Revs’ lineup looks respectable

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Spring training starts a week from Monday in Lakeland, Fla. and I’ll be honest: I’m looking forward to getting away from York for awhile (Shocking, right?)

Anyway, I still have to make it through another month or so before hitting the sunny weather. And without any recent player signings to dissect, I’ve been thinking. What might the Revolution’s lineup look like this summer?

Here’s my best guess taking into account that York has only signed nine position players (two catchers) to date.

  1. Keoni De Renne (2B)
  2. Travis Ezi (CF)
  3. BLANK
  4. Matt Dryer (1B)
  5. Jason Aspito (DH)
  6. Matt Esquivel (RF)
  7. Luis Taveras (C)
  8. Kenny Perez (SS)
  9. Kaz Tanaka (LF)

For starters, I’ve left York’s No. 3 spot open for the moment. Esquivel (.268), Dryer (.254) and Aspito (.256) all lack the career average that you typically would like from that spot. But if forced to make a decision, I’d probably go with Esquivel. His past off-the-field problems aside, he could easily tear up the Atlantic League this year.

Second, Taveras (pictured) will likely be York’s second catcher this season. Sandy Aracena is expected to sign with the team in the near future and barring a shocking development, he will be the starter. Also, I know Revolution officials like Ezi as the club’s leadoff hitter going into spring, but my guess is that De Renne makes his way back to the top of the order at some point. He just brings too much energy — and a much higher on-base percentage.

So what is there to like about this mock lineup? Well, it will be a nightmare for opposing managers. De Renne, Ezi and Perez are all switch-hitters, so that means on most nights manager Chris Hoiles will be able to throw a wrench in most situational matchups that occur late in games. The problem with this? Atlantic League pitchers are usually overmatched anyway — when compared to the league’s hitters — and the true aces out there will be able to retire both righties and lefties anyway. The point is, individual matchups don’t really hold much water in the Atlantic League. There just aren’t that many opportunities for a skipper to micromanage. (When was the last time you saw a pitcher come in to face one hitter?)

But York has gotten off to a decent start with its signings. If the club can land a high-profile No. 3 hitter and add some more pitching, the Revolution could be poised for success in 2008.

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5 Responses

  1. Not to be a spoilsport but I have to reply about the “When was the last time you saw a pitcher come in to face one hitter?” comment. Wayne Franklin faced one batter in the 7th inning on September 3rd.

  2. Good point RevsFan. But if I had to take a guess on how many times this happened throughout the entire season, I’d have to say less than 10. Maybe my memory is just that horrendous.

    But my point was that you won’t see as many situational matchups in the AL as you would in the majors. Managers want to give their pitchers extended opportunities to prove themselves. Most of the time that means pitching at least an inning.

    Your thoughts?

  3. Yeah, I’d have to agree that it doesn’t happen often. York’s pitching staff was so over-worked last year that they didn’t have the option of putting a pitcher in to face one batter. That game on Sept. 3rd is the only one that I can recall all season. But I only went to about 12 games…this year it should be around 25.

  4. I think Kenny Perez will hit ahead of the catcher and could be a bit of a surprise source of power. He had six homers in 229 AAA at bats last year. That’s about 12-16 in a full season.

    In 2006, Nate Espy hit 10 homers in 357 AAA at bats (a slightly lower HR/AB ratio than Perez) and we saw what kind of power he had for the Revs.

    Granted, six homers tied Perez’s career professional high, but he showed a little bit of gap power in the past and might just be finding his power stroke at 26.

  5. There’s a lot to like about Perez, and AtlanticFans pointed out a few of his good qualities. He’s only 26, which is extremely young in the Atlantic League. And he’s coming from AAA — only a sniff away from the majors.

    I haven’t seen Perez in person, but judging from his numbers he might even fit nicely in the No. 2 spot. That’s with the assumption that Travis Ezi struggles at the top of the order. It looks like York is committed to giving Ezi a shot in the leadoff hole.

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