In a move that could handcuff the York Revolution for weeks if not the remainder of the first half, the Oakland A’s signed one of York’s best hitters, Val Majewski, and one of the league’s best pitchers, Jesus Sanchez.
Sanchez led the league with a 1.63 EA. Majewski ranked among the league leaders in hitting for most of the season. He entered Thursday night ranked seventh in the league. Majewski and team officials verified that Majewski is headed to Double-A and Sanchez to Triple-A.
Oakland signed three players Thursday, including Lancaster OF Matt Watson. The A’s have inked five Atlantic League players during the first five weeks of the season. That’s rare. During the time York has been in the league, only the 2007 Phillies have signed more players (six) during a season.
Adding more misery to the Revs, reliever Francis Beltran has also left the club. The former big leaguer has signed a contract in the Mexican League. So York lost three former big leaguers in one day.
What’s this mean for the Revs?
York may yet find a player to replace Majewski’s bat in the lineup. They still have four outfielders. So they may not be hurting in that department. But it’s unlikely York can find a pitcher to fill Sanchez’s role as a shut-down starter.
LHP Shane Youman has struggled this season. If he can snap out of his early season funk, the Revs may be OK.
But Thursday’s news definitely keeps Somerset in the driver’s seat in the Freedom Division. How can York hope to catch the Patriots after losing two of its best players?
The Revs could still make a run. But they are going to need to get more production out of some of their hitters. The good news is the Revs have some players capable of carrying a team. They need James Shanks to return to his run-producing ways of 2009. A big June by Ian Bladergroen could carry the club. But the Revs will also need to make an acquisition or have one of their relievers step into the starting rotation.