Before we get to Thursday’s game, feel free to check out a feature on reliever Josh Judy, who got picked up by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and assigned to Class AA Arkansas.
The Revs beat the Riversharks, 7-4, on Thursday to avoid the series sweep and get back to a .500 record at 7-7. They’ll next welcome the defending Atlantic League champion Long Island Ducks (3-10) on Friday in the first of a three-game series.
York had five players with multiple hits in Thursday’s victory, led by Johan Limonta, who went 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs. Revs’ short stop Andy Gonzalez (2-for-4, run scored, RBI) also had the go-ahead RBI single in a three-run seventh inning that broke a 4-4 tie. Click here to read the game story.
York now has four players batting above .300, one of them being catcher Salvador Paniagua.
That’s quite surprising considering Paniagua, 29, batted a collective .242 in 97 games for York the last two years. But Paniagua split catching duties in 2011 with Octavio Martinez and in 2012 with Travis Scott. This season marks his first as the everyday catcher to start a season since 2010, something he says has helped.
“Sometimes when you’re not playing everyday you have to be ready. It makes it more easy for you if you play everyday because if you go 1-for-4 or 1-for-5 today you know you can play the next day and make adjustments,” Paniagua said. “That’s what I’ve been working on.
A Dominican Republic, Paniagua started the year going 4-for-22 at the plate (.182 average). Since then, the former New York Mets’ and Boston Red Sox prospect has gone 9-for-17 in the last four games to pump his average up to .333, which is tied with third baseman Andy Marte for second-best on the team. Revs’ skipper Mark Mason has noticed a more patient approach at the plate from Paniagua.
“He’s staying more consistent in really trying to hit the other way,” Mason said. “He’s a natural pull hitter. If they throw him inside he can handle it. His problem is waiting on the off-speed away. He’s done a really good job of sitting back and then when they (pitchers) throw him inside he reacts. And when they throw away he’s been hitting it that way. He’s been patient at the plate and he’s getting good results.”
A former prospect of the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox, Paniagua has shown flashes of productivity at the plate throughout his 10-year pro career. At Class High A Lancaster (Red Sox) in 2007, he batted .286 with 11 homers and 42 RBIs in 46 games.
Later playing in the independent United League in 2010, he batted above .300 in 86 combined games split between Laredo and Rio Grande Valley. After being released by York mid-way through last season, Paniagua went on to hit .333 in 20 games with San Rafael in the independent North American League.
That’s exactly why San Angelo (North American League) skipper Doc Edwards wanted to bring Paniagua on board in 2013. (If you’re thinking Doc Edwards sounds familiar it’s probably because he played in the majors from 1962 to 1970 with the Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Athletics, New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies or because he managed the Cleveland Indians for three season from 1987 to 1989, going 173-207).
“At the end of 2011 he basically was our playoff and championship game catcher,” Mason said. “He handled the bullpen. There was a big difference in our ERA when he was behind the plate. Last year he got jammed up with Travis (Scott) and him. That was last year.
“When I signed him I had (catcher Salomon) Manriquez here. Manriquez had already signed before I signed Salvador (Paniagua). I actually called Doc to see if Doc would trade him (Paniagua). Doc just basically released him so there wasn’t a trade. He told me ‘Mace, promise me if you’re not going to keep him around, just send him back here.’”
Pitching: Making his third start of the season for York, left-hander Chris Cody allowed four runs on nine hits with seven strikeouts and two walks in 5.2 innings pitched. Mason said Cody left some of his pitches up, which might have accounted for him getting just two ground-ball outs, which is uncharacteristic.
“Everything felt good,” Cody said. “I think most of their hits, not every single one, but most were off fastballs. I was just a little elevated with my fastball. It’s probably the first time in my career I didn’t get a ground-ball out.”
Cody threw 62 of 91 pitches for strikes and first-pitch strikes to 18 of 28 batters faced. He now has a 3.05 ERA through three starts (six earned runs allowed in 17.2 innings).
Relievers Joe Torres, Stephen Penney (1-1), Rommie Lewis and Juan Rincon combined for 3 Ð scoreless innings. Rincon picked up his second save.
Notes: Infielder Eric Patterson did not play Thursday. He left Wednesday night’s game after pulling up lame when running down the line in the bottom of the ninth inning…All but two of York’s games this season have been decided by three runs or less…York’s 14 hits were one short of a season-high…Brian Burgay (2-for-4) scored twice to increase his league lead in runs to 13, while drawing his league-leading 15th walk.
Rally plantain: A gentleman named Angel Clander has shown up York’s last two home games and got the crowd involved in various chants while holding a “rally plantain” as a good luck charm. Clander apparently owns a restaurant somewhere in York. Hopefully he continues to show up at games the rest of the season when more fans than the 2,000-plus that were at Thursday’s game. Click here to check out video of Clander cheering. Click here to read more about the rally plantain, which apparently became popular in the World Baseball Classic earlier this year.
Roster: York’s active roster is now at 26 players with the departure of Judy on Thursday. Atlantic League clubs can carry a maximum of 27 players through the end of May, when rosters have to be paired down to 25 players. Mason said he doesn’t expect to make any roster moves in the coming days.
“We’re at 26 (active players) and we’re gonna hang there a little bit,” he said. “Obviously with Josh (Judy) getting signed it took one (roster spot) away and that’s usually how things go here. Stuff works itself out. We could have another guy signed here before the homestand is over.”
Next series: Here are the pitching match-ups for the weekend series against Long Island:
Friday, 6:30 p.m.: York RHP Nick Green (0-0, 3.60 ERA) vs. RHP Nick DeBarr (0-1, 4.36 ERA)
Saturday, 6:30 p.m.: York RHP Matt Fox (0-0, 1.29 ERA) vs. LHP Bill Murphy (0-3, 9.75 ERA)
Sunday, 5 p.m.: York RHP Corey Thurman (1-2, 2.95 ERA) vs. RHP John Brownell (0-2, 5.28 ERA).
Fans can check out a special promotion related to the Kentucky Derby and Saturday’s game that could score you some free tickets. Click here to read more.Read More