Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wilver Perez is on fire

Wow, talk about taking it to the next level. Wilver Perez had four hits and knocked in five runs on Thursday night to raise his batting average to an impressive .378 on the season, fifth-best in the North American League (NAL). Even more impressive is Wilver's RBI total: 66 in only 60 games. That ranks Wilver second in the league in RBI, and only four behind Daryl Jones of the San Angelo Colts. Not bad for a guy hitting in the number two slot of the Calgary Vipers' batting order.

Wilver got off to a lukewarm start this season and on June 8th his batting average was "only" .280. But in the 180 at bats since that date, he has hit at a torrid .406 clip and knocked in an eye-popping 60 runs.

Last season, Perez hit .317 for the Victoria Seals while setting a new GBL single-season stolen base record (64). Although he hasn't been running as often this season, he is still putting up very good stolen base numbers. Perez has swiped 22 bases in 26 attempts, tieing him with Stantrel Smith of the Edinburg Roadrunners for the league lead.

Nice job, Wilver!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

West Coast League gets rave reviews in Portland paper

The West Coast League (WCL) was the subject of a very positive article in the Portland daily, The Oregonian. As was reported on this blog back in May, it is quite possible that Victoria will be granted an expansion franchise in the WCL for the 2012 season.

You can read The Oregonian article here.  Leave a comment to this blog post and tell us what you think.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dane De La Rosa is first former Victoria Seal in majors!

Well folks, it happened. The first former member of the Victoria Seals has been called up to the big leagues! On Monday night, the Tamp Bay Rays called up Dane De la Rosa from the AAA Durham Bulls. He'll pitch out of the pen and could see action against the New York Yankees on Wednesday or Thursday night.

De La Rosa earned the promotion by going 4-3 with a 3.86 ERA in 35 games with the Bulls.  Back in July/August of 2009, he posted a 2.45 ERA in six relief appearances with the Victoria Seals. However, De La Rosa only pitched on the road for the Seals and he never appeared in a game at Royal Athletic Park.

Congratulations, Dane!

De La Rosa made his major-league debut on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field. He came into the game in the top of the 8th with the Yankees leading 2-0 and a runner on first with one out. He then struck out Mark Teixeira on a 93 MPH cutter to start a strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play to get out of the inning. Nerves appeared to get the better of De La Rosa in the top of the 9th, however. After getting Robinson Cano to ground out, De La Rosa walked Nick Swisher. He then walked Canadian Russ Martin on four pitches and was promptly yanked from the game. Unfortunately, De La Rosa's replacement (Cesar Ramos) allowed both inherited runners to score and the Yankees went on to win 4-0. De La Rosa's line for the night was 1 IP, 0 H, 2 ER, 2 BB and 1 K.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ex-Seal Bibens-Dirkx has setback on way to big leagues

Photo courtesy Christian Stewart
At the start of 2011 it looked like Austin Bibens-Dirkx was on track to be the first (only?) former Victoria Seal to go on to make the major leagues. Given the troubles that the Chicago Cubs have had this year, all he had to do was duplicate his fine 2010 minor-league season to get a call-up. But things have not gone quite according to plan for Bibens-Dirkx.

Austin has posted a 3-5 record and a nasty 7.16 ERA with the AAA Iowa Cubs in 2011 after having a respectable 4.61 ERA at that level in the latter part of last season. Although his ERA has taken a big hit this year, many of Bibens-Dirkx's underlying AAA numbers have actually improved:

52 2/3 
81 2/3

It's fair to chalk up his struggles to a run of bad luck and a few horrendous starts like the one on June 18th against the Albuquerque Isotopes in which he gave up 11 earned runs in only one inning of work. Thankfully the Cubs have done their homework and instead of releasing Bibens-Dirkx, they sent him back down to AA yesterday. Given that his confidence has probably taken a big hit, it's likely that he'll benefit from a stint back down with the Tennessee Smokies. In the first part of the 2010 season, Bibens-Dirkx put up stellar numbers with the Smokies: a 3.27 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. Let's hope he can regroup in AA and eventually resume his trek to the big leagues.