Everything seemed to be turning around for the York Revolution. Outfielders Bobby Kielty and Brandon Haveman came on board on May 24. The Revs’ offense finally came to life.Yorkwon 11 of 14 games, capped with a season-best four-game winning streak.
Then things went south. While the Revs’ bats have continued to stay warm,York’s pitching has been highly questionable over the last week or so. In particular, it has been the York starters who have struggled as the Revs have lost four of its last five games (through Monday night).
And it doesn’t sound like there’s going to be any quick solutions coming any time soon.
After the Cincinnati Reds picked up Revs’ lefty Ryan Feierabend on June 5, the Revs have been trying to repair the rotation. Feierabend leftYorkwith a 3-24 ERA in seven starts, ranking eighth in the Atlantic League in ERA.
The Revs were left with a rotation of solid starters in right-handers Corey Thurman and Shawn Hill and lefty Chris Cody, along with question marks in righty Omar Javier and lefty Jesus Sanchez.
Well, following a poor start from Sanchez on Monday night, the Revs cut the cord on the veteran pitcher by releasing him mid-game. Sanchez was pulled in the first inning Monday without recording an out, credited for six runs on three hits and three walks. He departed York with a 6.49 ERA in six starts and four relief appearances.
Revolution pitching coach Mark Mason said Monday night that lefty Yunior Novoa will take the place of Sanchez in the rotation for now. But really the Revs only have three quality starters that they can rely on at this point (Cody, Hill and Thurman).
Looking for help: The Revs’ front office recently chatted with starters Jake Stevens and Matt DeSalvo about possibly coming toYork, but the duo turned down the offers.
DeSalvo was one of the best starters in the Atlantic League in the first half of the 2011 season before arm injuries plagued him the rest of the year. He finished the season with a 6-3 record and 3.89 ERA over 18 starts and five relief appearances, tossing a total of 106 1/3 innings.
The former major leaguer recently returned from pitching in Taiwan. But it sounds like his visit to the states is only temporary, as he’ll likely go back overseas to finish out the season. There’s still a possibility he could join York when the season wraps up in Taiwan in August.
Stevens, meanwhile, has basically retired from the pro game. The Revs had signed the lefty starter over the off-season but he was picked up by Mexican League club Saltillo before Revs’ spring training began. However, he made just two starts for Saltillo before being cut (he was replaced by righty Kris Regas, who left York to pitch for Saltillo only to be cut a few weeks later and return to the Revs).
Last season, the left-hander split time between Class AA New Britain (Twins) and Class AAA Rochester (Twins), going a combined 2-5 with a 5.33 ERA in 45 games (three starts).
Chatting with Stevens by phone on Tuesday, he said he’s opted to end his pro career – unless an affiliated deal pops up – so he can focus on obtaining a bachelor’s degree in either accounting or mathematics education. He’s currently working in insurance sales while living with his wife and son inFlorida.
“I played for nine years,” Stevens said. “I talk to my wife about it all the time. I was single and didn’t have a family, I could hang on a little bit longer (playing baseball). But every time you go back and hang on, it pushes your life back another year. It’s best for our family if we move forward.”
Hope: There’s still hope things could get better, though. The Revs’ front office is busy working on a deal to bring in a starter. Plus, Revs’ baseball operations manager Andrew Ball pointed out Tuesday that more quality pitchers could be out on the open market soon considering Major League Baseball’s recent amateur draft. As more rookies sign on, clubs will need to make room for them to play in the minors, possibly leaving veteran pitchers looking for work.
Through Monday night, the Revs (20-23) are 6 ½ games back of the Lancaster Barnstormers (27-17) for first place in the Atlantic League Freedom Division.Yorkhas 27 games remaining in the first half to catch up toLancaster. Seven of those games are against the Barnstormers, whoYorkis 2-1 against so far this season. Though time is running out for York to turn things around before the All-Star break, not at all hope is lost.
And even if York can’t win the first-half Freedom Division title, there’s still the possibility of winning it in the second half, just as the Revs did in 2011 en route to capturing a second consecutive Atlantic League title.Read More