Friday, June 19, 2009

Edmonton Capitals 101

With the Edmonton Capitals coming for their first ever visit to the Garden City, I thought we'd take a look at this club to see what we might expect from them. Edmonton has a 14-11 record, while the Seals are sitting at 9-16.

The Caps are obviously a very different ball club from the slugging Calgary Vipers. Edmonton's hitting is below average for the league, although still better than the offensive output from the Seals to this point in the season. Their team batting average is marginally better than Victoria's by Golden League standards (.277 vs .261). Likewise their team slugging percentage (.409 versus .375).

On the offensive side of things, the biggest difference between the Capitals and Seals is speed on the basepaths. Edmonton is 2nd in the league in stolen bases with 39, as compared to the pedestrian Victoria squad, which only has 17. The Capitals' outfield is chock full of speedsters. LF Marcus Nettles is second in the league with 10 steals, RF Darryl ("Don't Call Me David") Brinkley has 9 and CF Jorge Cortes has swiped 7 bags. Needless to say, Seals catcher Josh Arhart is in for a real test this weekend.

But the biggest differentiator between these two clubs is pitching. The Capitals have a league-leading team ERA of 3.76. On the other hand, the Seals are 8th (out of 9 teams) with a massive 6.10 ERA. Capitals starter Louis Pote leads the league (min. 20 IP) with a 1.64 ERA and reliever Jason Pearson is second with a 1.85 ERA and three saves. A key reason for the ERA difference between the two pitching staffs is gopher balls: Victoria has allowed 28 homers this season, while Edmonton has limited opponents to a mere 13 round-trippers in 25 games. Let's hope the Seals hitters can do some damage to this particular statistic and send a few balls out onto Pembroke Street.

Seal Blubber Bits:
  • Sergio Pedroza was left behind in Victoria during the team's trip to Calgary with a mild calf strain. He is expected to be back in action on Friday night at RAP.
  • The red-hot Josh Arhart has 9 hits and 5 RBIs in his last 14 at-bats. He'd be a good candidate to take over the cleanup role from Jamar Hill (.256 BA, .411 slugging). Arhart is hitting .338 with a robust .527 slugging percentage.