Here it is, the fourth and final recap of the 2012 York Revolution squad, this time on the bullpen and catchers (sorry catchers, no separate post for perhaps the toughest position in baseball). My apologies on getting around to this late, been a little busy covering high school sports as we get into the time of the year for league titles, playoffs, districts and beyond, as well as catching up on reading all the Sports Illustrateds that have been laying around the house for weeks (seriously, who can read those things front to back each week?) and breaking my ankles jumping on and off the Baltimore Orioles’ bandwagon (don’t act like you weren’t doing the same). Anyway, before we get to that, wanted to point out a couple newsworthy items worth checking out:
- Atlantic League expansion…to the Caribbean?: YDR Revs’ beat writer Jim Seip did a good job reporting on Peter Kirk’s intentions of possibly expanding the Atlantic League to the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico or Cuba (yes, really, Cuba). This would make sense, considering at least a fifth of most Atlantic League rosters are made up of players from the Caribbean. A roster could easily be filled should the league want to travel far down south. And if it can be any kind of draw like Sugar Land, why not give it a shot? The only question mark would be travel costs. It makes no sense to do it if the league loses money.
- Camden front office: The Riversharks sent out a press release Monday announcing longtime general manager Adam Lorber is being promoted to general manager AND team president. Lorber has served as the team’s GM since 2003. In addition, Lindsay Rosenberg, who has spent the last four seasons in group sales has been promoted to the position of assistant general manager. Rosenberg earned a bachelor’s degree in Sports, Entertainment and Event Management from Johnson and Wales (Rhode Island) University in 2009. While attending school, she had opportunities to work at both Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA and at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Now on to the recap….
As far as publicity goes, the guys in the bullpen have it tough. Position players and starting pitchers normally get most of the attention. On the rare occasion a reliever gets anything said about him, it’s normally because he’s been lights-out as a closer or a set-up man or he made an impressive spot start. So, if a reliever doesn’t fit that category, he’s probably left out on the street with the rest of the guys who don’t get much attention, even if they might have an interesting back-story. So, lets just say this blog post is my attempt at making up for all of that….
At the start: At the start of the year, York’s bullpen consisted of right-handers Dumas Garcia, Ricardo Gomez, Omar Javier, Santo Luis, Stephen Penney, R.J. Rodriguez, Shaun Garceau and Adam Thomas and left-handers James Houser, Yunior Novoa and Ian Thomas. By the end Gomez, Novoa, Penney, Rodriguez and Thomas were all that were left of the original bunch. Newcomers on York’s year-end roster included right-handers Mike Benacka and Kris Regas and left-hander Wade Korpi.
Come and go: Garcia (1-0, 6.00 ERA, 27 games), Garceau (0-0, 7-71 ERA, 3 games), Houser (2-1, 5.50 ERA, 33 games), Javier (1-6, 5.66 ERA, 22 games) and Luis (0-0, 4-50 ERA, 3 games) were all released at some point in the season, while right-hander Andy Wells (0-0, 16.61 ERA, 3 games) and left-handers Matt Chico (1-3, 7.50 ERA, six starts) and Victor Garate (0-0, 5.40 ERA, 1 game) were on the short list of pitchers who joined York mid-season but would be released before the end of the year.
Picked up: Thomas the only York reliever and one of three Revs’ players to earn a big league contract this season (all three were pitchers) in 2012. The 25-year-old earned his first affiliated contract after putting together a 0.96 ERA in 9.1 innings of relief for York. He had spent his first three pro seasons with independent club Winnipeg (Northern League/American Association) before coming to York. In 26 relief appearances for Rome, the lefty went 5-0 with a 3.15 ERA, striking out 58 and walking 15 over 45.2 innings pitched.
8th/9th inning guys: Right-hander R.J. Rodriguez started off the year as the Revs’ closer but lost the job to Ricardo Gomez when he left for the Mexican League mid-season. Adam Thomas served as the Revs’ set-up man the majority of the first-half and then split the duties with Rodriguez when he returned. Rodriguez did fill in as the ninth-inning guy occasionally in the final couple months. Rodriguez went 2-3 with a 2.02 ERA and 13 saves over 55 appearances. Thomas had a 8-2 record and 3.65 ERA in 67 appearances (64 innings), striking out 42 and walking 15. Gomez collected 17 saves, 2.66 ERA and 4-1 record in 46 games (47.1 innings).
Middle relief: Left-handers Yunior Novoa (2-6, 4.71 ERA, five starts, 38 games), Kris Regas (3-2, 2.78 ERA, 44 games) and Wade Korpi (4-0, 2.26 ERA, 3 starts, 18 games) and right-hander Stephen Penney (2-1, 3.13 ERA, 62 games) had good seasons in the ‘pen.
Novoa went back-and-forth between the bullpen and starting rotation at the start of the year before serving mainly as a reliever in the final few months. Korpi ended up being a good mid-season pick-up for the Revs. The lefty was lights-out in his three spot starts, putting up a stellar 1.93 ERA in 9.1 innings.
One other middle reliever, Mike Benacka, joined York in the final month of the season and had a 1-0 record, 3.00 ERA and one save in six relief appearances. But he took the loss after giving up four runs on one hit and two walks in 2/3 of an inning in Game Two of the Freedom Division Championship Series against Lancaster. The Revs didn’t like what they saw, either, sending him back to the Laredo Lemurs (American Association) after the season.
Catchers: Instead of dedicating a whole blog post to the catchers, it’ll be included here as more an honorable mention (sorry Travis Scott and Salomon Manriquez). York started off the year with Scott and Salvador Paniagua behind the dish. Etch’ used the left-handed hitting Scott and right-handed hitting Paniagua as a platoon. York released Paniagua on July 19 and signed Manriquez the next day. It’s tough in the Atlantic League to find a solid defensive catcher who can also hit well. And when that rare guy comes along, he’s normally picked up right away by a big league club since that’s so rare. That’s why it’s tough to be hard on Atlantic League clubs about not finding a solid-hitting catcher. Plus, it has to be hard on catchers to have a good batting average considering they’re not playing every game for obvious reasons.
With all that being said, Scott had a .228 average with seven homers and 28 RBIs in 81 games while Manriquez finished with a .287 average, two homers and 16 RBIs in 32 games. Manriquez upped his batting average in his final 18 games, during which he went he hit .387. Paniagua departed mid-season with a .227 average over 40 games.
(Note*The following stats are through Game 2 of the FDCS) As far as how they performed behind the plate, Paniagua caught in 40 games (38 starts) and caught a total of 328.2 innings. York pitchers had a 4.11 ERA with Paniagua catching. Revs’ pitchers were about the same in the 601.1 innings with Scott behind the dish with a 4.12 ERA. Manriquez, meanwhile, made 32 starts to help Revs’ pitchers get a 3.63 ERA in his 275.1 innings catching. However, all three had trouble throwing out runners at second and third. Paniagua caught 5 of the 40 guys who stole on him, while Scott gunned 12 of 48 and Manriquez nailed down just three of 25 base-stealers. That’s a combined percentage of 17.7 (20 caught of 113 base-stealers).Read More