Revs bring back Witherspoon, DePaula in latest signings
- Travis Witherspoon returns to York after becoming an all-star with the team in 2016.
- Julio DePaula is back for his fifth consecutive season, making 42 appearances for York in 2016.
- Luke Westphal is new to the Revs, spending 2015 and 2016 in the Minnesota Twins organization.
The York Revolution announced its three latest player signings to start the 2017 season on Tuesday.
As normal, the signings were made public on the weekly radio show, "Revs Hot Stove Weekly," on 1350 WOYK.
In keeping with tradition, the Revs brought back two players from last year's team and disclosed one new face.
Coming back from the 2016 team are outfielder Travis Witherspoon and reliever Julio DePaula. The new player is left-handed pitcher Luke Westphal.
Witherspoon, 27, was dynamic for last year's Revs after coming over from the rival Lancaster Barnstormers in the summer as part of a trade. In 34 games with Lancaster, Witherspoon hit just .256. However, once he crossed the Susquehanna River, his bat woke up, hitting .293 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs in 81 games, making the Atlantic League All-Star Game. Primarily a top-of-the-order hitter for York, Witherspoon's speed was valuable for the Revs. He swiped 34 bases, far and away the most on the team.
"I don't know if we would've won the first-half (Atlantic League Freedom Division title) without him," manager Mark Mason said on the radio show. "He was a big part of the first half. ...He had some big hits for us."
DePaula, 34, is returning for his fifth stint in York, debuting for the organization back in 2013 and playing parts of every season for the team, including making 42 appearances in 2016. DePaula has 16 games of big league experience, pitching for the Minnesota Twins in 2007. During his career, DePaula has jumped around from starter to reliever, but during his time with the Revs, he's only been used as a reliever. Last year, he posted a 4.74 ERA in 43 2/3 innings and had a 2-1 record.
Westphal, 27, is making his first stop in the Atlantic League after spending the last two seasons of his professional baseball career in the Twins' minor league organization. Westphal bounced up and down in the Minnesota organization, going back and forth from Class A to AA before being released at the end of last season. In 112 career appearances, Westphal has only made 19 starts and holds a career record of 12-13 with an ERA of 3.80. Mason said he's looking at Wetsphal as being a potential lefty specialist who has good breaking pitches and has a power arm.
"It's a young guy that we can help, and I know Luke is excited about coming out and we're excited about him being here," Mason said. "...He has a lot of upside and is a guy who could be signed out of our league."
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org