Struggling Revs release Limonta as part of major roster shake-up
With the struggles that the team has gone through so far this season, it was only a matter of time until the York Revolution roster was given a major shake-up.
And, for the second time in just under a month, another York fan favorite was on his way out the door.
The team made six transactions on Tuesday, the biggest of which was releasing first baseman and outfielder Johan Limonta.
"At this time of year, that's how it is with everybody. It's all about production," York manager Mark Mason said before Tuesday's game against Southern Maryland. "I'm responsible for the overall production of the team and I have to try to make moves that will make us better. ... As a manager, when you put a team together, you expect all the guys that you bring in to be here all year and to perform. You don't sign guys to release them. You sign guys to play them."
Limonta's exit follows the release of longtime Revs' pitcher Corey Thurman on Memorial Day. Thurman had been the longest-tenured member of the York franchise.
Limonta was in his fourth year with the Revs and, up until this season, put up strong numbers with the club, allowing him to sign with other teams in other leagues, including with the San Diego Padres organization in 2013, where he played for Class AA San Antonio. Entering the 2015 season, Limonta was a career .294 hitter with York, hitting 10 home runs with 85 RBIs in 143 games. But, he's been in a slump in 2015, hitting .209 in 153 at-bats, but did hit four home runs and drive in 11 runs.
After his release, Limonta instantly drew interest from the Lancaster Barnstormers and Sugar Land Skeeters in the Atlantic League, ultimately signing with Sugar Land. He'll stay within the Freedom Division, but move from the last-place Revs to the Skeeters, who were on a 10-game winning streak and only a half-game back of Southern Maryland for first in the division heading into Tuesday's action.
"One thing I'm proud of is that, every person that's left here has gone to another team, or has had another opportunity," Mason said.
Among the other moves made before Tuesday's game was the release of third baseman Steven Proscia.
Proscia was signed by York on May 20, but, much like Limonta, failed to produce. In 19 games, he hit .194 with only two extra-base hits. Even with his below-average production, Proscia generated interest from the Florence Freedom in the Frontier League, Mason said.
The decision to make some significant changes at this point in the season was a result of the team not performing up to preseason expectations and trying to gain some momentum heading into the second half. With 20 games remaining in the first half heading into Tuesday's action, the Revs were sitting 9 1/2 games out of first place. It's an extreme long shot that the team can mount any sort of run to win the first-half division title and lock up an automatic playoff berth.
"We want to try to get this half to some sort of respectability," Mason said. "... Is it a long shot with 20 games left? Yeah, it's a real long shot. But, we need to find out what we have going into the second half, as well, and that's what these last three weeks will do. Give us a chance to see some of the newer guys a little bit more often and then make some decisions from there."
New signees: With new roster spaces available, Mason used the openings to sign outfielder Yeicok Calderon and first baseman/outfielder Telvin Nash.
Nash is a guy who can hit for power, slugging 102 homers over parts of seven seasons in the Houston Astros' minor league system. Despite being a third-round pick by Houston in 2009, he never made it higher than Class AA, where he spent the start of 2015, before being released on May 25.
"Nash has a reputation," Mason said. "Obviously, he has a lot of power. He's hit a lot of home runs in his career and we need power. ... we really do."
Calderon, like Nash, spent the first part of his career playing affiliated ball in the New York Yankees organization, but was released at the end of 2014. In his time with the Yankees' organization, Calderon hit .275 and had a .353 on-base percentage, but never made it above Class A.
Since getting released, his path to the Revs followed a similar one of another recent acquisition, Nick Ferdinand. Like Ferdinand, Calderon began this year playing in the North Country Baseball League as a member of the Old Orchard Beach Surge in Maine.
"Calderon is a contact guy," Mason said. "... He's already hit home runs in that league and has power the opposite way."
OTHER REVS' NOTES
Relief pitcher Mutz retires: York relief pitcher Nick Mutz officially retired Tuesday, citing personal reasons, according to Mason.
Mason said Mutz approached him before the team left for Sugar Land for a series last weekend about his decision to retire. He signed with the Revs on May 27. In seven appearances out of the bullpen for York, Mutz was 0-1 with a 4.26 ERA in 6 1/3 innings.
Paredes added to active roster: With Mutz's retirement, that opened up a roster spot that allowed the Revs to activate Edward Paredes from the inactive list.
Paredes has been on the inactive list since June 11. It was his second stint on the IL, after beginning the year on the list. In 13 relief appearances, he's thrown 13 innings and has a 4.84 ERA.
Patterson nearing return: The Atlantic League's single-season record holder for triples, Eric Patterson, is nearing his return from a quad strain, Mason said.
Patterson, who's been sidelined with the injury since June 7, is around 70-80 percent healthy and is about a week to 10 days away from returning to the lineup, Mason said.
"He's a guy that likes to run," Mason said. "And he wants to know when he's out there that he can go 100 percent and not have to scale it down."
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at email@example.com.