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, 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.



  1. Don says:

    Ask him if he would like to be in a Maddon's spot....he hasn't lost anybody, just adds nobodys.... and he can't beat last place teams..
    Maybe he can be "manager of the year" also?

  2. Chris says:

    Leaving aside the issue of Bulls serving at the pleasure of the Rays ...

    Just how is that six-man rotation working out for the Rays?

    With the notable exception of Monday night, the Bulls have been doing just fine during the month of July. And we have hopes that it will continue. But the roster shuffling has been relentless, more than 20 transactions so far and at least one more today as a decision is made about who's to be called up to replace Delaney.

    I think most Bulls fans (can no more speak for Sobsey than he can speak for Montoyo) would like to see both teams do well. So is all this shuffling helping the Rays? Doesn't seem to be. And that's frustrating as well.

    Isn't it possible that if one of these guys hung around for more than an inning (De La Rosa or Delaney in particular) they could do more good for the Rays? And not put a three-four day hole in the Bulls bullpen? That's a win-win.

    Could it be worse? Of course it could? Does that mean we Bulls fans are supposed to like it?

  3. Sarah says:

    Funny, when I first saw your headline -- "frustrations of managing a Triple A team" -- I thought the post would be about Joe Maddon!

  4. DRR says:

    I say it a lot, but Adam Sobsey writes the game recaps I have ever read. We are lucky to have him here in Durham.

  5. Brian says:

    Can we option Derek Shelton to AAA?


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