Totten also back in affiliated ball

Perhaps it’s because he only spent four games in a York Revolution uniform, but I completely missed Heath Totten re-signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the recent transaction report from Baseball America.

tottenTotten, 30, was cut by the Minnesota Twins’ organization a season ago and joined York while the team was in Lancaster. He put up a 7.94 ERA in his four outings out of the bullpen and was thought to be a potential starter for the Revs before he was quickly scooped up by the Dodgers, nearly setting the record for shortest stint with York (Steve Schmoll’s record of 26 hours will be pretty tough to break).

The Port Arthur, Tex. native went on to have a pretty decent year at Triple-A Las Vegas. He posted a 4.30 ERA in 13 starts and compiled an 8-5 record with a 37-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Those numbers were even more incredible when you consider he surrendered 105 hits in 73.1 innings.

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Nunez lands with Colorado

The all-time leader in saves in York Revolution history is headed back to affiliated baseball.

Franklin Nunez, York’s closer for much of 2007 and 2008, has signed a minor league deal with the Colorado Rockies. The signing was first reported by Atlantic League Baseball News

Rev Spring TrainingNunez started the ’07 season in spring training with York and his season was marred by injuries. But when he did take the mound, the Dominican-born right-hander turned into one of the most dominant relievers in the Atlantic League.

He had a 2.76 ERA and a 51/12 strikeout-to-walk-ratio in 30 appearances. That stretch of dominance helped him earn a spot at Triple-A (Nashville) with the Milwaukee Brewers, the same club that had been scouting Nunez from the very first day of spring training in Lakeland, Fla.

Last year, Nunez started off the year with Saltillo of the Mexican League, going 3-2 with a 2.86 ERA and a 43/12 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 39 games. He joined the Revolution after the Mexican season ended and seemed to regress a bit. Nunez had a 3.98 ERA in 18 games while making many saves of the roller-coaster-ride variety.

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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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Redman lands in Mexico

Although Tike Redman’s year-and-a-half stint with the Baltimore Orioles appears to be over, the 31-year-old outfielder has not given up on his professional baseball career quite yet.

Royals Orioles BaseballBased on results pumped through the trusty Spanish-to-English translator and this online report, it appears that Redman is playing for Algodoneros de Guasave of the Mexican Pacific League this winter.

As most of you will recall, Redman was the first York Revolution player in history to earn an affiliated deal. He landed with the Orioles in May of 2007 and was assigned to Triple-A Norfolk after hitting .464 with 13 hits in just seven games with the Revs.

With the Tides the last two years, Redman served as a trusty outfielder and leadoff man, hitting .304 in ’07 with 25 stolen bases and then following that up with a .292 average in 116 games in ’08. Unfortunately, the acquisitions of Adams Jones and Luke Scott in the Miguel Tejada deal prior to the ’08 season left little room in the majors for Redman and he never saw the inside of Camden Yards all season. 

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Perez rejoins Revs

There’s a new addition to the York Revolution’s clubhouse these days.

Above the door to manager Chris Hoiles’ office, the pictures of every Rev to earn an affiliated contract while playing in York peer down on everyone that walks by.

There’s Tike Redman, Peter Bergeron, Jeff Farnsworth and all the rest. And of course there’s Kenny Perez, who was signed by the Colorado Rockies earlier this summer.

But there’s a serious question to ask here: If Perez earns a second affiliated deal from playing with the Revs, does he get two pictures on the wall?

York just might have to figure out the answer to that question.

The Revolution re-acquired Perez Friday afternoon mere days after his season ended in Colorado Springs (Triple-A for the Rockies). It might appear strange that Perez was granted his release — major league organizations usually hold players under contract until Oct. 15 — but the Rockies were willing to give Perez an opportunity to showcase himself to other organizations.

York placed fan-favorite outfielder Kaz Tanaka on the inactive list to make room for Perez on the 25-man active roster.

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McCurdy moving on up

As Thomasville High School’s quarterback way back in 1997, it was Nick McCurdy’s job to lead the Tigers’ offense.

That didn’t involve throwing the ball too much, though. McCurdy estimated he threw maybe five or six passes a game — perhaps 10 if an opponent was gearing up to stop the run. Basically, McCurdy was behind center to hand the ball off to Thomasville’s running backs. The Tigers finished 6-5 and made the playoffs in his only year as starter.

“We trapped and sweeped. That’s all we did,” McCurdy said with a chuckle earlier this summer.

Well maybe the Tigers’ coaching staff should have let their senior signal caller throw the ball a bit more.

After all, McCurdy’s proven he has a powerful right arm. He’s just put that appendage to use in another sport entirely — baseball. And after starting this year with the York Revolution and earning a trip to the Atlantic League All-Star Game, McCurdy earned an affiliated offer from the Florida Marlins. He’s used that opportunity to work himself up through the Marlins’ organization very quickly.

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Judging the Revs in another area

Editor’s Note: This column ran in Monday’s York Dispatch.

Exactly how do we judge the York Revolution? 

Well, wins and losses are always a good place to start. After taking two of three from Long Island, York sits at 4-5 in the second half. And with a stretch of seven straight home games starting Monday night, the Revs have ample opportunity to make some noise in the standings.

What about how the Revs look on paper? There’s reason for optimism there too. The additions of Shea Hillenbrand (.389, 12-game hitting streak) and Kennard Jones (.331, 29 runs in 31 games) have ignited an offense that’s hitting .312 over the last 28 games. 

But while dissecting the numbers is always fun, that kind of logic misses the point. There’s another area in which the Revolution must be judged: Players sold back to affiliated organizations. 

After all, that’s the supposed No. 1 purpose of the Atlantic League — behind making money, I assure you. And it’s the league’s success in helping players revive their careers that allows teams such as York to land the Hillenbrands of the world. 

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