Friday, July 16, 2010

Swindle (and Abreu!) Staying With the Bulls

Game 91: Durham Bulls (Rays) 2; Charlotte Knights (White Sox) 6
Season: 55-36
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun, Indy Week

Their starter pitched good and ours didn’t so that was kind of the game.
— Durham Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo as quoted in the Durham Herald-Sun

That pretty much tells the story of the game. And we’ll come back to that. But first to the headline. Adam Sobsey over at Indy Week is reporting that R.J. Swindle has decided to not exercise his “opt-out” clause. More than that, Winston Abreu, who apparently had the same type clause and the same deadline, is sticking with the Bulls as well. That is terrific news for the Bulls. And it’s terrific news for us. If there are two pitchers on the roster who are more fun to watch that those two, I don’t know who they are. We’re going to get to see the “Thing” some more. We’re going get to watch a pitcher with more twitches than Jonny Gomes on the mound. (Wouldn’t that be a sight? Winston Abreu on the mound and Jonny Gomes at bat?)

Oh yeah, the game. I don’t see things in quite the apocalyptic terms as Sobsey —
Meanwhile, if you look in the right places, you can descry some widening cracks in the Bulls' armor. If Charlotte can manage to pull off a sweep of this post-vacation, home-and-home, four-game series, they will suddenly find themselves just five games behind the Bulls, with 10 more head-to-head contests before the end of the season, and with Durham about to play an eight-game homestand against two of the best teams in the league, Columbus and Syracuse.
But he does have a point.

On the other hand, Richard De Los Santos is hardly our best starter; Charlotte’s had a bit of a run lately (see the first chart here); our bats were really cold last night (we hit into five double plays!); and Charlotte appeared to be scared to death of Dan Johnson (three walks) and Chris Richard (two walks).They really didn’t hit De Los Santos all that well. We had our chances and couldn’t come through.

Darin Downs pitched an inning last night, so I made a mistake the other day when I left him off our pitcher’s list. Next time.

Two decent innings from Dale Thayer last night. On his way back?

Other Stuff:

Over at DRaysBay, Steve Slowinski is cranking up a series on some of the newish numbers in use. So far there are posts on pitching stats, WAR, wOBA, and BABIP. Interesting reads. For Bulls fans, however, some of these numbers are of limited use in judging how our team or an individual is doing. That’s simply because we’re a minor league team and some of the formulas include major league averages as constants (e.g., FIP). I like two of them, FIP and wOBA, not sure about the rest.

Can’t remember the last time I put a stamp on an envelope, but I think I’ll go out and get a sheet of the new Negro Leagues Baseball Commemorative stamps anyhow. It’ll give me a chance to stand in line at the post office again. I’ve been missing that these last few years.


  1. Just twittered from Bulls GM:

    Hey Bulls fans Jon Weber texted us last night and told us he is retiring. One of the all-time fan favorites. We wish him the best.

  2. Really too bad. Looked like things were getting better in Toledo. Guess not. Will have to do a post about him.