Ahhh September call-ups. An exciting time of the year for Atlantic League fans and front offices, as they wait in suspense to see if any of their alums from either earlier in the current season or seasons past will crack a big league roster. Of course, it ‘s a double-edged sword; while many players will perform in a way deserving of a call-up, much of it hinges on where the Major League team and their Triple-A affiliate are in the standings.
We’ll use Andy Marte as the most recent example, but the same tenets can be applied to any Triple-A player doing well. We bemoaned the fact Marte was in York as long as we was (.301, 19 HR, 74 RBI in 96 games), and he’s done better in Triple-A, batting .343 with four homers and 12 driven in his first 20 games with Salt Lake. He seems like a prime candidate for a Major League audition in Anaheim, to see if at 29 Marte can shake off the well documented struggles of his youth in the show with the Cleveland Indians.
It’s been frustrating that Rommie Lewis hasn’t been given a Triple-A contract by an MLB organization based on the way he’s pitched this season. As a consolation though, his contract has been purchased by the Lamigo Monkeys of the Chinese Professional Baseball League (Taiwan). The league’s regular season lasts well into the fall, and the number of foreign players is strictly limited. The most eligible American-born players that get the chance to pitch over there can make a nice salary, perhaps up to $10,000 a month in some cases. (The terms of Lewis’s deal were not disclosed.)
So Rommie’s season will be extended, but unfortunately he will not close games for the final three weeks of the Atlantic League campaign. After Juan Rincon’s departure, Lewis had settled in nicely to the closer’s role. He was also terrific as a seventh and eighth inning guy for York this year and departs with a 1.51 ERA and 35 strikeouts, with just 12 walks in 47 appearances and 41.2 innings pitched. The lefty converted five save chances.
Despite the disappointment of not being picked up domestically, you’d have to assume Lewis’s numbers this season will earn him a spot in somebody’s big league camp in February as a non-roster invitee. He logged 20 games out of the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen over the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
We don’t talk nearly enough Civil War history on this blog…until now! As you know, the weekend of August 23-25, the Revolution are merely trying to run up the score on the Barnstormers in Lancaster in the 2013 War of The Roses, already having clinched the Community Cup by winning 11 of the first 17 games between the two this season.
Since I graduated high school, and to the best of my recollection, college, allow me to explain how this is parallel to the final, confusing battle of the Civil War:
Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate Army in Virginia in a meeting with Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, VA on April 9, 1865, effectively ending the war. As news spread, each remaining Confederate army also surrendered wherever they were fighting once news of Lee’s surrender reached them.
So much like Palmito Ranch, any Lancaster victories this weekend in the 2013 War of The Roses wouldn’t change anything in the 2013 War of The Roses. Hopefully the Revolution win this weekend anyway, although they’ve already won the “War.”
Either way, at least none of them will be captured.
When Major League rosters expand on September 1, five former members of the Revolution in Triple-A will be hoping for a call-up to join Mets pitcher Scott Rice as York alums in the big leagues. In addition, five additional former Revs are currently at Double-A. After the jump is a comprehensive update on how all of these guys are doing with their new organizations.
Scott Rice ‘11, LHP New York Mets (MLB)
We all know what is maybe the best individual story of the 2013 season by now. But it never hurts to mention that after 14 minor league seasons, Rice earned his way onto a Major League roster for the first time out of spring training this year, and pitched a 1-2-3 inning for the Mets against San Diego to close an 11-2 win on Opening Day in Queens. At 31, Rice was the oldest rookie on any MLB roster to start the season. Once he finally reached the big leagues, Rice made it a point to stick. At one point, he strung together 14 consecutive scoreless appearances, and will probably lead the National League and the Majors in appearances by season’s end. As of August 20, he’d appeared in a MLB-best 64 games. In such games, Rice held the opposition to just a .230 average, allowing just one home run. On April 7, Rice earned his first MLB win in New York against the Marlins. On May 19, he earned the winning decision in his first appearance at Wrigley Field in the Mets 4-3 triumph over the Cubs. Perhaps Rice’s most impressive achievement this season however was naming all 18 minor league clubs he played for from 1999 to 2012, from age 17 to age 30, when put on the spot live by MLB Network’s Chris Rose during the afternoon show Intentional Talk. He nailed them all, and which year he played at each, with the 2011 York Revolution on the list.
Finally, the opposing team has taken a liking to Cannonball Charlie and his weaponry. The photo above is courtesy of Patriots pitcher Graham Taylor (@GrahamTaylor34), showing a homemade toy cannon, constructed from what appears to be paper cups, athletic tape and a Sharpie. Looks like a couple cannonballs are there as well.
It’s hard to believe it took seven seasons for a team to make their own cannon, as of course Cannonball Charlie only fires for Revolution home runs and wins. Unfortunately for York, the Somerset “mini-cannon” was first fired after Jeff Baisley’s 2-run homer in the sixth gave the Patriots a 3-2 lead enroute to a 4-3 victory on August 19.
On a related note, Cannonball Charlie is on Twitter now if you haven’t heard. Follow him – @CannonBCharlie.
The Revolution are holding an online jersey auction for their game-worn, blue and gold alternate jerseys from the 2012 and 2013 seasons through September 7. This is the first online auction of game-worn jerseys since following the 2011 season, when the team auctioned off their entire uniform set as they prepared to unveil new colors and logos. While the home white and road grey designs will not change for next season, the team will be sporting new alternates to be revealed sometime this offseason.
So here’s your chance to bid on the game-worn jersey of a favorite player from the last two years, at this link: http://www.webstore.com/other_items.php?start=20&owner_id=164976&o=EndTimeSoonest&nb=41.
The starting bid for each jersey is either $50 or $100. The jerseys were created special for the Revolution by their official outfitting partner, New Balance. Good luck!
Prior to being signed by the Revolution in the offseason, Juan Rincon informed the organization that he was only available to pitch until September 1, to allow for rest before winter ball. The Revolution agreed, knowing they could add a back-end bullpen piece if they were in contention late in the year, such as franchise all-time saves leader R.J. Rodriguez who opted to go elsewhere. With the Revolution out of the postseason race, adding a closer-type like Rodriguez seems unlikely now.
That plan was set in motion a little early on Monday, and Rincon was placed on the Inactive LIst. With three off days remaining amongst the final 25 games, the bullpen will get proper rest and the team added pitcher Will Savage on Monday as well to cover Rincon’s spot on the roster.
Rincon converted 22 save chances this season, and he departs as the single-season franchise leader in that category. He eclipised Michael Nix’s record of 18 from the 2011 season. Rincon, 34, is a veteran of 444 Major League games between 2001 and 2010 with the Twins, Indians, Tigers and Rockies. In his absence, expect Rommie Lewis, Stephen Penney and Michael Wuertz to share the ninth inning role depending on the day and who is at bat.
While he will go down as one of the greatest Camden Riversharks ever, outfielder Chris Walker did spend one full season with the Revolution, helping them to their second consecutive championship in 2011. That season he legged out four triples for York. Last night, Walker tripled and drove in a run in the Sharks 6-0 win at home against Southern Maryland, his 37th in the Atlantic League. That establishes a new league record, bumping aside fellow Riversharks legend Brad Strauss who played for Camden from 2001-2007 and another former Rev, Kennard Jones who had 36 each to share the all-time ALPB mark.
Walker is also currently fourth in league history in stolen bases, at 205. That record is likely out of reach, as Billy Hall leads the way with 290 all-time, which is 59 more steals than second-place Rolando Avila’s 231. A draftee of the Cubs out of Georgia Southern University in 2002, Walker reached Triple-A with both the Cubs and Angels. He first played in the ALPB in 2008 with Camden, before finishing the year in the Angels organization. After then spending all of 2009 and 2010 with Camden, his friend Corey Thurman recruited him to defect to York for the 2011 season. Walker returned to Camden in 2012, and has spent this season going back and forth between Camden and the Mexican League twice.
And yes, he wore a championship belt on the field on opening day 2012 at Sovereign Bank Stadium when he recieved his 2011 championship ring as a member of the Riversharks.
Well, just 10 York Revolution home games remain this season as we post this. Are you that guy (or girl) who goes to one game a season, and keeps saying, “I’ll go next week” and hasn’t been to a game yet? If so, stop procrastinating and get your tickets at this link before the clock runs out: http://yr1.glitnirticketing.com/yrticket/web/ev_list.php?refresh=1264705453.
Although the playoffs appear out of reach, if the Revolution can finish with a winning record (are 56-56 on August 16) to go along with their decisive Community Cup victory, you would have to deem the season somewhat a success considering all the unexpected roster difficulty the organization went through this year. That’s not an excuse however – the baseball operations staff and coaching staff expect to make the playoffs regardless of these challenges. But overall, times are pretty good for the York Revolution franchise, as 2013 will mark the fourth consecutive season at least one of the following will happen: Win the Atlantic League Championship, make the playoffs or win the Community Cup from Lancaster. Not bad. Now that that’s out of the way, here we go with some bullet points!
Because it isn’t a day at the ballpark until we steal some of Jim Seip’s work:
The Revolution beat reporter for the York Daily Record has it over at his blog, Revs Inside Pitch, that not only did first baseman Brian Burgamy choose the St. Paul Saints of the American Association over a return to the Revolution where he played this season until going to the Mexican League on June 5, but that he also hit a walk-off homer in his first game back stateside.
After losing Brett Tomko, York’s roster is still one short at 24 active players. While the hope was Burgamy would return, now the organization is in search of another position player or perhaps a starting pitcher for the final month of the season.
Color me surprised. I thought he loved us.
Despite a healthy 8-5 lead in this year’s War of The Roses against Lancaster, the Revolution still needed a decisive series win over the weekend to clinch the Community Cup at home. They delivered the three of four needed with a win Friday, a doubleheader split Saturday and a 6-4 win on Sunday to capture the cup. Wilson Batista, a.k.a. “Willie Bats” was the deciding factor, going 4-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored in the big victory.
Now the Revolution will look to run up the score in the final meeting of the season between these two clubs, when they re-convene in Lancaster the weekend of August 23-25. In the seventh season of the Revolution-Barnstormers rivalry, this is the third time the Community Cup will spend the off-season in York. Lancaster prevailed in 2007 (10-8), 2009 (14-6) and 2011 (10-8). When last year’s series was tied 10-10, Lancaster retained the trophy as the winner the previous season, as the rules dictate. It was the first time the cup had not alternated cities in its history.
A tie in next year’s War of The Roses, and York would keep the cup. The 2013 Revolution join the 2008 (11-9) and 2010 (16-4) clubs as Community Cup winners.
Although Lancaster has taken the cup four of seven years, York leads the all-time series by a 70-63 count, and 73-68 including playoff games. More impressive was the Revolution winning 11 of 15 War of The Roses games this year, after the Barnstormers took the first two contests of this year’s series in Lancaster back in May.
It’s been a trying season of player movement for The York Revolution. Some under good circumstances, some not so much. Certainly you plan on having a different team in August than you do in April, but this season has been especially full of surprises. File this transaction away in the “good for him” category, despite the fact York is losing probably the most notable MLB veteran the club has had in seven seasons.
Brett Tomko’s start in the second game of the day-night doubleheader on August 10 is his last with the team. He is taking a scouting job with the Kansas City Royals, one of the 10 Major League teams he played for over 14 seasons in the bigs. He made 16 appearances with 10 starts for the Royals in 2008.
Right-hander Zack Segovia will take Tomko’s spot in the rotation for the final month of the season. As a Major Leaguer, Tomko notched exactly 100 career wins.
Tomko stated his goal in coming to York was to get back to the Majors one more time at age 40. While he is staying in the game in a non-playing role, he stopped a little short of using the word “retired.”
After the 5-4 win on August 9 over Lancaster, Chris Cody improved to 11-6 on the season. Four of those wins have come against the Barnstormers, and his ERA is such contests is hovering around 1.00. This year is hardly an abberation; Cody is also 10-2 all-time against Lancaster in his time with the Revolution dating back to 2011. That mark makes him the winningest pitcher against the Barnstormers…ever. No single hurler has defeated them more in their history, which dates back to 2005. Not even Corey Thurman.
A night before a doubleheader, he saved the bullpen by grinding out 115 pitches in in 6.1 IP.
At the time of this post, Cody’s 107 strikeouts this season are tied for the league lead with Long Island’s John Brownell.
Back in June, it appeared Nick Green had a deal to go pitch for the Yucatan Lions in the Mexican League. That deal fell through and he returned to the Revolution roster without leaving the country. This time however, it’s for real. He’s most likely on a 15-hour direct flight from New York to Taiwan as you read this.
Green had his contract purchased by the EDA Rhinos of the Chinese Professional Baseball League on Thursday. The league is not located on the Chinese mainland though, and is only confined to the island of Taiwan, also known as Chinese Tapei in various international competitions including the World Baseball Classic and Little League World Series. Baseball was introduced there when it was under Japanese rule, and it gained popularity pretty quickly. The island boasts Little League World Series titles, and is becoming an increasing threat in worldwide amateur and professional competitions. Pitcher Chien-Ming Wang is the country’s most notable Major Leaguer.
Finally, here is the Pokemon-like logo for Green’s new team:
The York Revolution has announced that the Atlantic League contract of corner infielder Andy Marte has been purchased by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The transaction comes after Marte put together one of the Atlantic League’s top offensive seasons statistically in 96 games with York.
After spending 2012 at home in the Dominican Republic, Marte chose the Atlantic League and the Revolution as his route to get back to the Major Leagues, having spent six seasons in the big leagues with the Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians between 2005 and 2010, appearing in 301 Major League contests. His signing with the Revs brought him back into professional baseball for the first time since 2011 when he spent the season at Triple-A Indianapolis in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, and his impressive season in York has now catapulted him back into a Major League organization where he is one step away from a return to the big leagues with the Angels.