In 2009, Austin had a 2-2 record with a 3.70 ERA for the Victoria Seals. He was also leading the Golden League in strikeouts with 54 in 48 2/3 innings when he was plucked from the Victoria roster by the Cubbies. This season, Bibens-Dirkx went 5-3 with a 3.27 ERA for the (AA) Tennessee Smokies. While in AA, he held opponents to a .196 batting average and had a stunning 1.01 WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched).
Bibens-Dirkx made his AAA debut on Friday night and he did not disappoint, earning the win in a 6-1 victory over the New Orleans Zephyrs. He gave up only one earned run in five innings and held New Orleans to only four hits. If Bibens-Dirkx can stay hot, it's not outside the realm of possibility that the Cubs would make him a September call-up. If he were to get the call, Bibens-Dirkx would be the first Victoria Seal to ever go on to appear in the major leagues.
Seal Blubber Bits
- The Seals finished the first half of the season on Sunday with a 21-23 record (.477 winning percentage). That's a significant improvement (so far) over their showing in 2009 (32-50, .390) and it looks like the Seals could be in a pennant race in the second half.
- The Seals start the second half of the season on Thursday night in Chico in the first of a three-game set against the Outlaws. Chico won the first-half title in the North Division with a 33-12 record. Maui won the South Division first-half crown with a 26-17 record.
- The Golden League is set to face the Northern League All Stars on Wednesday night in Tucson. Josh Arhart and Brian Rios will represent the Seals.