So, who is going to watch the Port Charlotte Stone Crabs take on the Dunedin Blue Jays this weekend? Better, who saw them beat the Jays high A squad 7-2 last night? FSL All Star Darin Downs got his 6th victory last night and improved his line to 6-2, 2.79 ERA, 52 strikeouts in 61 innings. The Crabs had a bit of an unfair advantage, though. They had a rehabbing big leaguer in the lineup, a big name, too. Pat Burrell, the Rays big free agent signee this off season, occupied the 3rd spot in the batting order. He played the role of the rock star upon arriving in Port Charlotte. He refused to speak with the media who came out to watch him, he refused to sign autographs or acknowledge any fans. He also chose not to stand with his team during the National Anthem. He is one classy guy.
Well, I think we all know Burrell is a spoiled brat, but we just care about his bat, right?
His bat was forgotten someplace else. He whiffed his first two at bats; the residents of Charlotte enjoyed the extra air circulation he offered on such a hot night. He did make contact eventually, popping out his next two at-bats. Final line: 0-4, 2 strikeouts. Keep on earning that money Pat.
Burrell had made a start with the Class AA Montgomery Biscuits earlier this week. He was on his big league form, going 1 for 9 with 4 strikeouts. Apparently going 1-13 in the low level minors means he is ready for the majors. He will join the Rays tonight when they welcome the Washington Nationals to town for a 3 game series.
Joe Maddon will have to send someone to Durham to make room for the “slugger”. Potential candidates include Matt Joyce, Reid Brignac, Joe Dillon or Gabe Kapler. Please be Kapler!
Burrell is happy to be done slumming in the minors; those guys don’t get him at all. High A level ball players make about $1,000 a month on average. Burrell takes home over a million a month. Who cares if those guys can hit circles around him?
Andrew Leibel, the pitcher for the Dunedin 9, took the loss. He gave up six earned runs and dropped his record to 1-8. He did record 4 strikeouts on the day, 2 of them against Burrell.
I don’t know about everyone else, but I would be happier if we had this guy as our right-handed designated hitter right about now…
Things should be more lively in Port Charlotte tonight, the Stone Crabs will have a new DH in the lineup, Jason Bartlett. JB is scheduled to finish the Crabs’ weekend series with them. He will start at DH tonight and then return to field at shortstop on Saturday and Sunday. It will be Bartlett’s first game since May 24th against the Marlins in Miami, when he sprained his left ankle.
The Stone Crabs are currently 5.5 games out of first place in the FSL South division. They are riding a one game winning streak. There will be fireworks after the game on Saturday night and all kinds of surprises otherwise. Check out http://www.stonecrabsbaseball.com/ for more details.