Friday, February 26, 2010


Statistical analysis is a leading feature of most baseball blogs.

Not here at Watching Durham Bulls Baseball.

One reason is that for minor league ball some of the data aren’t available or are hard to obtain (pitch f/x or the constants for FIP, for example).

A more important reason is that I flat don’t understand many of the new sabermetric stats. That’s because, until I got obsessed with the Bulls, I was too lazy to take the time to chase down just what these new stats meant.

To the rescue — Steve Slowinski and The Sabermetrics Library. This is a terrific site that will lead you into the land of tRA, wOBA, UZR, FIP, WHIP, WAR, and all of the rest of Bill James’ children and grandchildren. It ain’t Oz, but sometimes it feels that way.

Do you want to go there? Well, maybe. Some of the new stats and measures are going to eventually become more popular and visible. As an example, the scoreboard in the DBAP is putting up OPS for each player as he comes to bat. (Note: since I’m sitting there keeping score, I get to try to explain OPS to the folks sitting behind me — actually sort of fun). I’m betting that FIP for the pitchers might get to the scoreboard some day as well.

The Sabermetrics Library provides succinct definitions, examples, and lots of links for more in depth work. Obviously a labor of love on Steve's part. Worth a look.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Where The Bulls Are

And the Rays, Biscuits, Stone Crabs, and all the rest of them.

This shows the complex where the all the guys are gathering. Looks like a pretty nice place to be. I’ll bet there’s local slang for players being moved from place to place within the complex.

Nifty set of photos over at Rays Renegade.

Other odds and ends:

  • The Bulls have put up some You Tube clips promoting the April 3 game with the Rays.
  • Very interesting article on Elliot Johnson’s situation datelined Port Charlotte. Explains a bit about what being “out of options” means — essentially if Elliot doesn’t make the 25-man active roster with the Rays, he has to pass through waivers before coming back to the Bulls. Elliot clearly knows the challenge he’s facing since the Rays certainly have plenty of depth in the infield. Have to think that it’s unlikely he’ll be back in Durham this year (at least as a Bull).

Monday, February 15, 2010

Durham Bulls 2010 Roster Speculation — #1

We were in Durham on Saturday afternoon for a show at the Durham Performing Arts Center. Parked where we usually do for a Bulls game. Could see the bull as we walked towards the show. It was nasty cold, so I didn’t regret (too much) that we weren’t heading towards the DBAP gate. We’ll get a couple of days like that this April and May. Still, quite a twinge. Enough of a twinge to play this fool’s game of speculating on the Bulls roster for 2010.

I’m gonna cheat. I’ll simply list the fifteen players on the current 40-man roster, but not on the active roster and add the non-roster invitees. The main problem with that is that the 25-man roster isn’t “official” yet, so I have to speculate a bit.

But since I’m definitely not a Rays blogger I’ll go with a Rays blogger’s (Cork Gaines) current thinking on the 25-man. You will see that there are more players on this list than the Bulls are allowed to carry and there will surely be more injuries/trades/signings as the weeks go by. And, just because a player is on the 40-man doesn’t mean he will end up in Durham. Still this is probably a 85-90% look at our roster for this year. The Rays 40-man is here, the non-roster invitees are here, and Cork’s list is here. A “*” designates a player on the non-roster invitee list.

  • Dale Thayer
  • Jake McGee
  • Jeremy Hellickson
  • Alex Torres
  • Winston Abreu*
  • Joe Bateman*
  • Jeff Bennett*
  • Jason Cromer*
  • Richard De Los Santos*
  • Carlos Hernandez*
  • Heath Phillips*
  • Heath Rollins *
  • R.J. Swindle*
  • John Jaso
  • Jose Lobaton
  • Craig Albernaz*
  • Nevin Ashley*
  • Alvin Colina*
  • Reid Brignac
  • Tim Beckham*
  • Angel Chavez*
  • Joe Dillon*
  • J.J. Furmaniak*
  • Chris Richard*
  • Ryan Shealy*
  • Justin Ruggiano
  • Fernando Perez
  • Desmond Jennings

Missing from this list is an obvious potential Bull, Elliot Johnson. I just don't understand baseball well enough to figure his situation out. He's on the official 40-man (so should have been on this list) but Gaines at least thinks he'll be dropped before the season starts. Ricky, over at RaysProspects, thinks Elliot will be designated for assignment eventually.