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?

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