Rays invite 11 Minor Leaguers to spring camp

Rays invite 11 Minor Leaguers to spring camp

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays have invited 11 of their Minor League players to Major League Spring Training.

The list of the invited includes: right-handers Matt Andriese, Steve Geltz, Merrill Kelly and Victor Mateo; left-handers Braulio Lara and Adam Liberatore; catchers Mayo Acosta, Curt Casali and Luke Maile; infielder Cole Figueroa; and outfielder Mikie Mahtook.

Tampa Bay has now invited 59 players to Major League Spring Training.

Andriese, 24, started the 2013 season with Double-A San Antonio (Padres) and was named to the Texas League midseason All-Star Team before earning a promotion to Triple-A Tucson. He combined to go 11-7 with a 3.27 ERA and 105 strikeouts over 27 appearances (25 starts) between the two levels. Andriese was acquired as part of a seven-player trade with the Padres on Jan. 22.

Geltz, 26, spent his first season in the Rays' organization with Durham, appearing in 41 games and going 5-3 with a 2.82 ERA and 80 strikeouts. He held opponents to a .156 batting average, lowest among International League relief pitchers, while logging a career-high 67 innings.

Kelly, 25, split the season between Montgomery and Durham. He went 13-10 with a 3.64 ERA in 28 games (26 starts), ranking among Tampa Bay's Minor League leaders in wins (third) and strikeouts (111, fifth).

Mateo, 24, spent the 2013 season with Montgomery and went 7-9 with a 3.93 ERA over a career-high 153 1/3 innings. He allowed one run or fewer in eight of his final 10 starts of the season. On Aug. 24, Mateo recorded the second no-hitter in Biscuits history in a nine-inning shutout of Jacksonville. It marked the second no-hitter of his career, joining left-hander Matt Moore and right-hander Wade Davis as the only pitchers with multiple no-hitters in franchise history.

Lara, 25, converted from starting pitcher to reliever in his sixth year with the Rays' organization, appearing in 45 games with Montgomery. He went 4-2 with a 4.38 ERA for the Biscuits. Lara made one appearance for Durham at the end of the season.

Liberatore, 26, made 43 appearances with Durham after one game with Montgomery to open the season. He went 5-3 with a 3.58 ERA and 69 strikeouts for the Bulls. Liberatore has posted a 2.95 ERA over four Minor League seasons.

Acosta, 26, has thrown out 40.1 percent of attempted basestealers in his seven-year Minor League career. He spent 2013 season at Double-A Montgomery, appearing in 71 games and hitting seven home runs.

Casali, 25, split his first season in Tampa Bay's organization between Class A Advanced Charlotte and Montgomery. He was acquired from the Tigers in exchange for Minor League left-hander Kyle Lobstein prior to the start of the 2013 season. The Florida State League All-Star was transferred to Montgomery on July 23, and Casali went on to hit .383 with five home runs and 31 RBIs in 35 games with the Biscuits.

Maile, 22, spent the 2013 season with Class A Bowling Green, batting .283 with four home runs and 49 RBIs while being tabbed to both the Midwest League midseason and postseason All-Star teams. He threw out 36 of 70 attempted basestealers.

Figueroa, 26, spent the 2013 season with Triple-A Durham, where he hit .286 with three home runs and 62 RBIs for the International League champions.

Mahtook, 24, spent the season with Montgomery and hit .254 with seven home runs and 68 RBIs, which ranked third among the Rays' Minor League players. He led the Biscuits with 71 runs scored, 30 doubles and 25 stolen bases. Mahtook was selected by Tampa Bay in the first round (31st overall) of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.