Below is an article that will appear in Friday’s York Dispatch sports section. Judy returned a phone call Wednesday evening. At the very bottom of this post are leftover Q&A’s with Judy not included in the article. Have a great Thanksgiving!
It’s the time of year when major league baseball teams are making moves in preparations for the 2014 season. Baseball pundits like call this the “Hot Stove.” And while some have been captivated with eye-popping trades, like the one that sent slugger Prince Fielder from Detroit to Texas last week, other minor moves are surely overlooked.
For York Revolution fans, the biggest move to this point in the winter involves former Revs’ reliever Josh Judy, who signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this week. Reached by phone Wednesday evening from his home in Akron, Ohio, Judy confirmed the Dodgers signed him to a minor league deal with no invite to the club’s big league spring training camp.
Either way, the former big leaguer is just glad to have a job next year following an up-and-down 2013 season that began in York and ended with him on the disabled list with the Los Angeles Angels’ Class AA Arkansas affiliate.
“I put up good numbers at triple-a and then had two bad outings that wrecked the ERA. Going back to double-A I had one bad outing that messed up the numbers. I pulled my groin while pitching in that outing,” Judy said. “I tried to pitch through it and probably shouldn’t have in hindsight. Unfortunately I got hurt, but three or four days later I was OK and was completely 100 percent healthy.”
Judy, who pitched in 12 games for the Cleveland Indians in 2011, was one of 10 former Revs who ended the 2013 season on the roster of an affiliated minor league club. He’ll be 28-years-old and entering his eighth pro season next year. And he’s faced the realization that he’s nearing the end of opportunities to prove himself.
“Absolutely this is a good opportunity for me to resurrect my career after the last two years,” he said.
In the meantime, Judy is spending his off-season working part-time in the electronics department at a Wal-Mart in Akron after a deal to pitch in Mexico this winter fell through.
Winter ball: Speaking of winter ball, there are currently 14 former Revolution players competing in winter leagues in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. It will be soon 15 former Revs, however, as pitcher Brett Tomko arrived in the Dominican Republic earlier this week and plans to make a few starts with the hopes of getting noticed by a major league club.
Eppley: Northern York High School graduate Cody Eppley signed a minor league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier this week. Eppley, a 28-year-old right-handed reliever drafted in the 43rd round in 2008 by the Texas Rangers, has appeared in 71 big league games with the Rangers and New York Yankees over the last three seasons.
For more on Judy’s background, click here to check out a feature story from last April on his journey from a small-town high school to a Division III college to being a late-round draft pick to reaching the majors. Click here to check out the recap of Judy’s up-and-down 2013 season.
Josh Judy interview left-overs:
Q: So you’re not doing winter ball this off-season?:
A: My agent actually set me up to go to Mexico. I was originally going to Mexico and then he called and said the deal has been put on hold and the team doesn’t know what they’re doing. (This is just the second time in Judy’s career he’s not playing winter ball. The other time was because he got married two years ago).
Q: This will mark your first time playing in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ organization. How did this deal come about. Do you know someone in the organization?
A: “No. I don’t know anybody. I played with one guy, Elian Herrera, in the Dominican Republic. He was up and down with Albuquerque. I think it was my agent contacted them (the Dodgers) and they showed some interest.” (Herrera, 28, is a utility guy who’s played in 71 combined games the last two seasons with the Dodgers).
Q: Are you married? Have any kids?
A: No kids. Married. We just celebrated our two-year anniversary.
Q: What do you call home in the off-season?
A: Akron, Ohio. I’m originally from West Virginia.
Q: Are you working anywhere or doing baseball lessons on the side?
A: As of right now I have a part-time job and I continue to throw everyday. I have some lessons coming up in December.
Q: What’s the part-time job?
A: Electronics at Wal-Mart.
Q: Are you into that kind of stuff? Do you know a lot about the newest technologies?
A: I think I’m alright with that kind of stuff. I can answer a lot of questions. I kind of keep up on it just because it’s part of my job. Really the TVs are pretty self-explanatory. It’s right there on the box. With the computers and gaming systems, I don’t play games, so I just keep up on what’s released now.
Q: Does your wife work?
A: She works full-time for All-State and works seasonally for Disney World. She’s been doing that since 2008.
Q: Is being a store manager or something similar to that in your future after baseball?
A: If I was forced to I would want to be a store manager but I think I’m gonna go back to school. I am one semester away from one degree and a few semesters away from two other degrees. The one degree is in recreation management. I’m an internship away and they offer internships in the spring, so it’s kind of tough to do that right now with baseball.
Q: What’s the other degrees?
A: Therapeutic recreation with a focus in physical therapy. I kind of want to be in the medical field somewhere. Even on the nursing side. I dont’ want to be a doctor. Just something to help out people.
Q: So what’s the goal for the 2014 season? I imagine you just want to show your healthy and get back to the good numbers you were putting up to start the 2013 season?
A: That’s a big goal right there is just to get back to a solid year with solid numbers.Read More