Some recent moves by the Durham Bulls have me wondering about their starting rotation (and possibly the Montgomery Biscuits).
At the end of April Virgil Vasquez crashed his scooter, broke both wrists, was placed on the DL, was released, and was re-signed and sent to extended spring training. Allegedly. So that left the Bulls with the following rotation: Carlos Hernandez, Jeremy Hellickson, Heath Phillips, Jeff Bennett, Frank De Los Santos.
Then came word yesterday that the organization had released Jeff Bennett. It's on milb.com, so I should probably add another "allegedly". Assuming Bennett is gone and Vasquez is out for a while (the throwing hand was reportedly the less-serious of the breaks), where does this leave the Bulls rotation?
The options, most likely to least likely:
- Return Aneury Rodriguez to the rotation after one appearance out of the pen. Rodriguez has been solid this season for Durham and Montgomery with a 2.76 ERA overall. I haven't heard why he was removed from the rotation, but clearly putting him back in is the simplest solution.
- Heath Rollins has only made 1 start out of his 10 appearances, but he's been a starter throughout his career until late last season. However, his struggles so far this season make this option less likely. He has a 6.52 ERA over 19.1 innings, with 12 walks to 14 strikeouts.
- They could also call someone up from the Biscuits rotation of Alexander Torres, David Newmann, Jeremy Hall, Jake McGee, and Alex Cobb. The most likely choices would be Torres or Newmann. The problem with that is they are both lefties, and Durham already has 2 lefties in their rotation (Phillips and Hernandez). Of course, the Biscuits have three lefties in their rotation (with McGee). While I think a promotion at this point is the least likely option, if it did happen, Montgomery has solid replacements available in Darin Downs and Rayner Oliveros.
So my best guess is that you will see Aneury Rodriguez back in the Bulls rotation, possibly as soon as Saturday's game at the Columbus Clippers.
UPDATE: Chris at the great Watching Durham Bulls Baseball site has the details on the new Bulls rotation.