Esquivel signs with Indians

esquivel-grab

One of the York Revolution’s most popular players is getting a second chance in affiliated baseball.

Matt Esquivel, once a prized Atlanta Braves prospect, has signed a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians, according to Revolution officials. The 25-year-old outfielder finished with a .294 average, 35 doubles, 13 homers and 77 RBIs in his one year with the Revs — impressive numbers considering his dreadful start to the season.

080425-matt-esquivelAs you will all probably recall, Esquivel landed in independent baseball at a really young age because of a series of undisclosed incidents off the field that he played a part in during his time with the Braves. Atlanta grew tired of it and released him, but Esquivel redeemed his reputation and his playing career with a successful season in York, on and off the field.

The San Antonio, Tex. native — who had talks of walking on as a running back at Nebraska years ago — grew very close with many York players and seemed to really enjoy his time with the Revolution. He had this to say about his time with the Revs after York’s loss to Somerset in the playoffs.

“It’s just being around the guys,” Esquivel said. “It’s not every year you get to play with the group of guys we have right now. Not only do we get to share the baseball field, but we get to share our personal lives. And it’s just one of those things where I’ve been able to open up.”

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McCurdy excels in winter ball

When the dog days of summer roll around every year, you can count on affiliated organizations scouring the Atlantic League for talent.

Revolution vs BarnstormersThere are a number of reasons to explain this. Injured players (think Kenny Perez) can open a void at Triple-A in a certain system. Maybe a team wants to reacquire a familiar face. Heck, maybe a particular organization is facing the reality that it did a horrendous job of drafting players.    

Whatever the reason, unfortunately many Atlantic Leaguers are viewed as nothing more than short-term rentals. Luckily, that doesn’t appear to be the case with former Revolution relief pitcher Nick McCurdy.

The right-hander signed an affiliated deal with the Florida Marlins after earning the save in the 2008 Atlantic League All-Star game and he’s had plenty of success with the Fish. McCurdy, 28, has pitched for the Marlins in winter ball in Puerto Rico and has done pretty well.

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Minor stays with Shorebirds

Rev Spring Training

It was almost a foregone conclusion that Ryan Minor would eventually land a managing job in the Atlantic League — until the big names came a calling, that is.

Von Hayes. Gary Carter. Wally Backman. All had more panache then the former heir apparent to Cal Ripken Jr., leaving Minor to take his act to the Delmarva Shorebirds (the Single-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) a season ago.

Minor served as the Shorebirds’ field coach in 2008 and he’ll return to Delmarva in the same capacity this season, according to a news release from the Orioles. Minor is a Salisbury, Md. resident, which is very close to Delmarva, so the proximity to his family is a definite perk of the position.

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Phelps signed by Tigers

Travis Phelps has had his troubles just getting on the field the last several years.

travis_phelpsAfter battling through nearly an eight-hour surgery to remove a tumor behind his ear just more than a year ago, Phelps had the misfortune of finding the shelf again for six weeks in 2008. That time the culprit was a strained muscle in his armpit, of all places.

But once Phelps, a member of the 2008 York Revolution bullpen, finally did reach the pitcher’s mound, it was easy to see why the man with the slender, 160-pound frame ascended all the way to the major leagues with Tampa Bay and Milwaukee years ago.

And Phelps is now getting another chance at baseball’s biggest stage.

The former York Revolution and Newark Bears’ relief pitcher has been signed by the Detroit Tigers, according to York Revolution officials. Phelps turned into one of York’s go-to set-up men last year and also an occasional closer while posting a 3-3 record with a 3.82 ERA.

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