Friday, April 6, 2012

Here We Go

Photo By Travis Long, News and Observer

Game 1, Thursday, April 5, DBAP
Durham Bulls 4, Gwinnett Braves 3 (12 innings)
Season: 1-0
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun, Indy Week, N&O

The weather was cold and ugly. The baseball had its good and not so good moments. Nevertheless, what seemed to be one of the longest and oddest winters ever is over. Baseball is back.

First impressions of the team are pretty positive. Will Rhymes brought a lot to the game and Chris Gimenez is looking to be a terrific catcher (note his interview on WRAL yesterday) A commenter noted that Shawn O'Malley was Tampa Bay's Organization Baserunner of the Year a couple of years ago. He missed some time with a shoulder injury, but did just fine last night after coming in to run for Mangini and then playing the last several innings. Looks like I might have to eat my words regarding the lack of speed on this team.

Gwinnett used nine pitchers, including former Bull Adam Russell. I thought he would have stuck with Atlanta. Guess not. The Bulls used seven pitchers and, except for the home run given up by Romulo Sanchez Cesar Ramos, they looked just fine. Alex Cobb, coming off his surgery, looked particularly good. In previous seasons, Tampa Bay has limited starters to 75 pitches. Cobb went five full innings and 89 pitches, so I'm guessing that they are trusting Neil Allens' judgment.

My first impressions of the new broadcaster Patrick Kinas are positive. Keeps his (and our) heads in the game. Has obviously been talking to the players a lot. Very knowledgeable on minor league baseball. Kept his voice for four hours. Pretty good.

Outside the game:
  • The Rays pulled the trigger on Bulls pitcher Josh Lueke's assignment and he is on his way (or already there) to St. Petersburg. 
  • The Rays claimed a left-handed pitcher from the Cubs organization, John Gaub, and put him on the 40-man. Pretty sure he will end up in Durham in the next couple of days.
  • Local TV station WRAL spent a lot of time at the DBAP yesterday. See here and here.
  • The Durham Bulls did not make Baseball America's Top 10 minor league team list, and neither did any other International League team.

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