Fall cleaning: Revs send back pair of players
The York Revolution sent pitcher Mike Benacka and utility infielder David Espinosa back to their previous respective American Association clubs earlier this week. The Revs traded Espinosa to the Lincoln Saltdogs and Benacka to the Laredo Lemurs.
York had acquired both players late in the season from those clubs, Espinosa from Lincoln in exchange for future considerations and Benacka from Laredo for a player to be named later. This week’s deals seal up those earlier trades.
Benacka picked up a win and a save and posted a 3.00 ERA in six regular season relief appearances, striking out six and walking three in six innings. In his only appearance in the Atlantic League Freedom Division Championship Series against Lancaster, Benacka got tagged for four runs on one hit – Blake Gailen’s three run jack – and two walks and a hit by pitch.
Greenberg/Gathright: It’s unfortunate these two have to be lumped into the same sentence but the Bridgeport Bluefish had a pair of opposite stories Tuesday. On the same night former Bluefish player Adam Greenberg got his one at-bat in the big leagues with the Marlins, Bluefish outfielder Joey Gathright got tagged with a 50-game suspension by MLB’s Minor League Baseball.
In his first and only major league at-bat with the Chicago Cubs in 2005, Greenberg got drilled in the head on the first pitch he saw. This seven-minute Youtube clip with Greenberg recently on The Today Show explains it all. The Marlins gave Greenberg a one-day contract and his moment in the spotlight Tuesday night, bringing him as a pinch-hitter. Unfortunately for Greenberg, he went down on strikes on three pitches from Mets’ ace R.A. Dickey (yes I’m calling Dickey an ace). Check out video of the moment here. Greenberg played in a combined 354 games with the Bridgeport Bluefish from 2008 to 2011.
Gathright, meanwhile, will have to sit out 50 games after testing positive for an amphetamine, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. He’ll begin serving the suspension upon signing with a Major League club. How and when this positive test came about is still unclear.
Although Gathright has 452 games of big league experience under his belt, it was still a little surprising when the Cincinnati Reds picked him up off the Bridgeport roster on May 24. At the time, the 30-year-old was batting just .240 for the Bluefish with two homers, 13 RBIs, 20 runs scored and nine stolen bases in 23 games. The Reds had assigned Gathright to Class AAA Louisville, where he batted .299 with nine runs scored and 16 RBIs over the course of 40 games. The Reds released the left-handed batter on July 11. Gathright then returned to the Bluefish and finished the year with a .242 average, two homers, 22 RBIs and 46 runs scored.
According to a story on Bleacerreport.com, Gathright tested positive while a member of the Bluefish. I can’t believe that’s accurate considering two things – the Atlantic League doesn’t test for performance enhancing drugs and why would the Reds test Gathright if he’s not playing for them? Either way, this doesn’t make the Atlantic League look good. What if this news came out, say, two weeks ago? When Gathright was trying to help Bridgeport qualify for the playoffs? And while we’re on that topic, why is this suspension coming out now when Gathright hasn’t played for Louisville since July? It just feels sticky all around.
I just hope the Bluefish, or any Atlantic League club for that matter, doesn’t welcome back Gathright in 2013.
Barnstormers take Game One: Lancaster took Game One of the Atlantic League Championship Series over Long Island on Wednesday night by a final score of 5-1. Barnstormers’ starting pitcher Dwayne Pollok (2-0) picked up the win by holding the Ducks (3-3) scoreless in six innings of work. The right-hander struck out five and walked two.
Lancaster, competing for its second league title, took an early lead in the second inning when Travis Denker scored a run on a Long Island error. Barnstormers’ infielder Kody Kirkland made it 2-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning with a solo homer off of Ducks’ starter Randy Keisler (0-1). Lancaster (4-0) busted the game open in the bottom of the seventh inning with a three-run homer from Ryan Harvey.
Long Island, also competing for its second league title, got its lone run in the top of the seventh inning when Dan Lyons scored on an RBI single from Kraig Binick.
The Barnstormers will host Game Two on Thursday night before the best-of-five series shifts to Long Island.