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August 7, 2009 at 6:53 am ET
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TGIT177DREF! The Top 177 Devil Rays Ever: #56-53

“Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.”

-Jane Austen

In our continuing efforts to preserve and protect the full, proud history of our proud, great and dominant franchise, and to hagiographize the many, many valiant warriors who have contributed to that proud history, every Friday we’ll be counting down The Top 177* Devil Rays Ever….

The 56th, 55th, 54th and 53rd Greatest Devil Rays Ever are….


56. Doug Waechter P (2003-2006)

  • DEVIL RAY MOMENT: September 3 2003, Tropicana Field, became the first Devil Ray ever to throw a complete game shutout in his first Major League start, giving up only 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7 to beat the Mariners on his mother Nancy’s birthday
  • DEVIL RAY STATS: 60 Games 54 Starts 14 Wins 1 Complete Game 315.2 Innings Pitched 177 Strikeouts
  • Set a Devil Ray record by beginning his career by pitching 11.1 scoreless innings
  • First Devil Ray To Earn Wins In His First Three Appearances
  • Fifth Devil Ray To Win His MLB Debut (August 27 2003 at Seattle)
  • In 2004 Was Among AL Rookie Leaders in Wins (5, Tied-7th); Starts (14-6th), and IP (70.1, 9th)
  • First Devil Ray Born in Pinellas County
  • 10th Florida-born Devil Ray Ever

55. Dave Martinez OF/1B/DH (1998-2000)

  • DEVIL RAY STATS: 262 Games 122 Runs 252 Hits 40 Doubles 7 Triples 10 HR 98 RBI 22 SB 105 BB .272 AVG
  • Got the first hit in franchise history, a third-inning single off the first base bag against Detroit’s Justin Thompson in the inaugural game on March 3 1998
  • First Devil Ray to hit an inside-the-park home run (off New York Yankees pitcher Hideki Irabu, July 10 1998)
  • First Devil Ray to steal two bases in a game
  • Led the Devil Rays In Runs Scored in 1999 (79, a then-Devil Rays record)
  • One of only 4 Devil Rays to hit 2 triples in one game (May 16 1999, at Anaheim)
  • Has served as Joe Maddon’s bench coach since October 11 2007

54. Jason Bartlett SS/DH (2008-Present)

  • DEVIL RAY MOMENT: July 25 2009, SkyDome, after entering as a defensive replacement in the 9th inning, in the top of the 11th hit the go-ahead RBI double off former Devil Ray Shawn Camp to give the Devil Rays a 10-9 win over Toronto and cap the biggest comeback in franchise history
  • DEVIL RAY STATS (through August 4 2009): 215 Games 102 Runs 235 Hits 47 Doubles 8 Triples 10 HR 86 RBI 41 SB 49 BB .307 AVG 104 OPS+
  • DEVIL RAY POSTSEASON STATS: 16 Games 8 Runs 12 Hits 1 Double 1 Triple 1 HR 3 RBI 2 SB 4 BB
  • Named Team MVP in 2008, the first SS to win the award
  • 2009 All-Star
  • Finished 18th in the AL MVP voting in 2008
  • Set a Devil Ray record with a 19-game hitting streak from May 15-June 25 (batted .384 with 21 RBI during that span)
  • With him in the lineup in 2008 the Devil Rays went 78-47
  • Hit lefthanders in 2008 at a .379 clip (50-132), tops in the AL
  • Second Devil Ray ever to steal third base twice in one game (May 29 2008 vs. White Sox)

53. Roberto “No Mas” Hernandez P (1998-2000)

  • DEVIL RAY MOMENT: June 28 1998, Veterans Stadium, entered in the bottom of the 8th with 2 outs and a runner on 2nd to protect a 4-3 lead, needed only 11 pitches to retire all 4 batters he faced to earn the save against the Phillies
  • DEVIL RAY STATS: 207 Games 8 Wins 101 Saves 218 Innings Pitched 185 Strikeouts 3.43 ERA 142 ERA+
  • All-Star in 1999
  • Finished 10th in the AL Cy Young Voting in 1999
  • Broke an AL record in 1999 by saving 62.3% of the Devil Rays wins
  • Holds the Devil Ray career saves record (101)
  • Holds the Devil Ray record for most saves in a season (43, 1999); his totals in 2000 and 1998 also rank 3rd and tied for 6th
  • His 207 Games Pitched are 3rd-most in a Devil Ray career
  • Has three of the 9 highest single-season Games Pitched totals in Devil Ray history (72 in 1999, 2nd; 68 in 2000, tied-4th; 67 in 1998, tied-7th)
  • In 1999 Was Among the AL Leaders in Saves (43, 2nd); Save Percentage (91.8%, 2nd); and Appearances (72, 7th)
  • In 2000 Ranked 9th in the AL in Saves (32)
  • Became the third Hispanic pitcher in MLB History to record 40 saves in a season


#177: Kevin “Witter” Witt, #176: Damion Easley, #175: Jason Smith, #174: Justin Ruggiano, #173: Dwight Gooden, #172: Danny Clyburn, #171: Delvin James, #170: Steve Parris, #169: Pete LaForest, #168: Terry Shumpert, #167: Jon Switzer, #166: Chris Singleton, #165: David Lamb, #164: Ozzie Guillen, #163: Jason Standridge, #162: Brook Fordyce, #161: Midre Cummings, #160: Tomas Perez, #159: Juan Salas, #158: Felix Escalona, #157: Mark Guthrie, #156: Scott Aldred, #155: Scott Dohmann, #154: Rusty Meacham, #153: Javier Valentin, #152: Brian Stokes, #151: Chad Harville, #150: Shawn Riggans, #149: Fernando Perez, #148: Carlos Reyes, #147: Nick Bierbrodt, #146: Jorge Velandia, #145: Robert Fick, #144: Paul Abbott, #143: Dan “The Missile” Miceli, #142: Steve Kent, #141: Josh Paul, #140: Antonio Perez, #139: Brandon Backe, #138: Jason Johnson, #137: Chad Gaudin, #136: Andy Sheets, #135: Shawn Camp, #134: Vinny Castilla, #133: Russell Branyan, #132: Raul Casanova, #131: Josh Phelps, #130: Korean Sensation Jae Weong Seo, #129: Jeff Wallace, #128: Terrell Lowery, #127: Norm Charlton, #126: Alan “Al” Levine, #125: Al Martin, #124: The Lethal Weapon Gary Glover, #123: Rich Butler, #122: Brian Meadows, #121: Joe Borowski, #120: Elijah Dukes, #119: Chad Orvella, #118: Josh Wilson, #117: Troy Percival, #116: Tony Graffanino, #115: Geoff Blum, #114: Joey Gathright, #113: Herb Perry
#112-109: Alex Sanchez, Rey Ordonez, Rey Sanchez & Jason Conti
#108-105: Hideo Nomo, Eduardo Perez, Dave Eiland & Travis Phelps
#104-101: Ben “Zorilla” Zobrist, Mike Kelly, Trever Miller & Felix Martinez
#100-97: Dan Johnson, David Price, Al “The Eraser” Reyes & Cliff “Dr. Huxtable” Floyd
#96-93: Nick Green, Tim Corcoran, Doug Creek & Dan Wheeler
#92-89: Jason Hammel, Jose Guillen, Dennis Springer & Cory Lidle
#88-85: Jared Sandberg, Russ Johnson, Gabe Gross & Jason Tyner
#84-81: Danys Baez, Julio Santana, Dewon Brazelton & Alex S. Gonzalez
#80-77: Bobby Smith, Damon Hollins, Greg Norton & Paul Sorrento
#76-73: Ruddy Lugo, John Halama, Seth McClung & Kevin Stocker
#72-69: Damian Rolls, J.P. Howell, Brent Abernathy & Jim Mecir
#68-65: Willy Aybar, Aaron Ledesma, Eric “Shitske” Hinske & Lance Carter
#64-61: Rob Bell, Steve Trachsel, Mike Difelice & Jeremi Gonzalez
#60-57: Chris Young, Delmon Young, Wade Boggs & Marlon Anderson

The Top 25 Devil Rays Ever (in advent calendar form)

*Based on players’ entire Devil Ray careers (through 2008, 2009 not included) and regardless of position. Special thanks to B&C’s Robotto Clemente for crunching the numbers.

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