty, but there were some highlights in this one for the Rays prospects. 20 year old right-hander Jorge Rodriguez got the start and had an unfortunate outing, allowing 5 runs, just 2 earned, on 8 hits in 5 innings, striking out 2 while walking 1 and posting a great 8-2 groundout to flyout ratio. Groundball pitchers are in trouble in Rookie Ball. Sorry, Jorge. The last 3 innings were pitched by Nolan Gannon, the Rays’ 4th round pick in 2012, and the 18 year old right-hander was great, allowing no runs on 1 hit in 3 innings, striking out 3 while walking 1 and posting a 2-0 groundout to flyout ratio. The Rays are gradually stretching him out, going from 1 inning in his first appearance to 2 in his second to 3 in his third, and eventually, he should be starting games. On offense, Benjamin Kline got back on track after an 0 for 6 “slide” dropped his batting average from .607 to .500 (gasp), going 2 for 3 with a walk in the game, while Armando Araiza went 1 for 4 with a double and the GCL Rays’ only RBI. Tough loss for the GCL Rays, but nice to see Gannon pitched great, Rodriguez forcing grounders, Araiza driving in a run, and Kline getting back on a tear.