Series 16: Bridgeport @ York

The debate has been an on-going saga since the winter months. And it’s a question that if answered correctly could very easily solve the York Revolution’s offensive woes.

Who should the Revs’ No. 3 hitter be?

Obviously, I’ve dedicated a lot of time to this subject. Maybe I’ve overdone it. But the fact that manager Chris Hoiles still hasn’t settled on a No. 3 hitter almost 50 games into the Atlantic League season tells us all something. York just doesn’t have that type of guy on its current roster.

But a huge part of the Atlantic League is adapting to tough situations. When players leave for affiliated ball or when others are lost to injury, you have to adapt. So that’s what York is faced with — it must find a hitter who can fill in out of position in the No. 3 spot.

So who should it be? Here are York’s corresponding records with various No. 3 hitters this year: Matt Esquivel (0-2), Matt Padgett (9-14), Matt Dryer (3-9), Tyler Von Schell (2-2), Jake Daubert (0-2), Jason Aspito (2-1), Sandy Aracena (1-1), Chris Ashby (1-0).

Obviously, Padgett was given the longest run here. But since he injured his hamstring recently, he’s fallen out of favor. Dryer has also seen considerable time in the position and it hasn’t gone well. So that brings us to my choice for the job that Nate Espy filled so admirably last season:

Chris Ashby.

Ashby has shown a willingness to be patient at the plate and he’s also been on a tear lately. Entering Sunday, he was hitting .417 in his last seven games (10-for-24) with a homer, two doubles, five RBIs and six runs. He also has a .354 career on-base percentage in 15 minor league seasons, which isn’t in the Barry Bonds category, but is still very good. Lastly, Ashby has a bit of speed and is a deceptive baserunner, which makes him a nice fit in the middle of the order.

The only knock on Ashby is that he’s really struggled on the road (.188 average) compared to his great production at Sovereign Bank Stadium (.423 average). But you could really say that about York’s entire roster. For whatever reason, this team just doesn’t produce offensively on the road.

Also, Hoiles needs to settle on a No. 3 hitter and give that player at least 10 games in the position — whether it goes well or not. Maybe even 20 games would be better. At some point, you have to create a consistent role for every player. And that really hasn’t happened yet.

Bridgeport Notes: A ton of Bluefish hitters are really raking lately. In Bridgeport’s last 10 games, Ryan Bear (.417), Brian Munhall (.378), Branden Florence (.423) and Luis Lopez (.421) have been on fire. … Entering Sunday, Lopez, a former Rev, was third in the league with a .373 batting average. … Bear was ninth in batting at .346. … Bridgeport’s pitching staff has been truly atrocious. The ‘Fish have a 5.97 team ERA, more than a half-run higher than seventh-place Long Island (5.14). … Jesse Hoorelbeke is tied with Ray Navarrete of Long Island for the league lead in home runs (11). Navarette is now playing in Mexico. … Since being traded for Jake Daubert, outfielder Traviz Ezi is hitting .277 with Bridgeport and is 6-for-10 in stolen base attempts. Ezi has been the Bridgeport leadoff hitter since his arrival.

York Notes: Sandy Aracena has a 14-game hitting streak, which is tops on the Revs this season. … Matt Esquivel has hit safely in 16 of his last 17 games and entering Sunday he was hitting .412 in his last 10 games with three homers, 11 RBIs and 10 runs. … York’s pitching staff has already tossed six shutouts this season after throwing five all of last year. … Jason Aspito leads the clubs with eight home runs and seven go-ahead RBIs. … Matt Dryer still leads York with seven infield hits. … York only has three bunt hits all season. … Nick McCurdy has retired only 11 of the first 20 batters he’s faced out of the bullpen. But he still has a 1.88 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings. … York is 7-7 in June after a 9-21 record in May.

Pitching Probables: (York’s starters first)

Game 1: Dave Gil (0-2, 8.27 ERA) vs. Ryan DiPietro (1-1, 4.66 ERA)

Game 2: Corey Thurman (3-5, 5.71 ERA) vs. Barry Hertzler (2-2, 3.70 ERA)

Game 3: Aaron Rakers (2-5, 5.65 ERA) vs. Rafael Bergstrom (3-2, 5.76 ERA)

*John Pavoncello photo.

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2 Responses

  1. Jeff, I noticed that Ashby pitched over 20 innings one year at AA and had a nice (2.25) ERA. He pitched a few AAA innings the next season (including three starts according to baseball-reference.com) and got hit pretty hard.

    Would you mind asking him about that experience? It seems like it was more than just mop up and garbage time, since it covered so many innings, he had the three starts, and also took a loss in relief.

  2. I’ve been meaning to do that. I’ve seen some photos of him on the mound, so I don’t think it’s a mistake.

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