Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Turning Point for Ethan Katz in 2009

Ethan Katz continued his struggles on the mound on Monday night in St. George Utah. After the Seals rallied from a 12-1 deficit to close the gap to 12-9, Ethan Katz entered the bottom of the eighth hoping to keep his team close and help sustain their momentum. Unfortunately, Katz gave up three runs on five hits in his inning of work and Victoria fell by a 15-9 score to the Roadrunners. The three runs raised his ERA to 8.01 on the season.

Katz, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2007, was released last year by the Colorado Rockies organization after pitching decently for the Asheville Tourists. Like everyone in independent baseball, he hoped that 2009 would be a comeback season for him. All started well, as Katz had a 3.18 ERA for the Seals going into a fateful game against the Edmonton Capitals on June 19th at Royal Athletic Park. On that cool and windy evening, Katz took to the mound in the top of the ninth inning with the Seals out front 7-5. Closer Javier Garcia would normally have taken to the hill in search of the save, but he was unavailable that night after appearing in the previous three games. Katz couldn't keep the Capitals at bay and they rallied for a pair of runs in the ninth to knot the score at 7-7. The Seals would eventually suffer a heartbreaking 10-7 loss in 11 innings. It seems that Ethan Katz has still not recovered from that blown save.

Since Katz took to the hill on that chilly June evening, he sports a woeful 9.64 ERA. Perhaps most surprising is his loss of command: he's given up 13 walks in the 18 2/3 innings he has since pitched. This is very surprising from a guy who has only walked 2.1 batters per nine innings in his minor-league career. He's also given up 27 hits in those 18 2/3 innings. Let's hope that Katz hit bottom on Monday night and that he bounces back real soon.