Thursday, February 5, 2015

Kudos to the Bulls; Signs of Spring

Spring is Coming?
Fans of the Durham Bulls Baseball club are on their way to becoming the best-informed in minor league baseball. No other minor league club that I’ve encountered works nearly as hard digging out, and publishing, information we fans need (or at least want) to help us through the winter. This year their work has been exceptional.

Case in point, a recent post on their Hit Bull Win Blog about spring training invites.

Why are spring training invites so important? Well, if history is any indication, the start-of-the-year roster of our Durham Bulls will come almost exclusively from two groups of players — those already on the Tampa Bay Rays 40-man roster and players with “minor league contracts with an invitation to spring training.” The list probably isn't complete, but it's close.

Consequently, as spring training cranks up these guys are the players we Bulls fans most likely to be seeing in April. Now, there will be a few quirks. For example, the major league spring training camp is knee deep in pitchers, so there will be a few extra catchers on the list. Also, the details of the contracts are rarely released and sometimes have “opt out” clauses where the player and/or the Rays can pull the plug at a specified time under specific conditions, such as the end of spring training. And sometimes a player gets so hot in the spring that he makes it onto the active roster.

We’ll be writing about these guys as the spring goes along, but a couple we already know.

Vince Belnome had a terrific year with the Bulls in 2013 earning his way onto the 40-man roster. He fell off a bit in 2014. We like him and have high hopes he’s back on form for 2015.

We’ve seen a lot of Brandon Gomes over the years. And we like him. He will be competing for a slot on the Rays active roster in the spring.

But the big deal, and the one that speaks to us all, is the obvious dedication the Bulls front office has to informing the fans. We here at WDBB really appreciate their work.

Keep it up!

[Note: WDBB reserves the right to continue to rant from time to time on various topics, but, for now, take a bow. You deserve it!]

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