A couple tidbits of news and some signings from Wednesday (Feb. 22)….
Johnson to O’s? — According to a report by MASN Orioles’ reporter Roch Kubatko, former Atlantic League catcher Josh Johnson is expected to be picked up by the Baltimore Orioles. Johnson, 29, has played in the Atlantic League for the past three seasons (York in 2009, Lancaster in 2010, Road Warriors in 2011). He has a combined .219 batting average over those three seasons with an average of nearly 28 RBIs and nearly six homers each year. According to the report, Johnson was recommended to the Orioles by former Revs manager Chris Hoiles, who managed Johnson in York in 2009. Hoiles is currently an instructor at the Orioles’ spring training camp.
YORK REVOLUTION — It looks like former York Revolution reliever Jack Spradlin will not be returning to York in 2012. Spradlin, who the Revs’ had placed on the inactive list before the 2011 playoffs started, has signed with the Amarillo Sox (independent American Association). Spradlin went 0-2 with a 5.10 ERA in 31 games for York last season.
The left-hander’s most memorable outing with York came on Aug. 23 against the Bridgeport Bluefish. He held the Bluefish to one run on two hits in three innings in just his second spot start of the year. It helped York get a 5-2 win over Bridgeport and, at the time, maintain a three-game lead over the Lancaster Barnstormers for first place in the Atlantic League Freedom Division.
Speaking about the performance after the game, Spradlin revealed that he had actually joined York that season after turning down a roster spot with the Harrisburg Senators, the Class AA affiliate of the Washington Nationals.
Spradlin, 27, had played for the Senators in parts of 2009 and 2010. He had feared the Nationals didn’t have any plans for him when it came to his chances of making it to the big leagues. So, he decided to cut ties with the Nationals and later signed with York in late May.
“I figured I could get picked up out of here,” Spradlin had said. “But I need to pitch a little bit better than I’ve been pitching. I had a good winter. I had a good season with Harrisburg last year, we went to the playoffs. I really thought something would turn out of it here but it hasn’t.”
With the departure of Spradlin, the list of players not returning to York in 2012 has grown to ten.
SIGNINGS – The Long Island Ducks and Somerset Patriots announced a combined total of five signings on Wednesday (Feb. 22), and three of the players are Atlantic League newcomers. The Patriots have inked right-handed relievers T.J. Hose and Mike Solbach. The Ducks signed infielder Dan Lyons and outfielders Lew Ford (both Lyons and Ford are returning to the club after playing all of 2011 with the Ducks) and Reid Gorecki.
DUCKS — Gorecki, 31, reached the major leagues for one season in 2009 with the Atlanta Braves, where he batted .200 with three RBIs in 31 games. He has a career .266 minor league average over nine pro seasons. This will mark his first time playing independent ball.
Ford, 35, is a veteran infielder and former big leaguer who spent the entire 2011 season with the Ducks, compiling a .318 batting average, 10 homers and 45 RBIs in 72 games. He was named to the second-team Atlantic League All-Star squad following the season. Ford played in a combined 494 games with the Minnesota Twins from 2003 to 2007. He has a career .272 average at the big league level. This season will mark Ford’s third year with the Ducks. In the Atlantic League Championship Series against York last season, Ford went 1-for-6 at the plate with a run scored.
Lyons, 27, is a former Washington Nationals prospect who batted .283 with two homers and 40 RBIs in 86 games with Long Island in 2011. He didn’t see any action in the ALCS against the Revs.
To read more about the Long Island signings, click here to check out the story on the Ducks’ website. Long Island now has seven players under contract for the 2012 season. Check out the Ducks’ roster by clicking here.
PATRIOTS — Hose, 25, is a former prospect of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox. In 2011, Hose started the year pitching for the Newark Bears (Can-Am League) where he accumulated a 3.00 ERA in 28 relief appearances. The Red Sox picked him up in August and assigned him to Class Low-A Salem, where he went 1-1 with a 4.22 ERA in six games.
Solbach, 26, is a former New York Yankees prospect who topped out at Class High-A Tampa last season. He went 6-4 with a 3.12 ERA in 28 relief appearances last season.
To read more about the Someret signings, click here to check out the story on the Patriots’ website. Somerset now has eight players under contract for the 2012 campaign. Check out the Patriots’ roster by clicking here.Read More