Blalock To Accept Minor League Assignment

Hank Blalock will report to the Rays' Triple-A affiliate in Durham, according to the Tampa Bay Tribune (via Twitter).  Marc Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times tweets that this means the 29-year-old was unable to find a major league job elsewhere.

Late last week, Reid Brignac made Tampa Bay's Opening Day roster, leaving Blalock as the odd man out.  Despite his assertion that he does not want to play minor league ball, he told Topkin that he would remain in Durham for the "foreseeable future" if he could not land a gig in the big show (link goes to Twitter).

Blalock is not today's only notable addition to Triple-A Durham, as Elliot Johnson was also placed on the squad after clearing waivers.

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11 Comments on "Blalock To Accept Minor League Assignment"

5 years 4 months ago

He’ll be the first guy called up if they need any form of bench/infield help.

5 years 4 months ago

Well, hit and you will be up quickly.

5 years 4 months ago

I agree with what the first two said.

5 years 4 months ago

It is somewhat sad to see a player such as Blalock, who can hit for power, taking a minor league job when it’s obvious that several teams could use him. The good thing for him however, is that he will called up fairly quickly.

5 years 4 months ago

Well the thing about that is power isn’t everything and that’s all that Blalock brings to the table. He doesn’t hit for average or walk and he can’t play very good defense.

5 years 4 months ago

Yeah, I’m a little surprised nobody wanted him. It’s very possible he could bat for .800 OPS this season, and even if he’s not the greatest defensive third baseman, he has some value as a corner bat.

5 years 4 months ago

Not sure how possible it is … last time he did that over the course of a full season was 2004. And his defense isn’t just kind of bad. It’s real bad. Maybe not Dunn bad, but he should only play 1B (if used occasionally) or DH. Anywhere else and he just gives away any offensive value.

Using WAR from Fangraphs Blalock has posted seasons of:
2005: 0.9
2006: -0.3
2007: 1.3
2008: 0.6
2009: 0.0

3.5 WAR over 5 years = a player that is no longer a major leaguer. Those are just some awful numbers. Throw in his propensity of injury and this move makes a ton of sense. Honestly, I don’t see why the Rays even keep him. They have about 15 people in the minors right now that can come up and produce at Blalock’s level.

5 years 4 months ago

He’s struggled with injuries the past few years, which is why his WAR values are so low 07-09. His career UZR/150 at third base is actually just a little below average (-2.6) and I see no reason to believe he’s incapable of manning the position if he can stay healthy. It would be easy to be deceived by his poor UZR numbers the past few years, but again, he only played 71 games combined between those three seasons, which is only about a sixth of the sample size you need to start getting reliable UZR data.

And I don’t think it’s that unlikely he could bat for .800 OPS this season; I see several projection system have him a little below that level (for instance, Bill James projects .780 OPS). CHONE is typically more pessimistic and projects .757, which is about average.

5 years 4 months ago

if burrel gets hurt or simply is bad again then blalock is your starting DH for the tampa rays

5 years 4 months ago

I don’t see what the big deal is. In order to get a MLB job, Blalock has to stay in shape right? What better way to do that than to actually play baseball while teams scout you. Makes sense to me.

5 years 4 months ago

Looks like he put his pride on the shelf. Smart, makes money and would be one of the first to get a call up in case something happens.