Saturday, May 18, 2013

Durham Bulls Pitching ... and Today's Matchup

Catcher Craig Albernaz made his first 2013 appearance as a pitcher last night. I like Mr. Albernaz and I think he’s actually a decent pitcher, but his presence on the mound speaks to more than just the perception that the game was a lost cause.

Let’s try to track the changes among the Bulls pitching staff. Josh Lueke was called up when when the Rays’ Brandon Gomes went on the DL. He’s had three appearances since getting there and is doing just fine. That same day Bulls reliever Frank De Los Santos went on the disabled list.

A few days later the Rays signed reliever Cory Wade to fill one of the holes in the bullpen. He has had two appearances and looks OK, even though he coughed up one of the many, many home runs the Bulls offered up to the Rochester Red Wings.

The Bulls were still one pitcher short.

Then the Rays called up the Bulls best starting pitcher, Alex Torres, and put him in to throw five pitches to get the last out of a lost game Thursday evening. He was called up because starting pitcher David Price went on the DL. (Does a ⅓ inning relief appearance in replacement for David Price make any sense to you? No? Me, either.)

The Rays, apparently offering a AAA “cup of coffee” to Single-A reliever, Austin Hubbard, sent him from the Charlotte Stone Crabs up to Rochester to lend the Bulls a hand. Not so helpful — an awful ⅔ of an inning last night — 5 runs on 4 hits and three walks for a stunning ERA of 67.50.

A consequence of this turmoil (I haven’t mentioned Chris Archer’s troubles) is that Jim Paduch keeps getting called on to start games or come in for a long relief session — and Paduch is by far the least effective member of this year’s Bulls staff.

And the Bulls are still short a pitcher (remember, no replacement for De Los Santos was ever named). Hence Craig Albernaz on the mound.

And even if Torres only stays with the Rays for a few days, he would be out of any rotation for at least a week.

The Rays giveth, Cory Wade and Austin Hubbard; the Rays taketh away, Josh Lueke and Alex Torres; some players get broken, Frank De Los Santos, Mike Montgomery.

As this picture of ERA trends shows, this ain’t looking good at all.

Matching Up 

The Orioles farm team, the Norfolk Tides have been on quite a ride over the last couple of weeks and are now 4 games ahead of the Bulls in the South Division. Statistically, they are similar teams. Their pitching seems to be improving. Only two games, then the Bulls are out of town so that the ACC can rip up the turf of the DBAP.


UPDATE: Forgot to add the rumor that Jake Odorizzi will be the actual call up for Price. That means the Bulls will be 2 pitchers in the hole while they wait for Torres to come back.


  1. Well, Colome did pretty well last night. Thank GOD for the rain.


  2. Odorizzi and Beliveau have been called up. Have Rays hit some sort of panic button?