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Rommie Lewis departs for Taiwan

Lewis, Rommie 29

Rommie Lewis:  A bullpen life.

It’s always a risk that a top Atlantic League arm may be offered a lucrative foreign contract in-season.  The Revolution already lost starter Chris Cody earlier this year to the Brother Elephants of the Chinese Professional Baseball League on the island of Taiwan.  Now, the contract of closer Rommie Lewis has been purchased by the EDA Rhinos, also of the CPBL.

Last season, Lewis also left York for Taiwan, but was with the Revolution until August 28 before joining the Lamigo Monkeys.  Teams in the CPBL are allowed just three non-Taiwanese players per team, with no guarantee all three will be American.  Cody and Lewis now make up a good percentage of the English-speaking players in the league.

With the regular season in Taiwan lasting through the fall into November, there is virtually no chance Lewis will be able to return to York for the Atlantic League playoffs.  It’s a blow to the Revolution bullpen for sure – Lewis saved his 28th game of the season on August 15 in his final appearance with the club before departing, which now stands as the single-season franchise record.  Lewis is also the Revolution’s all-time saves leader.

It may be closer by committee from here on out, but expect Stephen Penney to assume the ninth inning role most often.  As of August 16, Penney posted a 2.16 ERA in 44 appearances and 41.2 innings, with an impressive 38 strikeouts against just eight walks.  During a stretch this season, he did not allow a run for 20.2 consecutive innings.  He has one save in relief of Lewis, and has been used predominately in the eighth inning.

As a reminder, Cody’s contract with the Elephants lasts through August, as the CPBL does partial-season contracts.  Lewis is under contract with the Rhinos through the remainder of their season.  Whether Cody will be available for York as the postseason approaches is still up in the air, with an answer to that question coming at the end of this month.  Should his contract be renewed for the rest of their season, Cody won’t be back.

-Paul Braverman

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