Monday, December 21, 2009

Joe Dillon, Reid Brignac, and More

  • According to a release from the Bulls, Joe Dillon, last year’s first, second, and third baseman, and shortstop, has signed a minor league contract with spring training invite. Joe meant a lot to us last year. Good to see him back.
  • Stacy Long, who watches the Double-A Montgomery Biscuits and the rest of the Rays organization, has published his list of top Rays Prospects, with some interesting commentary on changes from his 2008 list.
  • Rays Index has updated his Rays 40-man roster thoughts.
  • No changes to the Bulls coaching staff for next year. Good news there.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chris Richard, Jason Cromer, Joe Bateman, Winston Abreu and More

I’m not sure what’s different this year, but I like it. We seem to know much more about potential 2010 Bulls this year than in previous years. Maybe I’m paying more attention since I wasn’t blogging last year. Maybe the Rays and Bulls are putting more information out there. At any rate, with a bit of judicious speculation, here we are in December with some pretty good ideas about the 2010 Bulls roster, especially the pitching staff.

In recent days the Rays have signed quite a few players to minor league contracts, with most of those announced also getting invitations to spring training. Important to me, if not the Bulls, was that three of my favorite Bulls of this year look to be coming back.

Chris Richard, Winston Abreu, Joe Bateman, Jeff Bennett, Jason Cromer, Carlos Hernandez, R.J. Swindle and Richard de Los Santos have all signed in the last week or so. See the Bulls’ press release for details. We saw six of those last year (the exceptions being De Los Santos and Swindle). I’m guessing that we’ll see all eight on the Bulls roster come April.

I’m particularly pleased to see Chris Richard, Jason Cromer, and Winston Abreu back. Here’s hoping that they have great spring training experiences and make the Rays 40-man before they come to Durham.

Other news:

Charlie Montoyo was named Minor League Manager of the Year by the magazine Baseball America.

Rays Index has updated his projection of the Tampa Bay 40-man roster. For what it’s worth, it’s safe to assume that most players on the 40-man but not on the 25-man active roster will be in Durham (assuming they are still with the Rays).

Mitch Talbot was the subject of a long piece by Bill Chastain at a while back.

John Jaso was the subject of a short piece over at Rays Prospects.

After a terrible start, Justin Ruggiano is picking up his batting numbers down in Venezuela.

Jon Weber’s OPS slipped below 1.000 and is now just .975 down in Mazatlan.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I spend every Monday afternoon as a volunteer at the USO at the Raleigh-Durham airport. Yesterday I did some strolling around Terminal 1 and 2 and discovered a display kiosk in Terminal 1 with all the trophies won by the Durham Bulls and Team USA last year (for those not from around here, USA baseball is headquartered in Cary, NC, one of the unmentioned cities of the "Research" Triangle).

On display is the Governors’ Cup (International League Championship), the trophy from the AAA Championship game, and the Baseball World Cup. As readers know, two Durham Bulls were on the Team USA team that won the World Cup this year. Photos in the display memorialize players, teams, etc.

Nice display. Bit of a puzzle to me that it hasn’t been mentioned on the Bulls website.

If you’re going to be at the airport, worth taking a look. Not likely that the average fan is ever going to be able to get as close to all three trophies. The World Cup trophy is a particularly impressive piece of sculpture and the Governors’ Cup, of course, has quite a bit of history behind it. the display case is in the baggage claim area of Terminal 1 (the old Terminal A).

Update: Photos now posted on the Bulls' Facebook.