Monday, May 12, 2014

Bulls Come Home; Tough Trip; New Faces

Season: 22-17; Trip: 2-6

This has to have been a thoroughly disappointing road trip for the Bulls. Possibly one of the worst in their history. And yet even though they lost 6 games, on the whole they were only outscored 33 runs to 30. They lost 2 extra innings games by walk offs.

At the start of the road trip the starters combined ERA was 4.45 and at the end it was 4.43, but there were some pretty awful games in there. The relievers had a tiny improvement from 2.28 to 2.27 while the team ERA ended the trip exactly as it had begun at 3.51.

So maybe just roster turmoil and bad luck.

Speaking of roster turmoil here’s a summary of what’s happened since the Bulls left town.
  • RHP Nathan Karns was called to the Rays, sat on the bench, and was back in time to start a game on May 6.
  • The Bulls got a catcher from the Montgomery Biscuits, Curt Casali. He played in  5 of the eight games and is looking very good.
  • On the same day the Bulls released catcher Enny Rodriguez.
  • The that day, RHRP Brad Boxberger was called to the Rays and may have done a first in baseball history performance on May 8th. He came into a game with the bases loaded and no outs, then struck out the side in 9 pitches! Don’t think the Bulls will see him back.
  • One of the “ghosts” on the roster, an outfielder named Jeremy Moore was moved to the Montgomery roster.
  • RHP Steve Geltz got a 50-game suspension for drug use.
  • And then The Bulls got two pitchers from the Biscuits, right-hander Jake Thompson and left-hander Braulio Lara. They both have already seen service and are look pretty good.
  • Lastly, infielder Robby Price was moved off the roster.
  • Note: LHP Jim Patterson, another new guy, actually joined the team just before they left town.
  • To summarize, since the Bulls left town, 2 pitchers have left the team, three pitchers have been added, a catcher had been added, a catcher released, and an infielder moved off the roster.
I’m glad I’m not the guy trying to print the programs for Tuesday’s game!

Meanwhile, Gwinnett lost today, so the Bulls are coming home in first place in the South.

The roster turmoil is far from over. Folks who follow the Rays know that three key pitchers and one prospect fell off the team at the very beginning of the year. One of them, Matt Moore, will not be back this year. But we are starting to hear stirring from the other three and that will have an effect on the Bulls roster, eventually. Alex Cobb may be showing up on a rehab assignment. Jeremy Hellickson is reported to be coming along. Alex Colome is nearing the end of his 50-game suspension and will likely be assigned to the Bulls as soon as he is finished. Also out there is shortstop Tim Beckham. 

Did anyone hear why Enny Romero was scratched today? Pass it on and I’ll post it.


  1. It was a discouraging trip, but I didn't get any sense of the Bulls unravelling. They gave up a lot of runs to Syracuse, but tightened up against Scranton-Wilkes Barre. Maybe today's win-by-committee was the highlight in that regard, but I want to give props to Merrill Kelly for his start on Friday night. Patrick Kinas made it clear that he didn't have any of his pitches working - he gave up 9 hits and 5 walks - but he grround it out for a quality start through sheer determination!


  2. OK, maybe it wasn't quite a quality start - only 5 1/3 innings. Still, he gave the Bulls a chance and saved the bullpen some work.

  3. Sometimes you just have a bad run. From a pure stats view, they "should" have come out of the trip with a couple more wins (and they did seem to leave a lot of guys hanging out on third base). But I really wasn't able to listen/watch any of the games closely, so I didn't want to comment. Kelly is this year's JD Martin and it's great to have a pitcher as focused as he seems to be.
    No further word on Romero today.