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Buffalo Baseball Alumni Geltz and Murphy head to spring camps

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Those slightly longer days and slightly warmer temperatures in the Northeast mean that Major league baseball is firing up in the deep South. In other words it is time to start watching the Buffalo baseball alumni who have made it to big league camps.

It seems of the half dozen or so UB alumni playing baseball two have landed in spring camps for a team in the bigs. The rest of UB's alumni presence is working their way through lower levels of A ball and will not be playing games for a few more weeks.

Tom Murphy Colorado Steve Geltz Tampa
DATE OPP TIME* DATE OPP TIME*
4-Mar ARI 1:10 PM 5-Mar BAL 1:05 PM
5-Mar @ARI 1:10 PM 6-Mar MIN 1:05 PM
6-Mar @LAA 1:10 PM 7-Mar @PIT 1:05 PM
7-Mar CHC 1:10 PM 8-Mar PHI 1:05 PM
8-Mar @SD 2:05 PM 9-Mar @NYY 1:05 PM
9-Mar CIN 2:10 PM 10-Mar PIT 1:05 PM
10-Mar @LAD 2:05 PM 10-Mar @BOS 1:05 PM
10-Mar SEA 2:10 PM

Geltz has already been to the show. He pitched for Anaheim a few years back and then worked his way through the Tampa Bay farm system and back up into the bigs last fall. The righty has the highest strikeouts per nine innings of any returning Tampa bay Pitcher and had a respectable 3.24 ERA in his relief work.

If he has a good spring there is no reason to think he won't end up a reliever for Tampa on opening day, worst case he lands back in Durham.

Murphy is a more interesting case. The guys over at Purple Row report that the Rockies are absolutely in love with Murphy. They also note that to seal the deal Tom will have to up his offensive production. He made the jump from low A ball to Tulsa (AA) and was having an ok go at it but then ran into some Injury Problems.

Rockies prospect rankings: No. 12 Tom Murphy primed to rebound from lost year - Purple Row
The fact that Murphy started 23 out of the 27 games he played at catcher (over fellow PuRP Ryan Casteel) show me that he's No. 1 on Colorado's catching prospect ladder. Still, to maintain that slot, Murphy will need to show the offensive form that allowed him to skip a level in 2013. He'll be Rule 5 eligible after 2015, but I fully expect him to either be on the big league roster already or protected at that time.

Injuries kept him from playing past the middle of last season so it would be huge for him to impress in his stay as a Non-roster invitee in this years Colorado spring camp. As a prospect invitee to camp Murphy will not play in any of their games but the 23 year old benefit in other ways.

Non roster players have a chance to  gain experience and against tougher pitchers and better players during practices. Murphy will also receive instruction from the Major League team's coaching staff and some of the other players who are on the 40 man spring roster.