Alumni update: Former Revs on the move
In case you haven’t checked it out yet, here’s an earlier blog entry on former Rev Scott Rice making his MLB debut with the New York Mets on Monday. Rice threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning, striking out two.
With MLB rosters set, I thought this would be a good time to give an update on where former Revolution players are (or aren’t in some cases) in affiliated ball.
We started off with a list of 12 former York ballplayers in minor league or major league camp: OF/corner infielder Chris Nowak (Diamondbacks), outfielder Mike Hernandez (Tigers) and pitchers Scott Rice (Mets), Justin Hampson (Mets) Andy Wells (Mets), Victor Garate (Dodgers), Mike Benacka (Blue Jays), Ryan Feierabend (Rangers), Shawn Hill (Tigers), Mike DeMark (Diamondbacks), Ian Thomas (Braves) and Omar Javier (Giants).
Of that group, Rice is the only one who began the 2013 season on a big league roster. As for the rest of them? Well, six will begin the season playing somewhere in the minors, four are currently free agents after being released by their respective clubs and one – Nowak – has retired after being released by the D’Backs last month.
In the minors: Of all former Revs players starting the 2013 season in affiliated ball, Hill has the best chance of making it to the big leagues this year. Hill, a former big leaguer, had a 4.50 ERA in three spring training starts and six total appearances with the Tigers’ big league club. In his final spring training start last week, the right-hander Hill allowed just two runs on six hits in five innings of work against the Atlanta Braves, striking out three and walking none. He’s expected to be in the starting rotation at Class AAA Toledo to start this season. Hill, 31, went 2-0 with a 2.43 ERA in seven games (five starts) for the Revs last season before being picked up by the Toronto Blue Jays and assigned to Class AAA Las Vegas, where he went 9-2 with a 4.52 ERA in 15 starts. The performance earned him a call-up to the Blue Jays’ big league roster at the end of the season, marking his first return to the majors since 2010.
Thomas, 25, earned a promotion to Class AA Mississippi (Braves), where he’ll begin the 2013 season. The 6-foot-4 lefty came to York just three years removed from playing college ball at Virginia Commonwealth. He spent his first three seasons of pro ball playing for independent club Winnipeg (formerly North American League, now American Association). He started the 2012 season in York, compiling a 1-0 record and 0.96 ERA in seven relief appearances before getting picked up by the Atlanta Braves and assigned to Class A Rome, where he went 5-0 with a 3.15 ERA in 26 games.
Javier, 25, hasn’t pitched above rookie ball in his affiliated career. He is listed on the roster of the Class AA Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants), which begins its season Thursday. The right-hander went 1-6 with a 5.67 ERA in 22 games (nine starts) for the Revs in 2012. After being released by the Revs in late July, Javier went on to pitch for Newark. He started six games for the Bears, posting a 2-2 record and a 3.74 ERA over 33.2 innings pitched. This past winter, he posted a 1-0 record and 2.27 ERA in 11 games (six starts) playing for Estrellas de Oriente in the Dominican Republic (where he was teammates with former Revs’ pitcher Scott Rice along with pitchers Julio DePaula and Pedro Liriano, both of whom are on York’s current pre-season roster, along with a number of former Atlantic Leaguers).
Hernandez, 29, will begin the 2013 season where he first began his pro career in 2006, at Class A West Michigan (Tigers), according to this blog post. The post states that Hernandez helped “the team win the Midwest League Championship” in 2006, hitting “for the cycle twice that season, and set a record at the time with seven RBI’s in one game.” The move of playing for a single-a club might raise some eyebrows, but when you figure Hernandez has had good seasons in the Atlantic League each of the last four years but didn’t get picked up by a big league club, I don’t blame him for trying this route. Hernandez batted .303 with with 13 homers and 55 RBIs in 104 games for the Revs in 2012.
Hampson will start the 2013 season at Class AAA Las Vegas 51s, the triple-a affiliate of the New York Mets. He got a call up to the Mets’ big league spring training club last week but got roughed up in the appearance, allowing a run on two doubles and a single in two innings of work against the St. Louis Cardinals. Hampson pitched for the Revs and the Long Island Ducks in 2010 and spent the majority of the last two years at the Mets’ Class AAA Buffalo affiliate. He earned a promotion to the major league club near the end of last season, returning to the big leagues for the first time since 2009. He posted a 1.30 ERA in 13 appearances.
Feierabend, 27, is still on a quest to make it back to the big leagues for the first time since 2008. He’ll continue that journey by starting out at Class AA Frisco (Rangers) this year, according to this press release. The 6-foot-4 lefty went 8-5 with a 2.91 ERA in 17 starts for York last season. He got picked up mid-season by the Cincinnati Reds and assigned to Class AAA Louisville, where he went 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in seven starts before being released and returning to the Revs.
DeMark, 29, signed with Oakland Athletics’ organization shortly after being released by the Arizona Diamondbacks in mid-March. The 6-foot right-hander began the 2011 season with York, posting a 2.61 ERA in 13 appearances before being picked up by the D’Backs that year. He spent all of the 2012 season pitching for D’Backs’ Class AAA Reno club, going 5-5 with a 4.19 ERA in 53 games.
Wells, 24, is a free agent after being released by the Mets last week. Wells made just three appearances for York last season, allowing a total of 10 runs (eight earned) on eight hits and nine walks in 4.1 innings of work (16.62 ERA), before being released in June. He has been pitching indy ball his entire three-year pro career.
Garate, 24, is a still a free agent since being released by the Los Angeles Dodgers in mid-March. The former big leaguer made one appearance with York in 2012, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits in 1.2 innings. A Venezuela native, Garate pitched in four games with the Washington Nationals in 2009, posting a 22.50 ERA.
Benacka, 30, is still a free agent since being released by the Toronto Blue Jays in mid-March. The 6-foot-2 right-hander collected a 3.60 ERA in five appearances for York last season. York traded him back to American Association club Laredo in the off-season. As a result, Laredo owns his rights should Benacka opt to return to the indy scene.
Other Revs on the move: The Long Island Ducks announced Monday the return of infielder Bryant Nelson, who played for the Revs in 2011. Juan Martinez, younger brother of former Revs’ catcher Octavio, will make his return to the Atlantic League in 2013 with the Camden Riversharks. Martinez, 26, played in 12 games for York in 2011. He split last season between Camden and Newark (Can-Am League). According to the Can-Am League’s transactions page, Newark traded Martinez to Camden late last week.
Former Atlantic Leaguers are spring training releases: Slugger Ryan Garko and outfielder/pitcher Jason Lane, both former big leaguers and former Atlantic Leaguers, became free agents last week. Garko clubbed four homers, collected 16 RBIs and batted .450 in just 16 games for the Long Island Ducks to start last season before being picked up by the Tampa Bay Rays and assigned to Class AA Montgomery, where he hit .297 with eight homers and 40 RBIs in 61 games. He was released by the Colorado Rockies last week.
Lane, 36, began the 2012 season at Class AAA Reno, where he went 2-0 with a 7.59 ERA in 15 relief appearances on the mound and batted .167 in 10 games at the plate while also playing the outfield. He later joined the Sugar Land and posted a 9-5 record and 3.17 ERA in 18 games (17 starts) while batting .270 in 75 games. Called up to the Minnesota Twins big league spring training club last week, Lane got tagged with a blown save by allowing three runs on five hits in one inning of work in a 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. The Twins released him last week.
Former Bridgeport Bluefish outfielder Collin DeLome also became a free agent after the Atlanta Braves released him last week. Last season, DeLome batted .368 with five homers and 22 RBIs in just 23 games before being picked up by the Braves.
The Boston Red Sox released starting pitcher J.D. Durbin last week. Durbin, 31, is still trying to get back to the big leagues since last pitching there in 2007. The 6-foot right-hander had a combined 22-13 record and 4.68 ERA in 45 starts for the Lancaster Barnstormers the last two seasons.
Former Lancaster Barnstormers’ reliever Jeff Bennett was released by the Colorado Rockies last week. Bennett, 32, last pitched in the majors in 2009. He went 4-8 with a 3.56 ERA in 52 appearances for Lancaster last year.
The Washington Nationals released outfielder Delwyn Young last week. Young, 30, has 344 games of big league experience under his belt. He spent part of the 2012 season with the Camden Riversharks, batting .191 in 32 games.