Two more sign with York; Franklin willing to start

The York Revolution officially announced the signings of two more players on Monday afternoon.

The club has added first baseman Tyler Von Schell as well as reliever Nick McCurdy.

Von Schell, 28, is another first baseman with potential power. The Santa Rosa, Calif. native has launched 86 home runs in 2,568 career minor league at-bats. He split time last year between Double-A and Triple-A in the San Francisco Giants’ organization. Von Schell’s promotion to Triple-A was the first time he reached that level in his career. His career statistics are here.

McCurdy, 28, is another former Baltimore Orioles’ prospect and split time last season between Triple-A Norfolk and Double-A Bowie. For his career, McCurdy is 28-33 with a 3.93 ERA in 533 1/3 innings. He was a starter about five years ago but has only made a few spot starts in past seasons. He was a 35th-round draft pick of the O’s in 2002. His career statistics are here.

Von Schell’s career average (.246) is far from decent and he struck out an astonishing 114 times in 395 at-bats last season. His addition also appears to create a logjam at the corner infield spots/DH for York — Matt Padgett, Jason Aspito and Matt Dryer are the other options there — but Adam Gladstone said he wasn’t too worried about the potential problem.

“Those are all four guys who can play first, have interest in playing third or a corner outfield position or can DH,” said Gladstone, the Revs’ director of baseball operations, who noted that he was unaware of any major injuries in Von Schell’s career. “Guys who can play multiple positions are imperative in the Atlantic League.”

McCurdy struggled at Triple-A last season (5.93 ERA) but was dominant after his demotion to Bowie. Pitching for the Baysox, McCurdy registered a 1.66 ERA in 48 2/3 innings. He has a slightly above-average strikeout-to-walk ratio for his career (2.81 K’s per BB) but counters that by not giving up many hits. He allowed less than a hit per inning last year for Bowie.

The 185-pound right-hander also has limited previous experience closing games, which adds another name to the already crowded closer’s race. But Gladstone made me (and AtlanticLeagueFans) look like a genius today — stating that Wayne Franklin expressed interest in returning to the Revs’ rotation if needed.

“That (Franklin’s decision to start again) had nothing to do with who we’ve been signing,” Gladstone said. “He loves to start and my thought is, he had success doing it last year. So if he picks up where he left off, he’ll be fine.”

Franklin was 4-2 with a 4.54 ERA in eight games for York last August and got even better in September. The former Milwaukee Brewer was 2-1 with a 2.32 ERA in five September outings.

The Revs now have 23 players under contract for the upcoming season and plan to bring about 26 to spring camp. Judging from the ways things went last year, York could pick up a few more players at the very last moment before spring training begins next Monday.

Dryer status: Dryer — recovering from offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder — told me last week that he might need to start the year at DH. His arm feels fine, but he’s lacking his traditional arm strength after a winter in which he was unable to throw a baseball. This doesn’t appear to be a big problem on the surface until you look at Dryer’s split statistics from ’07. He hit only .165 in 24 games at DH, compared to solid production in 31 games at third (.319) and 34 games at first (.266).

Tike Redman update: Redman is not knocking the cover off the ball for Triple-A Norfolk, but he’s bringing his usual solid stats. As of Sunday, the former Revs’ outfielder had a .286 batting average in 14 at-bats. Redman has yet to attempt a steal this season.

Editor’s note: Post updated at 10 p.m. April 7.

*Von Schell photo by Damon Tarver for the San Jose Giants; McCurdy photo courtesy of the Bowie Baysox.

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7 Responses

  1. How do things shape up now?

    How is this for a guess?

    The lineup:

    1) DeRenne, 2B
    2) Perez, SS
    3) Padgett, DH
    4) Dryer, 3B
    5) Esquivel, RF
    6) Aspito, LF
    7) Von Schell, 1B
    8) Aracena, C
    9) Ezi, CF

    Rotation:

    1) Franklin (too many relievers signed for him to stay in pen)
    2) Munro
    3) Myette
    4) Thurman
    5) Jacobsen

    Pen:

    Rakers
    Veres
    Olson
    McCurdy
    Price

    Nunez or a much needed lefty to be added to the pen, hopefully.

    Who is our Matt LeCroy? This lineup could still use a bigtime 1B/DH guy. Von Schell has some great power, but his K/BB ratio and batting average are worrisome for a guy his age against AA pitching. He struck out in one out of every three at bats in A ball last year.

    I shouldn’t complain, though, this is shaping up to be a terrific team.

  2. I wasn’t trying to express any particular emotion associated with Aracena. I guess this program automatically reads 8 ) as 8).

  3. And, naturally, now it won’t produce a smiley when I write this 8)

  4. Your one complaint is a valid one though — and one I intend to explore in another post later this week. The Revs current lineup looks to be headed for a ton of strikeouts. Whether that’s a problem or just the way the modern era of baseball is, I’ll leave that for later.

    I don’t have many concerns about the power of this lineup. I think a more pressing matter is the lack of a No. 3 hitter. No one on the present roster has the career average/on-base capability you want out of that spot.

    As for the smiley faces, the more the merrier I say. But I can turn that feature off if needed.

  5. I wasn’t suggesting that the smileys get turned off. I just didn’t want anyone to think I was editorializing on Aracena with the emoticon.

    I’m guessing Padgett in the #3 spot right now simply because he has a lot of AAA experience, including a season in the PCL with a .296 average. Like the rest of the lineup, though, he is good for a K a game.

  6. I just read the 10:00 update.

    That’s great news about Franklin’s willingness to start. It’s also great to have my genius recognized for once (by someone other than me).

    If Dryer can’t play third, that will complicate things. Padgett has exactly 3 career professional games at 3rd, so he’s not much of an option. Aspito has 37 career games at 3rd, but none since 2004. Based on the current roster, Cruz might have to start at an infield position with DeRenne and Perez in some combination.

  7. Knowing the gamer that Dryer is, it probably won’t be long before he plays third. And in my view, he was the most underrated defender on the club last year.

    Aspito played third sparingly for York last year and didn’t look all that comfortable there. But I’m thinking he’s the best option there for now — taking in account I haven’t seen Padgett or Von Schell in person.

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