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(April 6, 2022) — In a loaded week of additions, the York Revolution announced four newcomers and one returnee from last season. Reliever Israel Cruz returns to the club for a second season, joined by outfielder Troy Stokes, Jr., pitcher Nick Travieso, pitcher Johsson Arias, and infielder Carlos Rivero. The signings were announced by manager Mark Mason live on Monday’s airing of Revs Hot Stove Weekly presented by Shipley Energy on SportsRadio 98.9 FM and 1350 WOYK.

Cruz returns for a second season in York and figures to once again be a key piece in the bullpen. He pitched to a 4.24 ERA, striking out 25 hitters over 23.1 innings. He got off to a great start, with four scoreless outings over his first three innings. Cruz also recorded one save on the season on September 15 versus Lancaster.

“I think the couple of weeks he missed last year may have set him back,” said Mason. “He’s a strike thrower, fewer hits than innings pitched and over a strikeout per inning. Primarily a fastball and changeup combo, and at only 24 years old he’ll have a great opportunity to even get picked up this year.”

Cruz’s professional career began in 2014 in the Texas Rangers system before he was sent to the San Francisco Giants in 2017 in exchange for LHP Matt Moore. With the Giants, he reached High A in 2019, recording six saves in that season across two levels. In Cruz’s professional career, he is 13-9 with a 4.02 ERA and seven saves. 

Stokes brings Major League experience to York, having reached the bigs with the Pittsburgh Pirates last season. Stokes brings a unique blend of power and speed to the table, driving 125 doubles and 65 home runs, while swiping 146 bases over seven pro seasons. The Revs also look to him to provide stable defense across the outfield, winning a MiLB Gold Glove for his defensive work in 2018.

“He can do a little bit of everything,” said Mason. “You normally don't see guys like that come available for us. I’m sure he's coming in with a chip on his shoulder as well considering he was just in the bigs last year.”

Stokes, a Columbia, MD native, was drafted in the fourth round of the 2014 draft by Milwaukee out of Calvert Hall. As an amateur prospect, he was rated the #1 overall player in the state of Maryland and was committed to becoming a Maryland Terrapin prior to his draft selection.

Travieso, a right-handed starter, was a pivotal rotation piece last season with the Kansas City Monarchs of the American Association in their league championship run. Travieso pitched 86.2 innings for the Monarchs, striking out 64 hitters and turning in a complete game in his first start with the club.

“He’s definitely focused and hungry to get back to where he was before the stoppages,” said Mason, referencing Travieso’s injury in 2017, followed directly by COVID cancellations. “He pitched well in a full season last year and has a lot of pedigree.”

Travieso began his pro career in 2012 after being selected 14th overall by the Cincinnati Reds in that year’s draft. Across six minor league seasons, Travieso posted a 32-25 record, pitching to a 3.57 ERA and striking out 360 hitters. A highly touted prospect out of high school, Travieso was rated as the 11th best RHP in that year’s high school class and 4th in the state of Florida. He earned a scholarship to the University of Miami prior to his draft selection. He spent the offseason training in Florida with Revs starter Alex Sanabia.

Arias is a hard throwing right-handed pitcher from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He split time in his professional career between the Houston Astros and Baltimore Orioles organizations. Most recently with the DSL Orioles in 2018, Arias pitched to a 4-3 record with a 2.81 ERA, striking out 56 hitters in the process. Mason sees Arias potentially filling into a long relief role.

“I’ve heard great reports from guys that have seen him throw in person,” he said. “We know the velocity is there, it's just a matter of getting it over the plate. I liked enough of what I've seen to give him the opportunity.”

Rivero brings a strong defensive presence to the Revs roster this upcoming season. Rivero spent six seasons in the Cincinnati Reds organization and has been highly regarded for his defensive prowess and versatility.

“I've been told by many people that called him one of the best defenders in the Reds system,” praised Mason. “He could definitely be in a utility role with us, particularly in the middle infield. Even if it's a defensive replacement late in the game, he gives us more options to keep our defense at a high level throughout.”

Rivero spent six seasons in the Reds organization, totaling 251 hits and 28 doubles and even flashed plenty of speed, stealing 66 bases, with a career-high 20 back in 2015.

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