* Here’s more talk about the Atlantic League returning to Atlantic City. (The article talks about the city that won the inaugural league championship hosting one — as in a single — game this year.)
It makes sense. The ballpark was opened in 1998, so it’s not even 20 years old. It’s sitting empty. There’s no reason a team doesn’t play there. But it’s a big step to go from “an Atlantic League game” in The Sandcastle (pictured above) to an Atlantic League team returning to the Jersey shore. But we’ll see what happens.
* Former York Revs closer Francis Beltran reached a deal with the Orioles in January. The 6-foot-5 right-hander left York in the middle of the 2010 season to play in Mexico. He had good stuff but struggled at times to close out save situations, relying on his secondary pitches instead of his mid-90s fastball at pivotal points late in games. When the Mexican League season ended in 2010, the Revs had filled the closer’s role with R.J. Rodriguez so Beltran did not return. Beltran appeared in five games for Houston’s Triple-A club in Oklahoma City last season, posting a 19.89 ERA.
Small tidbit on Beltran: The Revs’ Under Armour jerseys were new in the 2010 season, but they were not big enough to accommodate Beltran. His No. 41 jerseys needed to be altered. That’s why the No. 41 jersey had a different colored yoke — fabric that runs horizontally across back of the shoulders — than the rest of the team. Subsequently the tallest and biggest players — see Jason Botts — in York typically wore No. 41.
* Former Road Warriors manager Roy Howell has landed in the Mariners organization. Howell has been named the hitting instructor for the High Desert Mavericks (High-A) under manager Pedro Grifol.
* Here’s a rundown of former Staten Island Yankees, including some info on former Atlantic League players. I didn’t know until reading this article that former Atlantic League slugger Wily Mo Pena signed with Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League in November.
* Former Lancaster infielder Terry Tiffee signed with the Miami Marlins.
* Ducks ace Mike Loree (14-8, 1.98 ERA) re-signed with the Pirates. (Sorry, I originally missed this one on the transactions wire back in January.) The 6-6 right-hander shut down York in the championship series opener, helping Long Island take Game 1 by a 1-0 margin in Central Islip, N.Y.
Nelson Figueroa, a former big leaguer who spent part of 2006 with the Long Island Ducks, signed with the Blue Jays in January.