Thursday, August 6, 2009

Revolving Door of Seals Roster Swings Again

The Victoria Seals continue to turnover their roster as quickly as a last-place CFL team. On Wednesday they signed 26-year-old right-hander Anthony Pluta to a contract. The 6'2" right-handed flame-thrower will join the team's bullpen. He pitched two hitless innings on Wednesday in relief of James Garcia, but was pulled by manager Darrell Evans after walking a pair of hitters in the 8th inning.

Pluta was at one time one of the top prospects in baseball. He was selected in the third round of the 2000 draft by the Houston Astros right out of a Las Vegas high school. As a teenager, Pluta hit 99 MPH on the radar gun and in 2002 he was ranked as the sixth-best prospect in the Astros organization. Unfortunately, that promise has not as yet been fulfilled.

Pluta was released this past Monday by the El Paso Diablos of the independent American Association with a 3-5 record and a 6.28 ERA. He struck out 35 hitters in 38 2/3 innings with the Diablos, but he also walked 22 batters. Pluta was a teammate of Seals closer Dane De la Rosa in El Paso this summer. In fact, the two of them were released by the Diablos within two weeks of one another.

Walks have been an issue throughout Pluta's amateur and professional career; he has averaged a stunning 7 walks per 9 innings in his previous 7 minor-league seasons. In 2007 with Bakersfield of the California League (Advanced "A"), Pluta looked like Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh in the movie "Bull Durham" (or perhaps Rick Ankiel?!?) and walked an unbelievable 30 batters in 18 innings. His career minor-league ERA is 6.19, so fans should temper their expectations. If he can learn to throw strikes with some consistency, Pluta will be lights out though.

Seal Blubber Bits
  • Sergio Pedroza has been upgraded from red-hot to white-hot at the plate. He went 3-for-5 with another 3 RBIs on Wednesday night to raise his season average to .330. In his last 18 games, Pedroza is 29-for-73 (.397) with 7 homers and an amazing 32 RBIs. If you were to extrapolate his last 18 games into a 600 at-bat season (i.e. the typical number of at-bats in a season for a healthy regular in the majors), he'd be on pace to hit 57 homers and 263 RBIs!
  • The Seals return home on Friday night to start a 6-game homestand. Victoria will host the Chico Outlaws this weekend at RAP for the first time ever (what, no Edmonton Capitals?!?). The Outlaws are in third place in the second-half standings, one game ahead of the Seals. Remember to bring the fleece along, because those cool Victoria summer evenings are back.