Revs Continue to Stockpile Major Leaguers
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.
The signings give the Revs 28 total players under contract for the 2013 season, including 13 with Major League experience. Including Wuertz and Patterson, nine have spent multiple seasons in the Majors, and seven have spent at least four seasons in the big leagues.
An eight-year Major League veteran, Wuertz began the year in spring training with the Miami Marlins, and is looking to bounce back after missing last season due to hand and wrist injuries. The 34-year-old spent the majority of his last healthy season in the Major Leagues with the Oakland Athletics in 2011, and at his best, has been one of baseball’s top setup men.
Originally an 11th round draft pick of the Chicago Cubs in 1997, Wuertz ascended the Cubs’ organizational ladder, first reaching the Majors in 2004. Wuertz quickly entrenched himself as one of the Cubs’ top options, spending all or parts of five seasons on Chicago’s north side.
Wuertz was dealt to Oakland prior to the 2009 season, and enjoyed his best season that year, going 6-1 with a 2.63 ERA in 74 games out of the A’s bullpen. In 78.2 innings, Wuertz struck out 102 batters leading all American League relievers, and joining Rollie Fingers and Dennis Eckersley as only the third reliever in A’s history to whiff 100 batters in a season. Wuertz also spent the 2010 and 2011 seasons in an A’s uniform.
For his Major League career, Wuertz is 21-11 with 11 saves and a 3.71 ERA in 426 appearances. He has struck out 444 batters in just 414.1 innings of work.
“Wuertz is proven at every level,” commented Mason. “His Major League numbers are very good. He adds a tremendous option for me out of our bullpen.”
Patterson has seen significant time at second base as well as all three outfield positions during his eight-year pro career, of which he has spent parts of five seasons in the Major Leagues. The younger brother of veteran big league outfielder Corey Patterson, Eric has batted .217 with 10 home runs and 35 stolen bases in 226 Major League games. In the minors, he holds a .294 lifetime average with 64 homers, 50 triples, and 195 stolen bases.
“Patterson is a very versatile player and can help us at several different positions,” said Mason. “Eric also adds an element of speed to our offensive attack.”
Originally an eighth-round draft pick of the Cubs in 2004 when his older brother was patrolling center field at Wrigley Field, Patterson immediately cemented himself as a top prospect when he claimed the Midwest League’s batting crown in his first pro season in 2005, batting .333 for Peoria and earning a late-season bump to Double-A West Tennessee, being named Cubs Minor League Player of the Year in the process. Patterson played in the MLB Futures Game in 2006 and was named the Southern League’s Best Hustler, earning a promotion to Triple-A Iowa in just his second season where he batted .358 in 17 games.
A Pacific Coast League All-Star in 2007, Patterson tasted the Majors for the first time that year, appearing in seven games for the Cubs. Patterson then split the 2008 season between Triple-A and the Majors with both the Cubs and the Athletics, who claimed him as part of the trade that brought Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin to Chicago that July. In addition to his Major League contributions, Patterson was a PCL All-Star for the second of three consecutive seasons in 2008, combining to bat .324 at Triple-A that year.
Patterson batted a career-best .287 in 39 games for the A’s in 2009, and while at Triple-A Sacramento, led the A’s farm system in stolen bases (43) and triples (11), to go with a dozen home runs, posting double figures in long balls for the fifth time in as many professional seasons.
After beginning the 2010 season with Oakland, Patterson was dealt to Boston in June of that year, and combined to play in a career-high 90 big league games that season. Patterson moved on to the San Diego Padres in 2011 as one of the players completing the trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez to Boston. Patterson split the 2011 season between San Diego and Triple-A Tucson, and played for Triple-A Toledo in the Detroit Tigers organization last season.
The 2013 Revolution season begins on Opening Night, April 18 at Sovereign Bank Stadium, when the Revs host the Bridgeport Bluefish at 6:30 p.m. Full-season, partial-season, and individual tickets are on sale now at YorkRevolution.com, (717) 801-HITS, and in-person at the Apple Chevrolet Ticket Office.