Friday, July 31, 2009

Aaron Trolia In; Roberto Sotolongo Out

Aaron Trolia made a surprise start for the Victoria Seals on Thursday afternoon. My first response was: Who is Aaron Trolia? Here is what I have uncovered.

The 28-year-old righty was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 27th round of the 2004 draft. Prior to signing professionally, he played for both Clemson and Washington State Universities. He has experience as both a starter and reliever, but has had more success as a starter in his career. That's the role he'll be asked to perform with the Seals. In Thursday's start, Trolia gave up five hits and three earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out five Edmonton Capitals.

Trolia didn't see a ton of success initially in his pro career and was released in 2007 after posting a 6.91 ERA with the Mariners' AA affiliate. He's had some success in independent baseball, posting a 1.64 ERA in 22 innings with El Paso in 2007 and a 3.97 ERA with the Joliet (Illinois) Jackhammers of the Northern League last season. He's a strikeout pitcher who has struggled at times with his control. In 2008, Trolia struck out 10.1 batters per nine innings, but he also walked 4.3 per nine. He was also named the Northern League Pitcher of the Week for the week ending July 28, 2008.

Trolia returned to the Jackhammers this season, but was placed on the inactive list on June 19th. He last pitched two days earlier and he finished up his 2009 season in Joliet with a 6.11 ERA. Trolia was traded to Victoria on July 15th, but to the best of my knowledge the trade was not announced by the Seals or the Golden League at the time.

To make room on the Seals' roster, Roberto Sotolongo was traded to a team in the Atlantic League for future considerations. Sotolongo was leading the Seals in ERA with a 2.68 mark and had become possibly their best pitcher over the last month or so. It appears that the team might be worse off in what is effectively a Sotolongo for Trolia swap right now. Perhaps the Seals will receive future considerations from Sotolongo's new team and that will change this equation, but we'll have to wait and see how it plays out.

Seal Blubber Bits
  • The recently-traded Carlos Duncan made the Seals pay again on Thursday. The Capitals' new third baseman hit a pair of solo homers on the day and went 5-for-13 with 3 homers and 5 RBIs in the three-game series. He also committed one error in the field in his eight chances.
  • Phil Sobkow pitched two scoreless innings for Victoria to lower his ERA to a respectable 4.61.
  • Jamar Hill and Terry Mermer both homered on Thursday. Mermer now has 5 homers in only 49 at-bats and leads the team with a .633 slugging percentage.
  • Thursday's game marked the 24th and final game between Victoria and Edmonton in 2009.
  • Only 12 more home games remain this season, split across a pair of 6-game homestands. The team will host Calgary six more times and the Chico Outlaws and Orange County Flyers three games apiece.