The Undercards: Richie Shaffer Plays Left Field, Rhyne Hughes, Omar Luna Cool Off


Richie Shaffer‘s future position remains in question- especially given he’s a third baseman with some guy named Evan Longoria blocking him on the Rays. Shaffer got a taste of first base this fall in the Arizona Fall League, and then on Friday got to try another new position.

Arizona Fall League: Phoenix Desert Dogs 4, Scottsdale Scorpions 3

A couple of Rays prospects came up huge against a Yankees prospect as Phoenix came away with a dramatic win. With the game tied at 3 in the bottom of the 8th inning, Richie Shaffer doubled off of Yankees prospect Dellin Betances, and after Josh Prince (Brewers) pinch-ran for Shaffer, Kevin Kiermaier came away with a go-ahead RBI single that was the margin of victory for the Desert Dogs. Kiermaier went 1 for 2 with 2 walks and his huge RBI, Shaffer went 1 for 4 but made his one hit count, and a third Rays prospect had a nice game, Tim Beckham, who went 2 for 4 with 2 stolen bases. Shaffer usually is only allowed to play on Wednesdays and Saturdays as he’s a taxi-squad player for Phoenix, but apparently an injury pressed him into action and got him some nice experience in left field for the first time in his professional career and in a clutch situation in the 8th inning.

Dominican Winter League: Aguilas Cibaenas 2, Gigantes del Cibao 1

Not much going on here in terms of the Rays prospects as Rhyne Hughes and Omar Luna saw their hot streaks come to an end. Hughes, the ex-Rays prospect and former big leaguer for the Orioles, went 0 for 2 with 2 strikeouts and a walk- he now has an impressive 11-9 strikeout to walk ratio on the season- while Luna went 0 for 4 with an error at shortstop. Luna had his 6-game hitting streak snapped the other day and is now hitting just .236 on the DWL season.

Tigres del Licey 3, Leones del Escogido 2

Enny Romero‘s future may be as a late-inning reliever. He had a chance to come through in a key situation in the 8th inning of this game but could not do the job. With second and third and 1 out with the Leones clinging to a 2-1 lead, Romero entered the game to face Rangers top prospect Jurickson Profar. Romero got Profar to hit a groundball, but Profar beat Romero’s throw to 1st to tie the game. That was Romero’s only batter in the game. A couple ex-Rays also appeared in this one, Juan Miranda, who went 1 for 2 with a run scored, and Julio Lugo, who went 0 for 3.

Mexican Winter League: Yaquis de Obregon 2, Mayos de Navojoa 1

Wes Bankston just continued to keep hitting for Navojoa, going 2 for 4 in this one. He has a .333/.416/.560 line in 21 games for the Mayos with 2 doubles, 5 homers, 13 RBI, and 12 walks against 12 strikeouts. After retiring for 2011 and playing in the Mexican League in 2012, Bankston should get an offer to play at Triple-A for some organization this offseason, and it may just be the Rays, with the chance of Bankston seeing big league time at first base if he continues to hit like crazy.

Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League: Gigantes de Carolina 6, Cangrejeros de Santurce 1

The Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League in Puerto Rico opened its doors the other night and a few current and former Rays are taking part, including two in this one. Jesus Feliciano, who spent 2012 in the Rays’ minor league system, went 1 for 5 with an RBI for Carolina while Felipe Lopez, who filled in for the Rays when Evan Longoria was injured in 2011, went 0 for 3 with a walk.

Venezuelan Winter League: Navegantes de Magallanes 5, Bravos de Margarita 4

The Magallanes rallied for 2 in the 9th for a walk-off win in this one but unfortunately their 3-man Rays contingent was not a big part of that. Leslie Anderson had his first bad game of the VWL, going 0 for 5 with 3 strikeouts and Erold Andrus went 1 for 4. Chris Nowak did have a nice game, going 1 for 2 with 2 walks and 2 RBI, and Sean Burroughs went 1 for 3 with a double, 2 walks, and an RBI for Margarita. Burroughs has been great for the Bravos, posting a .319/.395/.500 line with 4 doubles, 3 homers, 16 RBI, and 11 strikeouts versus 8 walks in 19 games.

Leones del Caracas 13, Cardelanes de Lara 4

Caracas rolled with help from a couple former Rays minor leaguers. Henry Wrigley went 1 for 3 with 2 RBI and 3 runs scored, although he left the game after a hit-by-pitch, while Daniel Mayora went 2 for 4 with a walk, a stolen base, an RBI, and a run scored. We do hope that the Rays re-sign Wrigley, who is a minor league free agent this offseason, and his .319 average with 8 home runs for Caracas is certainly no excuse for them not to.