It was a gloomy day for the York Revolution on Thursday, but not just in the weather sense.
Thursday night’s game against the Road Warriors was postponed because of rain. And York also lost power-hitter Jason Botts, who was signed by the New York Mets and assigned to Class AAA Buffalo.
In 14 games with York, the 6-foot, 6-inch, 245-pound Botts ranked second on the team in batting average (.370), on-base percentage (.419), RBIs (13), runs scored (13) and hits (20). He also led York in home runs (four) and total bases (36).
Revs manager Andy Etchebarren knew there was a good chance Botts would be signed by an affiliated club, but said that’s the risk you take when bringing in a player with Major League experience.
“You might think it (will happen), but you don’t know. And that’s what this league is about, is getting a guy a chance to get to the big leagues,” Etchebarren said.
The former major leaguer became the third Revs’ player signed by an affiliated club this season, which leads all Atlantic League teams.
A 30-year-old switch-hitter, Botts played in stints in the major leagues with the Texas Rangers from 2005 through 2008. During that span, Botts played in 93 games, batting .230 in 282 plate appearances with 28 RBIs and five home runs.
And if he puts up the numbers at Buffalo like he did in York, Etchebarren thinks there’s a good chance Botts could return to the big leagues this season.
In the meantime, Etchebarren said he won’t look to make any immediate moves to replace Botts. Rather, he wants to wait and see if the group of Val Majewski, Scott Grimes, James Shanks, Chris Walker and Mark Ori can step up.
“I’m gonna let these five guys play everyday, let them get at-bats, and see where I’m at two weeks from now,” he said.
Townsend back with Revs, Pope released: While York will lose Botts’ pop in the lineup, it should get some improved production from the shortstop position after the club acquired infielder Tanner Townsend by trade from Lancaster for future considerations.
In a related move, York released infielder Van Pope, who saw 10 starts at short but was batting just .206.
Townsend, 30, has been playing independent baseball since leaving Western Kentucky University in 2002. His best season came in 2008 with the Gary South Shore Railcats, when he led the independent Northern League in RBIs (84) while batting a team-high .371 with 14 home runs and 26 doubles.
Last season with the Railcats, Townsend posted a .278 batting average with 16 doubles and six homers.
Townsend was actually set to play for York in spring training after the Revs acquired him by trade from the Railcats.
But York released Townsend in mid-April because he was not medically cleared to play. Townsend said Thursday that at the time of the physical with York in April, he was still recovering from concussion symptoms he sustained about two months earlier in a car accident.
Townsend, who said he’s fully recovered now, was signed and activated by Lancaster last week. He would have started for York at shortstop on Thursday had the game been played.
No makeup date has been set for Thursday’s postponement.
The Revs will return to action on Friday to open a three-game home-stand against Long Island. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Sovereign Bank Stadium.Read More