Thursday, February 19, 2009

Players We Won't See in 2009 -- Jonny Gomes


Jonny Gomes is a favorite of the fans in my section of the DBAP. But I have to admit that his playing as a full-time Durham Bull was before my time as a Bulls fan. I have seen him play on his occasional visits back, and it got right noisy behind first base. For myself, however, I’d rather have seen Jon Weber out in left at the end of 2008.

Nevertheless, he attracted some signage back in 2007, as seen in this pretty fuzzy shot.

Jonny’s off to the Cincinnati Reds with a minor league contract and an invitation to spring training. I suppose that could mean that we will be seeing him in 2009 -- as a Louisville Bat.

Early comments from Cincinnati here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Players We Won't See in 2009 -- Jeff Neimann

We had a lot of fun watching Jeff last year, but it looks like we are unlikely to see him this season. According to The Tampa Tribune he is out of options and would have to be put on waivers. So he will be looking for a spot in either the starting rotation or the bullpen for the Rays.

To learn more than you probably want to know about waivers, certainly more than I wanted to know, check out this link .

Too bad because it was interesting to watch opposing batters try to adjust to a 6'9" guy looking down on them from the mound. Think he might make one heck of a reliever.

Based on my charts from last year, he was the best of our starting pitchers in my favorite pitcher stat, the opponents on base percentage (also known as OBA, On Base Against). His was .265, which meant that only about a quarter of the batters he faced ever got on base with a hit, walk, or hit by pitch. Pretty darn good and better than any of Tampa’s pitchers last year. So I wish him well.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Who's in Camp?

The Bulls website has some downloads about spring training here. One of the those downloads is the Rays spring training roster and some old friends of ours are on the list. For now, I’ll just mention the position players I think could show up in Durham this year, since it makes my head hurt to think about the combinations and permutations of the pitching situation.

Catchers:

We saw Michel Hernandez and Matt Spring last year. A good, solid, experienced catcher is absolutely crucial to the Bulls and I have no doubt that the Rays understand that. Hernandez fills that bill. I suspect Matt Spring is someone that the Rays are looking to bring up in a year or so. And there’s a big name prospect somewhere down the in the chain who’s name I don’t remember at the moment.

Infielders:

Reid Brignac leads the list. It really hurt the Bulls last year when he went on the disabled list (if for no other reason than it exposed Guzman’s lack of range at 3rd base). Seems to me a sure thing that he’ll be with us for further development unless someone in Tampa gets hurt.

Can’t say how pleased I am to see Chris Richard on the list. Really hope that he’s back on our team this year.

Elliot Johnson we all know well. Seems a good chance we’ll see him back here.

Chris Nowak didn’t exactly shine at the end of last year. We’ll see. He surely did well at Montgomery.

Outfielders:

Sure do have mixed feelings about Fernando Perez. He’s the most exciting player we’ve had in Durham in a long while, even as he struggled with the Rays-imposed diktat that he become a switch-hitter. In the abstract, sure seems he’d be better off here in Durham rather than working as a speed specialist in Tampa, because he could become a real all-tool player. Besides, I’d like to see him a few more times.

And Jon Weber’s there. Good for him. Undoubtedly the guy who kept the Bulls going in the last of the 2007 season and the middle third of last season. Extraordinary energy level, and seems like nobody gets to second base safely when he’s playing the Blue Monster. Don’t think the Rays have room for him, so expect him back if he’s willing to sign.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Blogging the Bulls

The Rays’ spring training starts tomorrow, so today seems like a good day to start a blog about the Bulls. I’m learning about blogging (and learning about how to chase down information about the Bulls). My hope is that by the time the first game is played on April 5th I’ll have the hang of this.

That way I’ll be able to talk about the Bulls and won’t be spending time figuring out the mechanics of blogging.

In the meantime, here’s a link that speculates on the Rays’ 40-man roster. The importance to the Bulls is that most of the folks on the 40-man roster who don’t make the core 25-man roster will be playing for the Bulls at the beginning of the season.