Revs acquire reliever, DeSalvo out of the picture
The York Revolution acquired a solid reliever Tuesday. But perhaps the bigger news is that pitcher Matt DeSalvo is out of the picture for the Revs in 2012.
It’s been no secret that York was hoping to bring back the hard-throwing right-hander to help the team down the stretch. The Revs had been leaving the final roster spot open in recent weeks basically in hopes that DeSalvo would fill it sometime in September. But York has been waiting for DeSalvo to get done playing in Taiwan in the Chinese Professional Baseball League.
However, the Pennsylvania native hasn’t been able to give a clear timeline to his availability each time he chatted with Revs’ pitching coach Mark Mason or baseball operations manager Andrew Ball in recent weeks.
“There’s a limit until Sept. 17 where we can add only two players from other leagues. We brought in David Espinosa last week and the second player is Mike Benacka,” Ball said. “He (DeSalvo) wasn’t going to know by the 17th, which is when we needed to have him.”
Ball said players can only be eligible for York’s playoff roster by Sept. 17 if that player has been involved in a transaction with the club this season by that date. For example, a Revs’ player who was picked up by an affiliated club earlier this year could come back to York after Sept. 17, but only because he was previously on York’s roster before that point. Thus, DeSalvo won’t be pitching for the Revs in 2012.
“It won’t be this year unfortunately,” Ball said. ” To be eligible for our playoff roster someone has to be with us by the 17th.”
DeSalvo helped York capture back-to-back Atlantic League titles each of the last two years – his first ever championships won as a pro. In 2010, he came to York in mid-August after pitching for Class AAA New Orleans (Marlins). The former big leaguer went on to post a 5-2 record and 4.67 ERA in seven starts and five relief appearances for the Revs. He followed that up in 2011 with a 6-3 record and 3.89 ERA in 18 starts and five relief appearances.
Rotation: DeSalvo would have been a major upgrade to York’s starting rotation. But that still doesn’t mean the Revs don’t have enough quality starting pitching to compete for a third-straight league title this fall. York will rely on the current group of LHP Ryan Feierabend (7-5, 3.03 ERA), RHP Corey Thurman (12-3, 4.16), LHP Chris Cody (10-13, 4.30), LHP Chris Waters (5-6, 4.78), and LHP Derrick Gordon (3-3, 4.01 in 10 starts for York).
Benacka: The Revs acquired reliever Mike Benacka from the Laredo Lemurs (American Association) in exchange for a player to be named later.
“Mason and I both talked to Mike in the pre-season. We wanted to bring him in for spring training but it was probably a better fit for him to go to Laredo and be the closer there instead of coming here,” Ball said. “He would have been stuck behind (Ricardo) Gomez, R.J. (Rodriguez) and (Adam) Thomas.”
Benacka succeeded as Laredo’s closer this year, posting a 2-2 record, 2.39 ERA and 12 saves in 43 appearances. The 6-foot-2 right-hander struck out 92 and walked 35 in 52.2 innings of work.
He played college ball at Lindenwood (MO) University before joining the independent Frontier League’s River City ball club in 2007. He would be picked up the next year after starting off the season with River City by going 3-0 with a 0.35 ERA in 22 appearances. The Oakland Athletics picked him up that year and assigned him to High Class A Stockton.
Benacka, 30, reached Class AAA Sacramento in 2009 and would accumulate 54 games there through 2011, posting a career 6-4 record and 3.84 ERA there.
Tuesday’s results: Benacka made his Revs debut Tuesday night in the series opener at Camden. Pitching for the first time in nine days, the righty issued a walk, strikeout, walk, strikeout and got former Rev Chris Walker to ground to second for the final out. The Revs won by a final score of 11-1 behind solid performances from Brandon Haveman (4-for-6, two runs scored), David Espinosa (2-for-4, home run, three RBIs, three runs scored), Joe Thurston (2-for-6, three-run home run, three RBIs, one run scored) and Chris Nowak (3-for-6, RBI, run scored). Espinosa, starting in place of second baseman Andres Perez, recorded his first homer in a Revs’ uniform.
After giving up five runs on nine hits in five innings of work to Sugar Land in his last start Sept. 6, starting pitcher Corey Thurman (13-3) bounced back by holding Camden to one run on five hits in six innings to improve his ERA to 4.05. With the victory, Thurman tied the club mark he set last year with 13 wins. One more win this season would be the most of his pro career in a season.
The Revs’ magic number to clinch a playoff spot is now at five games. York holds an eight-game lead in the wildcard over Somerset while still sitting four back of Lancaster. The Revs also moved to a season-high 12 games over .500 at 70-58.