Aspito and Thurman headline four signings

revs crabs

Jason Aspito is York’s very own version of Benjamin Button.

The birthdays continue to pile up for the man who turned 30 early last month. But somehow as he ages, Aspito finds himself feeling younger and healthier — a la Brad Pitt’s character in one of the most popular films of 2008 — than he did as a 23-year-old fresh out of Loyola Marymount (Ca.).

He no longer has to deal with the lingering effects from microfracture surgery on his left knee (the same operation that threatened the careers of Amar’e Stoudemire and Greg Oden). The two other knee operations he had subsequently are in the rearview mirror.

Life as a healthy man is grand.

And it will continue in a York Revolution uniform.

The Revs announced Aspito’s return on Friday along with starting pitcher Corey Thurman. The club also announced the addition of newcomers Steve Andrade, a former major league relief pitcher, and outfielder Tommy Collaro.

Aspito pieced together the best year of his nine-year career last year (.294 average/24 home runs/105 RBIs) and emerged as one of the best all-around players in the Atlantic League.

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What we’ve all been waiting for…

RL v Stewartstown

My apologies for the long hiatus. The mystique of wrestling singlets has consumed my every moment lately.

As many of you undoubtedly already realize, even with the York Revolution’s 2009 season more than two months away, there is still plenty to discuss. We’ll tackle the pertinent issues in bullet-form fashion.

1) A group of Susquehanna and Central League all-stars will face the Revolution in an exhibition game on April 18 at Fan Fest.

Local sandlot fans and townball players have been calling for this game since the Revolution arrived in town. Now they’ll finally get their chance against a group of likely former major leaguers and minor league veterans.

If nothing else, this game should provide plenty of intrigue and excitement. But spring training — as many of you know — is typically the time when Atlantic Leaguers are at their weakest, especially pitchers. Many pitchers new to the league are used to six weeks of spring training and the AL’s 10-day spring usually gives them fits (see: Corey Thurman).

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Risk and Reward

Throughout the history of baseball, a general manager’s willingness to roll the dice mid-season has paid off plenty.

The Chicago Cubs’ acquisition of Rick Sutcliffe in 1984 paid huge dividends — 16 wins, a Cy Young Award and a division title to be exact. And we’ve seen what’s happened with the Milwaukee Brewers just this year. C.C. Sabathia has been incredible, posting a 1.42 ERA and a 9-0 record in 12 starts for the Brew Crew.

Then there’s the other side of the coin.

What about Cleveland dealing Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew (Bridgeport fans, please stand up) for Grady Sizemore, Brandon Phillips, Cliff Lee and Lee Stevens in 2002? Or the deal that sent Jeff Bagwell from the Red Sox to the Astros for Larry Andersen in 1990? Or even perhaps the worst deadline deal of them all — the Cubs trade of a 24-year-old Lou Brock to the Cardinals for Ernie Broglio? (Had to scour the Internet for that one).

As you can see, many rolls of the dice end in snake eyes.

So while we’re talking in-season moves on the independent level with the York Revolution, you can still see how easily GMs can look like geniuses — or like idiots without a clue. And so far, Adam Gladstone, the Revs’ director of baseball operations, and manager Chris Hoiles are looking pretty clever for taking some risks and tinkering with their club.

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Game 123: Long Island 2, York 1; Game 124: Long Island 7, York 6

Through all the offensive outbursts, through all the pitching gems and through all the thrilling second-half victories, one vital cog of the York Revolution has played the role of savior many times.

The bullpen.

The guys who throw the gas. The men with ice water running through their veins. They’ve been the ones shortening games and bailing the Revs out of jams for weeks. But even a dominant group has off-days. Sunday just happened to be that day.

York’s bullpen, which entered the day with a 3.04 ERA in the last 35 games, coughed up one-run leads in both games of a doubleheader against Long Island. The Ducks captured a 2-1 decision in Game 1 and a 7-6 win in the nightcap before an announced crowd of 4,795 at Sovereign Bank Stadium.

Travis Phelps, who hadn’t allowed a run in 12 appearances since an outing July 29, surrendered a two-run double in the sixth inning of Game 1. Then Franklin Nunez blew his second save in eight chances in Game 2 — allowing an RBI single in the eighth inning. Both games were scheduled for seven innings.

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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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Revs acquire Sandel, Clemente

In the midst of its push for the Atlantic League playoffs, the York Revolution made a flurry of roster moves Thursday afternoon.

The Revs acquired shortstop George Sandel (pictured) in a trade from Southern Maryland for a player to be named later; former major leaguer and outfielder Edgard Clemente was signed; and infielder Sam Rosario’s rights were traded back to Nashua of the Can-Am League, completing an earlier trade with the Pride. Rosario was essentially traded to and from York for himself.

Sandel, 27, was moved by Blue Crabs’ manager Butch Hobson because Hobson wanted to make room for shortstop Travis Garcia, a .289 hitter in the Frontier League this year. Sandel has battled a recent shoulder injury and hit .254 in 111 games for Southern Maryland with 28 RBIs and 62 runs scored. He previously played for Adam Gladstone, the Revolution’s director of baseball operations, in Somerset when the Patriots won the league championship in 2005. His career stats are here.

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Veres placed on inactive list

A week after losing All-Star Nick McCurdy to the Florida Marlins, the York Revolution is in the market for a closer once again.

Veteran right-hander Dave Veres was placed on the inactive list Monday and drove back to his home in Colorado. Adam Gladstone, the Revolution’s director of baseball operations, didn’t rule out a possible Veres return this season but that seems incredibly unlikely. Veres posted a 1-2 record and 2.27 ERA in 35 appearances and struggled with a variety of injuries during his stint in York.

Veres’ departure comes at an interesting time. He saved all three games in a weekend sweep over Camden and had at least partially regained the form he showed early in the season. But perhaps Veres realized that with his health history (artificial hip), his chances of being signed by an affiliated organization were slim.

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