Casey Lawrence wants to use stint with Revs to prove he belongs back in big leagues

ROB ROSE
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  • Casey Lawrence has agreed to a deal with the York Revolution.
  • The Delone Catholic High School graduate has pitched professionally for more than a decade.
  • Lawrence wants to use his stint with the Revs as a steppingstone to get back to the big leagues.

Just more than a decade since he left the area to pursue his professional baseball dream, the sport has brought Casey Lawrence back to the region.

After spending the past 11 seasons traveling across the nation and the world, the Delone Catholic High School graduate will be able to sleep in his own bed and drive 25 minutes to his new home stadium this season as a member of the York Revolution.

The Revs announced earlier this week that Lawrence has agreed to a deal with the team.

“It's really come full circle now,” the former major leaguer said. “It's crazy and I know some local family and friends are excited to be able to come see me pitch. It's gonna be pretty cool. It's gonna be pretty special to go out there, compete and show everybody I still have it.”

Having the chance to showcase what he can do was a major factor in Lawrence’s decision to join the Revs. Lawrence spent the 2019 season playing in Japan and never played in a game for the Minnesota Twins in 2020 after he signed a minor-league deal with the team.

Athlete Casey Lawrence plays catch with his father inside the gym at Knights of Columbus in McSherrystown, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. Lawrence will be leaving in mid February for spring training with the Minnesota Twins. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Lawrence, now 33, spent some time at the Twins’ alternate site after the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the 2020 minor-league season, but it’s been two years since he pitched in an official game in the states.

With the Revs, Lawrence is excited about the opportunity to get regular work in the starting rotation and have the chance to prove that he can still pitch at the major-league level.

Local pitcher with major-league experience signs deal with York Revolution for 2021

“A really good opportunity to go out there and showcase that I've only gotten better, that I'm healthy and I'm ready to go help a club when they deem fit,” said Lawrence, who lives in Hanover. “It's just a great opportunity to go out there and compete.”

The 6-foot, 2-inch right-hander was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010 as an undrafted free agent out of NCAA Division III Albright College. Lawrence made his MLB debut in 2017 with Toronto and spent 2018 with the Seattle Mariners.

Athlete Casey Lawrence plays catch with his father inside the gym at Knights of Columbus in McSherrystown, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. Lawrence will be leaving in mid February for spring training with the Minnesota Twins. Dawn J. Sagert photo

To prepare for the Atlantic League season, which begins Friday, May 28, Lawrence has been throwing simulated game sessions and volunteered with the Squires high school team to continue throwing. Despite the distance between his last pro start, Lawrence said his training over the years will allow him to jump right back into the game and have success.

“Obviously, in the back of your head, you realize that it has been a while, but at the same time, all the preparation and time and work that I put in I feel like, I could easily if I got a phone call tomorrow and said: ‘Hey, show up at this site, we want you to throw 100 pitches.’ I feel extremely confident that I'd be able to walk in there and be able to go out there and compete,” Lawrence said.

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In addition to the opportunity to pitch often and prove he has the skills to make it back to MLB, this time in Lawrence’s life is ideal to live and play near friends and family. Lawrence and his wife, Sarah, welcomed their first child, Haven, to the family in February.

With fewer than two months until the Atlantic League season begins, Lawrence is looking forward to getting the feel of playing in a game back. For the first time since he turned pro 11 years ago, Lawrence is back where his baseball career began and ready to prove he belongs in the big leagues all over again.

“I'm excited about it for sure,” Lawrence said. “The days are starting to count now. It makes the competitive nature go up a notch. So, I’m really excited to get that feeling and that nervous energy back.”

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.