Charlotte Knights 3; Durham Bulls 2
Game 14, Wednesday, April 17, Knights Stadium
Charlotte Knights 4; Durham Bulls 3
Season: 6-8; This Trip: 1-6
Try as I might, I just can’t get a handle on this team yet. I did some yard work during yesterday’s game and it sure sounded like the pitchers were keeping things under control, but the Bulls could not put anything together. Meanwhile, former Bull Ray Olmedo, who’d come into the game hitting less than .100, got 2 doubles, a single and scored a run.
In today’s game Chris Archer put in his second troublesome start. I’m wondering if all the pre-season attention and adulation has been a distraction. He is essentially the face of the 2012 Bulls. See, for example, this recent piece about him on the Bulls website. In 12 innings he’s given up 14 runs and 13 walks. As with Torres, you know he’s going to get better, but when?
Let’s give some time to the surprise (for me) of the year, Leslie Anderson. I had not been impressed with Mr. Anderson in the two years he’s spent time on the Bulls roster. I know he was a huge star in Cuba and I certainly admire his courage in leaving the island for an uncertain future in the US. But it seemed to me that he simply wasn’t adjusting and at 30 years of age, we really couldn’t expect too much.
Guess what? No surprise, I was wrong. In 11 games so far and he’s the International League’s leading batter with a .465/.500/.558 line. He isn’t hitting for power. His 20 hits include only 4 doubles. (Note: it says something about this year’s Bulls that with those four doubles, Anderson leads the Bulls in slugging at .558) True to his usual form, he certainly isn’t looking for a walk. He’s only drawn four walks this year (two of them today). Now, if his slightly younger team mate, also left-handed, also from Cuba, also playing first base, Juan Miranda, could join in with him.
Outside the game:
- The Bulls are playing in Knights Stadium. This is another location that the folks that rate stadium don’t much like. See here and here for reviews. The underlying issue is apparently that for several years city politics has kept the Knights from moving into the downtown.
- I wonder what’s happened to Stephen Vogt? He was called up to the Rays just before the season opened in Durham, possibly because the Rays didn’t want to give up a spot on the 40-man to Jeff Salazar. Salazar is getting plenty of playing time with the Bulls and if he hasn’t been a stunning performer, he has hit for some power and stolen a couple of bases. Meanwhile Vogt is mostly riding the bench with an occasional dh/ph opportunity the Rays. Unfortunately he has yet to get his first big league hit or spend much on the playing field. Too bad, we really like him. Maybe when BJ Upton returns we'll get him back here where he can get some playing time.