This continues our look at the Durham Bulls pitchers for 2013. They are discussed in the innings-pitched sequence shown in the table in Part 1. Charts in this post exclude a couple of pitchers who will be discussed when we get to them: Craig Albernaz, Matt Moore, Austin Hubbard, and Braulio Lara.
|Durham Bulls Pitchers, 2013|
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Steve Geltz (RHRP) came to the Bulls out of the Angels system and made his first appearance with the team on April 6 (and got one of his 5 wins). He had the most innings of any of the relief corps (67) and appeared in 41 games. He was arguably the best of the relievers (not counting the closer crew of Lueke and Yates, but even there Geltz had 3 saves). Middle relievers are notoriously hard to evaluate. But Geltz has two stats that jump out at you. His Walks and Hits Per Inning Pitched (WHIP) was an impressive 0.85, the best on the team among the regular pitchers, and his ERA was 2.82. The majority of games he appeared in the Bulls won (26 out of 41). The mystery will be, of course, if he can get a contract and an invitation to spring training next year. He should. Stats.
Kirby Yates (RHRP) had a great year, as we’ve discussed a few times. If he seemed a bit tired near the end, he did pick up four (!) saves in postseason play. Stunning WHIP, ERA, and FIP numbers over his 61⅔ innings and 51 appearances. Fortunately for the Bulls, if not for him, he was not on the 40-man, so he was with the Bulls all year. Next year? The Bulls can hope. The Rays may be coming up on a decision time for him. Stats.
Adam Liberatore (LHRP) was in a lot of games (43) for quite a few innings (60) mostly in short relief and occasionally in a left-on-left situation. Most years we have not seen the Bulls play matchup very often, but this year when there were sometimes four lefties available (Liberatore, Beliveau, De Los Santos, and Riefenhauser) we saw more matchup appearances. His numbers are sort of middle of the pack for the 2013 Bulls, which means they are pretty good. A particularly low FIP of 2.42 means that the coaches are likely to be talking about what else he’s got. He could make it to the 40-man or be part of a trade package in the off-season. Stats.
Josh Lueke (RHRP) did a terrific job for the Bulls all year, making him and Kirby Yates an almost unbeatable team at the end of a game. His 17 saves matched up with Yates’ 20. Lueke got called up 4 times during the year. He appeared in 19 games for the Rays with an ERA of 5.06 and a WHIP of 1.64, nothing approaching his numbers for the Bulls. On the other hand, it doesn’t look like the Rays were using him in save situations. A very deliberate presence on the mound, he could be irritating if you were ready to go home, but going home with a win was worth it. Not on first round post-season roster for Rays. Stats.
Chris Archer (RHSP) started the season with the Durham Bulls and pitched in 10 games, not particularly successfully. But he was very likely working on specific pitches and waiting for his opportunity with the Rays. When that came in late May, he was off and not looking back. As a Ray he’s accumulated a very respectable (great!) 9-7 record, ERA 3.22 over 23 starts. He is on the Rays’ post-season roster and will be starting one of the early games of the ALDS. We won’t see him back in Durham except as a visitor. Stats.
Cory Wade (RHRP) was a Bull back in 2011 and we were pleased to see the Bulls pick him up during the confusion of mid-May. We also thought he’d be working hard to get back on a major league team. He did just fine, including several crucial spot starts. His ERA of 2.17 over 30 games and 50 innings was superb, the third best among the regulars. When it apparently became clear to him in late August that he was not going to get added to the Rays’ 40-man, he was released. He finishied out the season with the New York Mets Triple-A team, the Las Vegas 51s. Maybe he will make it back as a Met next year. Stats.
Alex Torres (LHSP/RP) has been with the Bulls for parts of three seasons. We have been quite critical of the young man, especially as he struggled through last season with an ERA of 7.30 over 26 games and 69 innings. Rumor at the beginning of 2013 was that he had worked something out over the winter. That was surely the way it looked in his 9 games he started with the Bulls this spring. His ERA wasn’t great, but his WHIP was, for Torres, an exceptional 1.20. Other metrics looked just fine. The Rays, however, had an eye on him as a left-handed reliever. He went up in mid-May, came back for two games, and went back up after a late May game. With the Rays he’s appeared in 39 games, all in relief. He has had an extraordinary WHIP of 0.90 and an equally exceptional ERA of 1.71. He is on the post-season roster and unlikely to be back in a Bulls uniform any time soon. He is a great example of how fans can almost never really get a grip on a ballplayer’s potential. Folks in the Rays system did not give up on Torres and he has paid them back. Stats.
Jeff Beliveau (LHRP) joined the Bulls a couple of weeks into the season. From the stands we always perceived him as a left-handed reliever-in-waiting and he made numerous trips to the Rays during the season. But he did not get into a game until September, after the Bulls season was over. Used almost exclusively in short relief, at the end of the season we realized, much like Steve Geltz, that he was one the the guys who really made a difference this year. Some of his metrics are on the high end, but he was a pretty reliable guy. Unless he gets involved in some trading activity, we’d guess he’ll be back with Durham next year. Fine with us if he is. Stats.
Jim Paduch (RHSP/RP) didn’t have all that good a year with the Bulls in 2012, but who did? So we weren’t too worried about him coming back this year. He won his first game pitching in relief of Mike Montgomery, but things really did not look all that good in his next several games. His best game was at the end of May, but by then it was too late. He was offered at job in Montgomery, but decided to retire instead. Always seemed like a nice guy to me, and he had a terrific backstory of getting up to AAA by way of several seasons in independent ball. But it wasn’t working out. Good luck, Jim. Stats.
Will Inman had a decent enough 2012 with the Pawtucket Red Sox, so he seemed a reasonable choice to help fill out the Bulls bullpen this year. But he wasn’t very impressive from the start and, while he didn’t have any truly disastrous innings, over time the bad news seemed to accumulate. By June his ERA was up to 6.47. He left the game with an injury on June 3, pitched in three more after coming off the DL, and was released in late June. Stats.
Frank De Los Santos (LHRP) is a pitcher who seems to have been around a very long time. But he actually hasn’t. He is only 25 years old. He just can’t seem to stay healthy. This year was no exception. He did appear in 26 games, but for just 32 innings. There were a couple of moments in 2012 where he looked very, very good. But we did not see any of that in this year's games. He appeared in 11 games, went on the DL, came back in early July and appeared in 15 more games. He was traded to the Chicago White Sox at season’s end. If he’d ever been truly healthy my guess is that he could have been something special. Stats.
Juan Sandoval (RHRP) spent most of his year with the Montgomery Biscuits (46 games/58 innings). But he sure was handy when he visited the Bulls. The first time was a stretch from late May to late June (11 games/19 innings) when he posted some good numbers and only got in trouble once. Then he came back at the end of the season for a desperately needed spot start in a end-of-season double header. In the Bulls’ post-season he was perfect over 4⅓ innings. At 32, Sandoval is famously coming back from serious injury and a lot of time in the Mexican League. Can he stick at AAA? Maybe we will find out next year. Stats.
C.J. Riefenhauser (LHRP) came up from Montgomery at the beginning of July and yet only appeared in 17 games and just 21 innings. He did OK, but each year of his professional career he’s been pitching fewer and fewer innings (2011 - 138, 2012 - 114, 2013 - 73). That leads to concerns about his fundamental strength and durability. He had one of the better WHIP (1.06) of the Bulls and if his time in Montgomery is included it was superb (0.83). Maybe it’s just a matter of opportunity. We’ll have to see next year. Stats.
Brandon Gomes (RHRP) spent a couple of weeks with the Bulls in August as he was working his way back to the Rays. Probably more time than he really needed, but the Rays were manipulating their roster at the time and Gomes had options left. He was very helpful as he pitched 10⅓ innings over 9 games with a WHIP of just 0.77. Stats.
Enny Romero (LHSP) was in only one regular season game for the Bulls, but that was a brilliant 8-inning shutout of the Norfolk Tides the last game of the year. He went on to pitch 2 innings in relief in the playoffs and after the AAA season’s end got called up to the Rays for one game start against Baltimore where he got a win. He had an excellent year in Montgomery, so we can expect him to start 2014 as a top Rays prospect, possibly with the Bulls. He is now on the Rays’ 40-man, although he was not at the end of the Bulls’ season. Stats.
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Players Not in the Charts
Ramon Ramirez (RHRP) was hired by the Rays in mid-July in what has to be described as a speculative flyer. At the time, however, there were a lot of Rays pitchers with injury problems. Ramirez appeared in just 6 games for the Bulls and pitched only 6 innings before being released at the end of the month. Stats.
Matt Moore (LHSP) had a one-game, 4-inning rehab appearance on August 29. Didn’t do all that great, but the Bulls won the game against the Braves 7-6. Adam Liberatore got the win. Box.
Craig Albernaz is a catcher, not a pitcher, but he did have three appearances on the mound this year and pitched three scoreless innings, allowing only one hit and recording 2 strikeouts. Not one walk. Well done!
Braulio Lara (LHRP) came up from Montgomery at the very end of the season and pitched 3 innings in relief of Juan Sandoval, who had come up to pitch in that same game. He had a busy 45 game, 72 inning year in Montgomery, but did not have all that strong a set of numbers (ERA 4.38, WHIP 1.54). Stats.
Austin Hubbard (RHRP) came up from Single A Charlotte for just one game in mid-May when the Bulls were on the road in Rochester. The Red Wings scored 5 runs off of him in just ⅔ of an inning (they had earlier scored 5 runs in one inning off of Jim Paduch). He then went off to Montgomery where he had 31 more not particularly good innings on the year. The relentless arithmetic of baseball stats left him with the highest ERA of any Bull this year (67.5) and the lowest number of innings pitched (⅔). No surprise if you think about it. Stats.