The biggest name of the nine was slick-fielding shortstop Bret LeVier. LeVier struggled at the plate last season, hitting only .230 with 4 homers and 33 RBI. The 26 year-old played three seasons in the GBL after being released by the Red Sox in 2005. LeVier now has two young daughters (both less than 18 months old) and I wouldn't be surprised to see him return to the Seals at some point in the future.
Victorian Graham Campbell was also released. Campbell was inconsistent on the hill in 2009, going 1-1 with a 7.36 ERA. The only other Canadian on the roster last season, Phil Sobkow, was also let go today. Sobkow was 0-0 with a 5.24 ERA in 22 1/3 innings pitched.
The most senior member of the Seals pitching staff in 2009, Travis Wade, was also released by the club. Wade was 1-6 with a 5.83 ERA before being traded to the York Revolution in August.
Victoria also severed ties with outfielders Terry Mermer, Gabriel Riley and Billy Krause, as well as infielder Pedro "Petey" Montero and pitcher Ethan Katz.
However, all is not lost. Players such as Josh Arhart, Wilver Perez, Brian Rios and Chris VanRossum (among others) will be back this year. Other quality players are likely to be signed in the next six weeks, so the Seals should be an improved ball club in 2010.
Seal Blubber Bits
- Ex-Seal Isaac Hess had his best outing of the young season on Wednesday night. He picked up a no-decision in Mexico's 15-10 loss to Chihuahua. Hess (2-0) gave up only one earned run on three hits in five innings of work. He walked three and struck out four and lowered his ERA to 2.35 in three starts.
- The new pitching coach of the Seals, Kip Gross, was once involved in a blockbuster major-league trade. Gross was traded in November 2001 along with Eric Davis from the Reds to the Dodgers in return for John Wetteland and Tim Belcher. The deal is widely considered as one of the worst in Los Angeles Dodgers history, mainly because the highly-touted Eric Davis hit only 19 homers in two horrible seasons with the Dodgers. Wetteland went on to amass 330 career saves, 329 of which were notched after the Dodgers traded him away.
- In a strange twist, the Yuma Scorpions released Salomon Manriquez less than one month after he was signed by the club. Manriquez was an All-Star catcher in the Atlantic League.