Friday, April 6, 2018

The 2018 Season Begins

Game 1
Durham Bulls: 2; Charlotte Knights: 6
Wrap, Box

Who are these guys?
  • Christian Arroyo played 3B and led off. He went 0-4. He was a key part of the Rays' Evan Longoria trade. On 40-man. 
  • Jake Bauers played 1B and batted second. He went 2-4 with two doubles. He was a star last year and we're happy to see him back, if only for a little while. 
  • Willy Adames started at SS and batted third. He went 1-4 and got on base with a HBP. He looked good last year (with the most starts of any Bull). Also on the 40-man, it's guesswork to determine how long he will be here.
  • Joe McCarthy, in left field, is new to the Bulls and he started as the cleanup batter. He went 1-4 with a double. He's been coming up through the Rays system for the last three years (all of last year with Montgomery). Staring his first AAA game batting cleanup says something about him.
  • Jason Coats, the designated hitter, is out of the White Sox system. He missed all of 2017 with an injury. He was 1 for 4 last night.
  • Justin Williams, batting 6th, was in right field. He spent all last season in Montgomery, but came to the Bulls in the post-season and played well. He's on the 40-man.
  • Johnny Field, in center field, batted 7th. Last year he was our favorite leadoff batter. Maybe he'll get back to it. 1 for 4 last night.
  • Kean Wong, 2B. Hero of the postseason with his grand slam in the championship game, he is a fun-to-watch infielder. And, here's a fun bit of trivia, at 23 the oldest of this game's infielders. It's a young team this year.
  • Curt Casali, catcher, has spent a lot of time in Durham over the last several years. He is essentially the Tampa Bay Rays backup catcher (although this year they'll have to do some roster manipulation to call him up). In our view, he's very important to this year's team. Hope he sticks with the Bulls for a while.
Pitchers? We'll get to them later.

Opening Day Comments

The video board did not get into full operation until about the 5th inning and I was surprised at how much I missed not having the lineup right in front of me. By the end of the game, however, things appeared to be on track.

Very pleased to hear broadcaster Patrick Kenas and his sometime partner Scott Pose back on the job. They are clearly the best broadcast crew in AAA baseball (and I have listened to all of the broadcasters in the International League). That said, however, the feed dropped out last night for an annoying 15 or 20 minutes. Listen on various apps, or 620 AM, 96.5 and 99.3 FM. Note: All games are streamed via and later in the season most games are on broadcast TV.


  1. Definitely some opening night rough edges on a game presentation side of things.

    Hu had what I'd consider another Hu start...nothing amazing there. I've yet to be impressed last season or this.

    Wong was a post season hero with the glove and the bat, but in the regular season he felt 50-50 on routine plays. It felt the same last night.

    Adames had a great season overall, but started really slow. Hopefully he'll have a faster start this year.

    Rays continue to be a mess. I wouldn't be surprised to see a pitching callup this week already.

  2. I was also unimpressed with Hu. But Banda looked good last night (I watched on Plus team really took advantage of opportunities even with early blunder by Adames.