Saturday, June 26, 2010

Seals go local with recent addition

Charlie Strandlund make some room - you're not the only local hero in town anymore...

The Seals filled a roster hole Friday by signing Victoria native Kyle Orr. Orr comes via the Los Angeles Dodgers organization he was drafted into back in 2006. Kyle spent four years in the Gulf Coast and Pioneer Leagues, before spending a single game earlier this month in the Arizona league prior to his release. He has also suited up for a Canada team that played against spring training teams in Florida back in 2006.

Born in New Westminster, this 21 year old first baseman returns to his hometown to play for friends and family here in Victoria, and becomes (as far as I can tell) the youngest Seal on record. Orr is a career .225 hitter, with 11 home runs and a hefty 161 strikeouts in 481 plate appearances. In the field, Orr steps up his game with a historical .984 fielding percentage at first, a position the Seals could really use some stability.

A revolving door has developed at first in the past several weeks: T-Mac began the season at first, and made some defensive gems as he quickly established himself as a premier GBL bag man. Injuries to Sean Smith moved him into left field, and the Seals have essentially been playing without a true first baseman since then, using the position to keep hot hitters in the lineup (another side-effect caused by this year's lack of a DH). Shane Cronin, Josh Arhart, and most recently Matt Kavanaugh have been rotating at first.

Look for Orr to get a few starts at the bag over the next little while, with Kavanaugh on a 5/28 slump over his last eight games. Orr needs to show some spark at the plate to keep himself in the lineup though, as the last thing the Seals need is another sub-par performer at the plate.

Signed in time to make the trip to Calgary, Kyle pinch-hit in the eighth inning Friday, and struck out swinging on three pitches. The Seals scored a run in the top of the ninth to take the first game of their short road trip to Calgary 3-2, behind a fabulous game by starter Jino Gonzalez. The Seals are now 5-5 in their last ten games.