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

Published January 19 2012
Updated January 20 2012

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.

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Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.