RHP Nick Green
He would like to say he planned it this way. That he knew all along his Opening Day roster in his inaugural season as the York Revolution manager would feature a stellar starting rotation. But Mark Mason admits he’s a little surprised by the way things have fallen into place.
Mason anticipated the returns of veteran starters Corey Thurman and Chris Cody. What he didn’t know was that former big league pitcher Matt Fox would jump on board. Or that right-hander Nick Schumacher, who dazzled for the Revs in the 2011 post-season, would become available.
Or that former Southern Maryland Blue Crabs’ starter Nick Green would want to come to York. The Revs announced the signing of Green on Friday, along with utility man Brian Burgamy and former big league reliever Juan Rincon.
Green’s addition rounds out York’s starting rotation.
“I’m thrilled with the rotation we have,” Mason said. “It could possibly be one of the best rotations we’ve had since I’ve been here. On paper I think we have five guys who are proven. Every guy brings something to the table. We have guys with big league experience and some who are Atlantic League All-Stars.”
Green, 28, is a former prospect of the Los Angeles Angels and Milwaukee Brewers who has spent the last two seasons pitching for Southern Maryland, going a combined 19-16 with a 3.81 ERA 53 games (51 starts).
Looking for a change of scenery, Green opted to join York shortly after a contract to pitch for a team in Taiwan fell through last month. He’ll join former teammates Cody, Rincon and catcher Patrick Arlis in York.
“I’ve always thought highly of York,” Green said. “Mason called and he expressed interest as soon as I was available. From Day One it was one of those things, you always want to feel wanted. I had a couple days to think about it.”
LHP Kris Regas
Regas out of picture?: The starting rotation pretty much set with (in no particular order) Thurman, Cody, Fox, Schumacher and Green. As a result, Mason said left-hander Kris Regas will likely be back in the bullpen. Mason had said previously he planned on giving Regas a shot to start in spring training.
“We had talked about Regas and letting him have an opportunity to start but with the way it came together, I’ll still give Kris an opportunity but most likely he’ll be a long guy out of the bullpen,” Mason said.
Green: Unlike a lot of pitchers in the Atlantic League, Green has been healthy his entire nine-year pro career.
“I had a scare my sophomore year in college. My (right) labrum was torn,” Green said. “I went to go see my trainer and told me it was torn. I went to see the famous Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham and he said that wasn’t the case at all. I was just really weak. I needed to stay on top of arm exercises. In 2009, I strained my (right) lat muscle. That put me out for about a month.”
Although he’s been healthy, Green has thrown a ton of innings the last two seasons, logging a total of 318.2 innings. By comparison, Thurman has thrown 288.1 innings in two complete seasons the last two years for York. But Mason isn’t concerned about possible wear and tear on Green’s arm.
“I’m really not. He’s just one of those kind of guys that he’s healthy and in some ways it’s like freak-healthy sometimes,” Mason said. “I just think that’s who he is. We’ll let him be himself. We’re not gonna overwork him.”
Mason said he was visiting family in Pittsburgh last month when he and Green first chatted by phone.
“What Nick said was ‘I really like the way you guys run the business there. It’s fun. It’s real professional,’” Mason said. “He was real impressed with the way things ran in the (Atlantic League) All–Star game when it was in York in 2011. We also have a few guys who are playing here this year who were former teammates of his.”
Green spent the off-season playing winter ball in Venezuela with the Lara Cardinals, where he was teammates with former Revs’ players Joe Thurston and Ryan Feierabend. In three starts and one relief appearance for Lara, Green was 0-1 with a 7.43 ERA.
UT Brian Burgamy
Burgamy: York acquired the switch-hitting Burgamy, 31, from Camden in a trade that sent catcher Salomon Manriquez to the Riversharks. A former prospect of the San Diego Padres, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets, Burgamy will enter his sixth season in the Atlantic League in 2013. Last season, he batted .292 with 20 homers, 81 RBIs and 82 runs scored in 122 games.
“The thing I like about Brian is I know Brian can play short (stop), first base, third (base) and outfield,” Mason said. “He basically told me ‘I don’t care where I play, I want to win.’”
Revs’ baseball operations manager Andrew Ball said York tried acquiring Burgamy near the end of the 2012 season, but Camden and York couldn’t come up a with a deal.
“Brian started talking to Mason at the all-star game and said ‘I like what you guys do in York,’” Ball said.
RHP Juan Rincon
Rincon: Rincon, 34, comes to the Revs less than three years removed from pitching for the Colorado Rockies in the big leagues. He has seen a total of 444 games at the major league level, pitching for Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers and Colorado from 2001 to 2010.
The 5-foot-11 right-hander posted a 1.88 ERA in 20 games for Bridgeport last season before being picked up by the Los Angeles Angels and assigned to Class AAA Salt Lake, where he compiled a 3.12 ERA in 17 games (three starts). Rincon pitched for the Magellan Navigators in the Venezuela Winter League this off-season, going 2-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 17 games (three starts).
Rincon is the eighth former big leaguer on the Revs’ 2013 roster. York now has 20 players under contract for the upcoming season — 11 pitchers and nine position players.
Tidbits: Here’s other bits of information about these players:
—Although Burgamy can fill multiple positions, York is still in search of an everyday short stop, according to Ball.
“We’d like to sign a short stop still ideally,” Ball said. “Who knows what will happen with (short stop Joe) Thurston and Mexico. We’d like to play Brian at first, move Limo (Johan Limonta) around a little bit.”
—Green said he grew up playing baseball from a young age. He also played basketball through his freshman year of high school and football through his senior year.
—Green served as wide receiver, tight end and kicker on his Tift County (GA) High School football team. He said he made a 50-yard field goal in practice and 40-yard field goal in a game.
—Green said growing up he idolized his uncle, Darrien Teals, who Green said helped Tift County win the school’s only state championship in football. Green said Teals played baseball and football at NCAA Division II Valdosta State University. To read more about Teals’ athletic and professional accomplishments, click here.
—In his final year as a prospect for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2010, Green said the organization tried moving him into a closer role.
“It was a situation where they had recently gotten Trevor Hoffman. He’s known for his changeup,” Green said. “All throughout my career that’s been my pitch. They wanted to experiment with me. In spring training they told me to use the fastball and the changeup.” “I like the mentality (of being a closer). But I’ve been closer to the big leagues as a starter.”
—When asked to explain Burgamy’s up-and-down seasons in the Atlantic League the last four years, Mason had this to say: “I just think that’s baseball. If a guy hits .300 or .250 it’s a hit every 10 at-bats. If it’s .320 and then .180, that’s a big difference. But when it’s 50 points, that could come down to who’s doing the scoring as well. If something is ruled an error or a hit, and that happens once a week over the course of a season, that adds up.”
—Here’s what Mason had to say on what Rincon and Green bring to the mound: “They both have a ton of movement down and away from right-handed hitters. Juan has three pitches, Nick has four.”
YORK INFIELD (Position Name, Age, Bats L/R):
C Patrick Arlis, 32, R
C Salvador Paniagua, 29, R
3B Andy Marte, 29, R*
2B Andres Perez, 28, R
1B Johan Limonta, 29, L
UT Brian Burgamy, 31, S
CF Tyler Graham, 29, R*
RF Jeff Fiorentino, 29, L*
LF Jason Repko, 32, R*
YORK STARTING PITCHERS
LHP Chris Cody, 29
RHP Corey Thurman, 34*
RHP Matt Fox, 30*
RHP Nick Schumacher, 27
RHP Nick Green, 28
LHP Yunior Novoa, 28
RHP Josh Judy, 27*
RHP Stephen Penney, 26
LHP Wade Korpi, 26
LHP Kris Regas, 27
RHP Juan Rincon, 34*
*Former big leaguer