Thursday, August 14, 2014

Split; Roster Turmoil

Season: 64-61; Trip: 1-3
Wrap, Box 1, Box 2, Democrat & Chronicle

Lots of transactions and player shuffling over the last couple of days. But first these two screwy, and long, games.

The first one was a resumption of Tuesday’s game when the rains came down and the game was stopped after the second inning. That meant the Bulls came into the night to play their fourth double header in a week. That’s a lot of baseball and a lot of turmoil. Then, to top if off, the Bulls blew a 3 run lead and the game dragged on into the 11th inning before Mike Fontenot doubled and Vince Belnome went all the way from first base to home. Vince is not the quickest guy on the Bulls, but by the time he rounded third he had worked up a real head of team. Not real sure Charlie Montoyo could have stopped him. But he didn't try. He was waving his arms like a berserk windmill. Nevertheless, the Bulls had 15 hits over two nights and certainly one of their best hitting games in a long while.

Speaking of Charlie, he got tossed a few minutes later after Justin Christian got hit on the third inside pitch of his at bat. Very ugly words exchanged, most notably between Christian and a Red Wings fan whom the umps didn’t notice that Christian was inviting down into the dugout.

Speaking of fans, I gave up around the 4th inning of the second game, near midnight. I could see at least two, maybe three, fans left in the stadium. Gotta admit that 16 innings of baseball, even if you’re winning the second game, is a bit much.

Is Wil Myers to become a base stealer, or just having fun? He stole two in the first game (didn’t play in the second one). Noticed that in addition to his major league helmet, he’s in the long trousers worn by most, but not all, the Rays.

Players moving around —
  • Let’s start with Tim Beckham. He was an important part of last year’s championship team. He started out at 2B, then played most of the rest of the year at shortstop after Hak-Ju Lee’s injury. He was in 122 games last year and had excellent numbers. Plus, he did OK in a September callup. He ripped up his knee in training over the winter and has finally made his way back. His opening night at second base was pretty darn good, 4 for 6 with 3 runs scored, and an RBI. Playing second base.
  • Also moving onto the roster was Cory Burns a right-handed reliever, up from the Rays AA team, the Montgomery Biscuits. Burns has a bunch of Triple-A experience. [stats] He’s been doing just fine as a short reliever in Montgomery. The question might be how come he was there in the first place. Burns came on for 2+ innings in the second game, gave of three hits, but no runs and K’d two batters.
  • Moving off the roster was Robby Price and Doug Mathis, both to the Hudson Valley roster, meaning that they can’t play in a Bulls uniform, but they are still traveling with the squad.
  • Then Brandon Gomes was called to the Rays (and he appeared last night for two scoreless innings to close out the Rays/Rangers game).
  • And Cole Figueroa is coming back. Mr. Figueroa is one of my favorite players and as much as I have hoped that he’s enjoyed bringing home the huge major league money (compared to Triple A money), I have worried about his lack of playing time with the Rays. He’s mostly been on the bench since his last callup. He does join the crowd of infielders on the Bulls roster. The Bulls now have six ballplayers who range from pretty good to excellent middle infielders — Figueroa, Fontenot, Franklin, Lee, Olmedo, and Beckham, and that doesn’t count Wilson Betemit who is a decent third baseman, and Robby Price who just went off the roster. What’s happening is that some of them are spending time in the outfield (Ray Olmedo was in left field for the first game last night). 
  • At any rate, I’m happy to see Cole Figueroa and Tim Beckham back. I’d guess that Charlie’s going to have a tough time filling out a lineup. The odd man out, from a performance perspective, is young Hak-Ju Lee. He’s having a terrible year. Would it help for him to spend some time in Montgomery? Don’t know. What’s obvious from the stands is that he’s not hitting well at all and that he’s using is arm to compensate for not very good footwork in the field.

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