Day Three: Revs’ spring training news, notes
Just three days into spring training camp, the York Revolution is nearly set with its starting rotation and bullpen. Revs’ pitching coach Mark Mason said Monday that the team will start the year with Corey Thurman as its opening day starter, followed by left-handers Ryan Feierabend and Chris Cody. He said the No. 4 and No. 5 spots will come down to LHP Jesus Sanchez, RHP Omar Javier, RHP Shaun Garceau and LHP Yunior Novoa. Mason also said Thurman will get the start at Fan Fest on Saturday.
As for the bullpen, Revs’ manager Andy Etchebarren said Sunday the closing job is R.J. Rodriguez’s to start the year “and it’s his to lose.” As far as who will be the set-up man to Rodriguez, Mason said Monday that it will likely be either RHP Santo Luis or RHP Adam Thomas. However, Mason didn’t rule out putting using a left-hander depending on who’s at the plate in the eighth innings (who knows who that could be considering the several lefties the bullpen includes at this point?).
Feierabend: The York Dispatch will feature a story on LHP Ryan Feierabend in Tuesday’s sports section (you can check out the story and video online here). Etch’ is pretty high on the lefty and thinks he could be picked up quickly if he starts out hot. Feierabend pitched in the majors with the Mariners from 2003 to 2008. He missed 2009 following Tommy John surgery. Last year he pitched at Class AAA Lehigh Valley (Phillies). This year, he earned a minor league spring training invite with the Phils but was cut in March. Left-hander Tom Cochran (former Barnstormer), who was also in camp with the Phils, then put in a call to Mason. Cochran, who is now pitching at Lehigh Valley, had played for Mason in 2006 and 2007 with the Washington Wild Things (Frontier League). Back in 2010, Cochran had also put in a good word for Scott Grimes (the two were teammates in 2008 playing for Worcester in the Can-Am League).
Monday’s practice: The start of Monday’s practice was delayed a bit because the team had visited the Harley-Davidson factory earlier in the day (more on that later). Batting practice included INF Joe Spiers, OF Scott Grimes, C Alex Lentz, C Salvador Paniagua, 1B/3B Chris Nowak, OF Stephen Douglas, OF Michael Hernandez, C Travis Scott, OF James Shanks and 2B Andres Perez. During batting practice, Nowak homered twice over the left-field wall. Lentz homered once to left-center.
RHP Corey Thurman, RHP Shaun Garceau, LHP James Houser, LHP Ian Thomas and RHP Santa Luis threw to live batters. All the pitchers had short sessions except Thurman, who basically threw a simulated start.
“I thought he was OK,” Revs pitching coach Mark Mason of Thurman. “We were working on more breaking balls than he would normally throw. Today was just working on your third or fourth pitch more. We’re going to stay away from your bread and butter today. We wanted to try to work on breaking balls for him. That’s probably his weakest pitch in 2010 and last year it got better. So we know he’ll have a fastball, a cut fastball and his changeup.”
Arrivals: OF Stephen Douglas was at practice on Monday. RHP Adam Thomas showed up in the Revs’ clubhouse following practice (to which Etchebarren’s face lit up). Mason said Thomas might pitch as soon as Tuesday. If not Tuesday, then Thomas will likely pitch on Wednesday. Mason also said player-coach Liu Rodriguez is expected to arrive to camp by April 20. He’s still unsure when Castro could come. The VISAs for both Rodriguez and Castro have been approved, but a paperwork problem with Venezuela, where both players live, has delayed their arrivals. INF Danny Gonzalez, RHP Stephen Penney and RHP Dumas Garcia have yet to arrive in camp.
Tidbits: The new “2011″ championship sign is up at The Vault. Not sure yet on when it will be officially unveiled…Nowak fielded at third base briefly during practice…the Sugar Land (Tex) Skeeters landed Monday at BWI airport. The Skeeters will be practicing in York the next few days.
Tuesday’s practice: York will practice in the morning on Tuesday, the Sugar Land Skeeters (who are in town the next few days) will then have a practice before the team’s scrimmage (scrimmage is closed to the public). Mason said Feierabend will get the start, followed by RHP Omar Javier, LHP Yunior Novoa, RHP Kris Regas and RHP R.J. Rodriguez. RHP Adam Thomas might also pitch. Feierabend is slated to throw around 55 to 70 pitches.
During the Harley-Davidson tour on Monday, Revs’ manager Andy Etchebarren learned that a new motorcycle is produced every 89 seconds. Does Etch’ like motorcycles? Well, he said he received a new motorcycle in his rookie year with the Orioles after they won the 1966 World Series.
“I sold it the next day,” he said.