Sunday, September 20, 2009

Are Jamar Hill and Josh Arhart Gone for Good?

On August 29th, the Seals traded Jamar Hill and Josh Arhart to the York Revolution of the Atlantic League. At the time, details regarding the trade were sketchy. The York Revolution web site indicated that the players were traded for future considerations and Seals fans were left to speculate as to what that really meant. The trades that sent Sergio Pedroza, Wilver Perez and Isaac Hess to the Calgary Vipers were allegedly temporary, with the three players coming back to Victoria before the start of next year (along with additional Vipers to be named later). Many fans assumed the same was true for the deal that sent crowd favourites Hill and Arhart to the Atlantic League.

Following the Revolution's last home game on Wednesday, some troubling quotes from new manager Andy Etchebarren, who was hired on August 14th, appeared in the York Daily Record. From the way Etchebarren was talking, he has every intention of bringing both Hill and Arhart back to York next season.
"Everything I'm doing is aimed at next season," Etchebarren said. "I've
been impressed with some of the guys I brought in. I liked (Aharon) Eggleston in
center and (Liu) Rodriguez at shorstop. ... I'm looking at (catcher Josh)
Arhart. It doesn't seem like he's getting a real good hold on the ball when he's
throwing, but I think I can help his catching if we put in a lot of work in
spring training. So I think we'll have a catcher who can hit 15 to 20 home runs
next year. And I'm really happy with (Jamar) Hill. He can play left and right
field, and he runs hard."

Etchebarren has a philosophy. He wants flexibility on the roster,
players who can play multiple positions. And he's determined to stock his lineup
with right-handed pull hitters, the type of athletes who can take advantage of
the short dimensions in left field.

"We're going to put a winning team on this field next year,"
Etchebarren said.

This would seem to imply that there is no agreement to return the two players to Victoria for next season. This is all starting to add up. It didn't make sense to loan these two players to York for the remainder of the season (in return for cash) with that team languishing in last place unless the Revolution intended to keep them around in 2010. It looks like we may have seen the end of Jamar Hill and Josh Arhart at Royal Athletic Park, but let's hope that's not the case.

You can read the full article here.