Marc Topkin

Short Detour

Marc Topkin -Premium Content

There were a lot of things Justin Ruggiano could have thought when he was surprisingly sent back to minor league camp early in spring training. But Ruggiano, who'd played seven games for the Rays after an unexpected September callup and looked to be a contender for the fifth outfielder spot this spring, took it this way:

Majors | #2008#Organization Reports#Tampa Bay Rays

In The Spotlight

Marc Topkin -Premium Content

With blond hair and a slight 6-foot, 160-pound frame, Elliot Johnson doesn't look like a villain. But after a home-plate collision with Yankees catching prospect Francisco Cervelli in a March 8 spring training game, Johnson was being vilified on the back pages of all three New York tabloids and blasted by Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

Majors | #2008#Organization Reports#Tampa Bay Rays

Reasons To Believe

Marc Topkin -Premium Content

There are extensive studies, lengthy analyses and way-too-complicated-to-understand computer projections attempting to define and categorize how good of a pitcher Rays ace Scott Kazmir could become. Tampa Bay teammate B.J. Upton can do it in two words: "Cy Young."

Majors | #2008#Season Preview

Devil Rays Organization Report

Marc Topkin -Premium Content

Quietly, which is certainly his style, and slowly, which is the organization's style, Jeremy Hellickson has pitched his way into the Rays' future. A 2005 fourth-round pick out of Hoover High in Des Moines, Hellickson led the organization with a 2.43 ERA last season and was named pitcher of the year at short-season Hudson Valley for going 4-3 with a New York-Penn-leading 96 strikeouts in 78 innings.

Majors | #2007#Organization Reports#Tampa Bay Devil Rays