Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rays - Bulls - Rays - Bulls: Pitchers

A couple of days ago I started a series looking at just how much the Rays and Bulls helped each other this year. The first was a look at the rehabilitation assignment players who passed through. This one takes a look at the pitchers. Note that all stats are for regular season only.

David Price, Andy Sonnanstine, Wade Davis, Randy Choate, Dale Thayer, Jeff Bennett, Joe Nelson, and Winston Abreu each spent some time with the Bulls and the Rays this year. That’s eight of twenty-one pitchers who were on the mound for the Rays, and eight of thirty-four pitchers who wore a Durham Bulls uniform.

David Price
  • Bulls: 8 games, 1-4, ERA 3.93, 34 ⅓ innings, WHIP 1.340
  • Rays: 23 games, 10-7, ERA 4.42, 128 ⅓ innings, WHIP 1.348
David Price started the season with the Bulls and went to the Rays in late May. Looks like he did more for the Rays in terms of winning games than he did for us. Some of that is surely because early in the season the Rays had all starters on low pitch counts and, in the case of Price, had him working on specific tasks in each outing.

Andy Sonnanstine
  • Bulls: 9 games, 5-3, ERA 4.40, 57 ⅓ innings, WHIP 1.343.
  • Rays: 22 games (18 starts), 6-9, ERA 6.77, 99 ⅔ innings, WHIP 1.656
Andy Sonnanstine began the season with the Rays as a starter. He came to Durham in early July and went back to the Rays on September 1 (he spent some time on the DL while with the Bulls). On his return to the Rays he had three starts and all four of his relief appearances. Very helpful to the Bulls as we made our run for the Governors’ Cup.

Wade Davis
  • Bulls: 28 games, 10-8, ERA 3.40, 158 ⅔ innings, WHIP 1.254
  • Rays: 6 games, 2-2, ERA 3.72, 36 ⅓ innings, WHIP 1.266
Wade Davis started the year in Durham and stayed here until September 2. He did a superb job for the Bulls, and not too shabby for the Rays in his six starts.

Randy Choate
  • Bulls: 21 games, 3-0, ERA 3.72, 19 ⅓ innings, WHIP 1.293
  • Rays: 61 games, 1-0, 5 saves, ERA 3.47, 36 ⅓ innings, WHIP 1.073
Sidearming left-hander Randy Choate started the season with Durham and went to St Pete on May 25th. He stayed with the Rays the rest of the season. What’s interesting about Choate, and several other Rays relievers, is that he has considerably fewer innings than appearances, meaning that it was typical for him to face only a few batters and get only a few outs in an appearance.

Dale Thayer
  • Bulls: 51 games, 2-5, 17 saves, ERA 2.27, 63 ⅓ innings, WHIP 1.168
  • Rays: 11 games, 0-0, ERA 4.61, 13 ⅔ innings, WHIP 1.390
Reliever Dale Thayer made 3 trips to the Rays. He went up on May 22 and came back on May 31, appearing in three games. He went up again on July 23 and came back on July 28, after appearing in three more games. He made his third visit in September, going up September 8 and staying until the end of the season. He made five more appearances. Except for the oddity of sitting on the Tampa bullpen bench for some thirteen days in September (12th to 26th), Dale seems to have done a decent job for the Rays and been one of the few relievers that stayed in for more than a few batters at a time. Of course, for the Bulls Dale was a horse with a bunch of saves. The only problem I noted was that when he came back from the Rays it took him a couple of games to get back into it.

Jeff Bennett
  • Bulls: 3 games, 1-0, ERA 4.76, 11 ⅓ innings, WHIP 1.676
  • Rays: 11 games, 0-0, ERA 9.95, 12 ⅔ innings, WHIP 2.763
Bennett made his first appearance with the Rays on August 1 and came to the Bulls on August 18 after seven appearances with the Rays. He stayed with the Bulls until September 1 when he went back to the Rays. As a Bull, Jeff was a starter (mostly in those “committee” games). With Tampa Bay he was exclusively a reliever. Bennett had been with Atlanta this season before going on the DL and then being released after two rehab appearances with Gwinnett. Something of a wash on who he helped the most.

Joe Nelson
  • Bulls: 13 games, 2-2, ERA 6.23, 17.1 innings, WHIP 1.904
  • Rays: 42 games, 3-0, ERA 4.02, 40 ⅓ innings, WHIP 1.463
Nelson was optioned to Durham on August 4 after spending the season with Tampa (and doing what appears to be a decent job). With the Bulls in the regular season he never seemed to get on track. Have to note, however, that he had three appearances in the playoffs (two against Louisville and one against Scranton) and didn’t allow any runs.

Winston Abreu
  • Bulls: 37 games, 3-1, 15 saves, ERA 1.94, 51 innings, WHIP 0.765
  • Rays: 2 games, 0-0, ERA 2.45, 3 ⅔ innings, WHIP 1.365
I saved the best for last. Winston Abreu was arguably the most important pitcher on the team to not get a real chance with the Rays. He started the season with the Bulls and appeared in 23 games before going to Tampa Bay in mid-June. He made two appearances with the Rays and was traded to Cleveland where he made three appearances before managing to get back to the Bulls for a game on August 7. We could not have been happier. He was in 14 games and picked up four saves. Then he made 6 appearances in the Bulls 9 post-season games, picking up 4 saves. In his last appearance he only faced one batter before coming out because of an injury.

So, what can we say overall about how well the Bulls-Rays relationship worked in the pitching department this year? Looks like a win-win for the starting pitchers. We did OK and so did the Rays. As far as relievers are concerned, the Bulls did fine with the ones who began the season in Durham, but only so-so with the ones who were sent down. I think it’s fair to say that the Rays bullpen was their most significant weakness this year and that it was a matter of both talent and management, particularly late in the season. It sure looked like the Rays were trying to trade/buy relief talent rather than take a close look at what they had in Durham. That’s OK with me.

Next: Position players.

No comments:

Post a Comment