The good news for the York Revolution is they've finally reached the halfway point of the 2013 season. Even better news is that the upcoming second half can't go much worse than the first half.
A first half that saw four retirements, four players picked up by major league organizations and two players signed by Mexican League clubs. Given all the player defections, Revs' skipper Mark Mason and baseball operations manager Andrew Ball somehow managed to keep the club afloat.
Those previous four sentences you just read might lead you to believe things didn't go so well for York in the first 70 games of the year. Yet, the Revs finished with a 36-34 record, quite remarkable considering all of the turnover York's roster experienced. The Revs finished 11 games behind first-half champ Sugar Land (47-23).
And this came in a Freedom Division that arguably featured the top four teams in the league considering Southern Maryland (37-32) won the first-half Liberty Division crown over teams with the three-worst records in the Atlantic League.
Roster moves: It's hard to imagine the Revs going through as many roster moves in the second half as they have already. Well, at least not moves that negatively impact the team.
York needed to improve its outfield and did so by signing slugger Val Majewski, who previously played in York, on Friday. However, Majewski is only expected to be a temporary replacement until Mason and Bell can find a more permanent solution.
The Revs could use a decent starting pitcher, too. While Corey Thurman and Chris Cody have been solid again this season, the jury is still out on starting pitchers Brett Tomko, Rick Zagone and Pedro Liriano.
After coming back from injury, Tomko has struggled to regain the form he had early in the year when he compiled a 3.37 ERA in his first six starts. Liriano has been a serviceable No. 5 pitcher in recent weeks but still gets knocked around too often. And it's premature to say Zagone, a former Orioles' farmhand, can hang in the Atlantic League being that he's only made six starts for York thus far.
Other than that, York looks pretty good. While there are a couple relievers York could do without, the bullpen has been reliable.
Catcher Salvador Paniagua, infielders Andres Perez, Andy Marte and Wilson Batista and outfielder Eric Patterson have continued to stay hot. And third baseman Mark Teahen and outfielder Cody Johnson are starting to warm up.
Whether any of this leads to the Revs qualifying for the playoffs for the fourth year in a row remains to be seen. But after a tough first half, York can only go up from here.
-- Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.