Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Early Bird Gets the ...

DBAP, April 7
click on image for larger view
Season: 3-2; Home Stand: 3-2
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun

Concession stand owners probably weren't happy with yesterday’s 30 minute early start. But it turns out to have been a very smart move on the part of the Bulls. Only two games were played in the IL yesterday as the weather closed out almost everyone. But someone in Durham saw a 2-3 hour window and went for it. As you can see from the webcam shot not a whole lot of folks made it to the game, but the sunset sure was pretty, wasn’t it?  Note the folks sitting in our seats. Official count was 1,901, but that includes season ticket holders. Doesn't look like more than a couple hundred to me.

On the other hand, some folks (such as WDBB) just didn’t want to leave the house. Probably a few more compared the sitting out in the weather to watching the NCAA championship and went for that. Too bad. From listening it was an interesting game.

To begin with, the first batter up, left fielder Justin Christian, banged one off the Bull and discovered he had a whole lot of friends in the clubhouse. Christian (see Herald-Sun story), it seems, just gave up tobacco and red meat so he’ll be giving away the free steak.

That was followed by a Wilson Betemit single that drove in Kevin Kiermaier for enough runs to win the game. A home run by Jerry Sands and an Knights' error-plagued 8th inning added on to the score.

This was the first appearance of Erik Bedard in a Bulls uniform. His 10 years of major league service time is the most on the team and he showed it with a solid 60 pitch appearance.

But the guy I want to talk about today is Cole Figueroa. Is this his year? The 27 year-old infielder is off to an amazing start with a league-leading OBP (on base percentage) (Oops, original had OPS not OBP) of .722! His “slash line” is a startling .500/.722/.700; OPS 1.422. Sure it’s early in the season and he’s only had 18 plate appearances. But he is on track to do the Bulls at least as much good as he did last year and very likely much, much more.

Outside the game —
  • Former Bull and WDBB favorite Leslie Anderson is off to a booming start for the Yomiuri Giants of the Japan Central League: 4 for 8,  1HBP, 2 singles, 1 double, OPS - 1.556! Good for him. 
  • Another former Bull, Mike Moore, left last night’s Rays-Royals game early. He’s due for an MRI soon. If he does need some time off, one of the current Bulls would be on the short list to join the Rays. Mike Montgomery is the most mature of Bulls starters on the 40-man. But you have to think the Rays would do some roster magic to move Bedard up instead.
  • This post from Rays Index might seem discouraging to current Bulls. But maybe not. 
  • In the category of—how did I miss this? — we’ve learned that Justin Ruggiano is playing outfield for the Chicago Cubs. Not having a good start. Apparently hurt ankle near the end of spring training. He left some impressive numbers behind in his five year career with the Bulls.

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