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Munro says no to bone marrow

LAKELAND, Fla. — Pete Munro figured out pretty quickly last year that an American’s idea of Chinese food differs greatly from the Chinese cuisine you’ll find in Taiwan.

He didn’t care for chicken bones, raw fish or bone marrow — yum! So Munro lost a considerable amount of weight playing for the Uni President Lions in Taiwan last season and was forced to hunt for a few suitable restaurants. He eventually found a couple, though, and put together a spectacular season. Munro went 14-7 with a 2.02 ERA while striking out 122 hitters. He also played a big part in his club winning the Chinese Professional Baseball Championship.

The former Houston Astros’ pitcher returned to Taiwan for three days at the beginning of this season before figuring it wasn’t worth another shot. That’s when he contemplated retiring. But his old buddy Wayne Franklin gave him a phone call and encouraged him to give the Atlantic League a try.

Now the man who has arguably one of the most impressive resumes of any York Revolution pitcher in history will fill a void in the front of the Revs’ starting rotation.

“Wayne said to come play over here because it’s relaxed and you’re not playing for the money,” Munro said following York’s first practice of the season on Tuesday. “And a lot of guys go to the big leagues straight from here. I figured I’d give it one last shot.”

Munro had elbow surgery to clean out some loose bone chips in 1999, but he has enjoyed a relatively injury-free career since the operation. He started in two games in the 2004 NLCS with Houston and also was one of six Houston pitchers to combine on a no-hitter against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. The right-hander called both those moments the highlights of his career.

“You can ask the question and I can give an answer, but there’s really no words that can express that feeling you get with that atmosphere,” Munro said of pitching in the NLCS.

Munro, 32, is slated to throw 35 pitches in live batting practice on Wednesday along with five other Revolution pitchers. Today, Matt Trent, Aaron Myette, Jason Olson, Landon Jacobsen, Dan Foli and Franklin all took their turns on the mound.

York also took fielding practice and Kenny Perez (right), Keoni De Renne and Jose Enrique Cruz all took grounders at second base, third base and shortstop. Matt Padgett and Jason Aspito also spent some time at third and Matt Dryer was at first for the entire workout. Dryer did not look completely comfortable throwing the ball, but trainer Gary Himes said the Revolution slugger is ahead of schedule on his recovery from labrum surgery.

Adam Gladstone, the Revolution’s director of baseball operations, addressed York’s group of 24 players before the start of Tuesday’s workout and gave them an idea of how spring training would unfold.

“There’s an excellent chance that what you see here is what we’ll start the year with,” Gladstone said.

*Photos by Dispatch photographer Bill Kalina.


2 Responses

  1. I was excited to see that the Revs signed Pete Munro and I’m particularly happy to see that he has a good attitude about the league. I’d be glad to recommend some good restaurants in York to him, too. Hopefully, he feels better about hog maw than bone marrow.

    It will be interesting to see how the third base situation resolves itself.

    From an offensive standpoint, the best lineup would probably have Padgett or Aspito at third. They both have pretty limited experience there, though.

    If they went with more of a defensive infield, it would probably involve DeRenne, Perez, and Cruz in some combination. Is there any sense so far of where Hoiles prefers those guys? Just looking at their minor league stats and experience my guess would be Cruz at second, DeRenne at short, and Perez at third…but you could almost make a case for any combo.

  2. I’m waiting for every pitcher to take a turn before getting into specific talks on where guys will fit in, etc. After one day, I’m not sure that Hoiles would be able to tell us much.

    De Renne and Perez are interchangeable at any infield position (Perez has even been learning first lately) and my bet is that we won’t see a full-time shortstop for the first part of the season. I think the coaching staff wants to see how both guys do there.

    I don’t think the Revs signed Cruz with the intention of making him an every day player, so plan on seeing Aspito or Padgett at third base in the early going. And with the loss of Von Schell, the Revs will need both of them in the lineup regularly.

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