-Opening day rosters have been announced. Notables below:
AAA Durham Bulls
P Jeremy Helickson (opening day), P Joaquin Benoit, C John Jaso, OF Justin Ruggiano, OF Fernando Perez
AA Montgomery Biscuits
P Alex Torres (opening day), P Jake McGee, P Aneury Rodriguez, P David Newmann, P Darin Downs (recovered from that awful line drive), P Matt Gorgen, C Nevin Ashley, C Jose Lobaton, IF Shawn O' Malley
A+ Charlotte Stone Crabs
P Matt Moore (opening day), P Nick Barnese, P Joseph Cruz, RP Marquis Fleming, RP Josh Satow, RP Zach Quate (skips Bowling Green), C Jake Jefferies, SS Tim Beckham, 3B/1B Matt Sweeney ( a little surprising he isn't in AA), COF Kyeong Kang
A Bowling Green Hot Rods
P Alex Colome, P Wilking Rodriguez, P Kyle Lobstein, P Jason McEachern, RP Scott Shuman, RP Kirby Yates, SS Tyler Bortnick, OF Ty Morrison, OF Brett Nommensen
Tim Beckham's brother Jeremy was released, along with 2008 7th round pick, OF Jason Corder, and P Austin Hinkle. RP Neil Frontz also was released. Frontz fizzled out at AA where he was failed to meet expectations after a year and a half there. He is also coming off elbow surgery.
Some minor housekeeping notes from around the Rays farm system:
-Durham catcher John Jaso broke a finger when he was struck by a pitch, but appears to be healthy and ready to go for the season.
-Elliot Johnson has cleared waivers, and is expected to return to Durham.
-Hank Blalock has decided to accept his assignment to Durham.
-Fourth round draft pick, catcher Luke Bailey is throwing the ball back to the pitcher and is expected to begin throwing bases soon. Bailey is recovering from Tommy John surgery which affected his draft stock. If Bailey can make a complete recovery, he can wind up as the steal of the draft..
-Right-handed pitcher Alex Cobb is expected to return from an oblique injury in late April-early May. Cobb is expected to be in the rotation in Montgomery.
-2007 second round draft pick out of Ole Miss, pitcher Will Kline is heading to extended Spring Training as he makes his return from a torn labrum which cost him the past two seasons. He completed two innings in a minor league spring training game marking his return to live action.
-Top prospect outfielder Desmond Jennings continues to make progress in his recovery from a Spring Training wrist injury. He is bunting off a pitching machine and taking soft toss swings. There is no stated timetable for his return, but it is not expected to be any significant length of time.
-Toolsy outfield prospect D.J. Jones has decided to retire from baseball. Jones was selected in 11th round of the 2007 draft out of high school. He has struggled at the plate, though he flashed signs late in the year last season at Princeton. He had been expected to play for Bowling Green in 2010.
-Shortstop Tim Beckham also will miss opening day with a wrist injury. The former top pick in the draft is slated to play for Charlotte in the Florida State League. As with Jennings, the injury is not expected to keep him on the sidelines for long.
Special thanks to Stacy Long for busting his tail throughout Spring Training in Port Charlotte.