Rays Prospects

The Undercards: Alex Colome, Nate Karns Give Bulls Strong Starts

By Robbie Knopf

There were a pair of doubleheaders in the system on Sunday…along with a game witnessed by yours truly in the press box that you’ll be hearing plenty about in the next couple of days. In any event, it was nice to see the Durham Bulls get two encouraging starts in one day from Alex Colome and Nate Karns, while Grayson Garvin at least gave Montgomery one of two.

Triple-A International League: Game 1: Buffalo Bisons (TOR) 3, Durham Bulls 0 (7 innings)

Game 2: Bulls 1, Bisons 0 (7 innings)

In the first game, Nate Karns delivered his sixth straight quality start for the Bulls, going 6 innings allowing 3 runs on 5 hits, striking out 8 while walking 2. He did make a couple of mistakes, but it is not as though it mattered because the Bulls got nothing against Blue Jays top prospect Daniel Norris. Norris went 6 innings allowing just 2 hits and a walk while striking out 10. In terms of the limited Bulls offense, one hit did come from some guy who was in Durham last year named Wil Myers as part of a 1 for 3 day. Nice to see him finally make it into a rehab game after the Bulls were rained out on Saturday.

The Bulls offense still hadn’t shown up by Game 2, but Robby Price delivered a second-inning sac fly and Alex Colome did the rest. Colome went 6 innings allowing no runs on 3 hits, striking out 7 while walking 3. It was a nice bounce-back outing for Colome after he allowed 7 runs in 4 innings in his previous start. Colome is now up to 83.1 innings pitched this year, just a few short of last year, but still not a good total. Colome did not top 100 innings the last two years, and he won’t get much more this year.  Colome turns 26 in December, and it may be time to put him in the Rays bullpen when a need arises. Josh Lueke tossed the seventh inning for the save while Mikie Mahtook went 1 for 3 with a double.

Double-A Southern League: Game 1: Chattanooga Lookouts (LAD) 4, Montgomery Biscuits 0 (7 innings)

Game 2: Lookouts 4, Biscuits 3 (7 innings)

It is a little ironic that the first game may leave you feeling more optimistic then the second. Grayson Garvin started for the Biscuits in that initial contest and went 6 innings for the second time in three starts after not doing so previously since Tommy John Surgery. He went 6 innings allowing 3 runs on 4 hits, striking out 5 while walking 1. One real mistake and some bad luck led to the runs, but Garvin looked good overall and the Rays would love if he could continue getting deep into games. Garvin is another player who has to build up his workload–he’s at just 63.0 innings pitched this year–but he has the stuff to be an impressive starting pitcher, and we will have to see how far he can get. The Biscuits had three hits in this game, one each from Taylor Motter, Luke Maile, and Kes Carter.

In the second game, Victor Mateo did not have a fun outing, allowing 3 home runs and 4 runs overall in 4 innings pitched. The Biscuits offense did their best to rally while Matt Lollis, Santiago Garrido, and Cory Burns tossed shutout ball in relief, but they fell just short. Ryan Brett had a big game, going 2 for 4 with a triple and an RBI, and Motter and Carter also wrapped up nice days. Motter went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI while Carter went 1 for 3 with a double. Brett is hitting .421 in his last 10 games to give him a .306/.349/.456 line on the season. Suddenly the Rays have another major second base prospect in Nick Franklin, but Brett is right on his tail as the team tries to figure out its second baseman of the future.