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Revolution settle on opening day roster and rotation

The York Revolution’s opening day roster is set after an injury, releases and third baseman Travis Garcia departing to a team in the Mexican League.

Atlantic League rules dictate teams may carry 27 active players until June 1, when rosters must be cut down to 25 for the remainder of the season.  That usually figures itself out through signings by MLB organizations, injuries and so on.

While 27 players are still in town, York will actually start with 26 active, with left-handed reliever Edward Paredes beginning on the inactive list with elbow tendinitis.  The Revolution began camp with 31 players, when the following transactions took place:

  • April 14:  OF Nic Jackson was released after failing his physical.
  • April 20:  C Steve Sulcoski was released.
  • April 22:  OF Tim Battle was released.
  • April 23:  Contract of 3B Travis Garcia was purchased by Acereros del Norte of Mexican League

Three catchers remain on the roster, so further roster moves could be in the offing.  Consider it still an open competition between incumbent Alberto Espinosa and newcomer Luis De La Cruz, for the number two catching spot behind Salvador Paniagua.

The loss of Garcia is certainly a blow to the middle of York’s lineup.  Fortunately, infielder Bryan Pounds was signed at the outset of camp, and can play anywhere on the infield.  He’ll be thrust into duty at third base for the foreseeable future with Garcia away.

Mark Mason has also settled on his starting rotation.  With the Atlantic League’s abbreviated preseason camp, he’s going with a six-man rotation at least two or three times through, as each player builds innings up in what essentially amounts to an extension of spring training into the regular season – which is pretty much the situation any ALPB club finds itself in.  Extra rest and caution is more the rule than the exception.  The rotation is:

  • RHP Shawn Hill
  • RHP Anthony Lerew
  • LHP Logan Williamson
  • LHP Rommie Lewis
  • RHP Mike McClendon
  • RHP Corey Thurman

Certainly the name that jumps out there is Rommie Lewis, the now former closer who is also the Revolution all-time saves leader.  His wish to transition to starter has been granted by Mason.  A name missing is RHP Matt Neil, who started for York last year, but will begin the year as a long reliever, not an insignificant role considering each starter will likely not throw more than 60 or 70 pitches the first two or three times through the rotation.  Neil is joined by RHP Ian Durham, who excelled as a long man out of the Revs bullpen last year, and will resume that role.

Eventually, through an injury, signing or the possibility of Lewis going back to the bullpen, the rotation will shrink to five pitchers as normal.  However, the long-term plan is for Neil to resume his career as a starter, as he returns from an elbow injury which ended last season for him.  Durham has also expressed interest in starting, and the interest is mutual from Mason should he continue to excel in the long relief role.  So that’s something to keep an eye on as well should the Revolution be in need of starting pitching later in the season.

While a single closer has not been named, and may be by committee game to game based on who is rested, who is due up and so on, expect RHP Stephen Penney and RHP Josh Judy to each get chances in the ninth inning.

Click here for the current roster.

-Paul Braverman

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