Just two days after the York Revolution announced the signing of former big league veteran Shawn Hill, the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday signed the right-hander to a minor league deal.
Hill, who has a career 10-18 record and 4.69 ERA in 44 major league starts from 2004 to 2012, was supposed to solidify York's starting rotation. His departure now leaves the Revs with four starters: the aging Corey Thurman, who is coming off one of his worst seasons as a pro in 2013, and question marks in Alain Quijano and Wes Roemer, both of whom have yet to prove themselves in the Atlantic League after excelling in other independent leagues in recent seasons; and left-hander Chris Cody, who became York's ace starter last season but has tossed more than 200 innings in the last 12 months between the Atlantic League and Venezuelan winter league.
York is still about a month away from opening day on April 24, though, so the Revs have plenty of time to find Hill's replacement.
Toronto is the same organization with whom Hill last pitched in the majors in 2010 and 2012. Two years ago, Hill set a Revolution franchise record of 27.2-straight scoreless innings in his last five starts before Toronto picked him up off York's roster. Hill went on to return to the majors at the end of the 2012 season, tossing three scoreless innings against the New York Yankees in the final game of the year.
Rules: The Atlantic League is expected to institute rule changes for the upcoming season regarding plays at the plate.
Joe Klein, the Atlantic League executive director who is also responsible for supervising the umpiring, said the league will likely institute similar rules to those approved in recent months by Major League Baseball on home-plate collisions. The new rules approved by MLB have a few prongs to them. Catchers will still be allowed to block the plate, but only if they have the baseball. The catcher will not be allowed to block the plate if he doesn't have the baseball. If the catcher does block the plate without the baseball, the runner will be called safe. Also, the base runner will still be allowed the option of sliding or plowing through the catcher. But the runner may not deliberately go outside of the base path in order to take an unnecessary shot at the catcher when the runner could have instead attempted to slide across home plate. If he does, the runner will automatically be called out.
Penn State York hires former Revs' coach: Former Revs' first base coach and Dallastown graduate Jeff Barkdoll has been hired by Penn State York to coach the school's baseball team. Barkdoll, who was the Revs' first base coach in 2008 and 2009, replaces former Revs' slugger Jason Aspito as the PSY coach. Aspito had a combined 20-44 record as coach of the local Lions the last three seasons. He has stepped down from the position to focus on his local indoor baseball and softball academy in Red Lion.
Barkdoll, 52, is also the coach of the Dallastown boys' basketball junior varsity team and has previously coached the Dallastown girls' basketball JV team and the York Township baseball club team that is part of the Susquehanna League.
— Reach John Walk at email@example.com.