The following observations are submitted for your consideration:
If you go to the Tampa Bay Rays website and click on the 40-man roster link, something odd jumps out at you.
Of the nineteen pitchers on the list, four are on the disabled list.
Skipping over to the Durham Bulls roster you find 14 pitchers (a bit of double counting — two healthy pitchers are on both lists) with three more on the disabled list.
Then a quick glance at the Montgomery Biscuits roster shows thirteen pitchers with “only” one on the disabled list (and one healthy pitcher who is on the TB 40-man).
I submit that that ain’t good, folks. The first three layers of the Rays’ system has got eight pitchers on the DL.
Of course, just how important this may be depends on where you are sitting. If you are sitting down in the air-conditioned band box between the Bay and the Beach, Hellickson and Ekstrom almost (not quite) make up for Davis, Balfour, and Niemann.
Up here in Durham, we’re a man short from our usual twelve pitchers, but mostly lack good starting. We are still winning games and our team ERA has barely moved (3.39 ten days ago, 3.49 today). But the next several days do not look good, especially the double header coming up on Saturday and the fact that we used five relievers last night.
Over in Montgomery, they’ve got to be wondering if they are about to be ripped off.