Former York Revolution reliever Ian Thomas will soon make his big league debut with the Atlanta Braves.
An agent within the Diakon sports agency, which Thomas is represented by, tweeted late Thursday night that Thomas has made Atlanta's opening-day roster.
While Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez has yet to make his 25-man roster official for the start of the 2014 season, this news comes after days of speculation by various reporters covering the Braves who said it was a near lock that Thomas would be on the opening-day roster.
Thomas went undrafted out of Virginia Commonwealth University in 2009 and worked his way up through the independent ranks, making his way to York in 2012, when he picked up a win and posted a 0.96 ERA in seven relief appearances before getting signed by the Braves. In an article on MLB.com earlier this month, Thomas said he developed a sharper curveball in York that resulted in an impressive strikeout ratio.
"I thought he had the tools for sure," Revs' manager Mark Mason said last week when recalling his work with Thomas two years ago. "We were working on maybe philosophies and approaches on hitters. That was a part of it. It was more of a fastball, change-up and his curveball he got around the ball a little bit if I remember. We tried to get the ball to go down to give him two planes where it starts high and goes down and disappears when you swing at it."
Upon being signed out of York, Thomas went on to put up solid numbers with the Braves' Class A Rome affiliate the remainder of the 2012 season and excelled at Class AA Mississippi in 2013. He will skip over the Class AAA level entirely en route to making it to the majors. He will also become the fifth player to make it to the big leagues after playing for York. And he'll be the second former Revs' player currently in the majors. Left-hander Scott Rice is expected to begin the year back in the New York Mets' bullpen. Rice will become the first Revs' alum to pitch in back-to-back seasons in the majors.
Gladstone: The Baltimore Orioles have hired former Revolution director of baseball operations Adam Gladstone to oversee their replay challenges this season, according to pressboxonline.com. Gladstone worked for York in the franchise's first three seasons from 2007 to 2009 before being fired in August 2009 when the Revs hired Andy Etchebarren to manage the ball club.
Under Gladstone, York went 58-58 in the inaugural 2007 season, 71-69 in 2008 and finished with a franchise-worst 53-87 record in 2009.
Most recently, Gladstone was working with the Loudoun (Va.) Hounds, an organization that is still attempting to build a baseball stadium with the intentions to join the Atlantic League.
— Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.