Not to be outdone…
A perfect tie-in to the previous post below, how about this one… RHP Mike DeMark, who was initially slated for Triple-A camp with Arizona, has made his way onto the big league scene as well. Would you believe he has the exact same numbers as Rice through three MLB spring training appearances: 3.0 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts. It might be about time for a former Revs player, or two, to get the call.
The similarities are strong though the stories are different. Rice wears #73 for the Dodgers, while DeMark sports #71 for the D-Backs. So obviously neither were expected to break camp with the big club when jerseys were assigned. Both were noticed within days of each other last season, with DeMark going to the ‘Backs on June 2, and Rice going to the Dodgers just four days later.
The differences are that Rice was once the first-round draft choice, and he’s got the standout frame at 6’6. DeMark, listed at 6’0, was an infielder-turned-pitcher at the Division III college level and went undrafted, beginning his pro career in the Frontier League before earning a contract with the San Diego Padres. And while Rice had to overcome injury, DeMark stayed healthy and put up solid numbers every year, although he ended up being San Diego’s final cut at the end of last spring.
But now a year later, both are in big league spring training, and both have the exact same eye-popping stat line.
Looking at DeMark’s future with the D-Backs from a big picture standpoint, you have to like his chances to get the MLB opportunity at some point. He was brought to the organization by GM Kevin Towers, who had been in San Diego when DeMark broke in there. Towers became a fan of DeMark and his ability, which led to his signing with Arizona last season. The right guy in that organization has had his eye on him for awhile, and I’m sure does even moreso now.
DeMark and Rice could both end up adding to the list of Mark Mason’s pupils who have gone on to the major leagues. Mase managed both Chris Jakubauskus and Tom Cochran in 2005 with Ohio Valley of the Frontier League (Mason was named the league’s Manager of the Year that season), and had Cochran again the following year as pitching coach with Washington. One thing is for sure from a Revolution perspective, major league spring training just got a whole lot more interesting.