Revs add three more pieces with spring training about to begin
As the York Revolution have put together the 2012 roster, manager Andy Etchebarren has reiterated his confidence in the team many times over. On a few occasions, he’s said this is York’s best roster he’s seen assembled at the start of a season. However, we have to be cautious with those thoughts. I mean, what else is he going to say?
But as more and more pieces have been added in recent weeks, I’m beginning to buy in. The most recent additions came on Friday – just a day before spring training starts – with left-handed starter Ryan Feierabend, right-handed reliever Stephen Penney and second baseman Andres Perez.
Word came down earlier in the week that left-handed starter Jake Stevens, who had previously signed with York, is now heading to play in the Mexican League. At the time, it left a gap in York’s projected starting rotation. With Feierabend coming on board, though, he might actually be an upgrade.
Feierabend (I can already tell I’m going to enjoy spelling this guy’s name this season), 26, is a former major leaguer, having last played in the big show in 2008 with the Seattle Mariners. He was originally drafted by the Mariners in 2003 in the third round and was, at one time, considered a big name prospect. For his career, the left-hander has a 2-11 record and 7.22 ERA in 19 starts and six relief appearances – all with the Mariners – at the major league level. His career was derailed in 2009 when he missed the entire season due to Tommy John surgery. He has since returned and last season went 10-8 with a 5.39 ERA in 23 starts and five relief appearances at Class AAA Lehigh Valley (Phillies). He had re-signed with the Phillies in December but was released on March 18, according to the team’s transactions page.
Feierabend gives York another solid left-hander in the starting rotation. At this point, the Revs projected starters should be (in no particular order) Feierabend, RHP Corey Thurman, LHP Chris Cody and RHP Omar Javier. As for the No. 5 spot, well, that could be a toss-up between RHP Jesus Sanchez, RHP Shaun Garceau, LHP Yunior Novoa and LHP James Houser. No matter how the starting rotation shakes out, it looks pretty strong, on paper, anyway.
In addition, the bullpen received a nice upgrade in Penney, 25, who is also a former Seattle Mariners prospect. First drafted by Seattle in the 29th round in 2008, Penney is only four seasons removed from playing at the college level for UC Riverside. The right-hander topped out at Class AA Jackson (Mariners) last season, going 5-2 with a 4.25 ERA and two saves in 38 games. He struck out 33 batters in 48.2 innings pitched.
INFIELD: At this point, York’s infield is starting look like it could be better than last year’s, and that’s saying something. We already know Ramon Castro (.323, 14 HR, 62 RBI with York last year) is moving from short stop to third base to replace the retired Vince Harrison (.327, 10 HR, 61 RBI). In Castro’s place at short will likely be Danny Gonzalez (.289, 4 HR, 81 RBI with Road Warriors last year). Slugger Chris Nowak should be back at first base. And now the second base slot will be filled by Perez.
The 27-year-old has spent the majority of his five-year pro career playing in the outfield as a prospect of the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers. However, he moved to second base last year playing for the Atlantic League’s Bridgeport Bluefish, where he batted .313 with 15 homers and 54 RBIs in 87 games. He also had a fielding percentage of .960. In affiliated ball, Perez reached High Class A in three separate seasons.
In 2011, York saw quite a few guys shuffle in and out at second. So, having a solid glove and a bat at that position will definitely help. Plus, the Revs will also have strong backup options in infielders Liu Rodriguez and Joe Spiers, who can both play multiple positions.
SPRING TRAINING: York’s spring training begins this Saturday at Sovereign Bank Stadium. Below is the tentative schedule:
Saturday, April 14: Workout
Sunday, April 15: Workout
Monday, April 16: Workout
Tuesday, April 17: York Revolution morning workout, Sugar Land Skeeters noon workout
Wednesday, April 18: York Revolution workout, Sugar Land Skeeters workout
Thursday, April 19: York Revolution morning workout, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs noon workout. SCRIMMAGE: Southern Maryland at York, 1 p.m. (free exhibition game is open to the public)
Friday, April 20: York Revolution bus departure in the morning for scrimmage later in the day at Southern Maryland
Saturday, April 21: York Revolution Fan Fest: Jason Aspito Home Run Derby at 12:10 p.m., Susquehanna/Central League vs. York Revolution at 1:15 p.m. For more details on the Fan Fest, which will include concerts outside the stadium prior to game, click here.
Sunday, April 22: SCRIMMAGE: Lancaster Barnstormers at York, 11 a.m. ( free exhibition game is open to the public)
Monday, April 23: York Revolution morning workout
Season begins on Thursday, April 26 with a four-game series at Sugar Land. The Revs will have their home opener on Tuesday, May 1 against the Camden Riversharks at 6:30 p.m.