This was a frustrating home series with the Bulls first taking four games from Charlotte and rising to a solid grasp on first place in the South Division at 6 games above .500. Then they lost three in a row to Gwinnett and fell into a tie with Gwinnett at 3 games above .500.
Adding to the frustration was how the Bulls lost to the Braves: by giving up big innings in the first two games and then taking a tie game into the top of the 9th and one out, and not being able to hang on.
When it comes to stability this year, things are not looking good, 11 games, 10 transactions.
- RHP Jamie Schultz went on the disabled list almost right away. To fill his spot RHP Jeff Ames was called up from "extended spring training" (not sure what that means). Ames has already made three relief appearances and has only given up one run.
- Outfielder Johnny Field was hurt and went on the disabled list, but he's been hanging out in the dugout, so we can hope that he will be back soon. Cade Gotta came up from the Montgomery Biscuits and is 3 for 12 with 3 stolen bases so far.
- Somebody with the Rays got an ouchie, which led to OF Shane Peterson being put on the 40-man and being called up (good for him). He hit a home run in his first at bat as a Ray.
- To replace Peterson, Granden Goetzman was called up from Montgomery. He's played in two games so far.
- Tampa Bay called up RHP Chase Whitley and then the next day RHP Taylor Guerrieri was put on the disabled list.
- Those transactions led to RHP Brent Honeywell being called up from Montgomery where the young (22 years) pitcher has had two starts this year. He has not yet pitched for Durham.
- And, lastly, RHP Yoel Espinal was called up from the Charlotte Stone Crabs, the Rays A+ team down in Florida. He pitched a terrific 2 1/3 innings last night. In fact, an argument could be made that he should have stayed in the game after the first out of the 9th. Certainly, he could not have done worse than what was done.
- The Herald-Sun and News & Observer have been doing an unusually good job on feature articles this year. In one, the current Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker recalled his time as a Durham Bulls manager when the Bulls were a Single-A Braves team. I was pleased to learn that even back then Bulls fans were obstreperous and noisy. Back in 1983 fans put together a petition and sent it to Braves management, to have Snitker replaced (this was pre-internet, so they had to have worked to get a petition together). Got me thinking ...
- As fans may have noticed, Jared Sandberg is managing from the dugout this year and new coach (and former Bull) Craig Albernaz is coaching 3rd Base. Sandberg discusses that change in a feature article by the Herald-Sun's Steve Wiseman. Hard to tell this early in the season if it will make a difference.