It has been an eventful week for the York Revolution, capped off last night with manager Mark Mason winning his 300th game as skipper of the Revs. Mason began his time at York as pitching coach for Andy Etchebarren in 2010, and surpassed his predecessor’s win total last season, picking up victory 238 on June 17th against Bridgeport.
Left handed reliever Jarret Martin was signed by the San Francisco Giants on Friday night. He will pitch for their AAA affiliate, the Sacramento River Cats, but if Martin picks up where he left off with the Revs, it may not be long before he joins the big league ball club. Martin had gone thirteen consecutive outings without allowing an earned run, recording saves in his last three appearances, and stuck out twenty in his last 10.1 innings pitched. He has also walked just one batter over his last six outings.
The Revs also announced the return of Ricardo Gomez this week. Last season Gomez led the team making 49 appearances, and posted a 2.31 ERA. Gomez is the Revs all-time ERA leader with a 2.34 mark in four seasons with the Revs. He began the year in Mexico, making 14 appearances for Leon.
Joining Gomez on the staff is a young right hander Chris Dula. Dula was originally drafted by Rangers in 2013 and played in their system since, reaching Single-A. He is a product of Catawba college where he won the triple crown as a batter and was named the Atlantic Conference Male Athlete of the Year. Now a pitcher, Dula sits in the mid 90s on the radar gun.
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.
The York Revolution have announced that they have re-signed right handed relief pitcher Manny Corpas. The thirty-year-old enters his fifteenth professional season, and his second season in York. Last season he made 34 appearances for the Revs, posting a 3-1 record and ranked fourth on the team with a 2.73 ERA, striking out 27 batters over 33 innings.
A native of Panama City, Panama, Corpas was originally signed as an amateur free agent in 1999 by the Colorado Rockies at age 16, and played his first professional season in 2002. He worked his way up through the Rockies system, breaking into the big leagues on July 18, 2006 in a game against the Pirates. He made 35 appearances that season, and enjoyed even more success the following season, posting a 2.08 ERA in 2007.
After the 2007 All-Star break, Corpas was named the club’s closer, earning a career-high 19 saves, and pitching in the 2007 postseason. A crucial part of Colorado’s playoff run, Corpas saved all three games of the NLDS against Philadelphia and two in the NLCS against Arizona, including the National League pennant clincher. The Rockies won 21 of 22 games on the way to a World Series appearance, with Corpas saving 10 of them.
Corpas pitched in the big leagues until 2013, posting a 13-20 MLB record, and a 4.14 ERA, and earning 34 saves. He has since pitched in Triple-A for Colorado in 2013 and 2014, before spending 2015 in the Mexican league, and then joining York last season.
The York Revolution announced today that they have signed catcher Luis Cruz. The 23-year-old is in his seventh professional season, originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011. A native of Cotui, Dominican Republic, Cruz has spent his entire career with the Cardinals, beginning in the Dominican Summer League, and has making it as high as Triple-A Memphis, last season. This year he played nine games for Double-A Springfield, batting .250 with 2 doubles, and 3 RBI.
In addition to playing behind the plate, Cruz has served as a first baseman and designated hitter in his career, and has also made four appearances on the mound. He has thrown out 34% of baserunners in his career, while posting a fielding percentage of .980.
The move will provide additional versatility for manager Mark Mason, who now has three viable options behind the plate, in Cruz, Tejeda, and Alen. Furthermore, all three York catchers can also play in the field, and by having an additional backstop, it will allow Mason to play two of his catchers in the field at the same time, while the third catcher that night is free to warm up pitchers in the bullpen.
The Revs (1-2) dropped their opening series of the season, losing two of three to New Britain last weekend. After a day of Monday, the Revs are back in action for a three game set in Southern Maryland (2-2), before returning to York for their home opener on Friday.
New Britain Series Notes:
- Alonzo Harris (2), Angel Franco, and Michael Burgess all tallied multi-hit games for the Revs
- 11 of the Revs 22 hits in the series were for extra bases (8 2B, 3B, 2 HR)
- The Revs scored first in 2 of the 3 games
- Revs pitching posted a 3.96 ERA, with 22 strikeouts, but also issued 12 BB and 5 HBP, and 4 HR
- York relievers pitched more innings (13.0) than starters (12.0)
- The Revs committed 5 errors in the field, in 2016 York finished T-6 in fielding percentage (.976)
- York was held to 2 runs on both Saturday and Sunday, last season they were 13-42 (24%) when scoring less than 3 runs in a game
- Craig Maddox was the toughest out for York in the series: 6-10, 2 2B, HR, 5 RBI
Southern Maryland Preview:
Game 1 (Tue 6:35 p.m.) — RHP Victor Mateo (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Gaby Hernandez (0-0, 0.00)
Victor Mateo will make his first career start for the Revs tonight. The native of Santo Domingo, DR, was signed as a free agent by the Rays in 2006, and has spent the past eight seasons in both the Rays and Braves minor league systems. Last season he spent most of his time at Double-A Mississippi going 1-2 with a 4.93 ERA. Most notably he has thrown two minor league no-hitters, his first with Low-A Bowling Green in 2011, and his second with Double-A Montgomery in 2013. He will be opposed by longtime Blue Crab Gaby Hernandez who makes his first start of the season. Last season against York he went 1-2, with a 3.73 ERA in 24.1 IP. Last time he faced the Revs threw a complete game, allowing 1 earned run, and striking out eight, in a 11-1 victory Sept. 5th.
Game 2 (Wed 6:35 p.m.) — LHP Chris Cody (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Justin De Fratus (0-1, 0.00)
Chris Cody will make his first start for the Revs since June 24th, 2014, also against the Blue Crabs. He was a tough luck loser in that game, allowing just one earned run over seven innings, while striking out nine. Now back from a two year stint in Taiwan, and a year rehabbing from injury, Cody once again will toe the slab for the Revs at Regency Furniture Stadium. He is opposed by Justin De Fratus who took the loss opening day, allowing two unearned runs in six innings. De Fratus pitched in 191 major league games for the Phillies from 2011-2015.
Game 3 (Thu 6:35 p.m.) — LHP Frank Gailey (1-0, 1.80) vs. LHP Pat Misch (0-0, 27.00)
Frank Gailey got the opening night nod for the Revs in New Britain, picking up the win. He went five innings, allowing five hits, striking out four, and did not walk a batter. Last season Gailey led Revs starters with a 3.14 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 123.1 innings pitched. Pat Misch was an enemy of the weather in his first start, as he was pulled following a rain delay of 1:07, after just a half an inning of play. He allowed three runs on three hits, but took the no decision as Southern Maryland would come back to get the win.
The Revs and Blue Crabs will meet 19 times this season. York won the season series last year, going 14-6, with identical 7-3 records at both Regency Furniture Stadium and People’sBank Park. Listen to all three games on 1350 WOYK beginning each night at 6:15 p.m. with Darrell Henry and Matt Present on the call.
Tonight the Revs open the 2017 season with the first of a 6-game road trip beginning with a three game set against the New Britain Bees. Last season the Revs went 14-6 against New Britain in the Bees first season in the Atlantic League.
Left hander Frank Gailey will get the opening day start for the Revs. Last year Gailey went 6-5 for York in 20 starts, with an ERA of 3.13 and 100 strikeouts in 123.1 innings pitched. Gailey will be opposed by Bees right hander Casey Coleman who split 2016 between the Rays and Mariners systems, compiling a 4-1 record and a 2.59 ERA, while working exclusively out of the bullpen.
Déjà Vu: The Revs also opened the 2016 season in New Britain, winning 3 of 4, marking the first time in team history that the Revs have opened against the same opponent in back-to-back seasons. It’s also the first time that York has opened on the road in two straight years, since beginning on the road their first three seasons 2007-2009. Only four players who appeared in opening day 2016 for the Revs are on the 2017 roster. They are Joel Guzman, Bryan Pounds, Ty’Relle Harris, and Michael Click.
Open for Business: 2017 marks the 11th season of Revs baseball. The team is 6-4 on opening day, including a 4-3 victory last season against New Britain to begin the season. After losing on opening day in back-to-back years in 2007 and 2008, the Revs won four straight opening days 2009-2012.
At the Helm: Mark Mason enters his 5th season as manager of the Revs, becoming the longest-tenured skipper in club history. Mason enters the year with 283 wins, as he surpassed his predecessor Andy Etchebarren last season as the winningest manager in club history. Mason has been part of 504 combined wins with York (221 as pitching coach, 283 as manager). The 2017 season marks Mason’s 8th on staff in York, joining bench/hitting/3B coach Enohel Polanco as the longest-tenured member of the coaching staff in club history. Polanco also enters his 8th season, while pitching coach Paul Fletcher enters his 4th on Mason’s staff.
Rotation: LHP Frank Gailey, RHP Steve Janas, LHP Logan Williamson, RHP Victor Mateo, LHP Chris Cody
Left Handed Relievers (3): Chase Huchingson, Jarret Martin, Luke Westphal
Right Handed Relievers (9): Brad Allen, Jose Arredondo, Hawtin Buchanan, Michael Click, Julio DePaula, Ty’Relle Harris, Melvin Mercedes, Curtis Partch, Joe Van Meter
Catchers (2): Luis Alen, Isaias Tejeda
Infielders (6): Michael Burgess, Ryan Dent Angel Franco, Joel Guzman, Alonzo Harris (2B/OF), Bryan Pounds
Outfielders (5): Jose Constanza, Jared Mitchell, Derrick Robinson, Brandon Thomas, Travis Witherspoon
|PITCHERS||17||POSITION PLAYERS||13||AGE (opening day)|
Youth Movement: Nineteen of the thirty players on the roster are under the age of 30, with reliever Hawtin Buchanan being the youngest Rev. Buchanan turns 24 years of age on April 29th, while Steve Janas, Melvin Mercedes, Isaias Tejeda, Angel Franco, and Brandon Thomas were all born in 1990 or later.
Need for Speed: The Revs 2017 outfield might be the fastest trio to ever patrol the confines of People’sBank Park. While the squad is fast top to bottom, they are highlighted by four speedsters in Travis Witherspoon, Alonzo Harris, Jose Constanza, and Derrick Robinson, who have all posted 40+ steal seasons in the minors, paced by Robinson who stole 69 bases with High-A Wilmington in 2009.
Catch tonight’s game, and every game this season on 1350 WOYK and woyk1350.com. Darrell Henry will be live from New Britain at 6:15 p.m., with first pitch set for 6:35 p.m..