The only surprise of the four was Eduardo Baeza, who was a member of the Victoria Seals last year. Baeza went 5-9 with a 6.48 ERA in 2009. His release speaks volumes about the level of talent that we'll see on the mound from the Seals in 2010. For instance, seven Victoria pitchers had ERA's higher than Baeza's last year, yet he didn't have the stuff to make the team this year.
The Seals roster must be scaled back to 22 by Friday. That means that another six players will likely be released on Wednesday, the last day of spring training. Those cuts will be difficult and I don't envy the decisions that manager Bret Boone and pitching coach Kip Gross will have to make.
Victoria will likely break camp with 11 pitchers and 11 position players. In my opinion, there are only seven players that you can be absolutely sure will be on the roster:
- Josh Arhart, C.
- Javier Garcia, RP.
- Jason Kershner, SP.
- Colin Moro, OF/1B.
- Wilver Perez, 2B.
- Brian Rios, 3B.
- Brandon Villafuerte, RP (closer).
There are likely three remaining spots in the infield, assuming Perez and Rios are on the team. That means that one of the following may be cut: Shane Cronin, Brett Flowers, Eric Pringle or Charlie Strandlund. The returning catchers from last year are Josh Arhart and Matt Kavanaugh. However, Kavanaugh is not necessarily a lock to make the team. If the organization thinks that Victorian Charlie Strandlund has the stuff to play in the GBL, it's possible that they could release Kavanaugh and use Shane Cronin as the backup catcher.
In the outfield, there are five players battling for three spots. Two of the following may have to be released: Lyndon Estill, Terrence McClain, Phil Ortez, Chris VanRossum and Steven Wright. Of course, Colin Moro could be moved to first base and Brett Flowers could be let go. The combinations and permutations are seemingly endless. Let's just say that Boonie and Kip Gross will be earning their paycheques this week.
Seal Blubber Bits
- The Seals have erected a protective screen in front of the $400,000 scoreboard in left field. You may remember that Terry Mermer damaged the scoreboard hours after it was installed last season with a long batting-practice homer.
- The team will be making better use of the scoreboard this year during games at RAP. For instance, the team will feature a crab race at every home game. The race will be similar to the speedboat races that are shown on the scoreboard at Safeco Field in Seattle.
- The Orange County Flyers have signed ex-major leaguer Byung-Hyun Kim. The South Korean submarine pitcher, who bounced back from some crushing appearances in the 2001 World Series, last appeared in the majors in 2007. Orange County's only visit to RAP this year is from May 27th to the 30th, so make sure you come on out to see "BK" during their four-game series with the Seals.
- The Yuma Scorpions have inked ex-big leaguer Cha-Seung Baek to a contract. Baek went 6-2 with a 4.62 ERA for the San Diego Padres in 2008.