DockHounds Trade Aaron Takacs to Canaries for Angel Ventura
American Association Daily provides insights, features, and recaps of the action from around the American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions. In today’s edition, Robert Pannier examines the trade that sent RHP Angel Ventura from the Sioux Falls Canaries to the Lake Country DockHounds for Aaron Takacs.
DockHounds Acquire Ventura, Canaries Receive Takacs
On Wednesday, the Lake Country DockHounds and Sioux Falls Canaries made a trade that sent outfielder Aaron Takacs from the DockHounds to the Canaries in exchange for right-hander Angel Ventura. This is a move geared toward shaking up both clubs, as Lake Country finds themselves in fifth place in the East and Sioux Falls is in last in the West.
How the Deal Affects Sioux Falls Canaries
To outsiders, this seems like a surprising move for the Canaries. Sioux Falls is last in ERA (6.67) and dealing away an established pitcher seems like a surprising move for Manager Mike Meyer. However, the reality is that Ventura has not worked out well in Sioux Falls.
After an outstanding season with the Milwaukee Milkmen in 2019, going 6-10 with a 2.76 ERA, Ventura struggled for the Milkmen the next season, making just seven starts while posting a 5.45 ERA. He was traded to Sioux Falls in 2021, where he went 7-7 with a 5.14 ERA. This season he has struggled mightily, posting an 8.54 ERA in six appearances, five of which have been starts. The right-hander has allowed 24 earned runs in 26.1 innings, giving up five homeruns.
While the Canaries clearly need starting pitching, Ventura is not the answer. With the right-hander taking a veteran spot, it would be more advantageous for the Sioux Falls Manager to pursue other options rather than rely on Ventura to right the ship. Plus, this may be a sign that left-hander Cecilio Pimentel has resolved his visa problems and is ready to join the club. The money used on Ventura can now go toward Pimentel.
The addition of Takacs is a shrewd move by Meyer. Not only can he play any position, but he makes this lineup more formidable. It is likely now that Angelo Altavilla plays more of a backup role with Takacs moving to the top of the lineup. Takacs is hitting .304 with a .394 on-base percentage and has seven stolen bases, making him the ideal leadoff hitter, enabling Ozzie Martinez and Wyatt Ulrich to move down a spot in the order. That should set the table for Jabari Henry who should see his RBI numbers rise quickly.
How the Deal Affects the Lake Country DockHounds
The Canaries may have the worst ERA in the American Association, but Lake Country is not doing much better, 11th in the league with a 6.52 ERA. They are getting plenty of offense and are in a park where they should have some success getting outs. The problem is that the pitching staff is simply not delivering.
The DockHounds have allowed the most homeruns in the league this year (70). What makes matters worse is that there have been 42 games this season where a player has hit two homeruns in the same game. Lake Country has given up 11 of those two homer games, including six of the last 12. That is bad news, and Manager Jim Bennett clearly needs a veteran who can shore up this pitching staff.
Only four pitchers on the DockHounds have ERAs under 5.00 with Alex McRae (2.25) and Evan Kruczynski (3.60) being the only two starters who have been reliable for the team this season. It is hoped that Ventura will regain his form in a park far more conducive for pitching than the Birdcage.
By Robert Pannier