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Former Tigers second baseman Will Rhymes among four invited to Tampa Bay Rays spring training camp

ST. PETERSBURG — Will Rhymes likes what he sees in the Rays. And he looks like their kind of player. Now it's a question if the former Tigers infielder can win a spot on the roster.

Rhymes, 28, signed a minor-league contract with the Rays that includes an invitation to spring training and the chance to compete, most likely with Elliot Johnson, for a bench job.

"Their style of play really appealed to me, the way they run their organization, how they do things," Rhymes said.

The Rays also announced the signings of outfielder Jesus Feliciano, 32, who has played 54 big-league games (2010 Mets) in a 14-year pro career; right-handed reliever Romulo Sanchez, 27, who has brief big-league time with the Pirates (2007-08) and Yankees (2010); and right-handed starter Matt Torra, 27, who went 5-1, 3.67 for the Rays' Triple-A Durham team after being acquired in July from Arizona.

Rhymes seems to have the most chance to make an impact. He had a solid second half of 2010 with the Tigers, hitting .304 over 54 games, and was the opening day second baseman last season but was sent to Triple A in May. He ended up hitting .235 in 29 big-league games over three stints, though .306 (.377 on-base percentage) in 106 at Toledo, and was nontendered by the Tigers after the season.

"I just wanted a chance to come in and play as hard as I can play and see if I can make the club," he said, and if not, he will go to Triple-A Durham.

Rhymes has played primarily second but has experience elsewhere and said he's comfortable at third, short and in the outfield.

Pitcher accused of false identity: Indians pitcher Fausto Carmona was arrested and accused of using a false identity in the Dominican Republic as officials are contesting his real name and birthdate. A police spokesman said Carmona was arrested Thursday outside the U.S. consulate in Santo Domingo. He had gone there to renew his visa so he could return to America. Maximo Baez Aybar said Carmona's real name is Roberto Hernandez Heredia and he's 31, three years older than he claimed.

Carter health worsens: Gary Carter's health has become worse. The Hall of Fame catcher, 57, diagnosed in May with a malignant brain tumor, received results of his latest tests, according to the online journal of his daughter, Kimmy Bloemers: "I wish I could say that the results were good. … There are now several new spots/tumors on my dad's brain. I write … with tears because I am so sad for my dad."

Braun appel: Brewers leftfielder and NL MVP Ryan Braun's appeal of his positive drug test began Thursday before arbitrator Shyam Das, according to multiple reports.

A's: The team and former Rays outfielder/DH Jonny Gomes, 31, are close to a deal, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Former Tigers second baseman Will Rhymes among four invited to Tampa Bay Rays spring training camp 01/19/12 [Last modified: Thursday, January 19, 2012 11:53pm]
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