Revs learn they can have more fans in stands, announce two more player signings

Carlos Castro

Monday turned into a big-news days for the York Revolution.

First, the team learned that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf was again loosening the restrictions for outdoor gatherings, meaning the Revs can expect to have more fans in the stands than previously allowed for the team's home opener at PeopleBank Park on Friday, May 28. 

Later Monday evening, the Revs announced their latest 2021 signings — power-hitting catcher Carlos Castro and starting pitcher Jake Welch. The return of both players, who had previously signed with York in 2020, was announced by Revs manager Mark Mason on Revs Hot Stove Weekly presented by Shipley Energy on SportsRadio 98.9 FM & 1350 AM WOYK.

Neither Castro nor Welch played a regular-season game for the Revs in 2020 because the Atlantic League season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the pandemic cases hovering at a lower level than during the mid-winter surge, Wolf decided Monday to allow outdoor gatherings at 50% capacity, effective April 4.

"The new capacity guidelines technically mean we could have up to 3,700 people in the ballpark, but we’ll have to factor in the continued requirement of six-feet social distancing," said Doug Eppler, the Revs' director of marketing and communications. It’s unclear what that translates to right now, and it’s possible that could also change in the coming weeks. We’re continuing to keep an eye on the state’s guidance, but we’re clearly going to be able welcome more fans than we thought a short time ago. That’s great news."

The state's previous outdoor gathering limit was 20%. Under that limit, the Revs could have allowed approximately 1,500 folks in the stadium, including fans, players and staff.

Castro adds some pop: As for the new player signings, Castro, 26, enters his ninth season of pro baseball.

In 2019, the righty bat was a stalwart in the middle of the order for Evansville of the Frontier League, where in two seasons he batted .305 with 97 hits, 21 doubles, 11 home runs and 38 RBIs.

The Dominican Republic native spent the first six years of his career in the Atlanta Braves organization. Reaching High-A Florida, Castro was a Organization All-Star in 2016 and a Florida State League All-Star in 2017. While with the Fire Frogs, Castro enjoyed a 5-for-5, three-homer, eight-RBI game against the Daytona Tortugas on May 10, 2017. He had his best power year with the Braves in 2016 at Single-A Rome, slugging 15 doubles, four triples, and 17 home runs while collecting 57 RBIs, helping propel Rome to a South Atlantic League title. During his final three years in the Braves system, Castro compiled 146 RBIs in 230 games.

In his career, Castro is a .280 hitter with 452 hits, 148 extra-base hits (44 home runs) and 251 RBIs. Behind the dish, Castro threw out 35% of baserunners while in the Braves system.

“We’re really excited to bring Carlos in,” Mason said. “He can catch and play first base, has a lot of power. We’re going to look at him mostly at the catching position, but he’s another guy that we can rotate, and he’ll be a good bat in the middle of our order as well.”

Jake Welch

Welch to compete for spot in starting rotation: Welch, 27, returns to the Revs after coming aboard in September 2019.

The right-hander was acquired from Evansville, where across two seasons he was 15-11 with a 3.35 ERA. In 28 starts, the Spencerport, New York, native threw 234.1 total innings and struck out 205.

In his Revs debut on Sept. 12, 2019, the 6-foot, 6-inch hurler went 6.1 innings against the Long Island Ducks, taking a shutout into the fifth inning and allowing one run on four hits while striking out eight without a walk. Welch started three games on the mound for York in 2019 and struck out 20 in 17 innings.

“Jake threw the ball well, and I liked what I saw in 2019,” said Mason. “We’re going to give him an opportunity to come in and compete for a starting rotation spot.”

The Revs will unveil more signings each week on Revs Hot Stove Weekly. The next airing will be 6 p.m. Monday, March 22. The team has announced eight player signings thus far.

The York Revolution provided information for this report.