Monday, December 8, 2014

What About Charlie?


Turmoil at the top of the Rays system. What might that mean for our favorite Durham Bull, Charlie Montoyo?

Prompted somewhat by the comments by Cork Gaines over at Rays Index and with all the usual caveats, here are my thoughts. Jump in with yours.

The Rays have worked very hard to build a decent minor league system, although more of their success has come through trades rather than home grown talent. How satisfied are they with what they’ve got rather than what they’d like to have?

What they’ve got, in Durham, is a pretty famous fellow. He’s won a bunch of championships, has been featured in the only two books in recent memory about Triple-A baseball (John Feinstein’s Where Nobody Knows Your Name, and Sam Stephenson’s Bull City Summer), and has fed a lot of ballplayers upward to the Rays.

For several years the Rays bench coach, Dave Martinez, went off to end-of-season interviews for manager jobs and Charlie was always at the top of my list for his replacement. But Martinez never got a job. This year Manager Joe Maddon left and the Rays began looking for a replacement. Charlie was on the initial list, but didn’t make to the end. Former Bull Kevin Cash got the job.

Then Martinez left and later joined Maddon with the Cubs. The Rays bench coach slot is wide open.

How important is perception? My own take is that I never noticed any particular closeness between Maddon and Montoyo; however, Montoyo obviously had daily conversations with someone in St. Petersburg. My perception is that Charlie was not part of Maddon’s “crew” and thus is not on a chopping block.

But, and this is a big but, how important is he to the “system” by staying at AAA? From a systemic point of view our judgement is that Charlie Montoyo is the most important on-the-field guy in the entire Rays system. Looked like the folks in St. Pete were telling him what they needed, and he figured out how to provide it to them. Over in our section of the stands I’ve always taken the position that Charlier was doing more good for the Rays in Durham than he would as a bench coach (whatever that is) in St. Pete.

And yet ...

As far as I can tell the Rays new manager Kevin Cash never played for Charlie, but he did have three tours with International League teams while Montoyo was managing the Bulls: Pawtucket in 2007, Scranton/Wilkes Barre in 2009, and back with Pawtucket in 2010. Cash had a chance to see the changes/philosophy that Montoyo brought to the Bulls after the disaster of 2006. Cash might want to work with Charlie.

Unfortunately for the Bulls fans, I have to say that Cash/Montoyo could be one heck of a team. And, since baseball is, after all, about “moving up” maybe it’s Charlie’s time. He has certainly earned it. After sending so many guys to the "bigs" maybe it is his time.

So, WDBB wants to see him in a Rays uniform on the bench in Tropicana Field …

But we sure would be happy to see him back in Durham in 2015, too.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Former Durham Bull to Manage the Tampa Bay Rays

Kevin Cash played for the Durham Bulls in 2005 and 2006 — seems like just yesterday. Now he’s going to be the youngest manager in major league baseball. Good for him!

You have to wonder just what those years might end up meaning now that he’s to be the boss down in St. Petersburg. The DBAP was relatively new. He was witness to a big managerial change when long-time, well-loved manager Bill Evers left and John Tamargo came in for a one-year stint. Neither year was very successful for the Bulls. Unusually, they did not finish in the running for the South Division and were well below .500 each year (65-79 and 64-78).  Some of his teammates were, if not favorites, certainly memorable Durham Bulls. They included Elijah Dukes, Joey Gathright, Joel Guzman, Darnell McDonald, B.J. Upton, Brooks Badeaux, and Jonny Gomes. The only current Ray that jumped out at me was Ben Zobrist, who played a couple of games in 2006.

He handled several top pitching prospects those years, notably James Shields, but others included Jason Hammel, J.P. Howell, and Edwin Jackson. Plus he took the mound for an inning in 2006, faced just three batters, and got a win.

Here’s the trivia question of the day. Is Kevin Cash the first former Durham Bull to manage in the major leagues? [Note: I don’t have the answer]

And, does anyone have any interesting memories of Cash’s time as a Bull?

* * * * * 
What could this mean for the Bulls?

First of all we have to point out that Neil Allen, long time pitching coach, is off to the major leagues, the Minnesota Twins. Congratulations Neil. My guess is that Allen was a much more important piece of the Rays system that most appreciated. His departure is obviously going to be a concern to Bulls fans. As will be the status of Charlie Montoyo. How is that going to play out? The Rays’ bench coach, Dave Martinez, left not too long after manager Joe Maddon. So Cash will need to put several pieces together over the next couple of months.

Guess we really aren’t going to know for a while.

Links on Cash:
Links on Allen:
* * * * *

In 2005-2006 the Bulls broadcaster was Neil Solondz. Neil is now was the Rays and has written a very nice article on his memories of Cash as a Durham Bull. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Hemstitching: Moves Continue Shredding 2014 Roster

A bunch of moves yesterday, and some from a week or two earlier, are putting the finishing touches on shredding the 2014 Durham Bulls. Happens every year. Part of being a minor league fan.
  • To go back in time a bit: Early in the month Jerry Sands, who started the 2014 season with the Bulls, got called up, then got hurt, has been designated for assignment (DFA’d). Reportedly he will not be accepting an assignment to Triple-A. 
  • Also DFA’d was Vince Belnome, who apparently will be taking a Triple-A contract.
  • Adam Liberatore, a star of the Bulls’ bullpen, was traded to the LA Dodgers. Too bad. Liked watching him pitch. 
  • Cole Figueroa was DFA’d by the Rays to make room on their 40-man. No word yet on whether or not he will be taking a minor league contract. Hope so. Like him a lot. He makes a difference as his stats show.
  • Mikie Mahtook and Matt Andriese were added to the Rays 40-man to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. For a non-geek explanation of the Rule 5 draft check this out. They earned their place on the roster with their performance last year. Congrats.
  • Neal Allen, the Bulls pitching coach for a really long time, has been interviewed by the Twins for a pitching coach job. I think he had a lot to do with Bulls (and Rays) success over the last several years. Would hate to see him go.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Bulls Below the Border

For some guys baseball is a year-round profession. After a few weeks off at the end of the season they are off to the Winter Leagues. I’ve scrolled through the rosters and found some current and former Bulls who are playing ball as we speak, including a couple we haven’t seen in a long, long time. If I've missed someone important to you, let me know.

Robbie Knopf over at Rays Colored Glasses is tracking and writing about the Winter Leagues in more detail. Worth keeping an eye on that blog.
  • Pitcher Winston Abreu, a WDBB favorite from several years ago (2009 and 2010), has had a couple of innings with the Toros de Este of the Dominican Winter League. 
  • Catcher Mayo Acosta is also playing for the Toros del Este in the Dominican Winter League. Not doing all that well in 10 games so far. 2014 Bulls season profiled here.
  • Infielder Wilson Betemit is playing for the Giganantes de Cibao, also in the Dominican Winter League. Doing OK over 16 games. 2014 Bulls profile here. Think, but don't know for sure, that he's now a free agent.
  • Pitcher Merrill Kelly has been in a starting role for the Leones del Escogidos in the Dominican Winter League. Not doing all that well, yet. A key player in the 2014 Bulls crew.
  • Pitcher Josh Lueke is pitching in relief for the Toros de Este of the Dominican Winter League. 2014 Bulls stats here. Lueke also a free agent now.
  • Infielder Ray Olmedo is playing for the Aguilas del Zulia in the Venezuela Winter League.
  • Reliever Jim Patterson, who had just 10 innings with the Bulls in 2014, is pitching for the Gigantes de Carolina in Puerto Rico’s Roberto Clemente League.
  • Pitcher Enny Romero, not a favorite of WDBB last year, is pitching in relief for the Leones de Escogido of the Dominican Winter League.
  • Catcher Roman Ali Solis is with the Tomoteros de Culiacan in Mexico’s Pacific League and playing a lot of baseball. 
  • Pitcher Jake Thompson has started three games for the Tiburones de la Guaira in the Venezuelan Winter League. A help last year.
  • Outfielder Jon Weber, another WDBB favorite from history (2007-2009), has 6 doubles, a triple, and 6 home runs for the Mayos de Naojoa of the Mexican Pacific League. Nice to see Jon still in baseball. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Change at the Top, and More

What does it mean to the Durham Bulls that the top of the Tampa Bay Rays leadership team jumped ship?

Hard to say.

One of the oddities of the Tampa Bay Rays has been the stability of their front office and coaching staff. But the #1 front office guy, Andrew Friedman, and the manager, Joe Maddon, have moved on.  Friedman is off to California and manager Joe Maddon has signed on with the Chicago Cubs.

Friedman was “in the house” at the DBAP once or twice each season and was thought to keep a very close eye on the Bulls’ roster. Certainly someone up there was finding the veterans to fill out the team each season. And grabbing guys when the Rays needed help.

As far as I know the only time that Joe Maddon was ever at the DBAP was that exhibition game a few years back.

We are pleased to pass on that Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo is on the long list of folks to be interviewed for the Maddon job. However, he has lots of competition. The current Rays bench coach, Dave Martinez, would seem to be a leading candidate, which could open the door for Charlie to move into that position.

For Durham Bulls fanatics, note that another candidate on the long list, Kevin Cash, spent a good bit of time in a Durham Bulls uniform back in 2005 and 2006. He is coming into the interview from a coaching job in the Cleveland organization.

So, what does it mean? It could mean that for the first time in a very long while we will see some change in the leadership of the Bulls. We always see a lot of change among the players, but we’ve been blessed with a very stable managing/coaching crew for several years. It could stay the same, but ...

Outside the game —
  • Robby Price has been released. As noted earlier, he was a valuable guy last year, but often an odd man out.
  • Jerry Sands, the outfielder who started with the Bulls last year with some extraordinary numbers, went up to the Rays and then had a season-ending injury, has been designated for assignment. Power hitter. As regular readers know, we are far from being expert on the DFA process. He could end up with the Bulls in 2015, but other teams could want him.
  • Vince Belnome has also been DFA’d to make room on the Rays 40-man. Again, hard to say if he will be back. We like Mr. Belnome, but have to recognize that 2014 was not a good year. Maybe 2015. 


Friday, October 3, 2014

The Durham Bulls in 2014 — The Pitchers — Part 2

This wraps up our series of four posts digging in to the individual stats of 2014's Durham Bulls. For an overview of team stats see our earlier post here. The posts on the hitters begins here, and Part 1 of this series can be reached by this link.

In addition to the players listed in this post, we will be reproducing the table from Part 1 sorted on different stats. The player discussions have been sorted by innings pitched.

Durham Bulls 2014 Pitchers Sorted by ERA

Name
Age
W
L
ERA
G
GS
SV
IP
WHIP
Kirby Yates*
27
1
0
0.36
21
0
16
25.0
0.76
C.J. Riefenhauser*
24
3
3
1.40
39
0
1
57.2
1.14
Jeff Beliveau*
27
0
0
1.50
30
0
11
36.0
0.92
Adam Liberatore
27
6
1
1.66
54
0
4
65.0
0.89
Brad Boxberger*
26
1
0
1.93
6
0
2
9.1
0.86
Steve Geltz*
26
3
3
2.38
29
0
1
41.2
1.06
Jimmy Patterson
25
1
1
2.70
5
1
0
10.0
1.30
Merrill Kelly
25
9
4
2.76
28
15
0
114.0
1.26
Cory Burns*
26
2
2
2.77
7
0
1
13.0
1.54
Juan Sandoval
33
0
1
3.12
14
1
1
26.0
1.35
Jake Thompson
24
4
1
3.15
24
1
0
34.1
1.54
Josh Lueke
29
0
1
3.38
32
0
12
37.1
1.10
Brandon Gomes*
29
0
2
3.62
27
0
0
37.1
1.29
Doug Mathis
31
2
3
3.63
26
3
0
67.0
1.64
Matt Andriese
24
11
8
3.77
28
25
0
162.1
1.24
Alex Colome*
25
7
6
3.77
15
15
0
86.0
1.33
Juan Carlos Oviedo*
32
0
0
3.86
7
0
0
7.0
0.86
Mike Montgomery*
24
10
5
4.29
25
25
0
126.0
1.31
Enny Romero*
23
5
11
4.50
25
25
0
126.0
1.43
Nathan Karns*
26
9
9
5.08
27
27
0
145.1
1.40
Jeremy Hellickson*
27
1
4
7.23
5
5
0
18.2
2.30
Braulio Lara
25
0
3
9.00
9
0
0
11.0
1.73


Data sources are BaseballReference.com and Fangraphs. Players marked with an asterisk were on the Tampa Bay Rays 40-man roster. Continuing from Part 1:

C. J. Riefenhauser* (LHRP) (57.2 innings, 39 appearances) typically came in for one or two innings. He put together a solid year with a very nice ERA of 1.40, the second best on the team after Kirby Yates’ amazing 0.36. He was called up for two games in April for his major league debut and for five appearances in September. He also had about two weeks on the DL in May. Seems to have a bright future in the Rays system. Expect him to start with the Bulls next year, unless they saw something they either liked or disliked in September. A left-handed reliever is always welcome. Stats.

Steve Geltz* (RHRP) (41.2 innings, 29 appearances) sat out for a 50-game drug use suspension that began in May. He was a steady presence thereafter with a decent 2.38 ERA and an exceptional WHIP of 1.06. The Rays called him up before the Bulls went into the playoffs and put him to work. He made 13 appearances in September for the Rays. Would love to have him back, but he may stick with the Rays. Stats.

Josh Lueke (RHRP) (37.1 innings, 32 appearances) joined the Bulls from the Rays in mid-June, immediately assuming the closer role he had shared with Kirby Yates in 2013. Solid stats with 12 saves (but 3 blown saves), and a decent WHIP of 1.10. Near the end of the season he pretty much switched to a set-up role as Adam Liberatore got some save opportunities. The Rays seem to have lost confidence in Mr. Lueke, so it is hard to say if he will be back next year. My guess is that he will opt for free agency. Owner of one of the oddest official photos on baseballreference.com. Stats.

Brandon Gomes* (RHRP) (37.1 innings, 27 appearances) also started the season with the Rays.  He was sent down in May and spent the rest of the season with the Bulls. He had one game with the Rays in August and went back up in early September. He had 8 appearances during the September for the Rays. As a Bull his numbers were below average for the bullpen crew. Stats.

Jeff Beliveau* (LHRP) (36 innings, 30 appearances) had a breakout year. Terrific numbers: 1.50 ERA and a superb 0.92 WHIP, not to mention 11 saves. He made a couple of April appearances with the Rays and then went up to stay in late July where he has done just fine in short relief. We don’t expect to see him back with the Bulls and wish him the best. Stats.

Durham Bulls 2014 Pitchers Sorted by Walks/Hits Inning Pitched

Name
Age
W
L
ERA
G
GS
SV
IP
WHIP
Kirby Yates*
27
1
0
0.36
21
0
16
25.0
0.76
Brad Boxberger*
26
1
0
1.93
6
0
2
9.1
0.86
Juan Carlos Oviedo*
32
0
0
3.86
7
0
0
7.0
0.86
Adam Liberatore
27
6
1
1.66
54
0
4
65.0
0.89
Jeff Beliveau*
27
0
0
1.50
30
0
11
36.0
0.92
Steve Geltz*
26
3
3
2.38
29
0
1
41.2
1.06
Josh Lueke
29
0
1
3.38
32
0
12
37.1
1.10
C.J. Riefenhauser*
24
3
3
1.40
39
0
1
57.2
1.14
Matt Andriese
24
11
8
3.77
28
25
0
162.1
1.24
Merrill Kelly
25
9
4
2.76
28
15
0
114.0
1.26
Brandon Gomes*
29
0
2
3.62
27
0
0
37.1
1.29
Jimmy Patterson
25
1
1
2.70
5
1
0
10.0
1.30
Mike Montgomery*
24
10
5
4.29
25
25
0
126.0
1.31
Alex Colome*
25
7
6
3.77
15
15
0
86.0
1.33
Juan Sandoval
33
0
1
3.12
14
1
1
26.0
1.35
Nathan Karns*
26
9
9
5.08
27
27
0
145.1
1.40
Enny Romero*
23
5
11
4.50
25
25
0
126.0
1.43
Jake Thompson
24
4
1
3.15
24
1
0
34.1
1.54
Cory Burns*
26
2
2
2.77
7
0
1
13.0
1.54
Doug Mathis
31
2
3
3.63
26
3
0
67.0
1.64
Braulio Lara
25
0
3
9.00
9
0
0
11.0
1.73
Jeremy Hellickson*
27
1
4
7.23
5
5
0
18.2
2.30


Jake Thompson (RHRP) (34.1 innings, 24 appearances) came up from the Montgomery Biscuits on 6 April and did a decent job for the Bulls, but he missed a month in the middle of the season and only made 4 appearances in August (although he did pitch in the postseason). Not very good numbers for the 24 year old, 3.15 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. Nevertheless, if healthy, expect him back next year. Stats.

Juan Sandoval (RHRP) (26 innings, 14 appearances) started the season with the Bulls, but the 33 year-old was released in late May. He went on to pitch in the Mexican Triple A league for the rest of the year where he put up some impressive numbers. Stats.

Kirby Yates* (RHRP) (25 innings, 21 appearances) banged the door open to the Rays with his 0.36 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, and 16 saves over the first two months of the season. He did OK with them in 37 appearances, but his ERA as a major leaguer jumped up quite a bit, as did his WHIP. We don’t want to try to predict what the Rays might do. We would be more than happy to see him pitching for the Bulls, but that surely isn’t what Mr. Yates would want. Stats.

Jeremy Hellickson* (RHSP) (18.2 innings, 5 games) came to the Bulls on a rehab assignment as he was working his way back to the Rays starting rotation. He became something of a poster child for the downside of being a minor league fan. The net effect of his time with the Bulls was that he lost four games and thoroughly messed up the Bulls rotation. Looking back at the pitching charts we put up a few days ago, the rise you see in the starting pitching ERA pretty much matches Mr. Hellickson’s arrival with his ERA of 7.23 and WHIP of 2.30. It seemed to take the rest of the year to recover. Back with the Rays they have been better, but not by much. Stats.

Cory Burns* (RHRP) 13 innings, 7 appearances) came to the Bulls from the Montgomery Biscuits in mid-August. Plus he had three post-season appearances. Looked OK to me and I was expecting to see him with the Bulls next year. But apparently not. He was reportedly claimed by the Toronto Blue Jays after the Rays put him on waivers. Stats.

Braulio Lara (LHRP) (11 innings, 9 appearances) came up from Montgomery in early May, stayed about a month, did not do very well, and went back to Montgomery. He did not do all that well there either. We don’t expect him back next year, but lefties get lots of breaks so I could be wrong. Stats.

Jim Patterson (LHRP) (10 innings, 5 appearances) also came up from Montgomery for a couple of weeks in May. Did OK and went back. His year in Montgomery was not all that impressive. Not sure we will see him again. Stats.

Brad Boxberger* (RHRP) (9.1 innings, 6 appearances) started the season with the Bulls, put up some big numbers, went up to the Rays, and didn’t come back. He had a pretty good year with the Rays as well. Stats.

Juan Carlos Oviedo (RHRP) (7 innings, 7 appearances) was technically on a rehab assignment as the year started. He did his thing for one inning at a time in April (and did it very well, I might add) and went on up to the Rays. Fun to watch while he was here. He was released by the Rays in August. If he signed anywhere else I haven't found it yet. Stats.
—————— 
Here endeth the WDBB baseball geek stuff for 2014. Not that we won't be keeping an eye on the Bulls and adding a bit more — notably announcing the winners of the 2014 Moonlight Graham Awards — but as far as number-crunching goes, this is it folks.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Durham Bulls in 2014 — The Pitchers — Part 1

Twenty-six different players pitched for the Bulls this year, but when it comes to looking back I left off four of them: Erik Bedard pitched in just one game; Mayo Acosta, a catcher, pitched in 2 lost causes; infielder Robby Price in one lost cause; and reliever Bryce Stowell came up from Montgomery for two innings in the last game of the season.

This table is sorted by innings pitched, and that’s the sequence in which we’ll discuss this year’s pitchers. However, in Part 2 we’ll have tables sorted by ERA and WHIP. Players on the Rays 40-man roster are marked with an asterisk (*). Data are from BaseballReference.com, FanGraphs, and WDBB spreadsheets.

Durham Bulls Pitchers in 2014 Sorted by Innings Pitched

Name
Age
W
L
ERA
G
GS
SVIPWHIP
Matt Andriese
24
11
8
3.77
28
25
0
162.1
1.24
Nathan Karns*
26
9
9
5.08
27
27
0
145.1
1.40
Mike Montgomery*
24
10
5
4.29
25
25
0
126.0
1.31
Enny Romero*
23
5
11
4.50
25
25
0
126.0
1.43
Merrill Kelly
25
9
4
2.76
28
15
0
114.0
1.26
Alex Colome*
25
7
6
3.77
15
15
0
86.0
1.33
Doug Mathis
31
2
3
3.63
26
3
0
67.0
1.64
Adam Liberatore
27
6
1
1.66
54
0
4
65.0
0.89
C.J. Riefenhauser*
24
3
3
1.40
39
0
1
57.2
1.14
Steve Geltz*
26
3
3
2.38
29
0
1
41.2
1.06
Josh Lueke
29
0
1
3.38
32
0
12
37.1
1.10
Brandon Gomes*
29
0
2
3.62
27
0
0
37.1
1.29
Jeff Beliveau*
27
0
0
1.50
30
0
11
36.0
0.92
Jake Thompson
24
4
1
3.15
24
1
0
34.1
1.54
Juan Sandoval
33
0
1
3.12
14
1
1
26.0
1.35
Kirby Yates*
27
1
0
0.36
21
0
16
25.0
0.76
Jeremy Hellickson*
27
1
4
7.23
5
5
0
18.2
2.30
Cory Burns*
26
2
2
2.77
7
0
1
13.0
1.54
Braulio Lara
25
0
3
9.00
9
0
0
11.0
1.73
Jimmy Patterson
25
1
1
2.70
5
1
0
10.0
1.30
Brad Boxberger*
26
1
0
1.93
6
0
2
9.1
0.86
Juan Carlos Oviedo*
32
0
0
3.86
7
0
0
7.0
0.86

Matt Adriese (Right Handed Starting Pitcher) (162.1 innings, 28 games) was the best of a not particularly distinguished starting crew this year. Before the season started I was tipped that he might be the best arm of the bunch, and that’s the way it turned out for 2014. He had the most wins and the best ERA of the regular starters of 3.77; however, that ERA ranked 15th among all the pitchers. His WHIP (Walks and Hits per Inning Pitched) of 1.24 was a respectable 9th. He also led the team in home runs (18) and hit batsmen (8). The only regular starter not on the Rays 40-man, there’s a good chance he’ll be back. He induces a lot of ground balls which makes his games fun to watch. He also got two of the four postseason wins. Stats.

Nathan Karns* (RHSP)(145.1 innings, 27 games) did not have a good year as a Bull. He was one of those players for whom what the fans see is not what the big club sees. We fans saw an awful ERA of 5.08, a WHIP of 1.40, and a string of losses at the end of the season. But we have to note that he had 153 Ks, an amazing number, and he tied for the most Ks in the entire International League. (I have to point out that he also led team in walks at 62.) The Rays called him up in September where he got two starts, one very good and one not-so-good. Likely to be back next year for more development. Stats.

Mike Montgomery* (LHSP) (126 innings, 25 games) was to be this year's ace and he came out of the gate with 8 wins and no losses in his first 15 games, including 8.1 no-hit innings on 26 April. But there was a long stretch between his 8th win on 25 May and his 9th win on 10 July and his next 7 starts were either losses or no-decisions. He did finish out on an up note with an end-of-season win on 28 August, but he was the back of the rotation for the post-season, getting in 6 pretty good innings in the 4th game, 13 inning loss. If it can be figured out what happened to him in the second half of the season then maybe next year will be his breakout. Stats.

Enny Romero* (RHSP) (126 innings, 25 games) is another statistical mess that leaves you puzzled, but for him there’s an answer — not an answer that Bulls fans would appreciate, but an answer nevertheless. He’s a left-handed reliever in training. The 23 year-old only managed 5 wins in 25 starts, carried a poor ERA and a WHIP of 1.43. So why is he around? Because he routinely hits 95+ with his fastball and he’s left-handed. My guess is that the Rays will keep on stretching him out until they think he’s ready to come up as a reliever. And we have to admit that he’s fun to watch. Sure would not want to be his catcher, though. Stats.

Merrill Kelly (RHSP/RP) (114 innings, 28 appearances) was Charlie Montoyo’s go-to guy for long relief and a starter when needed. He had 15 starts, 13 relief appearances, and uncounted calls to warm up. He has the only decent ERA among the starting crew of 2.76, has a good WHIP of 1.26, and is an all-around solid performer. No reason for him not to be back next year and keeping on working towards his shot at the majors. Stats.

Alex Colome* (RHSP) (86 innings, 15 games) joined after the beginning of the season because of a 50-game drug suspension. He won three out of his first four games before putting himself into a statistical hole he had trouble getting out of before the end of the season. That was from a game in late June where he gave up 9 runs before getting the first 4 outs. Here’s the real oddity: after that game he got called up for a spot appearance with the Rays (5.2 innings and he got the win). He was erratic throughout the rest of the season, which leads us to think that he was being coached to work on specific aspects of his game. Decent overall numbers. September call-up. Stats.

Doug Mathis (RHRP) (67 innings, 26 appearances) arrived in mid-April and ended up being one of the players who got shuffled on and off the roster all year, much like Robby Price and Mayo Acosta among the position players. I count ten separate transactions, so about 5 times back and forth. One of those pairs was to/from the disabled list, but that’s hard to judge the veracity of that move. I was surprised to see how many innings he put in. He was needed for those 26 appearances. Yes, he had a poor WHIP of 1.64, but an OK ERA of 3.63. He was called on for three spot starts. He was the kind of guy that the Bulls have to have to survive the season, but I’m guessing he won’t be back. Stats.

Adam Liberatore (LHRP) (65 innings, 54 appearances) had a brilliant season. Unquestionably the star of the relief crew as he picked up 6 wins in relief, had a stunning ERA of 1.66, a vanishingly small WHIP of 0.89, and earned a bunch of kudos at the end of the season. He’s never had a shot at the majors and at 27 he’s running out of time. But he’s also banging on the door. Stats.