Revolution spring training schedule; Majewski to Rangers?

At this point, the spring training schedule for the York Revolution includes at least three official exhibitions against Atlantic League teams. It’s likely other opponents will be added, but here is the spring training schedule for York at this point:

Saturday, April 14 – First workout
Sunday, April 15 — Workout
Monday, April 16 — Workout
Tuesday, April 17 — Workout
Wednesday, April 18 — Workout
Thursday, April 19 — Exhibition game vs. Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, 1 p.m. at Sovereign Bank Stadium
Friday, April 20 — Exhibition game at Southern Maryland, 1 p.m.
Saturday, April 21 — FanFest at Sovereign Stadium. (Click here for details).
Sunday, April 22 — Exhibition game vs. Lancaster Barnstormers, 11 a.m., Sovereign Bank Stadium
Monday, April 23 — Workout
Sunday, April 24 — York flies to Sugar Land
Monday, April 25 — Workout
Tuesday, April 26 — Season opener at Sugar Land

 

Majewski on Texas Rangers roster?: Former Revs outfielder Val Majewski signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers back in February and is expected to start the year at Class AAA Round Rock. That’s why it caught my attention a couple days ago when the Texas Rangers transactions page said that Majewski had been “assigned to the Texas Rangers.”

Still, it’s unclear what this means exactly. In responding to the matter in an email, (Fort Worth) Star Telegram reporter Drew Davison (who covers the Rangers) had the following:

“I am not sure why he is showing up on the transactions page… The Rangers signed him late February, and haven’t made any other moves with him since then.”

The Rangers’ season opener is slated for April 6 against the Chicago White Sox. So, we should know sooner rather than later what Majewski’s status is.

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Majewski looking forward to Rangers’ spring training camp

Former York Revolution outfielder Val Majewski (above) has earned an invite to spring training with the Texas Rangers. Bill Bowden photo.

Val Majewski has played affiliated baseball in every season of his nine-year pro career. But it has been four years since he started a season in a spring training camp of a big league or an affiliated minor league team.

In 2008, the Baltimore Orioles invited Majewski to spring training, but he was released at the end of camp. He’s started each of the last three seasons playing in the Atlantic League (Camden Riversharks in 2009 and York Revolution in 2010 and 2011).

In a couple weeks, Majewski will leave his Maryland home and travel to Surprise, Arizona to join the Texas Rangers’ spring training camp, which he said begins on March 10. It’s an opportunity he’s very grateful for.

“When I was younger, not to say I didn’t appreciate it, but you never realize how special it is until it’s gone for a few years,” Majewski said by phone last week. “I’m super excited now, where maybe years ago I wouldn’t have been. All I want is a chance. I feel like a little kid going through my first spring training.”

Majewski started the 2011 season by batting .317 with 11 homers and 48 RBIs in 71 games for the Revs before the Rangers picked him up on July 25. With the Rangers’ Class AAA affiliate, the Round Rock Express, Majewski kept his hot hitting going by batting .333 with five homers and 33 RBIs in 35 games.

Majewski later re-joined York for the postseason after the Express had been eliminated from the Pacific Coast League playoffs. Though he batted just .188 with one home run, Majewski did drive in four runs in nine playoff games to help York capture its second consecutive Atlantic League title.

All he wants is a shot: A third-round draft pick in 2002 by the Baltimore Orioles, Majewski worked his way up through the farm system over the next couple seasons until finally earning a shot at the major league level in 2004. That year, Majewski played in nine games for the Orioles, but batted just .154 with an RBI.

That year marked Majewski’s only time in the big leagues thus far in his career, but major league clubs haven’t lost interest in him, as he’s played affiliated ball every year since then. However, Majewski didn’t put up impressive numbers at the Class AAA level again until 2011.

Interest in a prospect from big league ball clubs diminishes with age, especially once a player hits 30. Majewski turns 31 in March. So, this might very well be his last spring training invite with a major league team.

Though Majewski said he hasn’t been guaranteed anything from the Rangers, he’s just looking forward to the opportunity to show his skills.

“Until two weeks ago I didn’t know if I was going anywhere. I’ve been calling everybody. The Rangers were one of the teams I hadn’t heard a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ from yet. I was lucky enough to get a call back and they said ‘This is what we got. It’s nothing guaranteed,’” Majewski said.

“Based on what I did last year some of the coaches had some good reports on me. The wording they used is that on paper the rosters look pretty full. But you never know, with injuries things could change. They said ‘We’re sorry that nobody else took a chance on you. We’re willing to bring you in and give you a chance in March.’ I told them if I’m terrible, send me home. I can handle it. I’m a big boy.”

Everyone likely wants things to go well for Majewski – the Rangers, the Revolution and Majewski himself. Should they not, Majewski said he would be glad to return to York, though he’s hoping it doesn’t come to that.

“If things went that way, Etch’ (York Revoultion manager Andy Etchebarren) said there is always a spot for me,” Majewski said. “The whole town is very supportive and loves us. It’s a great place to play. But my goal this year, like any other year, is to make it back to the big leagues.”

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Rangers give Majewski spring training invite

The York Revolution announced Monday that former Revs outfielder Val Majewski has earned a spring training invite with the Texas Rangers.

After batting .317 with 11 home runs and earning an All-Star nod with the Revs last season, Majewski signed with the Rangers on July 25 and batted a team-leading .333 to go along with five homers in 35 games at Triple-A Round Rock.

After Round Rock had been eliminated from the Pacific Coast League playoffs, Revs manager Andy Etchebarren called Majewski to see if he would be interested in returing to York for the postseason. At the time, Majewski had said he wasn’t sure if would be able to make the move.

“I didn’t know what the procedure was because the Rangers still had my contract. I said I would do it if the Rangers are OK with it,” Majewski had said in September.

The Rangers ended up granting the release to Majewski, who had said it wouldn’t hurt his chances of a spring training tryout with the club in 2012.

“I would have become a free agent 14 or 15 days after the World Series (ended) if I hadn’t already signed back with Texas. Instead I become a free agent early, which allows me to sign here,” he had said.

Although his postseason numbers weren’t as impressive as the regular season (.188 average with a homer and 14 RBIs in nine playoff games), Majewski still helped York win a second consecutive Atlantic League championship.

Majewski, 30, appeared in the majors for nine games in 2004 with the Baltimore Orioles, going 2-for-3 (.154) with an RBI. The Rutgers product has played in affiliated ball in each of his nine professional seasons.

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Slugger Majewski returns to Revs for playoffs

York Revolution Bench Coach Enohel Polanco, left, makes a joke in the dugout with players, from left, Vince Harrison, Chris Walker and Val Majewski before a team workout on Tuesday. Majewski signed with the Texas Rangers in July and rejoined the Revs this week. Bill Kalina photo.

Heading into its post-season showdown with the Lancaster Barnstormers, the York Revolution unveiled a mighty weapon on Wednesday.

The Revs announced that outfielder Val Majewski rejoined the club on Wednesday. Majewski had been picked up by the Texas Rangers on July 25 and assigned to Class AAA Round Rock.

He went on to finish with a team-leading .333 batting average with Round Rock to go along with five home runs and 33 RBIs in 35 games.

Round Rock’s season wrapped up on Sept. 10, and Revs’ manager Andy Etchebarren has been in discussions since that point to bring Majewski back to York.

“We were on a trip home, my wife and I, and Etch gave me a call and asked me if I was interested in playing here,” Majewski said. “I didn’t know what the procedure was because the Rangers still had my contract. I said I would do it if the Rangers are OK with it.”

The Rangers ended up giving Majewski his release. But Majewski, 30, said it shouldn’t hurt his chances of a spring training tryout with the club next year.

“I would have become a free agent 14 or 15 days after the World Series ends if I hadn’t already signed back with Texas. Instead I become a free agent early, which allows me to sign here,” he said.

According to Revs’ director of baseball operations Michael Kirk, players signed by an affiliated club during the season are allowed to later rejoin their Atlantic League team. The pickup will provide a major boost to a York lineup that already looked solid.

At the time of Majewski’s departure with the Revs in July, he was leading the team with 48 RBIs and tied for the team lead with 63 runs scored, to go along with a .317 batting average. His 11 home runs ranked second on the team. He played in 71 out of a possible 73 games.

Now back with York, Majewski will get the opportunity to win his first championship in his eight-year pro career – he was a freshman on the Rutgers’ baseball team when the Scarlet Knights won the Big East Conference in 2000.

“It’s only been six or seven weeks since I’ve been gone. Some of the faces are still the same, some are new. But I’ve introduced myself and I’m ready to go,” Majewski said.

To make room for Majewski on the roster, the Revs placed left-handed reliever Ronnie Morales on the inactive list.

Morales is 2-2 with a 3.81 ERA in a league record 70 appearances this season. He has held opponents scoreless in his last five appearances. The Revs bullpen should be OK, though. It’s likely Kris Regas will fill the role of a left-handed reliever. Regas is scoreless through four appearances thus far since joining York earlier in the month.

Plus, York also saw the return of former starter Matt DeSalvo last week when he picked up the save in a 2-1 win over Southern Maryland despite allowing a run on two hits. It marked his first appearance in a month since recovering from a tear to his right pectoral muscle. The right-hander is 6-3 with a 3.89 ERA 18 starts and five relief appearances this season for York. So, if healthy, he could be a big arm for the Revs’ bullpen.

York will host Lancaster on Wednesday night in Game 1 of the best-of-5 Atlantic League Freedom Division Championship Series. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

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Former Revs’ player Majewski swinging hot bat at AAA Round Rock

Val Majewski

Now in his eighth season as a pro baseball player, Val Majewski has learned it’s about more than just putting up good numbers when it comes to finding a job with an affiliated club

Even as he was tearing up the Atlantic League with the York Revolution (.317, 11 homers, 48 RBIs, 71 games), the 30-year-old Majewski continued to keep in close contact with those involved in the minor leagues.

He went about it much like a person does in search of employment. He placed phone calls and he sent emails.

“Throughout the season I let teams know if there’s a need, I’m available. It doesn’t always work out. But it doesn’t hurt that they’re on top of it. The worst that they can say is ‘No, sorry.’ But at least I tried,” Majewski said during an interview by phone last week.

One of those teams was the Texas Rangers. And Majewski’s persistence in keeping in touch with the club eventually paid off in late July, when the Rangers’ Class AAA Round Rock
affiliate was in need of an everyday position player because Chris Davis had been called up to the big leagues.

The Rangers picked up Majewski and sent him to Round Rock, where the outfielder-first baseman was plugged into the lineup immediately.

Majewski picked up where he left off with York. Starting out as Round Rock’s No. 8-hitter in his first week with the club, Majewski batted .440 with four doubles, two homers, 10 RBIs and five runs scored.

Majewski’s impressive numbers have moved him up in the lineup. He has batted cleanup in the majority of Round Rock’s games over the past week.

Though he has cooled off a bit, Majewski is batting a team-leading .369 with two homers
and 17 RBIs in 17 games through Sunday. He is making a good case to get called back up the majors for the first time since 2004, when he had two hits and an RBI in nine games with the Baltimore Orioles.

However, Majewski is in a tough spot when it comes to his chances of that hap´
pening. At this point in the season, major league teams that are playoff-bound, such as the Texas Rangers, are more reluctant to call up a prospect just to check out the talent
level of a player.

When the Rangers picked up Majewski in late July, Revs’ manager Andy Etchebarren liked Majewski’s chances of getting called up the majors.

“You never know, one injury to an outfielder and he’s the best guy they got, he might get a chance to go to the big leagues,” Etchebarren had said.

Though no one wants a player to get injured, at least the Rangers know they have a hot bat waiting to help if needed.

 

Here’s an update on former Revs’ players who were signed this season by an affiliated club. All numbers are through Saturday:

Chris Cody, RHP: Cody is 1-0 with 4.09 ERA in two starts at Class AA Mississippi (Braves).
John VanBenschoten, RHP: VanBenschoten is 1-4 with a 7.52 ERA in five starts at Class AAA Tucson (Padres).

Scott Rice, LHP: Rice is 3-3 with 2.08 ERA in 25 relief appearances at Class AA Chattanooga (Dodgers).

Mike DeMark, RHP: DeMark is 0-2 with a 2.05 ERA in 24 relief appearances at Class AA Mobile (Diamondbacks).

Jason Botts, 1B/DH/OF: Botts is batting .268 with three homers and 19 RBIs in 59 games at Class AAA Buffalo (Mets).

Chad Thall, LHP: Thall retired in late May after struggling at Class AA Montgomery (Rays), going 1-2 with a  5.74 ERA in seven relief appearances.

Andy Gonzalez, SS: Gonzalez’s .306 batting average in 44 games at Class AA Huntsville (Brewers) earned him a callup to Class AAA Nashville, where he is batting .250 through 15 games.

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Texas Rangers sign Revs’ outfielder/1B Majewski

Val Majewski (above) will join Texas Rangers' Class AAA affiliate Round Rock. Bill Bowden photo.

Seemingly after every home game at Sovereign Bank Stadium, the toddler son of York Revolution outfielder Val Majewski would run into the clubhouse screaming “Etch!”

He would dart straight for the office of Revs’ manager Andy Etchebarren, where the skipper would treat the youngster with a ring-pop.

“I’m gonna miss that little guy,” Etchebarren said Monday night.

Etchebarren is also going to miss the elder Majewski, who signed a contract with the Texas Rangers’ organization on Monday afternoon.

Majewski leaves York leading the team with 48 RBIs and tied for the team lead with 63 runs scored, to go along with a .317 batting average. His 11 home runs rank second on the team. He played in 71 out of a possible 73 games.

The Rangers assigned Majewski to Class AAA Round Rock.

“I’m happy for (Majewski) because he’s going to Triple-A to Round Rock,” Etchebarren said. “You never know, one injury to an outfielder and he’s the best guy they got, he might get a chance to go to the big leagues. I’m happy for him.”

This marks the fourth consecutive season Majewski has returned to a Major League organization from the Atlantic League.

In 2008, the outfielder/first baseman went from the Newark Bears to the Houston Astros and in 2009 from the Camden Riversharks to the Los Angeles Angels. After coming to York to begin last season, Majewski jumped to the Oakland Athletics’ system, where he finished the year, before accepting the deal with Texas on Monday afternoon.

Majewski’s production in the first half of this season got him selected to the Atlantic League All-Star Game.

Majewski plays with his son following a game in late May. Bill Bowden photo.

Majewski, 30, is in his ninth professional season after being drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the third round (76th overall) of the 2002 draft. He reached the Major Leagues with Baltimore in 2004.

Majewski is the fifth Revolution player to have his contract purchased by an MLB organization during this season and the seventh since the beginning of 2011 spring training.

With Majewski’s departure, York has just three outfielders on the roster: Scott Grimes, James Shanks and Chris Walker. Etchebarren said Monday night he has already signed an outfielder and expects him to be in Bridgeport, where York plays next after finishing off a three-game series at Lancaster on Tuesday.

As for remaining ring-pops stored away in his desk, Etchebarren has plans for those, too.

“I’m meeting with Majewski (on Tuesday) and I’m gonna give them all to (Majewski’s son),” Etchebarren said.

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