Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Coming Home On a Win

Season: 14-24; Trip: 4-4, Standings

That was a nice way to wrap up the trip. Bulls pitching got what was only their second shutout this year and Juan Miranda got his first home run of the season to win the game.

It was a particularly solid win given the context, which is severe roster turmoil (Stephen Vogt called up just before the game) that is only going to get more confusing over the next couple of days. More about that below.

I agree with broadcaster Patrick Kinas — Bulls pitching has really settled down over this trip. (I would add: with the notable exception of Alexander Torres.) Defensively a few miscues, but nothing to be concerned about. What is still cause for concern is the lack of power. But that isn’t new and the answer is more effective small ball, i.e., get that guy home from second and third base. That needs some help, but that’s who the Bulls are this year ... so far ... wait for the next edition of the team. It changes almost daily.

Outside the game (big goings on, and likely to be more before the Bulls take the field tonight):
  • Latest word from the Bulls is that Hideki Matsui will play tonight. But if not tonight, then tomorrow. Should be fun. 
  • If Matsui does get added to the roster, who goes? That’s where the secrecy surrounding minor league contracts comes into play. If it’s just performance, then, in spite of his big hit last night, Juan Miranda would be the one to go. He was hired by the Rays for his bat and he is not producing. But if it’s ease of moving players around, then it will likely by Henry Wrigley back to Montgomery. Sorry, Henry, because I was really looking forward to seeing you play.
  • But wait! There’s more! Jeff Niemann, a Rays starting pitcher, was hit so hard by a batted ball it broke a bone in his leg and he will be out for a long time. That means a pitcher will probably be leaving Durham. My guess is Alex Cobb. No telling who’s available to fill that hole. Seems like half of the Rays roster is on the DL. Just look at the folks here. Plus at least two of those guys (Ridriguez and Suarez) ain’t gonna get called up any time this year.
  • But, the Rays could take someone from their bullpen (Wade Davis was in competition for the starting job until just a few weeks ago) into the rotation and the Rays call up a reliever from the Bulls instead of a starter. Brandon Gomes, De La Rosa, and Gaub are on the 40-man.
  • If they take a pitcher from the Bulls today, then they could just leave a hole and Matsui will just slip in without a transaction.
  • Does any of this pass the "So what?" test. Well, I think so. Because the senior guys in the dugout and the bullpen have to be thinking if their day is coming.
  • After mentioning Cesar Ramos yesterday in this blog, nice to see him come in after Niemann’s injury and do a great job.
  • For a short break from baseball, check out Diane Van Derek’s trek. She is getting near Blowing Rock on the fifth day of her run from the Tennessee border to the coast. They don’t have the GPS tracking up and running yet. Hope they do soon.
[Note regarding my predictions regarding roster moves — My record is really, really dismal. I would not bet on me, neither should you.]

Update: For a thoughtful analysis of the Rays pitching situation, see this piece by Tommy Rancel, a well-regarding Rays watcher and analyst.


  1. I see Gomes going up until the weekend and then Cobb after that. I think Davis stays in the bullpen and I don't think they'll touch Archer while he's on a hot streak.

    This assumes people stay healthy another few days at least.

  2. Yes, it doesn't make sense for them to bring up a starter until the next time around in the rotation for Niemann (not to mention that the pen for the Rays had a busy night last night).

  3. Well, we were all semi-right and semi-wrong. Josh Leuke has been called up. I even left him off my 40-man list, but it was a reliever and not a start who was called up. At least for the next couple of days. That leaves a hole that Matsui to fill, for the moment, without anyone else leaving.

    1. edit: Matsui can fill, not, Matsui to fill