Pitchers McClendon & Durham, shortstop Valdez returning to York
The York Revolution have announced the return of three more key members of the roster, agreeing to terms with starting pitcher Mike McClendon, reliever Ian Durham, and shortstop Wilson Valdez on 2015 player contracts. The signings were first announced by Revs manager and 2014 Atlantic League Manager of the Year Mark Mason this afternoon exclusively on “Revs Hot Stove Weekly” on SportsRadio 1350 WOYK-AM.
McClendon returns to York where he made a successful transition from relieving to starting for the first time since 2010. With the Revs last season, McClendon went 2-2 with a 4.22 ERA over seven outings (five starts). Combining his final five appearances, the 6’5 righty posted a 2.25 ERA over 28.0 innings, earning a contract with the Colorado Rockies where he spent the remainder of the year at Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Colorado Springs.
McClendon continued his campaign in the Australian Baseball League this winter, going 5-1 with a 1.66 ERA over nine outings (six starts) for the champion Perth Heat. His stat line included 40 strikeouts compared to just three walks over 48.2 innings.
The 29-year-old McClendon was a 10th round pick of the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2006 draft, and is 50-48 with a 3.96 ERA over nine seasons in the minors. Additionally, McClendon spent parts of three seasons in the Majors with Milwaukee from 2010-2012, going 5-0 with a 3.88 ERA over 35 career appearances.
Durham enjoyed a strong 2014 season in York, going 5-2 with a 3.02 ERA in 54 appearances out of the Revolution bullpen. The righty struck out better than a batter per inning with 65 whiffs in 62.2 frames, while holding opponents to a .225 average. In addition to his performance on the mound, Durham was recognized as the Revolution’s 2014 Community Player of the Year. Over four professional seasons, the 26-year-old is 9-6 with a 3.07 ERA, having previously spent time in the Frontier League and American Association as well as his rookie season in the Philadelphia Phillies organization.
Valdez returns following an All-Star season for the Revs in 2014. The Major League veteran batted .292 in his first season in York, while totaling a club record and league-leading 55 stolen bases, nine more than any other player in the league, becoming the first stolen base champion in Revs history. The slick-fielding shortstop also led the league with a .973 fielding percentage, and was involved in turning 79 double plays, the league’s highest total by a shortstop.
Valdez spent the 2013 season with Camden where he tied for second in the Atlantic League with a .310 batting average and ranked second with 37 steals. The 36-year-old Dominican Republic native has spent all or parts of seven seasons at the Major League level, logging 439 total games with the Chicago White Sox, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, and most recently with the Cincinnati Reds in 2012. Valdez is a career .236 hitter in the majors while owning a .284 lifetime average in the minor leagues.
Valdez is remembered for a game in Philadelphia on May 25, 2011, during which he started the game at second base, and finished the game against Cincinnati as the winning pitcher in the 19th inning. He became the first position player to earn a victory on the mound since 2000, just the second since 1968, and the first to start a game in the field and become the winning pitcher since Babe Ruth did it in 1921.
The Revolution now have 22 players under contract for the 2015 season, and are expected to announce more additions next Friday at 4 p.m., live and exclusively on “Revs Hot Stove Weekly” on WOYK. The show can also be heard online at WOYK1350.com and on the WOYK mobile apps.
The Revs will open the 2015 season, their ninth season of play as a franchise, at home against the Long Island Ducks on Friday, April 24.