Friday, October 12, 2012

The Bull(s) in Winter

I’m not very good at chasing down the various winter leagues (and they haven’t all started yet). On the other hand, Jim Donten over at Rays Prospects is. So you probably want to add it to your RSS feed just to keep up. From Jim you learn that Tim Beckham is playing in the Arizona Fall League, Henry Wrigley is in Venezuela, and Alex Torres is also in Venezuela.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bulls By the (Other) Bay

Rehabbing Jonny Gomes, May 30, 2007

Just noticed a couple of ex-Durham Bulls playing baseball out in Oakland in the A’s-Tigers series. How many of you remember these guys?

Jonny Gomes came up through the old Devil Rays system and was a fan favorite in Durham, especially in the 2004 season. He came back from time to time, as in this shot in 2007. He was also back in town as a Louisville Bat in 2009. After playing for the Reds and Nationals, he’s now with the Oakland A’s mostly at DH. He has not come to bat in the first three games of the ALDS series against the Tigers. He’s just about the twitchiest batter I’ve ever watched it the plate. Stats (minors and majors).

In Oakland’s bullpen is former Durham Bull Grant Balfour. The very intense Australian appeared in 15 games for the Bulls in 2008 with a stunning ERA of 0.38 before going on to a couple of good years with the Rays. He’s got 24 saves with the A’s this year (notable 17 for his last 17 opportunities). He got tagged with the loss on Sunday, but he got the save against Detroit last night. Stats (minors and majors)

Over in the Detroit dugout is DH Delmon Young. Back in 2005 and 2006, Young was a rising 20 year-old prospect in in the Devil Rays’ system. He got a lot of press in 2006 for throwing his bat at an umpire (50-game suspension) and for his part in a USA Today interview with his fellow prospects 21 year-old B.J. Upton and 22 year-old Elijah Dukes. This was the year before Charlie Montoyo arrived and brought some adult leadership to the management of the team. After a year with the Rays, Young has gone on to a decent career with Minnesota and Detroit, now essentially a full-time DH even if only 26. Stats (minors and majors)

In Detroit’s bullpen is Joaquin Benoit, who appeared in 8 games with the Bulls in 2010. He started the year with the Bulls, but went to Tampa Bay before the end of the first month. He’s looking OK in the Tigers’ postseason. Stats (minors and majors)

Did I miss anyone?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Bulls by the Bay: How Did They Do?

Eight players who spent the bulk of their season with the Durham Bulls were called up to Tampa Bay for the month of September and a couple of games in October. We know they very likely made more money in that month than they did for the entire rest of the year, but what else happened to them?

Well, mostly they sat on the bench. Of the position players only catcher Chris Gimenez saw significant playing time. Only Chris Archer among the pitchers spent much time on the mound.

  • Chris Gimenez appeared in 18 games in September and October. In fact, he started the last five games of the season, which says a lot since the Rays were making a run in those very games. He also went 13 for 32 in September and October for a .406 batting average. 
  • Outfielder Rich Thompson appeared in 14 games in September and October. He didn’t start a game, mostly coming in to pinch-run in late innings. To that end, he stole 4 bases and scored 2 runs. At bat he was 1 for 5. 
  • Reid Brignac and Stephen Vogt essentially sat on the bench. Brignac played in 8 games, started none, and had 4 ABs (0-4). Stephen Vogt also played in 8 games. He only started one game, the last game, at DH. At bat he was 0-8. Stephen is awaiting his first big league hit.
  • Pitcher Chris Archer was comparatively busy. He appeared in 4 games in September — a 7 inning start against the Rangers, as the 9th pitcher in a 14 inning marathon against Baltimore (3 ⅔ innings), a winning 5 inning start against Boston, and a 2 inning relief appearance at the end of September. That was 17 ⅔  innings overall.
  • At the other extreme was Dane De La Rosa who made one-inning appearances in four games.
  • Brandon Gomes had five appearances for 6 innings.
  • Cesar Ramos also had five appearances but put in 5 ⅓ innings.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Last Rays Chart

Nothing to be ashamed of in this season for the Rays. Lots of "ifs" to discuss over the winter.

You've got to hand it to the O's. They had a great year.

The slide of the Red Sox was a terrible sight. Not sure what happened to the Blue Jays after the All-Star break. I don't follow them at all.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Rays Get Close, But ...

Three games left, all against Baltimore. Oakland has to lose three games to Seattle Texas. Rays have to win all of theirs. Not likely ...

Too bad. Nice end-of-season run.

click on chart for larger version
Update (10/2/2012): Didn't happen