Saturday, February 16, 2013

Where Are They?

Time to take a look at the players who played for the Durham Bulls last year, but won’t be back for 2013. I’m a bit too lazy to chase down everyone who put on a Bulls uniform in 2012, so I will just mention those who were on the roster in September (including a couple of the September call-ups), but have since gone elsewhere. I’ve added some of my end-of-2012 comments about the hitters from previous posts (here and here). Pretty obvious that I guessed wrong in a couple (well, maybe more than a couple) of instances. With the exception of Brignac and Conrad, all of these players are on minor league contracts with, I think, invitations to spring training.

I was not able to find out anything about Jesus Feliciano, although he was playing Winter Ball. And Lance Pendleton does not show up on any of my searches. Help me out if you can.


Jesus Feliciano - ???
Played in the most games of any Durham Bull (125) and was #2 in plate appearances.  His line of .270/.312/.326 and 46 RBI helped. An unimpressive Weighted On-Base Average  (wOBA) of .294 and a Weighted Runs Above Average  (wRAA) of -11.5 does not auger well for his future in a Rays system that loves to crunch numbers.
Reid Brignac - Colorado Rockies
99 games and 400 plate appearances as a Bull in 2012. His line .228/.321/.347 with 46 RBI is not too impressive. His wOBA of .308 and negative wRAA (-5.6) are simply not very good numbers. And yet, from a fan’s perspective, he was a valuable Durham Bull this year. Unlike their parent club, the Bulls defense held up pretty well and that was, in my opinion, helped both by Brignac’s play and by his apparent mentorship of young Tim Beckham.
Henry Wrigley - Colorado Rockies
Played 32 games with the Montgomery Biscuits before coming up and playing 94 games with the Bulls (380 PA). His numbers are pretty good: .285/.324/.472 with 52 RBI. And his wOBA of .350 and wRAA of +7.4 is a match with Vogt’s. Although he put in a few games in the outfield (6), he played mostly 1B (53 games) and as DH (31 games). My guess is that Mr. Wrigley has a good shot at coming out of spring training with a place on the Rays’ 40-man. If he spends the winter working on his 1B footwork, he might go places.
Will Rhymes - Washington Nationals
Played in 46 games (194 times at the plate) in his two stretches with the Bulls. He was mostly at second base. Decent, but not particularly helpful hitting numbers, .256/.326/.361 with 21 RBI, an OK wOBA of .320 and a slightly negative wRAA of -0.9. Rhymes was an infielder-in-waiting all year for the Rays as they moved folks on and off the disabled list. Mostly Rhymes stayed with the Rays. However, the Rays dumped him off the 40-man at the end of the Bulls season. I was mildly surprised to see him pass through waivers.
Nevin Ashley - Cincinnati Reds
Broke his hand in April and didn’t make it back until late July. He got into 35 games with 130 plate appearances. On a small sample, decent numbers. Slash line: .245/.357/.455 with 13 RBI. His wOBA was a .363 and his wRAA was 3.8.
Brooks Conrad - Hanshin Tigers (Japan)
A mid-season hire by the Rays who finished the season with the Bulls (25 games). He was very helpful at the end. Not likely to be back.

Matt Torra - Washington Nationals
Starter: 25 games, 147 innings pitched, 12-7, ERA 4.10, FIP 4.98. Workhorse of the Bulls in 2012 with the most innings pitched. That FIP was worrisome, but looks like the Rays have a lot of youngish talent they want to see with the Bulls in 2013.
Lance Pendleton ???
Starter: 26 games, 129 innings, 8-7, ERA 4.81, FIP 4.25. Says something about baseball that his numbers are significantly better than Alexander Torres, but Torres is still here and Pendleton appears to be still looking for work.
Ryan Reid - Pittsburgh Pirates
Reliever: 46 appearances, 79 innings, 7 holds, 1 save, ERA 3.52, FIP 3.62.


  1. Re: Pendleton and Torres; Torres is a lefty. Might explain the continued interest.


  2. Too true. Torres is the BJ Upton of the last couple of years. An obviously talented guy, but the Rays haven't found a role for him ... yet. The downside of being a AAA fan. If Torres were in the big leagues already he'd be moving from team to team like a shuttlecock. As it is, we get to wonder just what may happen when he comes to the mound. Wishful thinking, but wasn't his last game of the year pretty good? I seem to recall it was. Maybe..., just maybe this will be the year ...

  3. Torres did have a good game.

  4. I can feel a good year coming on for the Bulls. I figure we'll see Myers to start the year along with Lee and Beckham. Also maybe a Shelley Duncan or Bourgeois. I think it all boils down to pitching for the Bulls this year, but with Colome, Torres, Lobstein, and a few others I think it will all pan out. I've heard good things about Barnese too, but I think he might be a second half of the year addition.

  5. In spite of my rant yesterday, I agree. There are some terrific ballplayers in camp and some solid pitching talent available. If you missed it, check out
    That's some of my guesses about who to watch this spring.

  6. I disagree. We once again have no real prospects (Myers not withstanding). This is going to be a team that struggles to put together a starting rotation and that more than anything is what dooms our "bad" teams.

    BTW, can we still chant "Jelly Donut" at Duncan like in the last game of our SWB Governor's Cup blowout loss a few years back?