MLB Spring Training: Alumni Recap from 2/23

spring-trainingHere is how the former Stone Crabs did in Thursday’s spring training action.

  • Mikie Mahtook (Detroit): 1 for 2 with an RBI
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Rays Grapefruit League Opening Lineup Loaded with Stone Crabs

Austin Pruitt

Austin Pruitt will get the start for the Rays in Friday’s Grapefruit League opener.

The Tampa Bay Rays open their 2017 Grapefruit League schedule on Friday night with a trip to Fort Myers for a game against the Minnesota Twins. The Rays roster will be filled with former Stone Crabs including the game’s starter Austin Pruitt. In addition to Pruitt getting the ball for the start, he will have several former Stone Crabs behind him on the field including Casey Gillaspie at first, Tim Beckham at short, Johnny Field in right and Curt Casali will serve as the DH.

In addition to the Stone Crabs in the starting lineup, the following Stone Crabs will be available on the bench or in the bullpen:

  • Jose Alvardo
  • Nick Ciuffo
  • Jace Conrad
  • Jacob Faria
  • Ryan Garton
  • Jake Hager
  • Braxton Lee
  • Pat Leonard
  • Mike Marjama
  • Ryne Stanek
  • Dayron Varona
  • Hunter Wood
  • Kean Wong

That makes 18 of the 26 players traveling to Fort Myers former Stone Crabs.

Friday night’s game begins at 7:05 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.

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Stone Crabs Well Represented in World Baseball Classic

The Stone Crabs well be well represented in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.  Several Stone Crabs will be playing for their home counties in the event which kicks off in a few weeks.  Here is a list of who is playing and what flag they will be playing for.

  • Jose Alvarado – Venezuela
  • Alex Colome – Dominican Republic
  • Sam Fuld – Israel
  • Jake McGee – USA
  • Enny Romero – Dominican Republic
  • Drew Smyly – USA

Tournament play begins on March 6.  Below is a copy of the tournament format.




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Stone Crabs Fall in Season Finale

Nick Ciuffo 042916 (6)

Nick Ciuffo plated the lone Stone Crabs run.

The Stone Crabs were swept by the Palm Beach Cardinals after losing the season finale 3-1 on Sunday morning at Roger Dean Stadium.

The Cardinals broke the scoreless tie by scoring in the fourth inning.  With runners at the corners, Oscar Mercado reached on an error.  That allowed Andrew Brodbeck to score and give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead.

Palm Beach increased their lead an inning later.  Danny Diekroeger was struck by a pitch to lead off the inning.  He came around and scored following a ground out by Brodbeck to increase the lead to 2-0.

The Stone Crabs avoided being shut-out by scoring in the seventh inning. Thomas Milone singled on a bunt and later scored on an RBI single by Nick Ciuffo to cut the lead in half.

But the Cardinals stretched the lead back out to two by scoring in the eighth.  An RBI double by Mercado scored Steve Bean to extend the lead to 3-1.

The Stone Crabs put a runner on base in the ninth but failed to convert the runner into runs as they fell 3-1.

Benton Moss was charged with the loss.  Jacob Evans was the winning pitcher and Landon Beck recorded the save.

The Stone Crabs concluded the 2016 with an overall record of 64-71 which put them in fifth place in the FSL South Division.



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Stone Crabs Fall in Extras

Cristian Toribio

Cristian Toribio had three hits in Saturday’s loss.

The Stone Crabs overcame an early deficit only to fall in extra innings as they lost to the Palm Beach Cardinals 6-5 in ten innings on Saturday night at Roger Dean Stadium.  A four run sixth inning gave the Stone Crabs a lead that they squandered in the final three frames of the night.

Palm Beach jumped out to a lead by pushing across a pair of runs in the third inning.  Juan Herrera opened the inning with a triple to right field.  Jose Fernandez then drew a walk to put runners on the corners with no outs.  Herrera then scored on an RBI single by Oscar Mercado to break the scoreless tie.  Fernandez later scored on a sac fly by Casey Grayson to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.

The Stone Crabs trailed until the top of the sixth when they doubled down on Palm Beach.  They loaded the bases by Andrew Velazquez drawing a walk, Jace Conrad reaching on error and Grant Kay being hit by a pitch.  The Stone Crabs tied the game as Cristian Toribio drove home Velazquez and Conrad with an RBI single to right.  Kay then scored on a sac bunt by Riley Unroe.  Nathan Lukes followed with an RBI double to score Toribio to give the Stone Crabs a 4-2 lead.

The Stone Crabs added to their lead an inning later. Jonah Heim struck his first double as a Stone Crabs to leaf off the inning.  Heim later scored on an RBI single by Velazquez to increase the Stone Crabs lead to 5-2.

Palm Beach inched closer by scoring a pair of runs in the eighth inning.  Grayson drew a walk followed by a double by Danny Diekroeger to give the Cardinals two runners in scoring position.  They wouldn’t remain there long as Thomas Spitz followed with a double to score both runners and bring the Cardinals to within a run of the lead.

The Cardinals used home field advantage to help them tie the game in the bottom of the ninth.  Herrera singled to lead off the inning.  After advancing on a sac bunt and a fly out, he then scored on an RBI single by Brayan Pena to tie the game and force extra innings.

We wouldn’t need much bonus baseball to determine a winner as the Cardinals walked-off in the bottom of the tenth.  A leadoff walk issued to Grayson came back to haunt the Stone Crabs as he would later score on an RBI single by Dylan Tice to send the Stone Crabs back to the hotel with a 6-5 loss.

Diego Castillo was charged with the loss for the Stone Crabs.  Kyle Grana was the winning pitcher for Palm Beach.

The Stone Crabs conclude the 2016 season with a Sunday morning game against the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.  First pitch is scheduled for 10:30am.

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Harris Named to Postseason All-Star Team, Promoted to Triple-A Durham

Greg Harris

Greg Harris

Greg Harris has been named to the Florida State League Postseason All-Star Team as the lone representative of the Stone Crabs.  He was also promoted to the Durham Bulls yesterday.

Harris led the Stone Crabs staff with a 10-6 record and a 3.12 ERA in 26 games. This season he pitched two shut-outs and struck out 134 hitters in 147 innings pitched.

Harris was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 17th round of the 2013 draft.    He joined the Rays organization as part of a multi-player deal with the Dodgers in 2014.

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Stone Crabs Surrender Lead, Lose to Palm Beach

Joe McCarthy

Joe McCarthy was the only Stone Crabs hitter with multiple hits on Friday night.

After a few cancellations at the hands of Hurricane Hermine, the Stone Crabs headed east away from the rain and into a three game set against the Palm Beach Cardinals. The Stone Crabs watched an early lead disappear as they fell to the Cardinals 4-2 on Friday night at Roger Dean Stadium.

The Stone Crabs jumped out to an early two run lead by pushing across a pair of runs in the third inning. Thomas Milone doubled to left followed by Riley Unroe reaching on a hit by pitch. Both runners would score on a single by Joe McCarthy aided by a throwing error to give the Stone Crabs 2-0 lead.

Palm Beach answered back in the bottom of the third. Oscar Mercado doubled to left and later scored on an RBI single by Brayan Pena to cut the lead in half.

The Cardinals tied the game an inning later. A bases loaded sac fly by Jose Fernandez pushed across Dylan Tice to tie the game.

The Cardinals took the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. After scoring the tying run, Tice picked up the go-ahead RBI with a single to center that scored Brayan Pena and gave the Cardinals a 3-2 lead.

The Cardinals collected an insurance run in the sixth. A sac fly by Pena scored Chris Rivera to increase the Cardinals lead to 4-2.

The Stone Crabs put a runner in scoring position in the top of the seventh but that third base would be as close as it would get as the Crabs fell 4-2.

Chris Pike suffered the loss for the Stone Crabs. Jack Flaherty was the winning pitcher for Palm Beach and Dakota Hudson notched the save.

The series picks up on Saturday night at Roger Dean Stadium. Greg Maisto will get the ball for the Stone Crabs against Junior Fernandez for Palm Beach.

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Stone Crabs Well Represented in Arizona Fall League

Arizona Fall LeageAs the regular season winds down, attention begins to shift towards the various winter leagues. The Stone Crabs will be well represented this year in the prestigious Arizona Fall League as several Stone Crabs alums will be playing a few weeks in the Arizona desert.

The following current or former Stone Crabs will be in the Arizona Fall League:

  • Greg Bird
  • Diego Castillo
  • Nick Ciuffo
  • Greg Harris
  • Brent Honeywell
  • Justin O’Conner
  • Jared Sandberg – manager
  • Justin Williams
  • Kean Wong

They will be assigned to the Peoria Javelinas and will be joined by prospects from the Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners.

The 2016 Arizona Fall League kicks off with Opening Day on October 11 and wraps up with the Championship Game on November 19. The Fall Stars Game will be played on November 5 at Sal River Fields.

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Hurricane Hermine Cancels Home Finale

Fullscreen capture 912016 30514 PM.bmpTropical weather has had its way with the final homestand of the 2016 season as the home finale was cancelled tonight due to Hurrican Hermine.  Weather permitted, the Stone Crabs will travel to Palm Beach to finish the 2016 season with three games against the Palm Beach Cardinals.

The weather cancellations have also eliminated the Stone Crabs from playoff contention.

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Late Offensive Explosion Lift GCL Rays to Victory

Vidal Brujan 052716 (14)

Vidal Brujan continues to hit the ball well against the Red Sox, hitting .541 and recording a hit in all games played against them this season.  (Photo: Jim Donten)

The GCL Rays and GCL Red Sox were locked into a great pitching duel through much of the afternoon until both teams combined for ten runs in the final three innings with the Rays walking away with a 6-4 win. With the win, the Rays have pulled out of last place in the division and hold the second longest winning streak in the league at the moment.

The starters for each team really set the tempo with Rays starter Jesus Ortiz and Red Sox starter Hildemaro Requena exchanging zeroes through the first six innings. It wasn’t until the managers went to the bullpen before any team would get a run.
The Red Sox broke the scoreless tie in the tip of the seventh inning. Juan Barriento struck a solo home run to left to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead.

The Rays countered with a huge eighth inning. They home team batted around in the inning to produce six runs in the process. The inning opened with back to back extra base hits, a double by Vidal Brujan followed by an RBI triple by Jesus Sanchez to tie the game. The triple for Sanchez was his league leading fifth of the season. Sanchez later scored on a single by Michael Brosseau to give the Rays the lead.

The offense continued to put runners on the bases as Jose Tonton was hit by a pitch and Gilbert Marrero drew a walk to load the bases with just one out. Brosseau scored on a passed ball. Then a single by Ryan Caldwell scored both Tonton and Marrero. Caldwell would later score on a single by Deion Tansel to give the Rays a 6-1 lead.

The Red Sox mounted a rally in the top of the ninth. They pushed across three runs before Jayson McKinley got the remaining two outs of the inning to secure the victory.

Anthony Parente earned the win and improved to 2-1. McKinley picked up the save, his first. Devon Fisher was the losing pitcher for the Red Sox.

The series shifts to JetBlue Park for the finale on Thursday.

Box Summary


  • Vidal Brujan (2B): 3 for 5 with a double and a run scored
  • Jesus Sanchez (CF): 1 for 4 with a triple, RBI and a run scored
  • Michael Brosseau (3B): 1 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored
  • Jonathon Arrowood (DH): 0 for 4
  • Jose Tonton (RF): 1 for 2 with a run scored
  • Gilbert Marrero (1B): 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored
  • Alexander Alvarez (C): 0 for 4
  • Ryan Caldwell (LF): 1 for 4 with 2 RBI’s and a run scored
  • Deion Tansel (SS): 3 for 4 with an RBI


  • Jesus Ortiz: 6 scoreless innings with 3 hits, 3 strikeouts and a walk
  • Sam Long: 1 run on 1 hit with 2 strikeouts and a walk in 1 inning
  • Anthony Parente (Win, 2-1): 1 no-hit inning with a walk
  • Bryce Zak: 3 runs on 3 hits with a walk in 1/3 inning
  • Jayson McKinley (Save, 1): 2/3 no-hit inning
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