As the calendar turns to December, it’s a good time for a winter ball update, focusing on Revs currently playing in the warmer climates. The winter leagues are filled with players who have played in the Atlantic League, but for the purpose of this update, we’ll focus primarily on Revs with the winter ball season roughly two months in. (more…)
Former York Revolution lefthander Edward Paredes was called up by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday and tossed a perfect eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins to earn the win in his Major League debut on Monday night at Dodger Stadium. Paredes becomes the ninth player in Revs history to reach the Major Leagues following his time in York, the third to make his MLB debut, and the first to earn the win in his big league debut. The 30-year-old pitched for the Revolution from 2013-2015. (more…)
By: Matt Present
Editor’s Note: Shortly after this article was published, Josh Wilson was traded from Texas to Cleveland, and now plays for AAA Columbus.
Josh Wilson was the first player to commit to returning to the Revs this offseason. Manager Mark Mason thought that following Wilson’s 18th professional season the infielder might be headed towards retirement, but Wilson knew he had something left in the tank.
“During a phone conversation I said, ‘I know this is more of a formality thing, but you’re done playing right?’” recalls Mason. “And he said ‘heck no I’m not done playing, I’ve already been in the gym for two weeks!’”
The former big leaguer returned to York ready to contribute as the Revs everyday shortstop, while remaining not too far from his hometown of Pittsburgh.
However just three days before opening day, Wilson got a phone call. The Revs were getting suited up to face Lancaster in their final exhibition game of the season, and Wilson was penciled in as the starting shortstop. But he never emerged from the tunnel as he was already in a car back to York, in a hurry to pack his bags and get to the airport the following morning. He’d been signed by the Rangers. Wilson was headed to Triple-A Round Rock where he had played 92 games in 2014.
“It all happened pretty quickly,” said Wilson, “and it was definitely unexpected. My agent called me after batting practice and told me he might have a job for me, and thirty minutes later he called again and said the Rangers wanted to sign me.”
Not only did Wilson return to a familiar team, but his manager, Jason Wood, was once a teammate of his, back when the two played for the Marlins Triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque in the mid-2000s. Wilson was excited to reunite with Wood, and said that the Rangers are one of the few franchises that still look to bring in veterans from outside the organization. With this relationship and philosophy in mind, and a couple of injuries to the Express squad, Round Rock became the perfect fit.
York opened the season April 21st in New Britain, and that same day, Wilson made his debut for the Express, going 1-3 with a sacrifice fly in a loss to the Omaha Storm Chasers. Now twenty games into his season Wilson has stayed hot at the plate, batting well over .300 while playing second base, third base, and shortstop in Round Rock. While he did spend a week on the disabled list with a tight quad, Wilson hasn’t missed a beat, hitting four home runs and driving in 16 so far this season.
“It’s been awesome,” said Wilson. “I’ve been playing really well, and it’s been rejuvenating to get signed, I really wasn’t expecting that.”
The former third round draft pick of the then-Florida Marlins is now playing alongside players as young as 22 years of age, in other words, fourteen years his junior, but Wilson said he just tries to blend in, noting that his teammates have kept him current on music and pop culture. The veteran infielder just feels lucky to be out on the field, still living the dream. He plans to retire at the end of the season, but said that he wants to remain a part of the game, and has explored pursuing opportunities as a scout, or in a front office. Regardless of what path he decides to take, he said he wouldn’t be where he is now without his time in York.
“It was probably one of the best things I ever did,” said Wilson. “Honestly, going and playing in the Atlantic League, you really learn how much love and care guys have for the game, it was a really good reminder for me. Playing in York completely changed my perspective. I stopped worrying about what happened if I played well, or didn’t play well. I just went out and played. It was life changing. I just relaxed and had fun like I was in Little League again, and that experience has definitely carried into this season.”
While Wilson may no longer be present in the Revs clubhouse, he certainly left an impact on his teammates.
“From the experience that he had, guys looked up to him,” said former Revs third baseman Bryan Pounds, who played alongside Wilson on the left side of the York infield last season. “I think it’s also the way he plays the game, he plays the game hard, and coming in and just being another one of the guys.”
Pounds remembers many a late night, sitting around with Wilson and a couple of other guys, just chatting about baseball and life in general.
“When you get to play with a big leaguer, and someone that is down to earth like Josh it’s a really cool thing,” added Pounds.
“When he walked out of our clubhouse this year, we lost a leader amongst the players,” said Mason, “and that was a hit that we felt, and in some ways are still trying to recover from.” However, the skipper is also quick to point out that because of how Wilson carried himself, and his eagerness to share his knowledge with his teammates, many of them have become better, just from being around him.
It seemed as though something was up when Josh Wilson, originally scheduled to start at shortstop in Tuesday’s spring training contest in Lancaster, was not on the field. The infield situation grew a bit more hairy when shortstop Ryan Dent was forced to exit due to injury after a collision on a slide at second base in the first inning. Following the contest, an 8-4 loss that dropped York’s spring record to 2-2-1, Mark Mason announced that Dent would only miss a couple of days with the ankle injury. All things considered, that’s good news and it sounds as though he’ll be back quickly. The other piece of news, and even though it’s a departure for the Revs, it’s certainly good news, is that Wilson had been signed by the Texas Rangers, and would be heading to Triple-A Round Rock the next day. (more…)
For several years now, former teammates of Mark Hendrickson encouraged the 6-foot-9-inch pitcher to get into coaching. Former skipper Buck Showalter was noted as trying to push Hendrickson into the coaching ranks as early as 2012. So the fact that Hendrickson was recently named the pitching coach of the Aberdeen Ironbirds, Low-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, is not surprising. The fact that Hendrickson’s pro career did not begin in baseball, most certainly is.
Along with the rest of the baseball world, all of us at the York Revolution were heartbroken to learn of the passing of one of its greats, with the loss of Andy Marte this past weekend. It was one of baseball’s darkest days in a long time, as of course his fellow countryman and budding star Yordano Ventura lost his life in a separate accident.
It’s always gut-wrenching to learn of the death of any young person in their prime, and whenever it happens in the sports world, it hits close to home. Somewhere there is a team, just like ours, that loses one of its own, and you can’t help but put yourself in their shoes a little bit. Obviously this weekend’s news hit right at home, as it feels like not long ago that Marte was suiting up for the Revs and mashing Atlantic League pitching on his return to the Majors.
Adding another layer to the heartbreak is the fact that Marte had planned to return to the Revs in 2017, having had talks with the coaching staff just days before his accident. What a moment it would have been to welcome him back to the place where his MLB comeback began four years earlier.
Marte was already one of the greats in Revolution history, despite having not been in York for all that long. It was August 4, 2013, when the Angels purchased his contract from York, after he had gone on a massive tear through the summer months that had him firmly entrenched as one of the top hitters in the Atlantic League, hardly a surprise given his pedigree. One particular summer afternoon comes to mind: July 14, 2013, against Southern Maryland, when Marte bashed a pair of home runs including an extra innings game-winner.
But the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Marte actually isn’t his excellence on the field, but the impact that he had off of it. Quiet by nature, Marte always struck me as sort of a gentle giant who simply led by example. His approach and professionalism was admirable. He was extremely highly respected by his teammates, and went about his work each day, embracing the Atlantic League as his road back to the majors. Very respectful and friendly with teammates, fans, and anyone he came in contact with, he was truly one of the good guys, something that players across the game echoed on social media in the past couple of days when paying their tributes.
After suffering an injury that denied him a call-up that September, he signed with Arizona for the 2014 season, where he would make his return to the Majors that year. He was called up on July 31, arriving at Chase Field after the game had started, and entered in the sixth inning of a game against Pittsburgh, blasting a pinch-hit home run in his first at-bat. I remember how proud our coaching staff was that night here in York, as just a year earlier; he was doing the same in a Revolution uniform.
It was typical of Marte’s work ethic, that the day Mark Mason first called him at home in the Dominican Republic to sign him in 2013, Marte was hard at work tending to his livestock. “They were cackling in the background or whatever sound they make,” recalled Mason.
It is tough to comprehend the loss of someone young, or of a professional athlete whose strength and skill make them seem invincible. Most of all, our thoughts are with his family and those that were closest to him.
Sunday was among the most tragic days our sport has endured, and the baseball world is in mourning. It’s clear that Marte had a profound impact on many during his time here and throughout his other travels in baseball, albeit far too short-lived. But we are fortunate to have had him here along the way. As one of our MLB alumni, his Diamondbacks banner still adorns the sidewalk along Brooks Robinson Plaza.
The game lost a great one on Sunday. On and off the field, Andy Marte truly was one of the greats.
Piggy-backing off of a strong performance with the Revs in 2016, Jose Arredondo is garnering interest from multiple Major League clubs including the New York Mets while pitching in Venezuela this winter, according to this New York Daily News report.
Through December 25, Arredondo is only 1-4, but sports a 3.62 ERA in 30 games for Bravos de Margarita this off-season (27.1 IP, 23 H, 12 R, 11 ER, 15 BB, 28 SO). Last season, Arredondo went 1-2 with a 2.25 ERA in 35 games with York.
The Revs, of course, already have a bullpen alum who went on to pitch for the Mets as Scott Rice did so in 2013-14, before returning to York where he was Arredondo’s teammate last summer. We’ll continue to keep an eye on Arredondo’s progress.