Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dane De la Rosa is fourth ex-Seal in the minors

This entire off-season, I have been under the mistaken impression that three former Victoria Seals are currently in the affiliated minor leagues. Well it turns out that there is a fourth ex-Seal and he just might be the closest one to the big leagues.

Dane De la Rosa briefly pitched for the Seals in 2009 before his contract was sold to the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the Atlantic League. During his July/August 2009 stay in Victoria, De la Rosa had an 0-1 record with one save and a 2.45 ERA in six relief appearances. We were impressed with his stuff when he arrived, touting him as a potential closer for the Seals. It turns out that his upside was a bit higher than we thought.

De la Rosa was signed by the Tampa Bay Rays prior to the 2010 season and he spent last year pitching for the Charlotte Stone Crabs (Advanced A, Florida State League) and Montgomery Biscuits (AA, Southern League). De la Rosa made 47 relief appearances for Montgomery and sported a nifty 9-3 record with a 1.97 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. Most impressively, he addressed what was previously one of his biggest flaws -- surrendering too many walks. De la Rosa only walked 3.2 batters per nine innings while averaging 9.3 strikeouts per nine. He was even promoted to the Durham Bulls for the AAA playoffs, but he did not appear in any games with Crash Davis' old team.

Just before Christmas, De la Rosa got the amazing news that he was added to the 40-man roster by Tampa Bay and was invited to spring training with the big club. For now anyway, De la Rosa is sharing the same clubhouse as Manny Ramirez. With an impressive spring, De la Rosa could break camp with the big club, but at the very least he'll start the 2011 season at AAA with the Bulls.

The Rays play their first spring training game on Friday afternoon against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Here is an updated list of the ex-Seals who are currently playing in the minor-league system of MLB teams:

Year(s) played for Seals
MLB organization
Likely starting level for 2011
Dane De la Rosa
Tampa Bay Rays
Austin Bibens-Dirkx
Chicago Cubs
Chris Bodishbaugh
Chicago White Sox
Advanced A
Anthony Pluta
Los Angeles Angels
Advanced A or AA


  1. Bodishbaugh and Pluta are both very unlikely to start the season in A ball. Because they are "older" players it is much more likely that they will start in AA (with Pluta possibly having a shot at AAA), or be released out of spring training. Anything can happen, though.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Anonymous.

    Obviously, a lot will depend on how Bodi and Pluta perform in minor-league spring training.

    Bodishbaugh has a career 7.00 ERA in only 37 innings of affiliated ball (short season A and regular A ball). He'll be 26 years and 6 months of age in April, so I'd expect him to be assigned to the Winston-Salem Dash (Advanced A, Carolina League). I agree, he's probably a bit old for the Kannapolis Intimidators (A, South Atlantic League). I wouldn't start him in AA unless he really impresses in camp. It would be better to have him show some success in A or Advanced A and then move him up to AA in a couple of months.

    As for Pluta, he'll be 28 years and 5 months of age in April. He has 275 1/3 innings of experience in affiliated ball, but only 12 1/3 innings in Advanced A. Even though he is older than Bodisbaugh, I wouldn't be surprised to see him start at Advanced A (Inland Empire 66ers, California League), but he may indeed start at AA (Arkansas Travellers, Texas League). It wouldn't hurt his confidence to blow away some younger hitters in Advanced A for a month or two before moving up to AA.

    Thanks again for your comment... it has made me re-think my previous estimate.

  3. I agree/disagree with anonymous I think Pluta will probably start the season with the Travellers but I really think Bodi will start at plain old single A ball.

  4. Any news regarding these guys now that Spring Training has started? I could not find Bibens-Dirkx on the Cubs roster? I assume that means he will not be part of their starting lineup?

  5. Annie,

    Bibens-Dirkx was not added to the Cubs' 40-man roster and he did not get an invitation to the big league camp. He's in the minor-league camp right now (as are Pluta and Bodishbaugh, I assume). It's next to impossible to know what is going on in the minor league camps unless you were to go down there yourself and score the games (or speak with the players, managers or minor-league staff directly).

    De la Rosa has made two relief appearances so far. His first was an impressive scoreless inning, but he gave up a couple of earned runs in the second outing. He has a 9.00 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in a total of two innings. On the plus side, he hasn't walked a batter and has struck out two. He is due to get into another game in the next couple of days. The pressure is on to throw a few scoreless innings, otherwise he'll be headed back to AAA.

  6. De La Rosa made his major-league debut tonight for the Tampa Bay Rays. For more info, see

    With the release of Bodishbaugh and Pluta this spring, Austin Bibens-Dirkx is currently the only former Seal in afilliated minor-league baseball. For more info on Austin, see