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Mid-winter notebook

Hendrickson Sarasota

Orioles starter Kevin Gausman and Revolution lefty Mark Hendrickson, at Baltimore’s mini-camp this week in Sarasota, FL. (Photo: Eduardo A. Encina, Baltimore Sun)

Incidentally, this is our 500th post since we set sail in October of 2011.  Not too shabby; this is baseball and baseball loves milestones.  Hopefully this has become the destination for die-hard York Revolution fans for news and alumni updates we intended it to be.  Now on to a a bevy of miscellaneous offerings:

  • There are plenty of photos floating around Twitter of Revolution left-hander and 10-year Major League veteran Mark Hendrickson in Orioles gear at their mini-camp this week in Sarasota.  While he is not under contract with the O’s, he is at the mini-camp on a tryout basis.  The vast majority of players at a mini-camp like this are young minor league prospects.  Eduardo A. Encina from the Baltimore Sun has a good summary here: http://www.ydr.com/sports/ci_27308417/now-grandfather-mark-hendrickson-seeks-one-more-shot?source=rss.  The Orioles and Hendrickson have had a long-productive relationship beyond just the 113 MLB games he pitched for them between 2009 and 2011.  After a season away from the organization, Hendrickson asked Buck Showalter for a tryout in 2013, and ended up having a good year at Triple-A Norfolk at age 39, posting a 3.04 ERA and two saves in 40 games and 67.2 innings, which he encored with a 1.53/nine save/55 game/52.2 inning performance with the Revolution last season.  Determined to make it back to the big leagues one more time at age 40, Hendrickson again threw for Showalter at Oriole Park last season, in lieu of a scheduled side-session during a Revolution roadtrip to Southern Maryland.  While Baltimore did not have a spot for him at the time, Hendrickson was selfless enough to make sure the Orioles knew that Revolution right-hander Julio DePaula, in his opinion, was the best reliever in the Atlantic League at the time.  On June 26 DePaula’s contract was purchased by Baltimore, and he was called up to the Majors from Double-A Bowie just 11 days later.  DePaula then parlayed that Revolution-record ascent to an MLB roster into a free agent deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks this winter.  It’s no secret the Orioles view Hendrickson as a top candidate for a minor league pitching coach job once he is done playing, and his call on DePaula has likely only increased his credibility.  With Hendrickson living in his adopted hometown of York year-round, it’s no surprise he keeps a close relationship with the geographically convenient Orioles.  Should he not be offered a minor league contract with the O’s, it’s unclear if he would retire, or return to the Revolution for a second season.  Next year around this time, I wouldn’t bet against Hendrickson being announced as pitching coach for one of the Orioles affiliates.  With all but one of them in Maryland, it makes perfect sense, keeping him relatively close to his family in York.
  • Not that it was ever really in doubt, but the Revolution will return the same coaching staff in 2015 they had last season.  If you’re scoring at home, this will be Mark Mason’s sixth season with York, and his third as Manager after three as pitching coach.  Likewise, this will be bench/third base coach Enohel Polanco’s sixth season.  Pitching coach Paul Fletcher is back for season number two.  Updated bios for all three men are here: http://www.yorkrevolution.com/site/page/136.
  • Thus far, the only players from the 2014 Revs to sign with an MLB organization this off-season are DePaula and LHP Bryan Morgado (Marlins).  Earlier this winter though, two members of the 2013 squad got new jobs; RHP Nick Green (Red Sox) and 1B/OF Brian Burgamy (Dodgers).  Green spent last season with the Lincoln Saltdogs in the American Association, while Burgamy helped the Double-A Binghamton Mets to the Eastern League championship.  Check out this link for the full run-down of Revs to MLB signings, all-time, in-season and off-season, since 2007:  http://www.yorkrevolution.com/site/page/145.
  • To the befuddlement of all and to the best of our knowledge, Revolution outfielder Justin Greene is still a free agent.  With spring training about five weeks away, this comes as a relative shock, after Greene’s .358 average won the Atlantic League batting title in 2014, setting an all-time franchise mark in the process.  There is still time for Greene to be signed, with an invite to Major League spring training, or at worst just a minor league deal without the invite.  For all we know Greene could be weighing his options; the player did confirm interest from the Rays and Pirates as last season wound down.  It is surprising however, considering 2014 was Greene’s second consecutive league batting title, after capturing the Southern League crown for Double-A Mobile (Diamondbacks) in 2013.  Then again Arizona released him after that, so nothing should surprise anymore.  Needless to say if one of the 28 organizations Greene hasn’t played for yet doesn’t come to their senses, he’ll always have a place to play in York.
  • We are on course to announce the first Revolution player signings for the 2015 season the first week of February.  Darrell Henry will be hosting a Revolution “hot stove” program on WOYK 1350 with Mark Mason, where fans will have to tune in for the first announcement of the vast majority of signings as the calendar moves toward the opening of camp.  More details on that to come.

-Paul Braverman

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