Panagiotis K. Sikaras
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 205 lb.
- School University of Saint Francis
Sikaras was picked by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 13th round of the 2000 amateur draft. He debuted as a pro with the South Bend Silver Hawks, going 0-3 with a save and a 6.14 ERA, a 1.88 WHIP and more walks than strikeouts in an inauspicious start.
Pete bounced around in 2001, making appearances with the Yakima Bears (2-5, 3 Sv, 3.56 in 16 G), Lancaster JetHawks (1-1, Sv, 6.20 in 18 G) and Tucson Sidewinders (0-1, 10 R in 6 IP in his only four games at AAA). In '02, the Chicago native was 2-4 with 4 saves and a 1.95 ERA in 37 games for South Bend and 0-1 with 3 runs in four innings for the El Paso Diablos.
Sikaras was with Lancaster for all of 2003, going a solid 3-1 with 23 saves and a 2.83 ERA, fanning 56 in 47 2/3 IP. He led the California League in saves that year. That earned the American of Greek descent a spot on Greece's squad for the 2003 European Championship. In that event, he tossed three shutout innings and got a save for the Silver Medal winners.
Back with El Paso for 2004, Pete had a 0-3, 9 save, 3.72 record with 46 strikeouts in 46 innings. He missed some time representing Greece in the 2004 Olympics. He allowed 8 runs in 7 1/3 IP over 4 games for the third-highest Greek ERA (only Laurence Heisler and Clint Zavaras were worse). On the other hand, he made history with their only Olympic win. Against Italy, he relieved Peter Soteropoulos with a 7-6 deficit in the 6th. He proceeded to shut out Italy (including five players with experience in Organized Baseball) over the final 3 1/3 IP while Greece would score 6 more runs off William Lucena and Carlos Richetti, with Nick Markakis driving in the game-winner. Sikaras thus became one of the few pitchers to get their country's lone Olympic win during the 1992-2008 era when baseball was a Medal sport; the others were South Africa's Tim Harrell (2000), Spain's José Becerra (1992) and China's Jiangang Lu (2008).
Sikaras slumped to 2-3, 6.12 with two saves for the 2005 Tennessee Smokies with his K rate falling significantly (38 in 64 2/3 IP) in his only full season at AA. He split 2006 between the Erie SeaWolves (1-0, 5.79 in 22 G) and the independent Gary Southshore Railcats (0-1, 9 Sv, 2.53 in 21 G).
Pete spent the next two seasons in the independent leagues. In 2007, he was 2-1 with 5 saves for the Edmonton Cracker-Cats but allowed 20 hits, 15 walks and 18 runs in 14 2/3 IP. Back with Edmonton in '08, he was much better, going 2-3 with 19 saves and a 3.65 ERA, striking out 46 in 37 innings. Sikaras set the Golden Baseball League record for saves and was named to the league All-Star team.
That performance earned Sikaras one more look at Organized Baseball. Signing with the Philadelphia Phillies for 2009, he was assigned to the Reading Phillies, but only made four appearances - four hits, four walks, six strikeouts and two runs in four innings.
Let go by Philadelphia, Sikaras signed with the Italian Baseball League's Godo Knights for the remainder of '09. He went 2-0 with a save and 37 strikeouts in 28 innings for Godo and stayed with Godo in 2010 despite rumors he would sign elsewhere.