Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Someone's Coming, Razorback Ryne & Winky, Suspect List

With the well deserved promotion of Richie Shaffer, the Biscuits were down a man. I guess they liked what we saw in the spray charts last week.

Roster moves were imminent.

Adding to the roster means someone is subtracted, two arms from the bullpen were scapegoated with good cause. Cooper and O'Brien were sent packing, simply released. Their dreams crushed, with any luck they will catch on elsewhere with more success. Likely they will find another gig in the Southern League and shut us down during an important series.

We now welcome Kyle Winkler and Ryne Stanek.

Winkler made his debut in the Monday afternoon series finale vs the Smokies.

Does Winkler look familiar? He was with Mobile for 20 games last year, finishing with the Baybears on the strength of his effective bullpen work with high-A Visalia.

He allows a hit an inning, on average, his Achilles heel is the walks - free pass totals have risen with each promotion. Selected in the 10th round 2011 by the Brewers, the Texas native will be 25 in June.

Ryne Stanek is to become the #4 man in the rotation. We can likely gather that sends Hagens back to the bullpen.

Razorback Ryne
The Rays 1st round draft choice (29th overall) in 2013 out of Arkansas, Stanek was dominant at Port Charlotte, plain and simple. In nine starts he won four, posted an ERA of 1.78 in 50 innings.

He isn't a strikeout pitcher, the 6'4" righthander is stingy on baserunners, specifically he doesn't like to give up hits.

He surrendered a home run in each of his first two starts of the year, both losses. However since then he has not allowed a HR or suffered a defeat. Twice he has pitched seven innings, his season high is 9 strikeouts in a game. Stanek gets alot of ground balls, and not alot of strikes looking.

When the roster move came down, it made me wonder about a few other guys who might be the subject of a transaction in the next few weeks.

LHP Jim Patterson
Jimmy Patterson - on the DL with a sore shoulder, I was told he would be weeks away from a return. But that was at the start of the homestand, we are now waiting to see when the lefty reliever feels relief. And boy do we ever need some lefty relief in the bullpen!

Marty Gantt- the Port Charlotte team has an outfielder due a promotion in Gantt, but with the StoneCrabs *only* eight games ahead in their division, can the team withstand yet another promotion?
And whats 25 yr old Marty Gantt done to be a Biscuit? Just hit .295 in 25 error-free games in the outfield, with two homers, seven doubles and three steals. Oh, he also leads the Crabs in OPS.

Mike Marjama - also 25yrs old, double-M has raked 23 hits in 18 games, crushing FSL pitching to a .365 clip. The 1b/C/DH may struggle to find a position after spending most of his time as a designated hitter in High-A. While his numbers suggest promotion, his six games in the field say he might not be ready to be a Biscuit.

Juniel Querocuto - the switch hitting Venezuelan has appeared at three infield positions this year, though mostly playing third base for the StoneCrabs. Last year as a 22 year old he earned a late season promotion from single-A BowlingGreen to High-A Port Charlotte. Juniel struggled in just under 100 plate appearances but this year has made the adjustment, hitting a solid .290 in over 150PA. Juniel has been sent to Durham, skipping the Biscuits - just how many third basemen do the Bulls need?
Belnome with Missions

Vince Belnome - the Durham infielder is struggling, hitting a buck-eighty with two strikeouts for every hit. A .300 hitter for the Bulls in 2013, facing double-A pitching might offer a confidence boost as well as a chance to work with hitting coach Ozzie Timmons. Right now, Belnome is listed on the DL. Could he be headed to Montgomery when he returns, or would we get Querocuto? 

Perhaps its Leo Reginatto, who could lose his seat on the Bulls bus with the arrival of Juniel, Shaffer and the return of Belnome.

There will be a brand new and exciting feature for the blog coming soon. Even better than the Yogi Berra Quote of the Day thats been added on the left sidebar!

I can't offer up any details yet, but I am confident it will be a smooth and comfortable improvement resulting in an uptick in coverage and information about the Biscuits and all things Montgomery baseball.

I have been told that the Biscuits team baseball card set should be in stock for the first homestand in June at the Biscuit Basket team store. We can look for something new in the store every week from now thru the AllStar Game.


The Biscuits have been tight-lipped about the festivities, but there are a couple items floating about.

The Home Run Derby takes place an hour before the start of the game. Not much time for hitting bombs! I was told game time would be around 7:30, with the HR Derby scheduled for 6:00.


I was told that there are issues getting any of the Southern League Hall of Famers to agree to show up, but I am sure we can expect some interesting dignitaries.

 Last year the only SLHOF inductee to show up for the presentation was a team owner. And hey, it was the least he could do since it was his ballpark. For me, this shows that the Southern League Hall of Fame isn't thought of very highly around the game. Maybe they should require the elected persons to show up?

The Skitz hit the road for a confusing ten game road trip, facing similarly-named Jackson and Jacksonville.

The league punching-bag Jackson Generals beat up on the Biscuits at the end of April but now Brady's boys are back for revenge, buoyed by their series win over the Smokies. The Biscuits tend to play at the level of their competition, playing badly against bad teams, so this could be an interesting series.

Somehow, this is the second trip to Jacksonville for the Montgomery Grays without us hosting them in the first half. But we took three of the five games then and hopefully have similar success on the return trip.

This road trip will be a good barometer on how well the roster moves have affected the composition of the team. Seeing how the Biscuits produce runs without Richie Shaffer's bat in the lineup and how well the bullpen handles late inning pressure will be big indicators on what to expect when the team comes home for June.

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