Friday, April 26, 2013

And Starting at Shortstop Is ...

Season: 14-7; Home Stand: 6-2
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun

Tampa Bay’s inability/unwillingness to replace injured shortstop Hak-Ju Lee came back to bite the Bulls last night. When Thursday’s shortstop Mike Fontenot came out of the game after three innings with hamstring tightness the bench consisted of just catchers Craig Albernaz and Juan Apodaca, plus outfielder Rich Thompson. The Bulls only spare infielder was already in the game as DH, hot-hitting Vince Belnome. Just-returned manager Charlie Montoyo put Craig Albernaz in as catcher, moved Chris Gimenez to third base, and moved Cole Figueroa over to short.

Did it matter? Maybe. The headline story of the game was all the noisy home runs — 5 by Toledo and 2 by the Bulls. But there’s the side story of Toledo not scouting Albernaz properly and trying to steal on him. Albernaz has one of the best arms in baseball and he easily threw Toledo’s Kevin Russo out. On the other hand, Chris Gimenez’s error at third cost the Bulls a run. Plus, neither he nor Albernaz had a good day at bat. Gimenez was 0-5 and Albernaz was 0-3. Fontenot had doubled in two runs before coming out of the game

Hard to figure why the wait to fill Lee’s spot. Maybe something will happen before the Bulls head to Syracuse tomorrow.

Nice to see Jim Paduch back in shape. Yes, he gave up some runs. But he also lasted four innings. Much, much better than his four-pitch outing a couple of days ago.

Lastly, a small puzzle. When did Brandon Guyer turn into a runner instead of a hitter? He again had a bunt single last night and he stole a base (his third). Back before his year on the DL his image in Durham (2011) was as a power hitter. Have I missed something? Maybe he's just going back to his 2009-2010 form where he stole 30 bases each year in AA and AAA.


  1. in regard to albernaz,plays in a routine at the beginning of the year, hits in all the games he plays in, sits for 2 weeks, plays does not have a good day at the plate and wham thats the reason they lose. bulls give him regular playing time he will not disappoint

  2. I hope I'm not misunderstood here. I am absolutely NOT blaming my favorite Bull for yesterday's loss. Or, for that matter, Chris Gimenez. The point I wanted to make was somewhat trivial — the Bulls are short an infielder, a hole that they've had for several days now and the Rays haven't filled it. I don't see how you can expect someone who hasn't played 3B all year to handle everything that comes his way or someone who hasn't been in a game for weeks to do well at bat. Plus, the Mud Hens were hot yesterday. Five homers on cool day with no wind is good baseball (and maybe not so good pitching. But everyone else had already written about the home runs and I wanted to keep chirping about needing help in the infield. Sorry if I was misunderstood.