Nowak, Barcelo not coming back to York
Joining York in mid-June last season, Nowak went on to hit a club record 25 homers to go along with 71 RBIs in 93 games. His .330 year-end batting average ranked second in the Atlantic League. Nowak likely would have been a league-MVP candidate had he joined the Revs earlier in the season.
His performance landed him on Baseball America’s All-Independent Team
So, where is Nowak going to play in 2012? Revs manager Andy Etchebarren said on Monday that Nowak will likely end up in Japan.
“He has an opportunity to make more money over there,” Etchebarren said. “If he doesn’t play in Japan, I don’t know where he’ll go beyond that.”
Japan or the Mexican League are the two likely destinations for Nowak, writes Revolution promotions and communications manager Paul Braverman in the BlogtoBlogchamps blog.
The Mexican League has traditionally been attracted to sluggers, so the move would make sense for the 6-foot, 5-inch, 230-pound firstbaseman.
Nowak, who turns 29 next month, is a former Tampa Bay Rays and Milwaukee Brewers prospect who topped out at Class AAA each of the last three seasons.
The Wisconsin native was moved around to a few minor league ballclubs the last three seasons, though, something that Nowak had said may have played a role in his numbers. Read more about his journey to York here on a previous blog entry from last season.
Barcelo to Mexico: If Nowak ends up in the Mexican League, he could square off or team up with another former Revs’ player from last season – starting pitcher Lorenzo Barcelo.
In a not-so-surprising development, the veteran right-hander won’t be starting the year in York. Last season, the 6-foot, 4-inch, 230-pound right-hander went 6-1 with a 2.79 ERA in eight starts for the Revs.
In two playoff appearances, he went 1-1 with a 1.85 ERA. His final outing with the Revs came in a winning effort when he held the Long Island Ducks to five hits in six scoreless innings of work to help York pick up a Game 2 victory of the Atlantic League Championship Series.
Barcelo, 34, is a former Chicago White Sox prospect who played in the majors with the White Sox in parts of seasons spanning from 2000 to 2002, going 5-3 with a 4.50 ERA in 43 games spent mostly as a reliever (one start).
Barcelo, a Dominican Republic native, joined York late last season after playing with the Mexican League’s Puebla team. Revs’ pitching coach Mark Mason said Monday that Barcelo will again be playing in the Mexican League this season.
“I understand he’s going to go there to make money,” Mason said.
Both Etchebarren and Mason didn’t rule out possibly bringing Barcelo on board later on this year after the Mexican League season wraps up, similar to what the club did last season.
With the departures of Nowak and Barcelo, the list of players not returning to the Revs next season has grown to six. Reliever/starting pitcher Justin Edwards will be playing with the Lincoln Saltdogs, of the independent American Association. Starting pitcher Nick Schumacher signed with Sioux City, also of the American Association. Catcher Octavio Martinez was drafted by the Sugar Land (Tex) Skeeters in the team’s expansion draft last week. And reliever Sean Stidfole recently announced his retirement.
Don’t get too worried about a roster overhaul, though. Five of the seven players York has signed through Jan. 30 played for the Revs last season. A there are quite a few more names still expected to return.