It seems like Ottawa Voyageurs are trying to address two of last season's deficiencies, middle infield and starting pitching, with their latest move.
The club swapped left fielder Jereme Milons, who hit a decent .298/.360/.434 last season, to Southern Illinois in the Frontier League for the rights to utilityman Manny Paula and right-handed starter Chris Allen.
Paula comes advertised as someone who can play second and shortstop, along with outfield, so at least he would give the Vees some options. He helped Southern Illinois make a playoff push last season, and in '07 he was very good in the Frontier League, OPSing .930 and hitting 15 homers in 274 at-bats. Who knows how well that translates to the Can-Am League, but at least he's got some pop.
Allen, 24, posted decent numbers in his first pro season last season, going 6-2 with a 3.39 ERA and 1.36 WHIP with no home runs allowed in 61 innings. The stats suggest he's got decent control, but maybe goes a little too deep into counts sometimes (his efficiency isn't rated very high).
Here's hoping Ottawa can get those two into camp. As it stands, they probably have four everyday players: Rookie Jeff Thomas and incumbent Jared Lemieux in left and centre, Trino Aguilar and Jabe Bergeron at the infield corners.
Voyageurs pitching coach Mike Kusiewicz, by the way, will participate in Ottawa writer Jim Shearon's book launch on Thursday at 5 p.m. at Collected Works (1242 Wellington St.). Shearon's latest, Over The Fence Is Out!, is a history of Canadians in baseball, with a special focus on Larry Walker.
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