Yes, yodeler Ottis “Slim” Whitman was born in Tampa. I didn’t realize — thanks Wikipedia — that he was far more famous in Europe than in his home country. Sort of like David Hasselhoff.
As the Bravos welcome the Tampa Bay Rays to Hank Aaron Drive for a pair of games, there’s varied minor news, mostly bad. Just when he was getting some at-bats and hitting the ball, Gosselin broke his thumb and he’s out for two months. He’s replaced on the roster by a 30-year-old dude with no MLB experience. On the plus side, Adonis Garcia was hitting .351 for the Gwinnettians. Down side is, per Bowman, he’s a butcher afield. Garcia bolted Cuba in 2010. Maybe he’ll get a few big hits and become a folk hero. He’s got the name and perhaps the back story for it.
Meanwhile, one of the stars of the season’s first few weeks is heading north on I-85. Cody Martin was demoted to Gwinnett. In his place, the Bravos picked up the mediocre, probably worse, Nick Masset. The Marlins recently fired him. He has a 1.86 ERA so far, but don’t be fooled. He was terrible last season and in just 9-2/3 this year, he’s allowed a .324 batting average and a .341 OBP. He’s wriggled out of some jams.
As for tonight, Folty will toe the slab. Each of his starts is intriguing these days, as we could be seeing a potential ace in the making. Supporting him with the bats this evening: Peterson, Ciriaco 3B, Freddie, Markakis, Cunningham LF, Pierzynski, Simmons, Maybin, Folty.