Results tagged ‘ Aybar ’

Aybar Back with the Rays

After the Netherlands’ upset of the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, Willy Aybar was back with the team Thursday morning.

Aybar said he never expected for his team to get bounced from the Classic so soon and that he felt great sadness about losing, noting that Dominican baseball fans were probably more “angry” than anything about the loss.

Aybar didn’t feel as though he had missed anything by not being in camp — an opinion shared by manager Joe Maddon, who has always liked Aybar’s effort and baseball IQ.

–Bill Chastain

Aybar Happy to Go to the Classic

Seeing Willy Abar’s name on the Dominican Republic’s roster for the World Baseball Classic came as a surprise Tuesday night since he wasn’t on the provisional roster released last month.

But all of a sudden the Dominican club found itself without Carlos Pena
and Albert Pujols, who could not play due to medical reasons,
so they needed a first baseman. And Aybar fit the bill.

Aybar seemed happy Wednesday.

“I’m happy,” Aybar said. “I’m proud to represent my country.”

While Aybar said he was surprised to be picked, his selection wasn’t totally out of right field as Aybar said he talked to Dominican GM Stan Javier last month and the possibility was mentioned.

Aybar will report to the Dominican camp in Jupiter, Fla. sometime next week. Other Rays players included on WBC rosters are Akinori Iwamura and J.P. Howell.
–Bill Chastain

Busy in Port Charlotte

Even though the position players don’t need to be in camp yet, most all of them are, including B.J. Upton, Evan Longoria, Jason Bartlett, and newly additions Pat Burrell and Gabe Kapler.

Upton, who is coming back from left shoulder surgery, has been swinging the bat some during soft toss drills, but will not put a timetable on when he’ll be ready for game action. Right now most speculation says he’ll miss the first week of the season.

Willy Aybar stood at his locker pleased about signing a new deal with the Rays. The team is expected to announce any day now that they have signed Aybar to a two-year deal with a club option pending the results of his physical.

Clubhouse manager Chris Westmoreland seems to have a good sense of humor by putting the locker of Lance Cormier, who attended Alabama, next to that of Gabe Gross, who attended Auburn.  There will be a lot of good-natured jawing by those two about SEC football bragging rights.

–Bill Chastain