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Archive for April, 2013

Freedom Division dominates Liberty Division in early going

Although the Atlantic League schedule is balanced with each team playing the other seven 20 times for a 140 game schedule, the divisions are still necessary to seed the postseason.  This season, the early season schedule has been heavy on inter-division play, which the Freedom Division (York, Sugar Land, Somerset and Lancaster) have dominated.

Against Bridgeport, Camden, Long Island and Southern Maryland, those clubs are a combined 25-10.  That’s actually a drop off from the first weekend when each 4-game series was inter-division; the Freedom went 13-3 in those contests.  Here’s a breakdown:

vs. Bridgeport 2-2
vs. Southern Maryland 2-2
vs. Bridgeport 2-1
TOTAL:  6-5

Sugar Land
vs. Long Island 4-0
vs. Long Island 2-1
TOTAL:  6-1

vs. Southern Maryland 3-1
vs. Southern Maryland 3-0
TOTAL:  6-1

vs. Camden 4-0
vs. Long Island 2-1
vs. Camden 1-2
TOTAL: 7-3

Somewhat stunningly, out of these 10 series, the Liberty Division only won one of them, Camden’s triumph over Lancaster last weekend. Prior to, the Liberty’s best result had been Bridgeport and Southern Maryland earning splits with York.

-Paul Braverman

Updating the list of MLB to York in one season

Graham, Tyler 3

With the acquisition of outfielders Jason Repko and Tyler Graham before the season, that’s two more to add to the list of Revolution players who had appeared in the Major Leagues the prior season before playing for York.  The complete list, now  at eight:

2007:  Pitcher Wayne Franklin, pitched for the Braves in 2006
2008:  Pitcher Aaron Rakers, pitched for the Orioles in 2007
2008:  Infielder Shea Hillenbrand, played for the Dodgers and Angels in 2007
2009:  Pitcher Rick Bauer, pitched for the Indians in 2008
2009:  Pitcher Chris Britton, pitched for the Yankees in 2008
2012:  Infielder Joe Thurston, played for the Marlins in 2011
2013:  Outfielder Jason Repko, played for the Red Sox in 2012
2013:  Outfielder Tyler Graham, played for the Diamondbacks in 2012

Revs wait a while for first homer of ’13, but get it in grand style


Johan Limonta’s grand slam to left field sailed over the picnic tents and onto the clubhouse roof at Sovereign Bank Stadium on Tuesday night, for the long-awaited first home run of the season for the Revs.

A couple of notes from the Revolution’s 13-2 win over Southern Maryland on Tuesday night, which capped the opening homestand of the year at 3-3…

  • Six games into the season, York finally hit its first home run.  Johan Limonta destroyed a Gaby Hernandez pitch to left field with the bases loaded, and it nearly left the entire facility.  It’s the latest into the season the Revolution has hit their first home run, but it’s not the first time the first homer of the year was a grand slam.  That distinction goes to Matt Esquivel, who hit a grand slam in the first inning of the second game of the 2009 season at Bridgeport in a 12-8 loss.
  • Corey Thurman went eight innings Tuesday night, allowing just three hits, two earned runs and two walks while striking out five, evening his record at 1-1.  It was the 53rd win for Thurman in a York uniform, placing him just nine behind Lincoln Mikkelsen for second place on the all-time Atlantic League list.  While Mikkelsen could very well be in his sights this season, Thurman is at least two more solid seasons away from catching Tim Cain for the all-time league wins mark, which stands at 74.  Considering Thurman notched 13 victories in 2011, and 14 last year, he could keep a slightly slower pace and still do it if he continues to pitch as well as he has early this season and next.

-Paul Braverman

Rommie Lewis signs, Revolution roster is at max 27

Rommie Lewis

It took about a week to finalize, but left-handed reliever Rommie Lewis has finally joined the Revolution in time for their first roadtrip of the season.  The 6’6″ southpaw pitched for Bridgeport last season, and reached the Majors with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010 and 2011.  Lewis is the fifth former Bluefish on the current York roster, joining fellow relief pitchers Julio DePaula and Juan Rincon and infielders Wilson Batista and Andres Perez.

Lewis excelled out of Bridgeport’s bullpen last season, posting a 2.05 ERA with seven saves in 47 appearances and 52.2 innings pitched.  He had a strikeout to walk ratio better than 4:1, fanning 45 while walking just 11.  In 2011 he made six appearances out of the Blue Jays bullpen, and got into 14 games with Toronto a season prior in 2010.  In 10 professional seasons, Lewis has accumulated 48 minor league saves, 25 of which came in 2002 at Class A Delmarva in Baltimore’s system.  He was originally drafted in the fourth round by the Orioles in 2001.

Although the Revolution released three pitchers and placed another on the inactive list following camp to break with 25, they are now taking full advantage of the Atlantic League rule that allows teams to carry 27 active players until June 1.  On that date, all rosters must be trimmed to 25 if they aren’t already for the remainder of the season.  For now though, there will be no subtractions off the roster with the addition of Lewis.

-Paul Braverman

Revolution add lefty reliever Dustin Pease


On Saturday the Revolution signed left-hander Dustin Pease to their bullpen, and it will be his second tour of duty in York.  After appearing in 54 games with Wichita in 2010 and posting a 2.45 ERA with 64 strikeouts and a 6-1 record, Pease joined York upon the conclusion of the American Association season and appeared in eight regular season games with the Revs.  He was with the club as they captured the 2010 Atlantic League Championship.

The Baltimore native pitched collegiately not far from the Charm City or York, at Division I Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland from 2004-2007.  He was solid the last two seasons in the San Diego Padres organization with a 3.18 ERA in 55 games at A-Advanced Lake Elsinore in the California League in 2011, and a 3.94 in 52 games at Double-A San Antonio in the Texas League last season.  Pease continued to post impressive strikeout totals, fanning 66 in 2011 and 56 in 2012.

Due to Atlantic League rules allowing 27 active players to be carried on rosters until June 1, no players were released by York with the addition of Pease.  The Revolution roster will stay at 26 for the time being.

-Paul Braverman

Wrightsville Principal Don Gillett Sleeps on School Roof

This is a York Revolution baseball blog, focusing mainly on the on-field news, but I wanted to share this since it had an on-field tie-in.  One of the Revs’ main off-season community initiatives is Boomer’s Book Club, presented by Heritage Valley Federal Credit Union.  A Revs staffer, DownTown, and often times Boomer visit elementary schools around York and Adams counties, promoting reading outside of school.  This off-season, the program reached an all-time high of over 20,300 students. (more…)

Revolution trim Opening Day Roster to 25

Although Atlantic League rules permit teams to carry 27 active players until June 1, the Revolution has trimmed it’s roster to 25 to begin the season, 13 pitchers and 12 position players.  That means no position players in camp with the team were let go.  Three pitchers were released:  Lefties Wade Korpi and Joe Testa, along with right-hander Nick Schumacher.  Pedro Liriano, who was absent from camp due to VISA complications traveling from the Dominican Republic, has been placed on the inactive list.  The Revolution retain his rights, and he still may be on the roster this season.  But he won’t start the season with York.

The Revolution will likely bring in a 14th pitcher in a relief role during the first week of the season.  When this deal is finalized we’ll have it here, but for now it appears no one will be released when that happens and the roster will remain at 26 until the next transaction.

York’s starting rotation for the most part is clear:  Corey Thurman, Brett Tomko, Chris Cody and Nick Green.  While Matt Fox was/is slated to be a starter, he is building his arm up slowly coming off injury.  It looks like Kris Regas may be the fifth starter in a temporary role until Fox is ready.  But Fox is healthy and will likely come out of the bullpen in the meantime.

Of the 25 players, 13 have Major League experience:  Pitchers Julio DePaula, Matt Fox, Josh Judy, Juan Rincon, Corey Thurman, Brett Tomko and Michael Wuertz, infielders Andy Gonzalez, Andy Marte, and Eric Patterson and outfielders Jeff Fiorentino, Tyler Graham and Jason Repko.

-Paul Braverman

Revolution add Andy Gonzalez to play short

Andy Gonzalez

The Revolution have added a 29th player to their ongoing preseason camp.  Infielder Andy Gonzalez is in town after being released by the Chicago White Sox.  He split his spring between that organization and playing for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.

At this point, it’s basically a forgone conclusion that Gonzalez will be the team’s opening day shortstop.  While Eric Patterson had been ticketed for that role, he’s likely to see more action at second base now, which in turn could slot Andres Perez into a DH role more often while also playing second.  York still has Wilson Batista as well, who is versatile at various spots in the infield. Whatever the case may be, Mark Mason will have a challenge getting all of these guys everyday innings in competitive clubhouse.  But that’s a great problem to have.

The Revolution fans with the best memories will remember Gonzalez, as he signed with York prior to the 2011 season.  As camp started that year, he was only in town for a matter of hours before the Milwaukee Brewers inked him to a deal.  Gonzalez wound up spending two entire seasons with that organization, shuttling back and forth between Double-A Huntsville and Triple-A Nashville before going to the White Sox this offseason.

Gonzalez has 91 games of Major League time.  He made his MLB debut with the White Sox in 2007, 67 games, before appearing in 10 more  games a season later with Cleveland.  His most recent MLB time came with the Marlins in 2009, 14 games.  With three big league home runs to his credit, Gonzalez is entering his 12th professional season after originally being drafted by the White Sox in 2001.

It’s still unclear how many pitchers Mason will keep on the final 25-man roster, and whether the Revs will jettison a position player between now and next Thursday.

-Paul Braverman

VIDEO: Catching up with Scott Rice in Philadelphia


We brought props…and he was nice enough to smile!

Darrell called in a favor to his buddies on the Phillies broadcast teams and scored us a couple of press passes to Tuesday’s Mets-Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park.  The starting pitching match-up was Dillon Gee vs. Cliff Lee, that’s funny.  But I digress…

The real reason we went was to catch up with Scott Rice in person, after days – and dating back to last season – months of blogging about him.  There he was sitting in the far corner of the visiting clubhouse.  A week into his first Major League season, Rice still looks and sounds relieved to finally be in the bigs after so many close calls through his 14-season minor league journey, including the first half of 2011 in York.

Here is DH’s interview with Rice.  Enjoy!

-Paul Braverman

Monday Roundup from Spring Training and Another Expansion Plan Unveiled

It’s been a busy Monday here at Sovereign Bank Stadium, with team headshots and the first full-team workout now complete.  All but three players have arrived, as Brett Tomko and Juan Rincon are both due in tomorrow, and Pedro Liriano hopefully by Wednesday. Here are some photos from the day after the jump. (more…)

Rice earns first Major League win

As it turns out, we could only make it a couple of posts without a Scott Rice mention.  Another milestone for the former Revs, now New York Mets lefty on Sunday afternoon, as he earned his first big league win in the Mets’ 4-3 walk-off triumph over the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. With the win, Rice joins Shawn Hill as the only two pitchers in Revs history to go on and earn a win in The Show after their time in York.

Rice has really gained some national attention as the 31-year-old rookie, with his appearance on MLB Network’s Intentional Talk last week, and certainly his success on the mound doesn’t hurt either (through 4 games: 1-0, 2.70 ERA, 3.1 IP, 1 run).

Regarding the 2013 Revs, the players have been arriving this weekend, so York won’t be the same until October (that’s a good thing).  Physicals today, spring training this week, and fans will get their first glimpse of this year’s team next Saturday in the Fan Fest exhibition game against the Atlantic League Alumni All-Stars at 2 p.m.


Revs host open tryout

Tony Phillips takes time to speak with the media on his way out of the Revs' open tryout

Tony Phillips takes time to speak with the media on his way out of the Revs’ open tryout

Many professional baseball hopefuls and a handful of diehard Revolution fans braved the chilly weather on Friday evening as the ballclub hosted its annual open tryout.  There were no signings made by the Revs this season from an event that in previous years had led them to sign the likes of Salomon Manriquez, Colin Roberson, Brian Holliday, and later in 2009, Shawn Hedrick.  The big news this year was the presence of 18-year Major League veteran Tony Phillips, now 53 years old, who is pursuing a return to pro ball to win a bet that he made with a youngster back home. (more…)

Dontrelle Willis to Ducks


No, we aren’t slowly making the transition into a Long Island Ducks blog.  But the Ducks have now made waves in back-to-back days, and they will visit York May 3-5 in just the second homestand of the season.  Fans in attendance that weekend will see some familiar faces.

A day after inking Vladimir Guerrero to a deal, today Long Island also added Dontrelle Willis, who pitched in nine MLB seasons between 2003 and 2011 with the Marlins, Tigers, Diamondbacks and Reds. After making 13 starts apiece for Triple-A Louisville and Cincinnati in 2011, Willis appeared in just four games for Triple-A Norfolk  in the Orioles system last season, making one start.

After bursting onto the scene with the Marlins in star fashion, Willis has made just 43 Major League starts since the beginning of the 2008 season, after the Marlins traded him to Detroit following the 2007 season.  As a rookie in 2003, he helped the Marlins to their second World Series title, going 14-6 in 27 starts after being called up from Double-A that season.  Originally drafted by the Cubs in 2000, he has a 72-69 career MLB record.

-Paul Braverman

Vladimir Guerrero signs with Long Island Ducks


Potential Hall-of-Fame OF/DH Vladimir Guerrero has signed with the Long Island Ducks.  He will take his 2,590 Major League hits and and 449 MLB home runs to Central Islip, NY to begin the Atlantic League season.  It’s come out that Guerrero was mulling his options between the Ducks, the Revolution (who had also been in serious negotiations with him), and the Quebec Capitales of the Can-Am League, due to the emotional factor of his MLB debut and time spent in the French-speaking Provence with the Montreal Expos.

John Walk, York Revolution beat reporter for The York Dispatch has a nice write-up of the signing on his blog, Revolution Rumblings, which includes some interesting quotes from Revs Manager Mark Mason and Baseball Operations Manager Andrew Ball.  Please check it out.

Guerrero played in the Majors for the Montreal Expos (’96-’03), Anaheim Angels (’04-’09), Texas Rangers (2010) and the Baltimore Orioles (2011).  Last season, he appeared in a handful of minor league games in the Toronto Blue Jays organization as he attempts to return to the Majors.  He’s now 38.  The Dominican Republic native was first called up to the big leagues in 1996 from the nearby Double-A Harrisburg Senators.


The Ducks visit Sovereign Bank Stadium fairly early:  They have a three-game series in York May 3-5, barely 10 games into the season.  That is also the first time the Revs play the Ducks this year.

-Paul Braverman

Shawn Hill turns in solid outing as Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit Triple-A) Opening Day starter

Hill Tigers

I knew we could do it.  A post that’s not about Scott Rice’s debut with the Mets!

Instead, it’s a post about another former Revolution pitcher we’ve also written about extensively here.  Shawn Hill, who became just the second Rev alum to reach the Major Leagues the same season he played for York, and the first to earn a winning decision in an MLB game when he was on the right side of a Blue Jays victory over Andy Pettitte and the Yankees last September in Toronto, was impressive in Detroit Tigers camp this spring.  (He was briefly out of camp pitching for Canada in the World Baseball Classic as well.)  Unfortunately, there still wasn’t room for Hill as the Tigers fifth starter coming out of spring training, (no shame there, the Tigers are still pretty deep, having won the American League pennant last year and all) but he was assigned to the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens of the International League.


Scott Rice appears on MLB Network’s “Intentional Talk”

Scott Rice week…continues!  On Tuesday, April 3 the former Revolution lefty joined Chris Rose and Kevin Millar on their daily baseball highlights and talk show, Intentional Talk.  You know the story by now; after 14 minor league seasons the 31-year-old reliever made his first MLB roster out of Mets spring training, and then made his MLB debut on Opening Day to boot.  Rice struck out two Padres in a 1-2-3 ninth inning to wrap up the Mets 11-2 victory.  He was the oldest rookie on any MLB Opening Day roster this season.

Here is video of Rice’s appearance…and yes it is a cell phone video recording the TV in my apartment.  Please forgive the crass nature of my video methods and/or address all hate mail to me on Twitter, @PaulBraverman.  At least I used my excercise bike as a stand so the video isn’t shaky.  He gives a great interview:

Photos confirm: Rice makes big league debut in New York

Rice Mets OD

As a Major Leaguer for the first time since being drafted in 1999, Scott Rice attacks the San Diego Padres at Citi Field in New York on April 1, 2013.

Left-handed reliever and former Rev Scott Rice made it official on Monday afternoon, becoming the fourth Revolution alumnus to play in the Major Leagues and the first to make his MLB debut after wearing the Revs uniform.  The Mets opened the season against San Diego at Citi Field in Flushing, and won in a laugher, 11-2.

New York Manager Terry Collins called Rice’s number for the top of the ninth, and in his 15th professional season, at age 31, the oldest rookie on any MLB Opening Day roster completed his long and strange journey.  The first big league batter Rice faced was Padres catcher Nick Hundley, and he struck him out swinging.  Next up was center fielder Cameron Maybin, who was also set down swinging.  Once right fielder Will Venable grounded out to Daniel Murphy at second, Rice was in the middle of the Mets first victory line of the year, with a perfect top of the ninth and two punch outs.

More photos of the aftermath after the jump: