Keeping track of Durham Bulls pitching can be tough to do. The season is not quite a month old yet and seventeen players have already taken the mound for the Bulls (eighteen if you count catcher Craig Albernaz’s two appearances). The Bulls' website seems to have trouble keeping track. For example, as this is being written Alex Cobb’s return from Tampa Bay does not show, nor does the departure of the unfortunate Paul Phillips to Montgomery. Even with those transactions, the Bulls are carrying 13 pitchers, one more than usual. Also, we can expect a visit from rehabbing Tampa Bay reliever J.P. Howell soon.
The Bulls have two starting pitchers on the disabled list, Richard De Los Santos and Dirk Hayhurst. Chris Bootcheck just came off the DL.
Ryan Reid and Jeremy Hall joined the Bulls while they were on this road trip.
As a group, Bulls pitching ranks fifth in the IL on ERA and third on the WHIP (walks and hits per inning) metric. They are fifth in the league on won-loss percentage.
As this chart (sorted by innings pitched) shows, ERA is mostly OK. You have to discount the low-inning guys who are down near the bottom. That’s going to get better. The two worrisome numbers are R.J. Swindle’s and Brian Baker’s, the same two who have WHIPs up and out of the zone.
The stats guys don’t like ERA very much. To see their tRA and other such numbers, check here.
This crew ranges in age from 23 (Cobb and Torres) to 32 (Bootcheck), so a pretty decent balance there. From a fan’s perspective it does not look like this year we are going to be seeing any fireballers — unless Jake McGee, just back from Tampa Bay, is supposed to be working on his fast ball. Just about all of this crew are finesse guys, which can be just as much fun to watch.
Update 5 May, 2:45: Tampa Bay's Jeff Neimann may be going on DL. If so, then either a starter (Cobb or Torres) or a reliever (your guess is a good as mine) will be called up from Durham.