Joe Van Meter and Travis Witherspoon among the Revolution’s latest signings, team announces
YORK — The York Revolution announced Tuesday that three more players have been added to the 2018 roster: right-handed pitchers Matt Stites and Joe Van Meter and outfielder Travis Witherspoon.
The signings were announced by manager Mark Mason.
Van Meter and Witherspoon are returning to York after spending last season with the Revolution. Stites joins the team after spending the last seven years in affiliated leagues, the most recent with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Stites, 27, spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons in the Major Leagues with the D-backs, making 48 appearances and logging 41.2 innings. He spent 2016 shuffling back and forth between Arizona’s Double- and Triple-A affiliates, going 5-2 with a 2.75 earned run average in 52.1 innings.
He spent 2017 with Arizona’s Triple-A team.
“He’s a good fit for us, and I think that we’re a good fit for him with where he is in his career right now and what he’s trying to accomplish. He can help us win some games,” Mason said. “Those experienced kind of guys that are in the bullpen, they aren’t going to be overwhelmed. (He’s a) fast worker that’s going to come in and attack the hitters. A guy that’s going to attack the strike zone, and that’s what we want.”
Witherspoon batted .275 with 48 RBIs and 68 runs scored in 126 games with the Revolution last year. He was voted onto the Atlantic League All-Star team for the second straight year and served as York’s leadoff hitter.
He originally came to the Revolution in a 2016 trade with the Lancaster Barnstormers.
“It’s really nice to have ‘Spoon’ back. We know defensively he’s as good as anybody in the league, if not the best in the league in center field. He does a great job. He can play anywhere in the outfield that we need him to play. He’s just been a solid everyday guy. He wants to play every day. He plays the game hard,” Mason said.
Van Meter went 4-2 with a 2.57 ERA in 55 games last year in York. He had 64 strikeouts and allowed 45 hits in 63 innings. In 2016, he pitched in nine games for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, and he spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons in the American Association. Van Meter was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 21st round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of Virginia Commonwealth University and spent parts of four seasons in their farm system. He has also pitched in the Tampa Bay Rays’ and Baltimore Orioles’ systems.
“He did a really great job for us, and I know he’s somebody that we can plug in there in the late innings too. He throws strikes, he powers the zone, good fastball,” Mason said. “We’ll just keep trying to get Joe better and let him build on what he did last year. I think if we can do that, he’ll have another great year.”