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Archive for March, 2013

The 31-year-old rookie: Scott Rice makes Mets final roster out of spring training

Scott Rice

York Revolution alum Scott Rice (’11) has earned the final spot in the Mets bullpen out of spring training, his first Major League roster spot in 15 professional seasons.  While he becomes the fourth Revolution alum to reach the Majors, he will become the very first to make his MLB debut after wearing a Revs uniform.

A season ago, Rice was the final cut from Dodgers big league spring training.  As he headed to Triple-A Albuquerque, it was assumed he was a lock to get called up to L.A. during the season.  That call never came and he signed with the Mets as a free agent during this offseason.  It was an ironic move, as the Mets medical staff may have saved Rice’s career; he struggled with an elbow injury that prevented this sure-fire prospect from reaching the big leagues much sooner than 2013, and it was the Mets medical staff who properly diagnosed it after others failed to, despite Rice not being with the Mets at the time.

At 31, Rice will likely be the oldest rookie on any MLB Opening Day roster.  After he appeared on the roster of Triple-A Las Vegas earlier this week, it looked like he would start another season in the minors, but at long last his big league dream is realized.  Here is the full press release from the Revolution after the jump:

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Revs Continue to Stockpile Major Leaguers

Eric Patterson gives Mase the type of versatility a manager loves to have on his team, and another speed threat.

Eric Patterson gives Mase the type of versatility a manager loves to have on his team, and another speed threat.

With players due to report for spring training in just over a week, the York Revolution added two more names to the preseason roster, both with significant Major League experience.  The Revs have come to terms with reliever Mike Wuertz and utility man Eric Patterson on contracts for the 2013 season.  Both signings were announced today by manager Mark Mason. (more…)


53-year-old Tony Phillips, an 18-year MLB vet, will try out for Revolution

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April 1 isn’t until Monday, and I assure you we are not fooling anybody.  Revolution Baseball Operations Manager Andrew Ball has received confirmation that infielder Tony Phillips, who played in 18 Major League seasons between 1982 (!) and 1999 predominately with the A’s and Tigers will attend the open tryout on Friday, April 5 with hopes to earn a spot on the spring camp roster.

While Phillips retired in ’99 at the age of 40 after 106 games with Oakland, apparently he is in pretty good shape.  He began this post-50s comeback in 2011 when he played in 24 games for Yuma in the North American League (hit .269 with an RBI), and then played in 16 more games in the same league with Edinburg last season. (Hit .231 with eight RBI.)

In his Major League career, Phillips played in 2,161 games and has over 2,000 hits.  He was a career .266 hitter with 160 home runs and 819 RBI.  Anyone remember another player on the other side of 50 that played in the Atlantic League last season?

If you’d like to see this story unfold in person, fans are welcome at the tryout, which begins at 5:45 p.m. on the 5th.

-Paul Braverman


Trio of Revolution alums head from big league spring training to Triple-A

Three former Revolution hurlers were in competition for a spot on final 25-man rosters as Major League Baseball begins it’s regular season next week.  Despite strong showings, Justin Hampson (’10), Scott Rice (’11) and Shawn Hill (’12) will all start in Triple-A, with a good chance for a call up to The Show this season.

Hampson and Rice were each competing for spots in the Mets bullpen, and both have been assigned to come out of the ‘pen for the Las Vegas 51s in the Pacific Coast League.  Hampson was called up to the Mets from Buffalo, their Triple-A affiliate last year, on two occasions; once in June and then again when rosters expanded in September.  Rice, who we’ve written about extensively, continues to be a close call in almost every situation he’s in.  Last spring, he was the last player cut from the Dodgers big league club in camp, and was assumed as a lock for a call-up from Triple-A Albuquerque during the season.  That call never came as he spent the duration in the PCL.  He signed with New York as a free agent following that disappointment.  Rice is still striving to make his MLB debut – although he did get to pitch at Dodger Stadium last year against the Angels in the last exhibition game before the season started.  However close, Rice has yet to appear in a Major League regular season game.

Shawn Hill will head to Triple-A Toledo of the International League in the Tigers organization, a year after becoming the second Rev to go from York to the Majors in the same season.  Hill also became the first Revolution alum to earn a MLB winning decision, when he and the Blue Jays bested Andy Pettitte and the Yankees last September in Toronto.  He signed with Detroit as a free agent following his return to the bigs.

-Paul Braverman


Nowak, others retire

Nowak, Chris 22

Our speculation has been confirmed:  Rather than return to the Revolution, franchise home run leader Chris Nowak has elected to retire.  After signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks prior to spring training, Nowak was released from their camp last week.  He and his wife recently welcomed their first born, which you would assume factored heavily into his decision.

Nowak launched 59 home runs in his two seasons with York.  His 25 in 2011 surpassed Jason Aspito’s single season mark of 24 set in 2008.  Last season, Nowak obliterated his own record by smashing 34.

Nowak joins a growing list of recent Revs that are moving on.  This offseason alone Scott Grimes, Brandon Haveman, Val Majewski and Adam Thomas have concluded their playing days.

-Paul Braverman


Four relievers added to preseason roster

The Revolution have added four relief pitchers to the growing roster for preseason camp;  right-handers Pedro Liriano and Julio DePaula, and lefties Joe Torres and Joe Testa.  The acquisitions bring York’s preseason roster to 26, including 16 pitchers.  Competition should be fierce.  The Revs plan to add at least one more position player, perhaps two.  More news on that may be coming later in the week.  And who knows what the open tryout might yield on April 5, but depth will not be an issue for the Revolution when they break camp with their final 25-man roster, and the team should be able to weather any early-season signings by MLB organizations.  Although Atlantic League rules do permit teams to carry 27 players until June 1, when rosters must be trimmed to 25 for the remainder of the season, Manager Mark Mason has indicated that he will not carry extra players and go with 25 on Opening Day.  More on the bullpen guys:

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Spring Training has begun for some Atlantic Leaguers

LI Storm Logo

Each spring, the Long Island Storm puts together a group largely made up of Atlantic Leaguers that competes in a series of spring training games against minor league squads in Florida.  This year, the team includes a Revs flavor with righty Nick Green, lefty Kris Regas and second baseman Andres Perez on the club, along with former York righty Jason Richardson who continues his comeback from Tommy John surgery.  Here’s an update on the Storm’s success: (more…)


Revs Sign Major League Veteran Brett Tomko

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The York Revolution have made another splash with their off-season signings, bringing veteran Major League starter Brett Tomko on board for the 2013 season.  The team also announced the signing of shortstop Wilson Batista.  Both signings were made official today by Revs manager Mark Mason. (more…)


Recap of Revolution & Atlantic League in World Baseball Classic

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The third World Baseball Classic took place March 2-19 at sites spanning the globe, and featured a record 22 players with Atlantic League ties in the tournament on the rosters of eight countries.  In order to fill out the rosters outside of the baseball-centric countries, players are allowed to play for their “heritage” so to speak, if they have a blood relative hailing from one of the nations.  There’s also the case of Venezuelan catcher and Atlantic League veteran Salomon Manriquez, who was permitted to play for Spain because his wife was born there.  Now that the dust has settled, here is a recap of how the players with Atlantic League and Revolution ties fared in the tournament:

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Import the 2013 Revolution schedule into your Outlook calendar

A month out from Opening Day, perhaps you’re thinking “you know what would make my white collar job just a little more tolerable?  The York Revolution’s complete 2013 schedule in my Outlook calendar!”

It’s simple – just e-mail me, pbraverman@yorkrevolution.com, with “Outlook schedule” as the subject.  I’ll send you back the 2013 schedule ready to download into your calendar with just a couple clicks.

-Paul Braverman


Revs Ink Trio of Impact Players

Nick Green, a mid-season All-Star with Southern Maryland each of the last two seasons, will join the Revs rotation as part of today's big news.

Nick Green, a mid-season All-Star with Southern Maryland each of the last two seasons, will join the Revs rotation as part of today’s big news.

Just about a month away from the start of the season, the Revs made three huge signings today, bringing Brian Burgamy, one of the league’s top on-base percentage guys in recent years, Nick Green, one of the league’s top starters, and Juan Rincon, the likely candidate to replace R.J. Rodriguez as closer, all on board. (more…)


Free War of The Roses baseball on April 14

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You know it’s going to happen. The day after Fan Fest, there is no way you’ll be able to contain your excitement for Opening Day on April 18. And who could blame you? But there is a solution. The Revolution will take on the Barnstormers in exhibition action on Sunday, April 14 at 2 p.m. at Sovereign Bank Stadium. Admission is free and no tickets are required. Sure, the game doesn’t count in the standings, but can you think of a reason NOT to go? Exactly. We’ll see you here for a War of The Roses sneak preview in a few weeks.

Coming into the 2013 season, the Revolution lead the all-time series with Lancaster 59-57 in regular season play, counting playoff games it’s 62-62.

-Paul Braverman


R.J. Rodriguez to play for Lincoln Saltdogs this season

Rodriguez, RJ 106

Revolution career saves leader R.J. Rodriguez has opted to sign with the Lincoln Saltdogs of the American Association rather than return to York.  Of course, the AA season ends before the Atlantic League season, and we often see players move from one league to the other for the ALPB stretch run.  If Rodriguez does something like that, York would almost certainly be the destination for him, but not until August.  Should the Revs find themselves gearing up for another playoff run, Rodriguez could be a valuable addition at that time, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

There are other familiar names on Lincoln’s roster that have made stops in York:  Starting pitcher Justin Edwards (’11), infielder David Espinosa (’12) and outfielder Stephen Douglas (’12).

-Paul Braverman


Revs Sign Major League Veteran Jason Repko

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The York Revolution have signed three more key players for the 2013 season, inking veteran Major League outfielder Jason Repko, along with returning relievers Stephen Penney and Wade Korpi.  The signings were announced today by manager Mark Mason, bringing the current total to 17 signed players with the club’s first spring training workout exactly one month away. (more…)


Nick Schumacher’s WBC jersey

Starting pitcher Nick Schumacher, who pitched the 2011 Revolution to a championship, and is returning to York for 2013, is playing for Spain in the World Baseball Classic.  Here is his jersey:

Schumacher jersey

Spain is in a brutal preliminary round group with the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.  Check this schedule and watch for Schumacher, Shawn Hill with Canada, and all the other Atlantic League alums all weekend long in WBC play.  Canada is grouped with Italy, Mexico and the United States in another tough prelim.  Only two teams per group advance to the next round.  All games are broadcast on MLB Network.

-Paul Braverman


More pictures of my TV: Sixties edition

Took a break from Spring Training games to watch the 1966 World Series film on MASN last night, when the Orioles swept the Dodgers 4-0.  Some notes:

  • In Game 1 at Dodger Stadium, Frank Robinson and Brooks Robinson each homered in the first inning to set the tone for the Orioles sweep, in a 5-2 victory.
  • In Game 2 at Dodger Stadium, Andy Etchebarren was the last man to ever bat against Sandy Koufax.  He hit into a double play, but the O’s still won 6-0.
  • During a cross country flight, the Orioles plane hit some major turbulence over the Rockies.  I guess it got pretty intense.  Years later, Etch was quoted as saying “we all said we have to finish this thing in Baltimore in five games or less, because nobody wanted to get back on that plane to go to Los Angeles again.”
  • For supposedly being thin on pitching, the Orioles set a record for longest scoreless streak in a World Series, shutting the Dodgers out for the final 33 innings of the series, winning Games 3 and 4 at Memorial Stadium by identical 1-0 scores.  As catcher, we’ll give Etch some credit for this too.
  • After Paul Blair caught the final out in Game 4, the fans at Memorial Stadium rushed the field ala college football or basketball.  Good luck ever seeing that again.

And finally, here are a couple of future managers during that series:

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On the left, 23-year-old Andy Etchebarren, future two-time championship-winning Manager of the York Revolution. On the right, Orioles second baseman Davey Johnson (also 23), future World Series-winning Manager of the New York Mets, Tony Tarasco’s Baltimore Orioles and the greatest MLB team ever assembled (probably), the 2013 Washington Nationals.

-Paul Braverman


Pictures of my TV on your computer

What can I say, I get excited when I see Revolution alumni on TV pitching in Major League Spring Training games. Last week, I leapt off the couch to grab shots of Scott Rice (’11) with the Mets and Shawn Hill (’12) with the Tigers.  Hill, who is likely ticketed for a starting rotation spot with the World Famous Toledo Mud Hens in Triple-A, tossed 2.2 innings against the Yankees on Saturday, and struck out Ichiro and Travis Hafner.  Not too shabby.  He did allow one run on an RBI single to Robinson Cano.  As you probably remember, last year Hill became the first former Rev to earn a winning decision in an MLB game when the Blue Jays defeated Andy Pettitte and the Yankees in Toronto in September.  Scott Rice worked 1.2 innings against the Nationals on Thursday, and did not allow a run, also striking out two.  With Rice being a reliever in an organization without much depth, he has a serious chance to make the Mets big league roster out of camp after being the last guy left off the Dodgers last spring.  He instead spent the entire season with the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes, and did not receive a much awaited call-up to L.A.  (Rice’s numbers on the image refer to his Spring Training appearances with the Dodgers last year.) Hopefully this is the year.  Spots in the Tigers starting rotation are at a premium, but perhaps Hill could be of use to them as a reliever in the big leagues.  Either way, should he do well in Toledo he’s just one call from the Majors for an injury, suspension, food poisoning, whatever.  Other Revolution pitching alumni that have made an appearance in Major League camps this year, Ryan Feierabend (’12) with the Rangers and Mike DeMark (’11) with the Diamondbacks.  I’m still hunting for their screengrabs…

-Paul Braverman

Scott Rice

Shawn Hill


Former Playoff Hero Returns to Revolution

Nick Schumacher photo courtesy of York Dispatch.

Nick Schumacher photo courtesy of York Dispatch.

The York Revolution have re-signed a one-time playoff hero and a key offensive piece from last year’s club, while also adding a reliever with recent Major League time, as Nick Schumacher, Johan Limonta, and Josh Judy have become the newest three names to be added to the 2013 roster.  The signings were announced today by Revs manager Mark Mason. (more…)