Burgess headlines recent roster moves
With the Revs off to their finest start since the 2014 first half championship team, one may need to squint a little to find areas to improve. In recent days, however, manager Mark Mason has done just that. Despite emerging as one of the league’s top offenses early this season, with a healthy lead on the rest of the pack in power numbers, the Revs have added a big bat to the one area they were lacking – the left side of the plate.
Through play on Wednesday night, the only batter who had logged any at-bats from the left side of the plate was switch-hitting catcher Keith Castillo. That will change as the Revs have acquired left-hand hitting outfielder Michael Burgess in a trade from St. Paul of the American Association for a player to be named later. Burgess will be active for Thursday night’s game in Lancaster. Perhaps that short porch could be in play in his Revs debut.
Burgess helped lead Somerset to a sixth Atlantic League championship last season, batting .251 with 15 HR and 59 RBI in just 81 regular season games. The former first round pick of the Nationals has enjoyed several All-Star seasons in the minors, reaching Double-A with the Nats, Cubs, Astros, and Orioles, and owned a career .250 average with 129 homers and 505 RBI in the minors before making his Atlantic League debut last season.
The theme of getting a bit more left-handed extends to the bullpen as well, where earlier this week the Revs addressed another need, adding a southpaw to complement Ron Schreurs who had been the only lefty on the relief corps since Eric Thomas’ release. Frank Gailey is the man to fill the void, returning to the Revs where he went 5-3 with a 3.20 ERA, primarily as a first-time starter last season. Gailey has been a career reliever, owning a career 2.79 ERA in the Blue Jays, Athletics, and Phillies organizations.
Also last week, one of the great late-inning relievers in Revs history made his return as Julio DePaula was activated. The righty debuted with a six-pitch inning in Lancaster on Tuesday night, and should quickly become a go-to option in the seventh inning or later.
The transactions front had been quiet while the Revs have gotten off to a fine start this season, but all three additions in the past week could provide big dividends as the team has its sights set on competing for a first half crown.