Wednesday, May 27, 2015

HarbourCats sign two more Canadians, bringing total to 14

The HarbourCats signed two more Victoria natives to 10-day contracts yesterday to bring the total number of Vancouver Islanders on their roster to fourteen, a new high-water mark for the franchise. Eleven of the fourteen Canadians have been signed to short-term contracts, so it is unclear how many will still be around once all of the full-season players report.

Riley Edmonds
Right-handed pitcher Riley Edmonds has the talent to stick with the team for a lot longer than ten days. Edmonds filled in admirably for the HarbourCats last summer when a wave of early defections left the team extremely short of pitchers during the final week of the season. The former Victoria Eagle may have had no prior college experience at that point, but he still posted a 3.85 ERA and a stellar 0.96 WHIP in 9 ⅓ innings on the hill for the ‘Cats. Edmonds is coming off of an outstanding freshman season at Otero Junior College (La Junta, Colorado) in which he registered a 2.49 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP in 21 ⅔ innings, all in relief. Not only did he strike out more than a batter per inning this spring, but he also had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of almost 6:1. That rare combination of great control and the ability to consistently fan hitters was no fluke, because Edmonds had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of almost 9:1 in 2014 with the Eagles. He could be a valuable short man out of the HarbourCats bullpen this summer if given the chance.

Matt Bryan
The ‘Cats also signed junior outfielder Matt Bryan of McPherson (Kansas) College, an NAIA Division II school. Bryan put up a modest .266 / .333 / .394 slash line (BA / OBP / SLG) in 109 at-bats with the Bulldogs, although he did finish in a tie for the team lead in home runs with three. In the spring of 2014, Bryan posted a .239 / .409 / .338 slash line with Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, Oregon. Although the former Victoria Mariner wore the HarbourCats uniform last summer, he did not see any game action for the duration of his 10-day contract. Bryan was released on June 13th after riding the pine for the first seven games of the season, but let’s hope that he at least gets into a game in his second opportunity with the ‘Cats.

The HarbourCats roster currently sits at a whopping 44 players -- 45 if you count the injured Adam Alcantara. Broken down by position, the team has 16 pitchers, 5 catchers, 13 infielders and 10 outfielders. With only six of our players (Jarvis Scott, Henry OmaƱa, Nick Wojtysiak, Chase Lambert, Gabe Clark and Michael Gretler) participating in the NCAA Tournament, that can only mean that a significant number of our full-season players won't be arriving in time for the three-game exhibition season that kicks off on Sunday due to other reasons. My guess is that many of the eleven local players on 10-day contracts will be on the team for less than ten days regardless of how well they play (if indeed they play at all). Ah, the life of a 10-dayer...

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