Day 10 of Spring Training: Revs pitching gets shakeup

Posted by on April 28, 2011 in Andy Etchebarren, Celson Polanco, Chad Thall, Jon Ellis, Kevin Angelle, Mike DeMark, Roster, Trades

In all of his years of pitching, what happened to 26-year-old Celson Polanco on Wednesday may have been his craziest experience in pro baseball.

Before the York Revolution’s exhibition game at Sovereign Bank Stadium on Wednesday evening, Revs’ manager Andy Etchebarren informed Polanco that he would be sent to the Road Warriors after the game. Polanco then went out and pitched a perfect third inning for York, getting all three batters he faced to ground out.

As soon as Polanco came off the field, Etchebarren informed him that he had changed his mind. Polanco was staying with York.

“It was crazy. I was so excited (to stay in York). Really excited. My life changed,” said Polanco, who was a key member of last year’s Atlantic League championship club, when he fired three scoreless outings during the playoffs. “This is my team. I was with them when they won the championship last year. And I really like this team. I’m glad I’m staying.”

Etchebarren said he decided to keep Polanco because he thinks the Revs might soon lose another reliever to an affiliated club.

Earlier in the day, Etchebarren found out that reliever Chad Thall was signed by the Tampa Bay Rays and assigned to Class AA Montgomery.

“I got a feeling I’m gonna lose (reliever Mike) DeMark, I just got a feeling,” Etchebarren said. “So, if I lose DeMark, I don’t want to send Polanco over there (to the Road Warriors) for two days and then bring him back.”

Had the Revs sent Polanco to the Road Warriors, York would have had the option to bring Polanco back at any point later in the season. Overall this spring, Polanco has tossed three exhibition innings, giving up three hits, two earned runs, walking two and striking out three.

Angelle retiring: In one of a string of moves made by York on Wednesday, the Revs traded left-handed pitcher Kevin Angelle to the Wichita Wingnuts of the independent American Association.

Upon hearing the news, the 23-year-old Angelle informed Revs’ pitching Mark Mason by text message that he was retiring. Angelle confirmed his retirement when reached by phone Wednesday night.

“I looked at York as being a good place to be,” he said. “Wichita is a little lower league. I feel I’m going down and not going up.”

Etchebarren said he made the trade because he thought Angelle was out of shape.

“He needed to work on his conditioning. And we don’t have time to wait,” Etchebarren said.

Angelle said he arrived to camp weighing 227 pounds, about 10 more pounds than what he weighed a year ago when he showed up to camp with Class A Williamsport. He blames the increased weight on poor eating habits during the offseason.

“I figured I’m young and I could show up and I could pull it off,” he said. “I guess they didn’t think I was in good enough shape. I felt after a few days I was back to normal. I already lost six pounds.”

The Texas native was a 32nd-round draft choice by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009. He pitched at Class A Williamsport in 2010, where he had a 1.36 ERA in eight starts. But he was released by the Phillies in August 2010 for what the team called disciplinary reasons.

Angelle said part of the reason he’s retiring is because he wants to return to school at Lamar University in Texas.

Ellis released: York released pitcher Jon Ellis on Wednesday. Ellis, a 28-year-old righthander, pitched three innings for York in spring training, giving up five hits, two runs, one earned run, with a walk and two strikeouts.

Exhibition: York beat the Road Warriors, 3-0, in a rain-shortened, four-inning exhibition on Wednesday.

Val Majewski had a solo home run in the first inning. Chris Walker drove in Salvador Paniagua on an RBI fielder’s choice in the third inning. And Vince Harrison drove in Jason Botts on an RBI fielder’s choice in the fourth inning.

Opener: York will open defense of its Atlantic League championship on Friday, when it will host the Camden Riversharks at Sovereign Bank Stadium. The game will be preceded by a championship ring ceremony and the unveiling of the championship banner, honoring the 2010 club.

Arrivals: Pitcher Scott Rice suited up for York for the first time on Wednesday but didn’t pitch. Rice was supposed to pitch the fifth inning for York had the game not been called due to rain, Etchebarren said.

Rice recently pitched in spring training with the Chicago Cubs. So, although he only arrived in York this week and did not pitch in any exhibition games, he will be “OK” to pitch this weekend, Etchebarren said.

“I’m not really worried about him because he faced a lot of hitters in spring training. He was in a big league camp (with the Cubs) and he pitched against big league hitters,” Etchebarren said. “He’s a guy that’s pitched for eight or nine years. He’s faced a lot of hitters. He’s in shape. So, he should be OK.”

Infielder Juan Martinez, who first arrived in York on Tuesday, saw playing time for the Revs on Wednesday when he played a half inning at second base.

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