Friday, October 3, 2014

Durham Bulls Player and Honorary Wolfpacker

One of the more tantalizing prospects on the Durham Bulls this year was hard throwing right hander Nathan Karns.  He came over to the Rays this past off season in exchange for my favorite Lobaton and was dispatched to Triple A after spring training to work on his command.  At times this year Karns looked brilliant pitching for the Bulls.  Hard throwing, lots of strikeouts, swings and misses...Things you like to see out of a pitcher.




I can even tell you that Karns made it all the way up to the Rays this year, a cup of coffee in September, and pitched one really awesome game in his Rays debut against the Blue Jays.  Seven scoreless innings with eight strikeouts sounds great.  Looks good too.  





This all sounds like a bunch of sunshine and roses, but really it's not.  That top part sounded good, and I did not even mention the fact that he struck out 153 batters in 145 innings.  No, Mr. Karns is still very much a work in progress.  For starters he had an ERA of 5.08, led the International League in walks with 62, and allowed 16 home runs.  There were plenty of interesting games along the way.  

For example, in his season debut against the Gwinnett Braves Karns pitched 2.2 innings and only allowed 3 hits.  He gave up 6 runs.  How does one do that?  By walking 7 batters and striking out only one.  I am going to go out on a limb and say that Karns ends up back with the Durham Bulls again next year.  Just a hunch.  

Karns is one Durham Bulls regular I have not really touched card wise.  I decided to improve that a little bit this off season with a little bit of work on finding and adding his cards to my collection.  He's got some decent cards floating around, but not as many as I thought.  Up first is a cool Donruss Elite card featuring Karns as a Texas Tech Red Raider.  




This is a pretty nice card of Karns throwing a pitch, wearing his Red Raiders uni.  Karns was actually originally in school at NC State, pitched as a freshman, and then transferred home to pitch at Texas Tech after his mother suffered a stroke.  Karns went 3-2 with the Pack and posted an ERA of 2.67 with 24 K's in 30 innings of work.  The team made the NCAA's as an at-large team.  Does that make him a sort of honorary Wolfpacker?  I vote yes.  Looking forward to adding more Karns cards.  Go State! GTHC!  


 





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