Saturday, June 4, 2011

Thinking About Third Base

Game 54, June 3, Durham Bulls Athletic Park
Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston) 6, Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay) 3
Season: 30-24; Last 10: 6-4; Home Stand: 3-2
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun

What about Russ Canzler? At the moment he is the Bulls best hitter with a stellar wOBA of .415 and he is the Bulls worst fielder with 7 errors at third and 3 at first base. Last night his bobble of a grounder from the Pawsox's first batter got things off to a bad start, but it certainly wasn't the only problem that the Bulls had over the game. This is Canzler's first year in Triple-A. His career stats don't show him spending much time at third until last year. And last year his fielding percentage was worse than this year (.878 vs. .968).

To sit back and get some perspective, however, we Bulls fans put up with Joel Guzman at third base for over a year and B.J. Upton at shortstop for a couple of eternities. Russ Canzler is a better hitter (so far) than either, and a better third baseman than B.J. was a shortstop. OK, last night was painful, but let's cut him some slack.

In the meantime, I'm not sure about young Mr. Beunte. He's new to the Bulls, but he sure wasn't tearing it up last night. The rough start was not his fault, but let's hope for better performance over time.

Have to give Pawtucket's Andrew Miller some credit. Even though the Bulls outhit the Sox 10-7, he didn't let the Bulls put runs across.

Not only is Dirk Hayhurst back in town, he's starting tonight. Look forward to seeing him.

Fans get some modest say in choosing the Triple-A All-Star team (although, unless things have changed, we never find out how we voted). See the press release on how the voting works.

As mentioned earlier, Rays bloggers are not happy with their catching situation. Here's a recent comment from Rays Index. Why should we care? If the Rays front office agrees and doesn't find a catcher somewhere else (which is what they've done in the past), Lobaton or Chirinos could be given a tryout.


  1. Was nice to see a packed DBAP last night

    Interesting hear N.Solondz saying how the PawSux
    tend nail the hit and run strategy vs grand slamming it out of the park, they impressed me more than the Clippers.

    Best of Luck to Canzler hope he stays

  2. They do seem to be a very balanced team.

    I left out of my comments the issues that the Rays have dealing with first base. However, looks like Montoyo would rather have DJ or Anderson at first rather than see how far Canzler can go at first. The more I think about it my preference, not that my preference matters, would be to see just how good Canzler can get at third.