Revs’ lineup could bash

Editor’s Note: Relief pitcher Dan Foli was released by the Revolution Wednesday. Read about it here.

The strength of the York Revolution’s opening-day roster this season is undoubtedly the club’s pitching staff.

The Revs’ collection of six former major league pitchers dwarfs what any other Atlantic League team has assembled, and judging from York’s performance in spring training, the pitchers without major league experience should be very good as well. Youngsters Matt Trent and Reid Price impressed in their outings and Jason Olson developed a splitter over the offseason that looked devastating in scrimmages and live batting practice. Nick McCurdy was also solid.

Yet, with all the hype York’s pitching has received — from yours truly, especially — the team’s lineup should also be quite powerful. Until I looked at last year’s opening-day lineup recently, I just didn’t realize it.

So I’ll try to instill the same type of awakening for readers here. Below is the list of last year’s opening-day starters with this year’s potential lineup in parenthesis.

  1. Tike Redman RF (Travis Ezi CF)
  2. Vic Gutierrez 2B (Keoni De Renne SS)
  3. Peter Bergeron CF (Matt Esquivel RF)
  4. Nate Espy 1B (Matt Padgett 1B)
  5. Matt Dryer DH (Matt Dryer DH)
  6. Luis Cotto SS (Jason Aspito LF)
  7. Greg Brown C (Kenny Perez 3B)
  8. Russ Cleveland 3B (Sandy Aracena/Luis Taveras C)
  9. Travis Ezi LF (Jose Enrique Cruz 2B)

For starters, yes, last year’s opening-day lineup was missing Travis Hake (flu), Willie Matos (visa problems), Fleming Baez (visa problems), Rayner Bautista (visa problems) and Taveras (visa problems). And these absences forced Cleveland to play third and Cotto to start at shortstop. But we’re not talking about the absence of Henry Aaron here, people. Last year’s lineup was not very strong and this season the Revs have upgraded in just about every spot.

Only Tike Redman and possibly Nate Espy would have been stronger options in their respective spots in the order. Plus, Matt Padgett is no slouch as a cleanup hitter and given a whole season in the Atlantic League, he could end up topping Espy’s power numbers.

I still think the team lacks a hitter capable of hitting .310 and getting on base at a .400+ clip in the middle of the order, and this could cause the Revs’ lineup to stall on certain nights. But you can’t really argue with the results from spring training so far. York flat out crushed the ball at times and Esquivel’s approach to hitting started to make me a believer in him as a solid No. 3 guy. I watched Esquivel (shown here with Travis Ezi and Corey Thurman) take the ball the other way and also pull one hard smash through the hole at third and there was one common theme going on in both instances: Esquivel hits it hard no matter where it goes.

Also, the best thing I like about the lineup is that Matt Dryer and Jason Aspito get to move down a notch to roles that suit them. Dryer is a good cleanup man, but an excellent No. 5 hitter. The same goes for Aspito. He’s much better as the No. 6 guy in the lineup rather than hitting fourth or fifth.

Thursday night, I’ll have a preview of the Camden/York series with probable starters and some notes on each team. This is something I plan to do for the entire season at the start of each series, so be sure to check in for that plus game re-caps. There’s 140 of them, in case you forgot, and I might lose my vision completely from staring at a computer screen, but I think my employer’s insurance covers that. Or at least a guide dog and a reimbursement for brail training. Life is grand.

*Esquivel photo by Dispatch photographer Bill Kalina.

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3 Responses

  1. With all of the visa problems that last year’s Revs players had and Lancaster’s Sendy Rleal and Jose Cabrera are having this year, you’d think they’d switch to MasterCard. Ughhh,,,,bad, bad joke.

    It’s interesting to see the lineup from last year compared to this year. It really hit me how temporary an Atlantic League roster can be. By my count, only two regulars were starters at the beginning of the year and at the end, Espy and Dryer, and Dryer missed some time in the middle of the season. This year’s lineup looks really strong, but how long will it last?

  2. Definitely true. Nothing in the Atlantic League stays the same for very long. So get out and see the team on opening day or in the first home series, because it may be one of very few chances to see the club intact.

  3. Jesse Hoorelbeke is back with the Bluefish. Read about the Atlantic League Co-MVP’s return here.

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