Sanchez returns, Revs add another lefty to ‘pen, and Val’s got a ticket to Texas
It’s a big news Monday around the ballpark as the Revs announced the re-signing of Jesus Sanchez while adding Northern League / American Association standout Ian Thomas. Also announced, Val Majewski will be on his way back to Rangers camp for spring training.
Sanchez is maybe a bit of a surprise signing after last year, but the Revs expect him to get back to his 2010 form. Last season he came to York in July after opening the year overseas, and wasn’t the same after only pitching once a week in Taiwan, not exactly the workload that everyone’s used to in the U.S. He was also in the process of assisting with the details of his son’s signing his first pro contract with the Cleveland Indians. The proud papa had to leave the team to head back home to the Dominican Republic for that reason, but as things dragged on, his return date to York continued to get pushed back, and eventually never happened. Sanchez told the coaching staff this off-season that he felt badly about the way things went down last year, and is motivated to come back and make it up to the team.
The timing of his departure last year was a shame especially considering he was just starting to get into form, winning his final two starts and firing six scoreless innings at Somerset in his last one. He still finished with a 3-2 record in his six starts. In fact, he allowed three runs or fewer and worked five innings or more in three of his final four starts.
The year before, he was one of the league’s best and a major reason why York clinched a first half title. Sanchez held a league-best 1.63 ERA through May 25 before the Oakland A’s signed him and placed him at Triple-A Sacramento. He returned to York for a second stint and was the Freedom Division’s starter in the 2010 Atlantic League All-Star Game (fun fact: the second of three consecutive years that a Revs pitcher has started the game, Corey Thurman in 2009 and 2011). Sanchez ended up 7-6 with a 3.65 ERA in 16 starts for York before leaving for the big leagues in Taiwan for the remainder of 2010.
If they can get him back to 2010 form, he’d be a great guy to have back in the rotation. He was really fun to watch that year and you knew you had a good chance to win every time he took the ball.
Sanchez also boasts some pretty serious major league service time, parts of seven consecutive years beginning with the Florida Marlins as a youngster in 1998.
His return will also be important in maintaining the high level of intensity of the Revs’ pregame card games in the clubhouse.
Thomas, just 24, adds some youth to the mix for the Revs. Etch likes adding some young blood to try to keep things fresh, and Thomas seems more than ready to jump from the American Association to the Atlantic League. It will be just his fourth pro season, but his first three were nothing short of brilliant, combining to go 11-5 with a 2.03 ERA in relief for the Winnipeg Goldeyes. For you numbers buffs, you’ll be interested to know that he averaged 10.4 strikeouts per nine, gave up only 6.6 hits per nine, and sported a WHIP of 1.13. In 2010 he was named the Northern League’s Rookie Pitcher of the Year after going 5-1 with a 1.64 ERA. The heck with Rookie of the Year, that should have been good enough to just flat out be the Pitcher of the Year.
I spoke with Vince Harrison earlier today who was a teammate of Thomas’ in Winnipeg, and he gave his endorsement on this move. Said he’s got a very good changeup. Thomas, by the way, is 6’4, so he’ll be a tall lefty coming out of the Revolution bullpen.
And last but certainly not least, our congrats to Val Majewski who goes back to the Texas Rangers this spring training. Val has been the poster boy for success stories in the Atlantic League, last year making it a fourth time in four years that he opened in this league, only to earn a contract with a major league club (the last two years, of course, beginning in York). This year, one of those signings finally leads to a spring training contract, as he’ll at long last begin a season with a major league club. Val hasn’t given up on his dream of more MLB time. The once-top prospect with the Orioles only got to taste nine big league games as a call up in 2004, as a shoulder injury forced his career onto a different path.
Val batted .333 at AAA Round Rock last season before returning to York to help the Revs win another championship. The fact that it took so long for Texas to re-sign him really bunched Braverman’s shorts a few weeks back. Let’s re-visit this memorable post from January 13:
There have been other close calls with Rev alums in Triple-A, but so far no dice. As I lamented back in October, Val Majewski got screwed last year after signing with Texas, finishing the season at Triple-A Round Rock with impressive numbers, but was passed over for a September call-up. If that isn’t enough, our sources tell us Majewski likely WON’T be invited to Rangers spring training. Seriously? If they can lose the World Series every year without him, they can lose it with him too.
Paul Braverman, ladies and gentlemen. Our crack reporter on the scene, all over-reactive to a little delay in the paperwork and what not. I have the distinct pleasure of working in the same marketing suite as Mr. Braverman, and look forward to him sharing his opinions and colorful commentary on a daily basis. It’s difficult to shut him up, trust me I’ve tried. But today, the Rangers did what I’ve long been unable to do, and that is to put Paul in his place. Actually, truth be told, this is twice in one week. I did finally put him in his place, Thurm helped me settle a score with Paul last Tuesday, but that’s a different story. I watched him lose it a few weeks ago when it looked like Val wouldn’t get the opportunity, and today I watched him sit there, finally wrong about SOMETHING. And I enjoyed it.
Rangers 1, Paul 0.
Boy that felt good to get off my chest. I’m done here. Paul, anything to add to that?