Wednesday, June 24, 2009

On the Mound — Wade Davis

Game 73: Bulls 4, Mud Hens 2
Season: 40-33
Wrap, Box, Indy Week

His won-loss record (6-4) doesn’t jump out at you, but Wade Davis has established himself as the premier starting pitcher of the Durham Bulls. Today was a good example. Davis went 6 innings, giving up 2 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits and 2 walks. He had six strikeouts. I won’t get into some of the more arcane stats, but his ERA is 2.89 (the team’s ERA is almost 4) and his OBA (opposing batters on base percentage) is .293 (the team’s is .329). Among the starters, Jason Cromer has better numbers, but he’s only been in 6 games and Davis has been in 15. Of Davis’ five no-decisions the Bulls won 3 (including today) and lost 2.

Although I am sure that he’s being watched very closely within the Rays system, to be honest I’m happy that he hasn’t undergone the media scrutiny that David Price has. In fact, the comet-like rise of Price last year and this seems to have kept Davis out of the light. A good thing, in my opinion. And good for the Bulls. I think that there’s every hope that we will be able to keep this young man with us all year and that he’ll be with us on into the playoffs.

Without Davis, today could have been a disaster. We used six of our relievers in last night’s 13 inning marathon. We had a grand total of two relievers left, Calvin Medlock and closer Dale Thayer. As it turned out, however, Davis got through 6 innings and Chad Bradford’s rehab schedule called for him to pitch back-to-back games. So, even though Bradford had a crappy outing last night, he got in an inning (and, thanks to Justin Ruggiano’s homer in the 8th) a win. Then Dale Thayer did a two-inning save (his 10th). So Medlock’s available tomorrow, along with anyone else who can work on one day’s rest.

Defense was not good in the early part of today’s game. Ray Olmedo needs a new glove, I think. Or maybe he has a new glove and needs to go back to the old one. At any rate, he’s been snakebit the last couple of weeks.

Matt Joyce finally got a hit, a 2-run homer in the first inning. Justin Ruggiano collected two more strikeouts before his game-winning home run. Bulls stole 3 bases: Eldridge, Joyce, and Ruggiano. And no pickoffs or other baserunning problems today. Good news.

Really nice to see us win a close game. Really, really nice. Good way to start the second half of the season.

Down on the Bay:

The newspapers and webworld are abuzz with speculation regarding the return of Scott Kazmir to the starting rotation. To summarize: David Price went to the Rays when Kazmir went on the DL. With Kazmir back (maybe) the Rays have six starters, so one needs to go. Before Price got his head handed to him last night the general consensus was that either Andy Sonnanstine or Jeff Neimann would be sent to the bullpen and work there. Now Price has been added to the mix. What does it mean to the Bulls? Here’s a few possibilities.
  • David Price could come back. Not very likely, but possible.
  • Sonnanstine could come down for a visit. Also not very likely.
  • Either Niemann or Sonnanstine sent to bullpen and one of the Rays’ current relievers (Choate or Abreu) could come back. Although I'm sure they would not agree, I'd be happy to see Winston or Randy back.


  1. I would be surprised to see Price or Sonny sent down here, though it might be good for either of them.

    I would guess Abreu. We shall see, I guess.

  2. For his physical well-being and for his future I agree that Price should spend a year in AAA. After a while the media buzz would die down and he'd get a chance to become an all-around pitcher away from folks analysing his every pitch (see DRaysBay, for example). He's young, he's strong, the Rays have shown they can win without him.

    But ... don't think it will happen. We'll see five years from now whether it was a good decision or not (hopefully not after some kind of surgery).