Revs add three more; Espy’s return doubtful

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With little-to-no padding on the walls at Sovereign Bank Stadium last year, I saw only one player crash into an outfield fence chasing after a fly ball.

That was Kaz Tanaka.

The Japanese import was all hustle, all the time. And even though he struggled through the first half of the season, that was understandable on a certain level. Tanaka didn’t speak English, he was facing American pitching for the first time and without a home hitting cage to work on adjustments, he had a difficult time — to say the least.

But the outfielder rebounded to hit .251 — as mostly York’s No. 9 hitter — and drew 46 walks in 319 at-bats. He also stole 18 bases. On Thursday, the Revs made Tanaka’s addition official.

“For what could have been a tough situation, he handled it beautifully,” said Adam Gladstone, York’s director of baseball operations. “It was a win-win on both sides. He learned a lot about the club and ultimately you could see he turned into one of the best defensive outfielders in the Atlantic League. He felt more comfortable and the fans took to him.”

Tanaka’s addition also is accompanied by the re-acquisition of catcher Luis Taveras. Taveras was an All-Star last season but had a tough second half after he developed a thumb injury. The Dominican-born 32-year-old finished the year with a .250 average, seven home runs and 30 RBIs in 72 games played.

Kenny Perez was also signed by York on Thursday. He is a switch-hitting infielder and has spent parts of  three seasons in Triple-A with different organizations. He spent the second half of last year with Double-A Birmingham (White Sox) and hit .265 with 17 RBIs in 98 at-bats. He doesn’t have a lot of power, but like Keoni De Renne, he can play any infield position. Look for Perez and De Renne to potentially become the Revs’ double-play combination this year.

Espy’s return doubtful: When asked for his gut feeling on whether Nate Espy will return this year, Gladstone had this to say:

“Nate’s not going to start the year in York,” he said. ” At this time, he is pursuing other options in baseball with organizations and overseas, as well as off-the-field stuff. The door is open for him to return, but as of right now that’s not in his foreseeable future.

Other Notes: Gladstone said the club is still pursuing catcher Sandy Aracena, who would likely be York’s starter this year… Gladstone is currently in Florida touching base with major league organizations. He has already visited camps for Baltimore, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Florida, St. Louis, the New York Mets, Washington, Atlanta and Houston… Gladstone got to meet Perez when he landed in Florida and was impressed with his personality.

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