The Rays have promoted 11 players from triple-A this month. And as you can imagine, managing the Durham Bulls can be a frustrating experience. In a column for IndyWeek.com, Adam Sobsey gives us a glimpse into that frustration being experienced by Charlie Montoyo.
When asked about his approach with the Bulls and his overall assessment of the club, Montoyo gave what was described as an “uncharacteristic response” that was “choppy and hesitant”…
It’s just tough to keep, you know… Four division titles; we’re doing good. My goal is always, in August, to still play for something. If you make it, great. Guys getting called up and getting chances: that’s the best, guys getting chances. So I don’t put too much stock in games in July…but I’m just hoping my guy tomorrow [Matt Moore] does the job, because he’s very good. And whenever his pitch count is [reached], he’s out. It doesn’t matter who I’m playing.
Sobsey went on to explain the frustration Montoyo faces…
You can practically hear the Bulls’ gears squeaking, the pieces rattling, the cogs coming loose. Nails are used in place of screws, wood instead of steel, wheels instead of wings. Tools break, toner runs dry; tech support won’t answer the phone; the best talent is quickly snapped up by HQ, which sends its rejects down to Durham; other parts simply wear out. Meanwhile, the rivals have girded themselves for a showdown, adding bright young talent from below; and a high-ranking assessor from your own front office is watching from the seats behind home plate, unsmiling, unsympathetic.
Imagine doing your job, whatever it is, under circumstances like these. Imagine the pressure, the job uncertainty, the total unfairness of it all. You, too, might do as Montoyo did, and look only at the past—four division titles in a row—and at the immediate future, i.e. tomorrow’s starter, whose lever he can only work for so long until orders come to shut him down. After that, you throw one of your backup machines out there and hope for the best. And look no farther…
Since we started blogging about the Rays, and occasionally about the Bulls, we have come to know a number of Bulls fans and people associated with the team. First-and-foremost, these are Bulls fans. And so frustration is a common thread. But for the most part they understand.
But there are also a couple of statements in this column that are not fair to the Rays.
First of all, the Bulls are not the only International League team that goes through roster shuffles. Granted, the Rays seem to have a revolving door right now. But pieces move. It happens.
But then Sobsey adds that “rivals have girded themselves for a showdown, adding bright young talent from below.”
To which we ask Sobsey, what other IL team girded themselves with the top pitching prospect in baseball? We’re guessing Gwinnett would have rather not been facing Matt Moore last night when he struck out 13 batters in 8 shutout innings.
The Rays have one of the best farm systems in baseball, and a lot of that talent is in Durham. Trust us, it could be a lot worse.
Hey. It’s frustrating. We completely understand. But it is also the order of things. The Bulls serve at the pleasure of the Rays. And that is the way it must be.