Friday, May 11, 2018

Quick Hits, New Guys

Just a mid-series update with info gleaned from this weeks games against the Shuckers, with the 'nally on Friday. Saturday the Jacksonville Suns, errr Shrimps, come to town and we will go over them on the next post, probably Monday. But for now, this is what I gots...

Southpaw Jordan Harrison earned a promotion to Durham, but he isn't alone.

Also said to be headed north to the Bulls bullpen is reliever Mike Franco, who was not seen at the park on Thursday.

As I understand it, the pair traveled separately, with one guy flying ahead. What that means, your guess is as good as mine. Maybe he is scouting apartments.

Also absent is Kyle Bird, away from the team for a few days to become a parent.

Speaking as an old-school baseball guy, this is one thing that has changed for the better in the game. In the past only the most superstar of players were allowed to leave the team for family reasons. Its comforting to know that organizations have learned what is important to players as people, no matter what level.

Ruben Alaniz (photo by Mac the Camera Guy, thanks Mac!)
Studly hurler Ruben Alaniz was awesome in his first four games with Montgomery, blowing by hitters and striking out eight in five and two thirds innings. He took himself out of the game on April 17th with a sore wrist and has been on the DL since.

When I spoke with him this week he said he was feeling much better and would be ready to take the hill "probably next week."

Roel Ramirez
Roel Ramirez and Colin Poche arrived dealin heat, both made their Riverwalk debuts with excellent outings.

Right-handed Ramirez did allow an earned run, his first of the season, he was unscored upon as a Stone Crab this year. When I met him, I said "ah, you pitched your way out of Port Charlotte". He just smiled and nodded.

Roel throws a fastball in the low-90's, splitter and slider. He pitched in the Arizona Fall League in 2017.

Colin Poche
When I met the lefty Poche, I said "ah, you left your car in the home team parking lot." He also smiled and nodded.

Colin got a bit of notice on social media for his ride, which may be a van - it was hard to tell under the mountain of TP that was covering it, left for him as a parting gift from his teammates. An internet search for the image is probably worth the effort.

Both these guys have live arms and bring good numbers into the bullpen, we can probably count on these guys to have more good days than bad. Also, they are both pretty easy to talk to, excited to be where they are and usually able to tolerate my repeated pestering.

from 1943
Curtis Taylor
As the middle innings of Thursty Thirsday played out the newest Biscuit arrived, suited up and was ready for action by the time Take Me Out to the Ball Game echoed across the stands.

Curtis Taylor comes to town fresh from Port Charlotte where he punched out 23 batters in just eight relief appearances. He earned two saves there and could see more chances following the Biscuits bullpen shakeup.

Notes on the new guy:
He is not the Curtis Taylor who played for the SF 49'ers and LSU.
He is not the Curtis Taylor who won a Grammy Award for his trumpet playing.
He is not the Curtis Taylor who appeared in the films Bad Santa and RoboCop 3.
He is not the Curtis Taylor who appeared in the tv show Wild Wild West.

He is the Curtis Taylor acquired by the Rays via trade with the Diamondbacks straight up for Brad Boxberger.
He is Canadian. 
He is right-handed.
He is every bit of six-foot-six, just as it says on the back of his baseball card.
He throws a nice mid-90s heater with a hard slider and a changeup.
He made 13 starts last year in the Arizona organization.

Shout-out to my man @bubba36109, who was the first on my twitter timeline to share the info on his promotion!

I went down to the bullpen to snap a shot of Curtis, It's great to see someone getting their first taste of double-A, even if it comes after a ten hour road trip. Hows it feel, Curtis?


No comments: