Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Take a Break

Game 67, Tuesday, June 12, DBAP
Toledo Mud Hens 8; Durham Bulls 3
Season: 28-39; Home Stand: 2-6; Bulls v. Mud Hens: 2-2; Standings
Box, Wrap, Independent Weekly

All in all, a pretty miserable home stand, possibly the worst in recent memory. Two wins against a not very good Toledo is nothing to shout about. In yesterday’s game Jim Paduch had an awful start and was pulled after two outs in the 2nd inning. The one small light in an otherwise gloomy day was Shawn O’Malley’s good time at bat. His double and home run pumped up his OPS to .589. By no means great, but a good bit better than it was.

The Bulls have a day off today. Good. Then they head out to Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania and Rochester, New York to continue this very long stretch of out-of-division games. They will have played Indianapolis, Louisville, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Toledo, Lehigh Valley, Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, and Buffalo again before a few games with Norfolk, Gwinnett, and Charlotte in July. They will all be different teams by then.

Here’s a puzzle for us. At the start of the season the Rays were being praised for the depth of their starting pitching. So much so that there were persistent rumors about a trade involving names like Niemann and Davis. Where did the depth go, or was it an illusion to begin with? Here in Durham we have only Chris Archer showing any promise at all as a starter. With a collective ERA of 4.99, the starting crew is spotting a bunch of runs every game. The relief crew is slightly better with a collective 4.25 ERA, and includes the shining lights of Brandon Gomes and Bryan Augenstein. Overall, the team ERA of 4.65 is the worst in the International League. If the Rays come looking for help in July (as they often do), will there be anyone here?


  1. Well, starting pitching depth is called depth for a reason. If Cobb were still here, he'd be dominating. He's done great in the bigs.

    At the beginning of the season Torres was considered a legitimate starter candidate, but he's managed to implode.

    Archer is still a prospect, but of late he's performed poorly.

    The Bulls opening day rotation looked like this:
    Cobb, Torres, Archer, Augenstein, Torra

    There's no reason to second guess whether that was a reasonable expectation of depth.

  2. Actually, I don't think it was an illusion either. Just wanted to put the question out there. Your list of opening day starters really makes the case. One is gone to Tampa Bay (Cobb). One went on the DL and is now apparently to be a reliever only and doing a great job (Augenstein). One is beyond a fan's ability to figure out (Torres). One is getting absolutely no run support to steady him out (Archer). Which leaves Matt Torra, who also has run support issues. But I think I remember folks looking at the Rays this Spring and seeing Wade Davis as a starter and with four top prospects in the wings (Moore, Cobb, Torres, and Archer). The way things have turned out, they are now down to one. And we Bulls fans are a bit out in the cold. Help on the hitting front will surely show up once the rehabbers come back. But starting pitching? Does not look good.

  3. What's interesting is that with Davis not having been moved to the rotation, if the Rays were to lose another starter it'd be interesting to see what would happen. The logical thought is that Davis would still move, but I wonder if that's practical from a physical perspective at this point. I suppose if it were for 1 or 2 starts it'd be possible, but let's say Shields were to be out for the season, then what?