Atlantic League news, transactions July 16-22
First off, my apologies for being a day late on publishing this. The Penn State news kept us a little busy in the sports department at The York Dispatch on Monday.
As far as transactions go, last week we saw a total of 20 players involved in transactions across six of the Atlantic League’s eight clubs. Two of those players had their contracts purchased by big league clubs. Ten players signed deals with Atlantic League clubs. Seven were released and two retired. There was also one trade made between a pair of clubs.
Before we get to the transactions, just wanted to point out a couple newsworthy items…
Playoffs: The Long Island Ducks announced last week they have opted to host the latter part of games in the Atlantic League Liberty Division Championship Series. The Ducks won the first-half Liberty Division by five games over the Camden Riversharks. Should they make it to the Atlantic League Championship Series, the Ducks also said they have opted to host the final three games (Games 4 & 5 if necessary). League rules dictate that the choice of hosting which games for the ALCS goes back-and-forth between the Liberty Division and Freedom Division every year. In 2011, York opted to let Long Island host Games 1 & 2 of the ALCS so the Revs could get the latter part of games.
As pointed out on the York Revolution’s “blogtoblogchamps” blog on July 15, the Lancaster Barnstormers have opted to host Games 1 & 2 of the Atlantic League Freedom Division Championship Series. As a result, their opponent will host the remaining games in the best-of-five series. A year ago, Lancaster won the first half division title and opted to host the latter part of games, and York eventually won the series in the deciding Game 5.
Games 1 & 2 of both divisional series this year is scheduled for Sept. 26 and 27, a Wednesday and Thursday.
Nettles featured in Wall Street Journal: I forgot to throw this in last week’s news, but wanted to point out that the Wall Street Journal did a nice feature on long-time Somerset Patriots’ player Jeff Nettles, who is approaching the Atlantic League’s all-time home run mark of 158 (mark held by Glenn Murray). Like any baseball player, it wouldn’t surprise me if Nettles now feels jinxed by the article, being that he hasn’t hit a homer since it was published on July 12. So, Nettles still sits at 152 career homers in the league (through Monday, , July 23).
Atlantic League club in Phoenixville?: This isn’t so much news as it is “rumblings,” and being that this blog is called “Revolution Rumblings,” I figured it’s OK to include this tidbit. According to a report on ballparkdigest.com last week, a feasibility study is underway to determine of an affiliated short-season or independent club (possibly for the Atlantic League) would be possible in Phoenixville (Pa.). The study is expect to be completed by December, according to the report. Phoenixville is located just northwest of Philadelphia and is about a one hour and 45-minute drive east of York.
Now on the transactions….
BRIDGEPORT BLUEFISH: Atlanta Braves picked up LHP Mike Tarsi
Tarsi appeared in 13 games (two starts) for the Bluefish in 2012, posting a 1-0 record with a 2.08 ERA. He struck out 25 batters and only allowed six walks over the course of 34.2 innings pitched. The Bluefish are now tied with the Lancaster Barnstormers this season for the league lead in players being picked up by big league clubs (six). The Braves assigned Tarsi to Class AA Mississippi.
LANCASTER BARNSTORMERS: Atlanta Braves picked up SS Jaime Pedroza; Barnstormers signed INF Kyle Haines
Originally drafted in the ninth round by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2007, Pedroza reached Class AA Chattanooga twice (2010 and 2011) before the organization released him earlier this year. Originally signed by the Barnstormers as a utility infielder, the 25-year-0ld Pedroza quickly assumed the role of everyday shortstop. He leaves the Atlantic League ranking among leaders in several offensive categories. He was eighth in the league in batting (.310), second in home runs (14), tied for fourth in RBI (50), fifth in on base percentage (.398) and second in slugging percentage (.565). The Braves have assigned him to Class AA Mississippi. Pedroza is the third Barnstormer to be signed by a major league club in the last couple weeks and sixth this season.
Haines, 29, fills the void left by Pedroza.The Barnstormers signed Haines on the same day they learned the Braves picked up Pedroza. Oddly enough, the signing of Haines came just a day after he was released by the York Revolution. The switch-hitting Haines batted just .217 with two RBIs in limited action (eight games) for York. The Revs had acquired him in late June in a trade with the Gary South Shore Railcats (American Association) in exchange for future considerations. His arrival in York had marked the third time in his career playing in the Atlantic League after previously playing for the Camden Riversharks in 2009 and 2010. A former prospect of the San Francisco Giants and Cleveland Indians.
LONG ISLAND DUCKS: Signed RHP Chris Flinn, released RHP Travis Minix, placed RHP Jason Monti on retired list
Flinn returns to the Ducks for the second year in a row and his third overall in the Atlantice League. He put together a 1.59 ERA in four games for Long Island in 2011. A former third-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Rays in 2001, the right-hander reached Class AAA Durham in 2006 before playing for the Atlantic League’s Road Warriors club in 2007. He would leave the game for the next three years before returning to play for Long Island in 2011.
Minix was the just the second player to ink a deal with the Ducks over the off-season when Long Island was in the process of buildings its 2012 roster. It’s unclear if Minix even saw action for Long Island this year, as there are no stats to find on him anywhere. He is a former Tampa Bay Rays and Philadelphia Phillies prospect who has spent each of the last three seasons entirely in independent ball. The 34-year-old has reached Class AAA four times in his 13-year baseball career. Last season, Minix went 0-1 with a 3.13 ERA in 19 games for the Somerset Patriots.
A year after compiling a 3.00 ERA in 20 appearances for Long Island, Monti came back to post an impressive 3.22 ERA for the Ducks this season in eight starts and 19 relief appearances. A former Blue Jays prospect, Monti also posted a 1.91 ERA in three games during the postseason for the Ducks last year.
SOMERSET PATRIOTS: Signed RHP Brandon Braboy, LHP Andy Sisco and P Taylor Sinclair; RHP Josh Rupe retired
Rupe is a big loss for the Patriots. The right-handed closer leaves Somerset with a 2.73 ERA and 15 saves in 28 appearances. The veteran announced his retirement following Somerset’s game on July 15 after he allowed two runs in three innings of a loss to the Camden Riversharks. According to an article by Patriots’ beat writer Ryan Dunleavy, Rupe is leaving the game to spend time with his family. Rupe, 29, was 5-3 with a 5.06 in 90 career major-league games for the Kansas City Royals, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles.
Sisco, 29, is a former big league reliever who comes the Patriots after playing in the Mexican League earlier this season. A former second round draft pick of the Chicago Cubs in 2001, Sisco first reached the majors in 2005 as a member of the Kansas City Royals. He owns a career 5.18 ERA in 151 relief appearances at the big league level from 2005 to 2007 split between the Royals and the Chicago White Sox.
The Arizona Diamondbacks signed Sinclair, 26, as an undrafted free agent in 2008 after he spent four years playing at the University of Northern Iowa. The lefty worked his way up to Class AAA Reno earlier this season and put together a 10.61 ERA in 15 relief appearances and one start before the D’Backs released him on July 15.
Braboy, 26, hasn’t pitched since 2010, when he had a 3,57 ERA in two starts and nine relief appearances at High Class A Tampa (Yankees).
SUGAR LAND SKEETERS: Signed OF/1B Aaron Bates, released OF Ryde Rodriguez and RHP Eric Krebs; traded LHP Derrick Gordon to the York Revolution to complete an earlier trade
Bates, 28, had the proverbial cup of coffee in the big leagues back in 2009 when he played in five games for the Boston Red Sox, batting .364 (4-for-11) with two RBIs and two runs scored. He has been playing at the Class AAA level since that point, most recently splitting time between Memphis (Cardinals) and Rochester (Twins) earlier this season. With those two clubs, he batted a combined .209 in 49 games.
Rodriguez joined Sugar Land in late May after being in the minor league spring training camp of the Minnesota Twins earlier in the year. He spent the 2011 season with the Can-Am League’s Rockland club, where he batted .267 with four homers and 67 RBIs in 56 games. A former St. Louis Cardinals prospect, Rodriguez played in just one game for the Skeeters on July 17, going 2-for-4 at the plate with a homer, two RBIs and a run scored.
While the 26-year-old Krebs put up a 3.12 ERA in 20 relief appearances for Sugar Land this season, the righty was rather inconsistent. In his last 10 appearances for the Skeeters, for example, he held opponents scoreless in six of them but gave up at least a run in four others, while surrendering a hit in all but two of those games. He had come to Sugar Land after topping out at Class AA in 2009 and 2010. In 2010 he appeared in a combined 45 games with Inland Empire (Class High A Dodgers) and Chattanooga (Class AA Dodgers), going 0-4 with a 4.77 ERA.
YORK REVOLUTION: Acquired LHP Derrick Gordon from Sugar Land Skeeters, signed LHP Victor Garate, C Salomon Manriquez and INF Joe Thurston; released LHP Matt Chico, INF Kyle Haines, RHP Dumas Garcia and C Salvador Paniagua
The Revs were busy this past week rebuilding their roster in the midst of a slow start to the second half. The deal for Gordon completes an earlier off-season trade between the clubs for a player to be named later. He comes over from Sugar Land, where he had a 1-4 record and 6.44 ERA in eight starts and seven relief appearances. He’s less than a season removed from being an Atlantic League All-Star as a member for the Somerset Patriots in 2011, when he accumulated a 7-4 record and 2.63 ERA in 11 starts.
Gordon will take the spot of Chico in the rotation. The Revs cut ties with Chico a day after he surrendered seven runs on eight hits in just an inning and a third. The lefty leaves York with a 1-3 record and 7.50 ERA in six starts.
Garate is a 27-year-old reliever who saw four games of big league action with the Washington Nationals in 2009. He comes to York from Class AAA Nashville (Brewers), where he had a 7.78 ERA in 29 relief appearances.
The switch-hitting Haines batted just .217 with two RBIs in limited action (eight games) for York. The Revs had acquired him in late June in a trade with the Gary South Shore Railcats (American Association) in exchange for future considerations. His arrival in York had marked the third time in his career playing in the Atlantic League after previously playing for the Camden Riversharks in 2009 and 2010. A former prospect of the San Francisco Giants and Cleveland Indians, Haines came to York after batting .258 in 35 games for the Railcats this season.
Garcia, 29, posted a 6.00 ERA in 27 relief appearances for the Revs. He allowed 41 hits and 18 walks while striking out 35 batters in 33 total innings. The right-hander’s numbers were off from those he put a year ago with York, when he compiled a .470 ERA in four starts and nine relief appearances.
The 29-year-old Manriquez comes over to York after being released by the Lincoln Saltdogs (American Association) on Wednesday. He split time earlier this season between the American Association’s Lincoln and Wichita clubs, batting a combined .275 with a homer and 11 RBIs in 36 games. He also spent time playing in the Mexican League earlier this season and had a minor league spring training tryout with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Back in 2010, Manriquez was batting .327 in 26 games for York when the Revs shipped him to Lancasterin a trade.
A year after he batted .251 in 57 games for the Revs in 2011, Paniagua hit just .227 in 40 games this year.
Thurston is a 32-year-old former big leaguer who comes to York after splitting time earlier this season between Class AAA Lehigh Valley (Phillies) and Class AAA Rochester (Twins). The California native has seen 184 games of action at the big league level over seven separate seasons split between five different ballclubs. He last reached the majors in 2011 with the Florida (now Miami) Marlins, going 1-for-4 with a stolen base and a strikeout in one game.He saw limited action in the majors with the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2002 to 2004, the Phillies in 2006, and Boston Red Sox in 2007 before the St. Louis Cardinals gave him an everyday spot for most of the 2009 season. He is a career .226 hitter in the big leagues. He owns a career .291 average in more than 1,100 games at the Class AAA level.