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2005 season preview

Devil Rays at a glance

By Times Staff
Published April 3, 2005

PITCHERS

DANYS BAEZ, 28

AGE: 27.

B/T: R/R. HT/WT: 6-3/225.

BORN/LIVES: Pinar Del Rio, Cuba/Miami.

HOW ACQUIRED: Signed as a free agent in January 2004.

CONTRACT STATUS: $3.5-million in second year of two-year, $6.5-million deal; Rays hold $4-million option for 2006 with $1-million buyout.

PROJECTED ROLE: Closer.

DID YOU KNOW?: Baez converted 30 of 33 save opportunities. His .909 save percentage was fourth in the American League and seventh in the majors.

ROB BELL, 41

AGE: 28

B/T: R/R. HT/WT: 6-5/225.

BORN/LIVES: Newburgh, N.Y./Tampa.

HOW ACQUIRED: Signed to a minor-league contract in March 2003.

CONTRACT STATUS: $800,000 one-year deal; Rays retain rights.

PROJECTED ROLE: No. 4 starter.

DID YOU KNOW?: Bell played baseball and basketball and ran cross-country at Marlboro (N.Y.) Central High.

DEWON BRAZELTON, 45

AGE: 24.

B/T: R/R. HT/WT: 6-4, 214.

BORN/LIVES: Tullahoma, Tenn.

HOW ACQUIRED: First-round selection (third overall) in 2001 draft.

CONTRACT STATUS: $1,124,000 one-year deal; Rays retain rights.

PROJECTED ROLE: Opening day starter.

DID YOU KNOW?: Brazelton received the 2004 Tony Conigliaro Award, given to players who have overcome adversity through determination and courage.

LANCE CARTER, 38

AGE: 30.

B/T: R/R. HT/WT: 6-1/190.

BORN/LIVES: Bradenton.

HOW ACQUIRED: Signed as a free agent in January 2002.

CONTRACT STATUS: $361,000 one-year deal; Rays retain rights.

PROJECTED ROLE: Middle to short relief.

DID YOU KNOW?: Carter had Tommy John surgeries on his right elbow in 1996 and 2000.

JESUS COLOME, 49

AGE: 27.

B/T: R/R. HT/WT: 6-2, 205.

BORN/LIVES: San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic.

HOW ACQUIRED: From the Athletics for pitchers Jim Mecir and Todd Belitz in July 2000.

CONTRACT STATUS: $600,000 one-year deal; Rays retain rights.

PROJECTED ROLE: Late-inning setup man.

DID YOU KNOW?: Colome last season held opponents to a .193 batting average.

CASEY FOSSUM, 15

AGE: 27.

B/T: B/L. HT/WT: 6-1/160.

BORN/LIVES: Cherry Hill, N.J./Frisco, Texas.

HOW ACQUIRED: From the Diamondbacks for outfielder Jose Cruz in February 2005.

CONTRACT STATUS: $950,000 one-year deal with 2006 mutual option; Rays retain rights.

PROJECTED ROLE: Middle reliever.

DID YOU KNOW?: Fossum was acquired by the Rays on Super Bowl Sunday while he was in Tampa awaiting an arbitration hearing.

TRAVIS HARPER, 58

AGE: 28.

B/T: L/R. HT/WT: 6-4/192.

BORN/LIVES: Harrisonburg, Va./Riverton, W.Va.

HOW ACQUIRED: Signed as free agent in June 1998.

CONTRACT STATUS: $745,000 one-year deal; Rays retain rights.

PROJECTED ROLE: Middle/short relief.

DID YOU KNOW? Harper's 158 appearances are fourth in club history.

MARK HENDRICKSON, 30

AGE: 30.

B/T: L/L. HT/WT: 6-9/230.

BORN/LIVES: Mount Vernon, Wash.

HOW ACQUIRED: From Toronto in a December 2003 three-way trade that sent Joe Kennedy to Colorado.

CONTRACT STATUS: $362,500 one-year deal; Rays retain rights.

PROJECTED ROLE: No. 3 starter.

DID YOU KNOW?: Hendrickson was the sixth major-league pitcher 6-9 or taller.

SCOTT KAZMIR, 26

AGE: 21.

B/T: L/L. HT/WT: 6-0/170.

BORN/LIVES: Houston.

HOW ACQUIRED: From the Mets with pitcher Jose Diaz for pitchers Victor Zambrano and Bartolome Fortunato in July 2004.

CONTRACT STATUS: $316,000 one-year deal; Rays retain rights.

PROJECTED ROLE: No. 2 starter.

DID YOU KNOW?: Kazmir was Baseball America's 2002 high school player of the year.

SETH McCLUNG, 37

AGE: 24.

B/T: R/R. HT/WT: 6-6/235.

BORN/LIVES: Lewisburg, W.Va.

HOW ACQUIRED: Fifth-round pick in 1999 draft.

CONTRACT STATUS: $320,000 one-year deal; Rays retain rights.

PROJECTED ROLE: Middle reliever.

DID YOU KNOW?: McClung wears No. 37 in tribute to brother Marcus, who wore the number before injuring his knee playing in the Canadian Football League.

TREVER MILLER, 51

AGE: 31.

B/T: R/L. HT/WT: 6-3/200.

BORN/LIVES: Louisville, Ky./Mt. Washington, Ky.

HOW ACQUIRED: Signed as a free agent in January 2004.

CONTRACT STATUS: $1.1-million one-year deal; Rays retain rights.

PROJECTED ROLE: Left-handed relief specialist.

DID YOU KNOW?: Miller's 60 appearances last season were the second-most by a left-hander in club history behind Doug Creek's 66 in 2001.

HIDEO NOMO, 11

AGE: 36.

B/T: R/R. HT/WT: 6-2/235.

BORN/LIVES: Osaka, Japan/Tokyo.

HOW ACQUIRED: Signed as a free agent in January 2005.

CONTRACT STATUS: $800,000 one-year deal.

PROJECTED ROLE: No. 5 starter.

DID YOU KNOW?: Nomo in 1995 became the first Japanese-born player to join a major-league team after playing professionally in Japan's Central or Pacific leagues.

FRANKLIN NUNEZ, 47

AGE: 28.

B/T: R/R. HT/WT: 6-0/175.

BORN/LIVES: Nagua, Dominican Republic/Rincon, Dominican Republic.

HOW ACQUIRED: Signed as a free agent in February 2004.

CONTRACT STATUS: $316,500 one-year deal; Rays retain rights.

PROJECTED ROLE: Short relief.

DID YOU KNOW?: Nunez's sometimes 100-mph fastball was named best in the Eastern League by Baseball America in 2001.

BOBBY SEAY, 46

AGE: 26.

B/T: L/L. HT/WT: 6-2/235.

BORN/LIVES: Sarasota/Gulfport.

HOW ACQUIRED: Signed as free agent in November 1996.

CONTRACT STATUS: $325,000 one-year deal; Rays retain rights.

PROJECTED ROLE: Middle relief.

DID YOU KNOW? Seay did not allow a run last season in 10 innings and nine appearances at Tropicana Field.

JORGE SOSA, 36

AGE: 27.

B/T: B/R. HT/WT: 6-2/177.

BORN/LIVES: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic/San Jose, Dominican Republic.

HOW ACQUIRED: Claimed off waivers from Milwaukee in March 2002.

CONTRACT STATUS: $650,000 one-year deal; Rays retain rights.

PROJECTED ROLE: Long/middle relief.

DID YOU KNOW?: Sosa and catcher Toby Hall are the only Rays on the club for the past four season openers.

CATCHERS

KEVIN CASH, 17

AGE: 27.

B/T: R/R. HT/WT: 6-0/190.

BORN/LIVES: Tampa.

HOW ACQUIRED: From the Blue Jays for pitcher Chad Gaudin in December 2004.

CONTRACT STATUS: $327,500 one-year deal; Rays retain rights.

PROJECTED ROLE: Backup catcher.

DID YOU KNOW?: Cash was an infielder at Gaither High and Florida State.

TOBY HALL, 44

AGE: 29.

B/T: R/R. HT/WT: 6-3/240.

BORN/LIVES: Tacoma, Wash./Tampa.

HOW ACQUIRED: Ninth-round pick in 1997 draft.

CONTRACT STATUS: $1.95-million one-year deal; Rays retain rights.

PROJECTED ROLE: Starting catcher.

DID YOU KNOW?: Hall's 60 RBIs last season were a career high and sixth among American League catchers.

INFIELDERS

JORGE CANTU, 3

AGE: 23.

B/T: R/R. HT/WT: 6-1/185.

BORN/LIVES: Reynosa Tamulipas, Mexico/McAllen, Texas.

HOW ACQUIRED: Signed as free agent in July 1998.

CONTRACT STATUS: $316,900 one-year deal; Rays retain rights.

PROJECTED ROLE: Starting second baseman.

DID YOU KNOW?: Cantu's .301 average last season was third among American League rookies with at least 150 at-bats.

ALEX GONZALEZ, 8

AGE: 31.

B/T: R/R. HT/WT: 6-0/200.

BORN/LIVES: Miami/Coral Gables.

HOW ACQUIRED: Signed as a free agent in January 2005.

CONTRACT STATUS: $1.75-million one-year deal.

PROJECTED ROLE: Starting third baseman.

DID YOU KNOW?: Gonzalez's eight extra-inning home runs are tied for eighth among active players.

SHANE HALTER, 18

AGE: 35.

B/T: R/R. HT/WT: 6-0/195.

BORN/LIVES: La Plata, Md./Overland Park, Kan.

HOW ACQUIRED: Signed as a free agent in January 2005.

CONTRACT STATUS: $550,000 one-year deal.

PROJECTED ROLE: Utility infielder.

DID YOU KNOW?: Halter became the fourth player in major-league history to play all nine positions in one game, on Oct. 1, 2000 for the Tigers.

TRAVIS LEE, 16

AGE: 29.

B/T: L/L. HT/WT: 6-3/225.

BORN/LIVES: San Diego.

HOW ACQUIRED: Signed as free agent in February 2005.

CONTRACT STATUS: $1.3-million one-year deal.

PROJECTED ROLE: Starting first baseman.

DID YOU KNOW?: Lee is the major-league fielding leader among first baseman with a .997 percentage.

JULIO LUGO, 23

AGE: 29.

B/T: R/R. HT/WT: 6-1/170.

BORN/LIVES: Barahona, Dominican Republic/Kissimmee.

HOW ACQUIRED: Signed as a free agent in May 2003.

CONTRACT STATUS: $3.25-million one-year deal with $4.95-million option for 2006; Rays retain rights.

PROJECTED ROLE: Starting shortstop.

DID YOU KNOW?: Lugo batted .309 last season with runners in scoring position and .421 with the bases loaded, both club highs.

LUIS ORDAZ, 61

AGE: 29.

B/T: R/R. HT/WT: 5-11/170.

BORN/LIVES: Maracaibo, Venezuela.

HOW ACQUIRED: Signed as free agent in February 2004.

CONTRACT STATUS: $375,000 one-year deal; Rays retain rights.

PROJECTED ROLE: Utility infielder.

DID YOU KNOW?: Ordaz was the 100th Venezuelan player in the majors when he debuted in 1997 with the Cardinals.

EDUARDO PEREZ, 33

AGE: 35.

B/T: R/R. HT/WT: 6-4/240.

BORN/LIVES: Cincinnati/Santurce, Puerto Rico.

HOW ACQUIRED: Signed as free agent in December 2003.

CONTRACT STATUS: $950,000 in second year of two-year, $1.7-million deal.

PROJECTED ROLE: Backup infielder/outfielder.

DID YOU KNOW?: Perez missed most of last season because of surgery on his Achilles' tendon.

JOSH PHELPS, 21

AGE: 26.

B/T: R/R. HT/WT: 6-3/225.

BORN/LIVES: Anchorage, Alaska/Trinity.

HOW ACQUIRED: Signed as a free agent in December 2004.

CONTRACT STATUS: $800,000 one-year deal; Rays retain rights.

PROJECTED ROLE: Designated hitter/backup first baseman.

DID YOU KNOW?: Phelps' .618 slugging percentage off lefties was fifth in the American League.

OUTFIELDERS

DEE BROWN, 27

AGE: 27.

B/T: L/R. HT/WT: 6-0, 225.

BORN/LIVES: Bronx, N.Y./Alpharetta, Ga.

HOW ACQUIRED: Signed as free agent January 2005.

CONTRACT STATUS: $326,000 one-year deal; Rays retain rights.

PROJECTED ROLE: Utility outfielder.

DID YOU KNOW?: He graduated from Marlboro (N.Y.) Central High, where he was a teammate of Rays pitcher Rob Bell.

CARL CRAWFORD, 13

AGE: 23.

B/T: L/L. HT/WT: 6-2/219.

BORN/LIVES: Houston/Phoenix.

HOW ACQUIRED: Second-round pick in 1999 draft.

CONTRACT STATUS: $370,000, one-year deal; Rays retain rights.

PROJECTED ROLE: Starting leftfielder.

DID YOU KNOW?: Crawford last season became the fourth-youngest player to win back-to-back stolen base titles.

AUBREY HUFF, 19

AGE: 28.

B/T: L/R. HT/WT: 6-4/231.

BORN/LIVES: Marion, Ohio/Tampa.

HOW ACQUIRED: Fifth-round pick in 1998 draft.

CONTRACT STATUS: $4.75-million in second year of three-year, $14.5-million deal.

PROJECTED ROLE: Starting rightfielder.

DID YOU KNOW?: Huff is one of six major-leaguers the past two seasons to average a .300 batting average with 30 home runs and 100 RBIs.

ALEX SANCHEZ, 2

AGE: 28.

B/T: L/L. HT/WT: 5-10/180.

BORN/LIVES: Havana, Cuba/Miami.

HOW ACQUIRED: Signed as a free agent in March 2005 after being released by Detroit.

CONTRACT STATUS: $500,000 one-year deal.

PROJECTED ROLE: Starting centerfielder.

DID YOU KNOW?: Sanchez was drafted by the Rays in the fifth round of the 1996 draft.

CHRIS SINGLETON, 10

AGE: 32.

B/T: L/L. HT/WT: 6-2/220.

BORN/LIVES: Martinez, Calif./Atlanta.

HOW ACQUIRED: Signed as a free agent in January 2005.

CONTRACT STATUS: $550,000 one-year deal.

PROJECTED ROLE: Backup outfielder.

DID YOU KNOW?: Singleton in 1999 became the first White Sox rookie and fourth player in club history to hit for the cycle.

DISABLED LIST

ROCCO BALDELLI, 5

AGE: 23.

B/T: R/R. HT/WT: 6-4/200.

BORN/LIVES: Woonsocket, R.I./Cumberland, R.I.

HOW ACQUIRED: First-round selection (sixth overall) in 2000 draft.

CONTRACT STATUS: $369,000, one-year deal; Rays retain rights.

PROJECTED ROLE: Will be out until at least July due to left knee surgery.

DID YOU KNOW?: Baldelli has the Major League Baseball logo tattooed on his left calf.

-- Capsules compiled by Damian Cristodero and Marc Topkin.

[Last modified April 4, 2005, 08:41:13]

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