Ryan Mount at Rancho Cucamonga’s youth clinic last January
It was brought to my attention that a fan site reports Ryan Mount “has been preliminarily placed on Salt Lake City’s roster, which seems a tad aggressive given his limited exposure at lower levels.”
Apparently someone is reading way too much into the minor league roster assignments that occur over the winter prior to the Rule 5 Draft.
Rule 5 has lesser known minor league phases to go along with the major league phase. Click Here to see the 2008 Rule 5 Draft with minor league phases. I don’t pretend to know all the intricacies of the minor league phase rules, but suffice to say minor league players have to be assigned to a certain roster to be protected, just as are those exposed to the major league phase.
Mountie was assigned to the Salt Lake roster for draft purposes, but other than that it’s meaningless. One winter a few years ago, when Darrell Miller was the farm director, I was in his office which had a big magnetic board with a name plate for each player in the system. They were assigned to Salt Lake, Arkansas, etc. The assignments seemed rather bizarre; Darrell explained it had to do with the Rule 5 minor league phases.
Actual assignments won’t be made until minor league camp breaks in early April. Click Here to see the minor league spring training schedule on the FutureAngels.com web site; camp breaks on April 5. Current farm director Abe Flores told Arkansas Travelers fans at their Hot Stove banquet on February 3 that Hank Conger would probably start the year in Rancho Cucamonga to work on his catching, then move up to Arkansas later in the season. He also said Mark Trumbo would return to North Little Rock. But such blanket commitments are pretty much the exception to the rule.
Mountie tweaked a knee last March when an opposing runner slid into him while he covered second base in a major league spring training game. He missed nearly a half-season before reporting to Rancho Cucamonga. Ryan spent some time over the winter in the Angels’ Dominican academy to help make up for lost time; I would say it’s 50/50 whether he returns to Rancho for more work or moves up to Arkansas.
But he’s not starting 2009 in Salt Lake.