Friday, June 24, 2011

Kavanaugh exacts revenge on Vipers

Photo courtesy Christian Stewart
Revenge is a dish best served cold -- just ask Matt Kavanaugh. After being hastily released by the Vipers, the ex-Seal was quickly snapped up by the Strong Warriors of Maui. On Thursday night, Maui just happened to be in Calgary to start a series against the Vipers.

Although Kavi didn't start the game, he still played a prominent role in the outcome. Trailing 4-3 in the 7th, Maui sent Matt to the plate as a pinch hitter. His two-run sacrifice fly in the 7th and two-run double in the top of the 9th lead the Strong Warriors to a 10-4 comeback victory.

Maui used Kavanaugh in left field on Thursday and Friday even though he spent little time in the outfield in his two seasons in Victoria. Not only has Matt made three putouts so far, but on Friday afternoon he threw out a runner at home plate. Nice job, Matt!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ex-Seal Duda off to great start with Québec City

Former Victoria Seals pitcher Jeff Duda is enjoying life in La Belle Province. As reported in an earlier blog post, Duda is playing for the Québec Capitales this season and he has had great success so far pitching out of the their bullpen. In eight relief appearances, Jeff has a 1-0 record with one save and a sparkling 2.20 ERA. He has also struck out an impressive 19 batters in only 16 1/3 innings on the mound, while only walking five. Duda has limited opponents to a .234 batting average, a significant improvement over the .306 mark that he posted last year with the Seals.

Duda's contributions have helped propel Quebec City into first place in the Can-Am League with a 19-6 record. Keep up the good work, Jeff!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Kavanaugh released by Vipers; Rios on inactive list

Photo courtesy of Jonathon Howe;
Graphics courtesy of Bubba
In a surprise move, the Calgary Vipers released ex-Seal Matt Kavanaugh on Monday. Kavi was only hitting .114 with one homer and four RBI in 35 at-bats, but the move seems to be a knee-jerk reaction given his solid performance and steady improvement with Victoria over the last two seasons. The Vipers were using Kavanaugh at first base, but he became expendable once they signed utility man Andy Jenkins this past weekend. Jenkins played at the AAA level as recently as last season. Hopefully, Matt can catch on with other independent team in the near future.

There are still three other ex-Seals still on the Calgary roster, however. Brian Rios was moved to the inactive list on June 5th, likely due to an injury.

Chris Bodishbaugh has improved of late and has now struck out 14 batters in 9 1/3 innings of relief, while he has only walked three. However, he has been giving up far too many base hits and he sports a 5.79 ERA and a 2.11 WHIP. On the plus side, Bodi has notched two saves in his last three appearances.

Wilver Perez is the fourth ex-Seal playing for Calgary and he has been red hot of late. Wilver has raised his average to an impressive .358 with 2 homers and 15 RBI in 67 at-bats. He has also swiped six bases in seven attempts, but he is five steals behind the league leader, Stantrel Smith of the Edinburg Roadrunners.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

National League All Star Ballot

As a proud member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA) and President of the alliance's Other Baseball chapter, it is my pleasure to cast a ballot for the BBA's National League All-Star team.

Every year, it's difficult to decide between the established stars who may be having a less than stellar season and the young upstarts who haven't been around long enough to be proven commodities. With that in mind, here is my National League ballot for 2011:
  • Catcher - Yadier Molina STL - 21 R, 3 HR, 24 RBI, 1 SB, .314 BA, .813 OPS
  • 1st Base - Joey Votto CIN - 43 R, 8 HR, 38 RBI, 6 SB, .335 BA, , .987 OPS
  • 2nd Base - Rickie Weeks MIL - 44 R, 11 HR, 26 RBI, 7 SB, .278 BA, .837 OPS
  • Third Base - Chipper Jones ATL - 22 R, 4 HR, 32 RBI, 0 SB, .251 BA, .763 OPS
  • Shortstop - Jose Reyes NY, 42 R, 1 HR, 23 RBI, 20 SB, .341 BA, .906 OPS
  • Outfielder - Lance Berkman STL, 37 R, 14 HR, 43 RBI, 0 SB, .329 BA, 1.071 OPS
  • Outfielder - Matt Kemp LA, 40 R, 17 HR, 50 RBI, 14 SB, .323 BA, .997 OPS
  • Outfielder - Ryan Braun MIL, 45 R, 13 HR, 45 RBI, 14 SB, .311 BA, .967 OPS
  • Starting Pitcher - Cole Hamels PHI, 8-2, 2.58 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 9.03 K/9, 5.06 K/BB
Some of the selections, like Jose Reyes at short, were no-brainers. Others, not so much. Behind the plate, I decided to give Yadier Molina the edge over Brian McCann due to his outstanding defense. I went with Joey Votto over Prince Fielder at first for patriotic reasons: Votto is Canadian and I have to support my countrymen. Of course, as defending NL MVP he has a proven track record.

Third base was another tough call, but I went with the ancient Chipper Jones over Greg Dobbs of the Marlins and Ryan Roberts of the Diamondbacks. Us old geezers have to stick together.