Thursday, February 13, 2014

Durham Bulls in the Spring — Part 1

That's ice hanging down from the camera!
DBAP Thursday Morning, 13 Feb 2014
Now, just what does a Bulls fan do when Spring Training starts? Stand by. WDBB is about to take a stab at telling you.

Pitchers and catchers report to the Rays camp in Port Charlotte, Florida tomorrow. We aren’t going to know who is on the Bulls’ roster until April 2nd. That means we’ve got a month and a half to speculate. Won’t that be fun?

Let’s start with some basics. We will assume that all of the 2014 Durham Bulls are to be found (at first) in the Tampa Bay Rays major league camp. Once Spring Training gets into full swing we will see 64 (or so) ballplayers in camp. How do we know that? Because that’s how the Rays do things. They have a 40-man roster (dictated by Major League Baseball) and they have published a list of Non-Roster Invitees that has 24 names on it. (40 + 24 = 64 — Take that, Mr. Hochheim! I am so going to graduate from 2nd grade!)

Of those 64 names, only 25 will be allowed to play baseball for the Tampa Bay Rays on opening day March 31. Most of the Rays media (including bloggers) are going to be focused on just who those 25 might be. We don’t really care about that, except as it has an effect on the other 39 guys — the source of the 2014 Bulls.

We want to keep an eye on guys on the 40-man who aren’t a “lock” to make the team. They include a mix of prospects and veterans. Just to have a start point, we can take a look at how Rays Index saw the roster a few days ago. But remember, this is a moving target. The Rays just traded Jose Lobaton, for example.

Pitchers first. What strikes me is the sheer number of pitchers at camp. By my count, there are 11 prospective Bulls on the 40 man list and another 10 on the NRI list. The Bulls usually carry 12-13 pitchers on their roster, so at least 8 of these guys won’t be coming to Durham at the end of March.

Looking at the table a couple of other things are interesting. This is a pretty young crowd.
Not a lot of lefties in the bunch. And 13 of them have already had some time with the Bulls. You might guess that previous AAA experience gives them quite an edge.

NamePosAge2013 TmStatsWDBB Cmts
Jeff Beliveau*LHP27BullsStatsNotes
Brad Boxberger*RHP26Padres/TusconStats
Alex Colome*RHP25RaysStatsNotes
Josh Lueke*RHP29Bulls/RaysStatsNotes
Mike Montgomery*RHP23BullsStatsNotes
Jake Odorizzi*RHP24Bulls/RaysStatsNotes
Juan Carlos Oviedo*RHP31Stats
C.J. Riefenhauser*LHP24Bulls/BiscuitsStatsNotes
Felipe Rivero*LHP22Single-AStats
Enny Romero*LHP23Bulls/BiscuitsStatsNotes
Kirby Yates*RHP27BullsStatsNotes
Matt Andriese†RHP23Padres AAAStats
Santiago Garrido†RHP23Royals AAStats
Steve Geltz†RHP23BullsStatsNotes
Merrill Kelly†RHP25Bulls/BiscuitsStatsNotes
Braulio Lara†LHP25Biscuits/BullsStatsNotes
Adam Liberatore†LHP27BullsStatsNotes
Mark Lowe†RHP31AngelsStats
Victor Mateo†RHP24BiscuitsStats
Sam Runion†RHP25Royals AAStats
Juan Sandoval†RHP33Bulls/BiscuitsStatsNotes

Note: * marks a player on the Rays' 40-man roster. The † designates a non-roster invitee.

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