Saturday, July 2, 2011

How About Them Waiver Claims?

Game 81, July 1, Knights Stadium
Charlotte Knights 7, Durham Bulls 2
Season: 44-37, Trip: 2-2
Wrap, Box

The Tampa Bay Rays have claimed two pitchers off waivers this season and sent them to the Durham Bulls. The first was 27 year-old RHP Jay Buente who was with the Florida Marlins. Buente started in four games before going on the disabled list — 3 losses, 1 no decision, 17 innings, ERA of 9.17. The second was 30 year-old Lance Cormier who was with the LA Dodgers. Cormier has had three starts and two relief appearances — 2 losses, 19 1/3 innings, ERA of 5.59. Cormier and Buente are neck and neck in the competition for the worst in several pitching metrics such as ERA, WHIP, and FIP. Yes, this is a very small sample, but sure doesn't look good for them or the Bulls or the Rays' vaunted ability to pick through the discard pile of other teams.

[Update 9:44 am: As improbable as it may sound, I was wrong about Cormier. He was not a waiver claim. He was acquired as a free agent after his release by the Dodgers. The general drift of my comments, however, stand. Doesn't look like he was a good acquisition.]

As far as last night goes, Knights Stadium is famously kind to home run hitters. That was true last night. Unfortunately, the hitters were the Knights themselves. They got three off of Cormier, including two in the four-run first inning. That was pretty much the game.

By now the Bulls have been back in town for a couple of hours and have been getting some rest. For the next several days they are going to be playing the Gwinnett Braves, with whom they are currently tied for first place. To get ready for that lets take a look at the aggregate hitting and pitching.

Chart of the Day — Hitting and Pitching, Game by Game

The last time we looked at this one was back on June 2. This chart shows the team wOBA (the green bars and trend line) and uses that to represent team hitting and the Bulls' opponents wOBA (the red bars and trend line) is used as to represent team pitching. The last 15 games are plotted. During that time the Bulls won 9 games and lost 6. Pretty good. But an obvious concern is the pitching (red) trend line. And then the hitting trend line is slipping downwards. In combination, not a promising sight.

On the other hand, the Bulls are back! Baseball in the DBAP! Let's go take a look at people instead of numbers.

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