Before we get to the recent signings announced Thursday by the York Revolution, just wanted to point out a couple updates related to the Revs:
-Up on The York Dispatch website, and published in Friday’s paper, is an article featuring York’s new baseball operations manager Andrew Ball (also includes a video from the sit-down we had with Ball on Wednesday afternoon). He’s filling the shoes of Michael Kirk, who left York at the end of last season to take a similar position with the expansion Sugar (Tex) Skeeters. Some tidbits that didn’t make the story? Andrew said his dad, Daniel, played college basketball back in the day at Santa Clara University in the 1950s. Daniel, 77, got to play against Bill Russell’s University of San Francisco team. Also, Andrew said he was born in Texas, then lived in California until the age of eight before he came to Pennsylvania, growing up in Schuylkill County. Finally, the 6-foot-2 right-hander posted a career 9-7 record, 5.40 ERA in his four years playing at Gwynedd-Mercy College.
- Check out the latest on where several former Revs players are currently at in affiliated ball by heading over to the Revolution blogtoblogchamps blog. One of the most recent entries by Paul Braverman, the Revs do-it-all media guy, provides updates on right-hander Mike Demark, outfielder Val Majewski, left-hander Scott Rice and a few others who are now coaching in the minors.In an update on Rice, he did not make the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Opening Day roster, but by all acounts it sounds like Dodgers’ skipper Don Mattingly is pretty high on him.
- Former Revolution skipper Chris Hoiles is set to catch the ceremonial first pitch in the Baltimore Orioles’ season-opening game against Minnesota, set for 3:05 p.m. Friday, April 6. The team will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the opening game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Hoiles played for the Orioles that day in 1992 and went 1-for-3 with an RBI double. Hoiles, who lives in Spring Grove, will catch the ceremonial first pitch from his batterymate in that game 20 years ago, Rick Sutcliffe, who threw a five-hit shutout in a 2-0 win over Cleveland.
-Check out pictures on The York Dispatch website of the padding that was recently added to the outfield walls.
Now to the signings…
OF Michael Hernandez
The Revs added outfielders Michael Hernandez and Stephen Douglas along with infielder Joe Spiers on Thursday. The Revs acquired Hernandez (Somerset Patriots) and Spiers (Lancaster Barnstormers) from Atlantic League opponents, each for a player to be named later. (For full details on the signings, click here).
The Revs now have 24 players — 11 position players and 13 pitchers — under contract with just more than one week remaining before players report for Atlantic League spring training.
York might add a few more pitchers before its spring training begins on April 14. Revs’ manager Andy Etchebarren has said previously he would like to enter spring training with as many as 16 pitchers. So that remains to be seen.
Outfield: Hernandez put up good numbers with Somerset in 2011 (.272 batting average, nine homers, 45 RBIs). Douglas is a former 2006 first-round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians but spent just two years in the Indians’ farm system and has played in the independent ranks ever since. In 99 combined games split between American Association clubs El Paso and Grand Prairie in 2011, Douglas batted .378 while racking up a league-record 160 hits. He also set a league record with a 34-game hitting streak, which was part of league-record 56-game on-base streak.
York now has four outfielders, joining James Shanks and Scott Grimes. Last season, Shanks and Grimes started most of York’s games in left field and center field, respectively. It looks like Hernandez will get the starting nod in right field, but Revs manager Andy Etchebarren did like to DH Shanks at times last year, so Douglas could see plenty of playing time, too.
As for hitting, Douglas is a left-handed batter, something this York roster lacks. Catcher Travis Scott is the only other true left-handed bat and Liu Rodriguez is a switch-hitter. But Scott likely will have to challenge Salvador Paniagua for playing time at the catcher spot and Rodriguez will likely serve more of a utility role.
INF Joe Spiers
Infield: The addition of Spiers gives York five infielders, joining first baseman Chris Nowak, shortstop Danny Gonzalez, third baseman Ramon Castro and Rodriguez, who will serve as a player-coach this season.
Etchebarren said earlier this week he would like to add a second baseman and put Rodriguez in more of a utility role. It’s unclear if Spiers, 26. is that guy. Spiers was an all-star in the independent Frontier League last year for the Evansville Otters, where he batted .323 with five homers and 50 stolen bases, the second-highest total in the league. The Barnstormers had originally signed Spiers, a former Braves prospect, in late March before shipping him to York in Thursday’s trade.