Nowak returns to York

Posted by on July 2, 2012 in Chris Nowak, Enohel Polanco, Roster, Signings, Trades, York Revolution

First baseman Chris Nowak was back in York's lineup on Monday after spending the last two weeks playing in the Mexican League. Bill Kalina file photo.

Yes. Chris Nowak returned to York after spending the last two weeks in Mexico. And he spent the last few days in Mexico in Cancun. But as much as his Revolution teammates pick on him about a “vacation,” Nowak had actually been playing baseball south of the border.

Nowak left York on June 22 after the Mexican League’s Mexico City Diablos picked up the contract of the 6-foot, 5-inch slugger.

He wound up playing in five games in four days forMexico Citybefore being released on Friday. But Nowak wasn’t let go because he wasn’t producing. Sure, he didn’t hit any home runs, which is something the Mexican League is believed to envy. But he still batted 4-for-14 (.286) with a double for the Diablos.

Rather, Mexican League clubs had to set their playoff rosters on Friday – the Mexican League wraps up its seasons in August each year. And Mexico City had to cut down its roster as a result. Nowak said the Diablos ended up deciding between him and left-handed hitter Johan Limonta, who had also recently joined Mexico City after playing at Class AAA Tacoma (Mariners).

“It wasn’t because I didn’t perform when I was down there. I had 14 at-bats,” Nowak said of his release. “It wasn’t that. It was the fact that they were looking forward to the next front and what would help them get to the playoffs and they felt a left-handed hitter would.”

Still, Nowak doesn’t have any regrets about traveling down south, even if it was for just a couple weeks.

“It was better than the spring training experience for sure. The team welcomed me with open arms. They were truly professional. I was on the team from day one. The manager is a really good and a lot of the players, too,” he said.

Indeed, the experience was a lot better than the one Nowak had in spring training with the Mexican League’s Puebla Parrots.

When talking about the experience back in March, Nowak had said he went to Puebla with the understanding he had a guaranteed contract, only to be cut by Puebla just before the season started. And in his short time with Puebla, he played on fields with no grass and broken bottles on the infield.

“This was nothing like the first experience in Puebla,” Nowak said Monday. “That was just horrible. (Mexico City) was very professional. The front office wanted to do everything right.”

Welcome back: York is likely happy to have Nowak back in the lineup. Sure, the Revs averaged 6.3 runs in the 10 games Nowak was gone. But he is hitting .274 with 10 homers and 33 RBIs forYork(through Sunday), including a .341 average in 23 games since May 30 with six homers, eight doubles and 23 RBIs.

And Nowak sounds happy to be back in York.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute here from last year to this year. We’re playing well and that has a lot to do with it, too. To come back to a team that is fighting for the playoffs…we’re trying to be the best team in the league again and win the championship. That plays a role in coming back here.”

Revs make a move: To make room for Nowak, York traded away outfielder Ryan Kiniry to Somerset, which completes the off-season deal that brought outfielder Michael Hernandez to York in exchange for a player to be named later. Kiniry appeared in three games for York over the weekend, going 2-for-11 (.182) at the plate with an RBI after signing on Friday

Enohel Polanco

Polanco a proud American: The Revs announced Monday that hitting coach Enohel Polanco officially received his United States citizenship on June 19. It’s a goal Polanco, who first played stateside in 1995, has finally reached after moving to New Brunswick, New Jersey five years ago. He formally applied for citizenship in March and has been going through a process of paperwork and interviews since then.

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