Mets Minor League Report: April 17, 2014


MMLR Players of the Day: St. Lucie LHSP Steven Matz & Binghamton RHSP Matt Bowman.


Las Vegas (12-3) reams Reno (6-9) 6-0.

With an 8.44 ERA in his first four appearances for Las Vegas, all in relief, Dana Eveland (W, 1-0) was rewarded with a start. And lo and behold, he pitches especially well and gets a win. 5.0 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 6 K.
Eveland was followed by the ageless (36 yr old) lefty, Buddy Carlyle, making his first appearance for Las Vegas. Defying his 5.58 career MLB ERA, Carlyle, who hasn’t had a MLB appearance since 2011, tossed 2.0 scoreless innings. H, 2 BB, 2 K.
Joel Carreno pitched a scoreless 8th inning: 1.0 IP, 0 R, H, BB, K.
Erik Goeddell then pitched a perfect 9th.

Danny Muno: 2-5, R.
Eric Campbell goes Muno 1 better: 3-5, 2 R.
Wilmer Flores finally breaks out: 2-5, 3B, 2B, 3 RBI, R.
Allan Dykstra: 2-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, R. Dykstra continues his incredible start. His slash line is now .429/.579/.750. You read that right - OPS is 1.329.
Matt den Dekker: 2-5.
Juan Centeno, 2-4, is also off to a fine start. Batting .321.



Bingo (8-4) belts New Hampshire (4-8) 4-1.

A spectacular start for Matt Bowman: (W, 2-0) 7.0 IP, 0 R, 4 H, BB, 11K. Coincidentally, Bowman’s ERA and WHIP are both 0.75 for now.
John Church was perfect in the 8th inning. (2 K)
Chase Bradford let the Fisher Cats off the schneid: 1.0 IP, R, 2 H, 0 BB, K.

CF Darrell Ceciliani, in the leadoff spot, continues to rake: 3-5, 2B, 2 R. DC has his avg. up to .400.
Brian Burgamy: 2-2, 3 BB.
Matt Clark: 1-3, 2 RBI.
Matt Reynolds: 3-4, R.
With 6 of the 9 starters in the lineup (which included a DH) batting over .300. the impressive B-Mets’ put together an 11 hit attack.



St. Lucie (8-6) smacks Fort Myers (8-6) 6-1.

Steven Matz (W, 1-1) could not be better: 7.0 IP, 0 R, 2 H, BB, 6 K. (Well, I guess a no-no would be better, but how many minor league no hitters do we ever see?)
Jake Kuebler followed Matz: 2.0 IP, R, 2 H, BB, K.

Dilson Herrera: 1-4, RBI, R.
T.J. Rivera: 2-5, 2B, RBI.
Cam Maron: 1-4, BB, 2 RBI.
Maikis De La Cruz: 2-4, R, SB.



Greenville (8-6) blanks Savannah (9-5) 4-0.

When you don’t score, you can’t win.
Robert Gsellman (L, 1-2, despite his 1.56 ERA) pitched well enough to win, but didn’t: 5.0 IP, R, 3 H, 3 BB, 5 K. (As an aside, the winning pitcher in this game was Teddy Stankiewicz, who the Mets drafted in the 2nd round of the 2012 draft, but were unable to sign.)
Akeel Morris: 2.0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 3 BB, 2 K.
Darwin Frias: 1.0 IP, 3 R, 1 ER, H, BB, 2 K.
John Mincone: 1.0 IP, 0 R, 2 H.

Jeff McNeil: 2-4.
Jared King: 1-4, SB.


A Quick Look - OF - Carl Chester - Lake Brantley (FL) HS


            Carl Chester

7-2-13  -  2014  - Top 100 High School Prospects -  48. Carl Chester- OF, Lake Brantley (FL) HS http://www.ninebaseball.org/Wordpress/jeff-sullivans-top-100-2014-prospects/

7-25-13 – Top 30 High School Prospects For 2014 Draft - 15. Carl Chester, CF, Lake Brantley HS (FL) - 6'0/175, R/R, Draft Day Age: 18.48, Miami commit, Full Report & Video - Quick Take: Chester comes from the school that produced Mariners SS Nick Franklin and has another top round prospect for this year's draft, IF Tate Blackman, as one of the stronger teams in a completely loaded Orlando high school scene. Chester is a plus to plus-plus runner with great feel to hit in games and solid gap power. http://sbb.scout.com/2/1310090.html

2013 East Coast Pro Showcase Top 50 Prospects    - 47. Carl Chester – OF, Lake Brantley (FL) HS - Has game changing speed and a plus arm from the OF. http://www.ninebaseball.org/Wordpress/sullys-top-50-ecp-prospects/

8-14-13 – Through The Fence – Top 50 Prospects – 43. Carl Chester, OF, Lake Brantley HS (FL) - A plus/plus runner who has been times at 6.28 in the 60, the right-hander can wreak havoc on the base paths, as well as in the outfield where you’d be hard pressed to hit anything over his head. At 6’-0” and 170 pounds, he also shows some raw power in his swing and excellent bat speed. A quick-twitch athlete with a lot of upside. He stole 18 of 20 bases as a junior and struck out just 11 times over 110 plate appearances. Committed to Miami. http://throughthefencebaseball.com/2014-mlb-draft-top-50-prospects/36463#mwWwsFxSUZy7YC5V.99

9-11-13 - Sully’s 2014 Top 100 MLB HS Draft Prospects – 77.Carl Chester – OF, Lake Brantley (FL) HS  http://www.ninebaseball.org/Wordpress/sullys-2014-top-100-mlb-hs-draft-prospects/   

11-21-13 – BA Top 100 High School Players - 69 Carl Chester OF R/R 5-11 167 Lake Brantley, Longwood, Fla. Miami http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/2014-high-school-top-100-with-commitments/

12-10-13 – TTF – Top 50 HS Players - 42. Carl Chester, OF, Lake Brantley HS (FL) - A plus/plus runner who has been times at 6.28 in the 60, the right-hander can wreak havoc on the base paths, as well as in the outfield where you’d be hard pressed to hit anything over his head. At 6’-0” and 170 pounds, he also shows some raw power in his swing and excellent bat speed. A quick-twitch athlete with a lot of upside. He stole 18 of 20 bases as a junior and struck out just 11 times over 110 plate appearances. Committed to Miami. http://throughthefencebaseball.com/2014-mlb-draft-top-50/40532#zz88YJZTOG8iEa1Z.99

1-3-14 – TTF Baseball - 63. Los Angeles Dodgers — Carl Chester, OF, Lake Brantley HS (FL) - A plus/plus runner who has been times at 6.28 in the 60, the right-hander can wreak havoc on the base paths, as well as in the outfield where you’d be hard pressed to hit anything over his head. At 6’-0” and 170 pounds, he also shows some raw power in his swing and excellent bat speed. A quick-twitch athlete with a lot of upside. He stole 18 of 20 bases as a junior and struck out just 11 times over 110 plate appearances. Committed to Miami. http://throughthefencebaseball.com/2014-mlb-draft-2/40753#ppGUqI6CbWFvzsPf.99  

2-11-14 – PG/Florida HS Dream Team – Best Baserunner: Carl Chester, Sr. Lake Brantley - Chester turned in the top 60 time of the past year from all Perfect Game events, a 6.28 at last June's National Showcase. A plus runner, Chester uses his speed both in the outfield and on the bases, showing aggressiveness on the base-paths and is very disruptive to the opposing pitcher once he gets on. Todd Isaacs Jr. came bursting on the scene in Jupiter with the Atlanta Blue Jays, and made a strong run at this category, as did Nick Gordon. http://perfectgame.org/Articles/View.aspx?article=9372  

2-11-14 – PG/Florida HS Dream Team – Best Defensive Outfielder: Carl Chester, Sr. Lake Brantley - Carl Chester is the complete package in center field. Being a plus runner, Chester gets a quick first step on the ball, and is able to cover a vast amount of real estate. He glides easily to the ball with clean fielding actions. On top of those tools, Chester owns a strong arm, something not commonly associated with fleet-footed center fielders. http://perfectgame.org/Articles/View.aspx?article=9372  

2-11-14 – PG/Florida HS Dream Team – OF – Carl Chester, Sr. Lake Brantley - The 6.28 60-yard dash at the National Showcase can speak to Chester’s ability to run. That speed plays on both sides of the ball as he covers a lot of ground in center field (see below) and allows him to get down the first base line in the 4.0 to 4.1 area consistently. Once on base, Chester wreaks havoc and is very disruptive. The University of Miami commit shows a fluid righthanded swing with surprising pop and an advanced approach at the plate. http://perfectgame.org/Articles/View.aspx?article=9372

Draft 14 – Michael Cederoth, Michael Gettys, A.J. Reed, , Justin Smith, J.J. Schwarz


2-21-14 – Project Insider -  San Diego State ace Michael Cederoth struggled last weekend — 3 2/3 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 6 SO — and needed a relief appearance mid-week to get in his work. He walked a batter in that inning, too. He’s no Stephen Strasburg, but he’s better than that. Or at least he’ll need to be to avoid falling off the map. One additional Aztecs note: freshman catcher CJ Saylor started mid-week versus Loyola Marymount and went 2-for-4 with two extra-base hits. Remember the name, he’ll be a legit prospect in 2016. http://prospectinsider.com/draft-prospect-watch-hoffman-vs-fisher

3-25-14 – MLB Draft Insider Mock – 22   Michael Gettys OF          Gainesville HS (Ga.)        -  There’s no denying Gettys’ athletic ability, and he has one of the strongest throwing arms in the entire class and some power potential; but that doesn’t mean much if Gettys’ can’t hit, which is still very much in doubt. http://mlbdraftinsider.com/2014/03/the-board-2014-volume-ii/   

2-23-14 - A.J. Reed - Has “it”. On the mound, he’s a back of the rotation starter or middle reliever with three pitches. Fringy fastball, average breaking ball and good change. Fastball could tick up with strength and conditioning. At the plate, he has some swing and miss but also induces the HSE. The HSE or Holy Shit Effect is brought on occasionally by players that unleash tools or accomplishes something that one would not expect them to possess. When he lauches a ball 420′ to RCF in a game when he doesn’t hit them that far in BP, you say holy shit. Love this guy. He’s a ball player. http://mlbdraftprospects.com/aj-reed/

1-3-14 – TTF Baseball - 66. Oakland Athletics — Justin Smith, OF, Bartram Trails HS (FL) - The 6’-2”, 200 pound right-hander has all five tools, including a canon arm in the outfield (92 mph) and plus speed (6.6/60). He is still considered raw in some areas, but his excellent bat speed, along with his frame, make for a huge upside. He stood out at the East Coast pro tournament making several strong plays in the outfield and driving the ball to all fields. Many are expecting a huge senior season. Committed to Miami. http://throughthefencebaseball.com/2014-mlb-draft-2/40753#ppGUqI6CbWFvzsPf.99

2-11-14 – PG/Florida HS Dream Team – C – J.J. Schwarz, Sr. Palm Beach Gardens - Finding a catcher who projects to stay behind the plate at the next level isn’t always an easy task, never mind a defensive catcher that shows big potential at the plate. That’s exactly what you’ll find in Schwarz, who shows solid catch-and-throw ability behind the plate with a quick release and a strong, accurate arm to second base in game action. At the plate, the 6-foot-2 Schwarz uses his long limbs to create leverage in his easy and loose swing, repeatedly driving the ball to deep left field. He shows good bat speed and the ball seems to jump of his barrel and finds a second gear once in flight. http://perfectgame.org/Articles/View.aspx?article=9372  

Binghamton Mets 2014 Game Notes


Binghamton Mets (7-4) vs.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats (4-7)
(Double-A Affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays)

RHP Matt Bowman (1-0, 1.80) vs. RHP Scott Copeland (0-2, 6.75)

Thursday, April 17, 2014  Game #12  Home Game #7
NYSEG Stadium  Binghamton, NY  6:35 PM

LAST GAME: Before the final two games of the series were washed away, the Portland Sea Dogs scored six runs in the sixth inning to beat the Binghamton Mets, 9-4, on Monday night at Hadlock Field. The Sea Dogs sent ten men to the plate and racked up five hits against two B-Met pitchers in the decisive inning. With Binghamton leading 4-2, Mookie Betts’ leadoff double in the sixth started the monster rally. Peavey surrendered a sac fly before giving way to Adam Kolarek. The southpaw cold not stop the bleeding, allowing a go-ahead, two-run double to Stefan Welch followed by three run-producing singles. The B-Mets had owned a two-run lead thanks to a pair of two-run homers in the third. Brian Burgamy went deep for the fourth time on the road trip offHenry Owens and Matt Clark blasted a round-tripper for his fourth of the year. Robby Scott picked up the win in relief.

BINGHAMTON STARTER: RHP Matt Bowman makes his second start of the season and first against the Sea Dogs. The right-hander earned the win in his Double-A debut, defeating the Erie SeaWolves last Wednesday at NYSEG Stadium. Bowman allowed just one run on three hits, a walk and four strikeouts over five innings. Bowman split last season between Savannah (Low-A) and St. Lucie (High-A) going 10-4 with a 3.04 ERA between both levels. Selected in the 12th round of the 2012 Draft by the Mets out of Princeton University, he is entering his third year in the organization. He was the Sand Gants Opening Day starter in 2013 and was named a Florida State League Postseason All-Star.

NEW HAMPSHIRE STARTER: RHP Scott Copeland makes his third of the season and second against the B-Mets. In his most recent start, the White Oak, Texas native allowed just one run on two hits over six innings in the hard-luck loss. Brian Burgamy’s solo home run against him in the fourth inning was the only blemish for the righty. Binghamton went on to earn a 7-0 win.

OFFENSE KEEPS ROLLING: Despite losing 9-4 on Monday night, the B-Mets collected at least eight hits for the eighth straight game. They have won six of their last eight, hitting .284 (77-for-271) during the stretch including 21 doubles, one triple and nine home runs. The B-Mets lead the league with a .427 slugging percentage.

BASHING AWAY: Brian Burgamy and Matt Clark both launched two-run homers in Monday’s game against the Sea Dogs. It was the second time this season the two have gone deep in the same game, first occurring against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on April 11. Burgamy has stroked four home runs on the road trip while Clark ripped his fourth home run of the season. The B-Mets lead the league with nine homers as a team.

CLARK IS CLOCKING THE BALL: B-Mets first baseman Matt Clark has hit safely in six of his last seven games. He has hit .480 (12-for-25) during the stretch including three doubles and four home runs. He currently leads the team with a .394 season batting average.

MORE FROM TOVAR: B-Mets middle infielder Wilfredo Tovar has hit safely in nine of his first 10 games this season, including at least one hit in each of his last seven games. He is batting .355 with seven RBI from the ninth position in the batting order.

STREAKING: Both Darrell Ceciliani and Wilfredo Tovar are nursing seven-game hitting streaks, the longest current stretches on Binghamton’s roster.

MOTHER NATURE PLAYING A FACTOR: The B-Mets have already had four games postponed due to poor weather conditions in the first two weeks of the season. The B-Mets had just one postponement in their first 66 scheduled games last year.

Baseball Cube - Transactions


Wednesday, April 16, 2014
NYM - Daisuke Matsuzaka (SP) - Contract purchased from minors
NYM - John Lannan (SP) - Outrighted to minors
TB - Doug Mathis (P) - Signed to minor league contract
KC - Casey Coleman (P) - Signed to minor league contract
HOU - Lucas Harrell (RP) - Designated for Assignment
HOU - Scott Feldman (SP) - Reinstated from Bereavement list
HOU - George Springer (CF) - Contract purchased from minors

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

LAA - Dane De la Rosa (RP) - DL-15 Right shoulder irritation
TEX - Scott Cousins (lf) - Signed to minor league contract
STL - Pete Kozma (ss) - Optioned to minors
STL - Mark Ellis (2b) - DL-15 Left knee tendinitis
COL - Jhoulys Chacin (SP) - Sent to minors for rehabilitation
HOU - Lucas Harrell (RP) - Designated for Assignment
HOU - Robbie Grossman (lf) - Optioned to minors
LAD - Paco Rodriguez (RP) - Optioned to minors
CIN - Sean Marshall (RP) - Sent to minors for rehabilitation
NYM - Kirk Nieuwenhuis (lf) - Recalled from minors
NYM - Juan Lagares (cf) - DL-15 Pulled right hamstring
LAD - Brian Wilson (RP) - DL-15 Right elbow nerve inflammation
LAD - Brian Wilson (RP) - Recalled from minor league rehab assignment
TOR - Jose Reyes (ss) - Sent to minors for rehabilitation
TOR - Casey Janssen (RP) - Sent to minors for rehabilitation
PHI - Mike Adams (RP) - Activated from DL
TOR - Marcus Walden (P) - Designated for Assignment
TOR - Jeremy Jeffress (P) - Outrighted to minors


Mack - Thursday's Thoughts

Thomas Brennan wrote me last night and said that, if the Mets won on Friday, they would be on pace to win 91 games. Let’s take a look at what kind of team we currently have that has got us to this level of excellence.

        The Mets are tied for the 12th best record in the league.

        The Mets are the 7th best record in the National League

        The Mets are one game away from the second playoff spot.

                While…at the same time…

        The Mets rank 26th in team batting (.229)

        The Mets rank 25th in team OBP (.299)

        The Mets rank 28th in team slugging (.344)

        The Mets rank 26th in team OBP (.644)

        The Mets rank 1st in strikeouts (150)

        The Mets rank 24th in team ERA (4.33)

        The Mets rank 22nd in team WHIP (1.34)

        The Mets pitchers rank 18th in producing strikeouts (115/139.1)

        The Mets top hitter (Juan Lagares) is tied for 40th in batting average… and on the disabled list

        Lagares also has the highest ranking OBP on the team… ranked 83rd in the league.

        Slugging? Again, Lagares ranked 64th.

        OPS: Lagares – 64th.

        ERA:  Jenrry Mejia – 45th

        WHIP: Dillon Gee – 25th

        K: Mejia – 31st

I couldn’t invent a better set of statistics to support my theory of ‘good starters, a successful middle reliever, and timely hitting’.

Game 1: 7-9 Loss – 7 hits

Game 2: 1-5 loss – 3 hits

Game 3: 2-8 loss – 7 hits

Game 4: 4-3 win – 6 hits

Game 5  6-3 win – 6 hits

Game 6: 1-2 loss – 4-hits

Game 7: 4-0 win 9 hits

Game 8: 3-4 loss – 6 hits

Game 9: 6-4 win 9 hits

Game 10: 4-5 loss – 10 hits

Game 11: 7-6 win 11 hits

Game 12: 2-14 loss – 6 hits

Game 13: 7-3 win 13 hits

Game 14 – 9-0 win 12 hits

Game 15 – 5-2 win 10 hits

So, the Mets are 6-1 in games they produce nine or more hits per game.

They also have produced nine or more hits per game in six of the last seven games they have played.

One more thing… the Mets are 2-3 in one run games. A little luck here, a little luck there…

You can’t change the dismal way this team played the first six games, but, let them produce 9 hits per game in the next six games, coupled with a 4-2 record, and then there’s something concrete to build on.

For now…

       Use your healthy starters after your day off… Niese, Wheeler, Gee

       Make sure one of your long relievers (Matsuzaka, Torres) are fresh when Wheeler (pitch count issues), Colon (back spasms), and Mejia (blister) pitch.

       Go with the hot bats until Chris Young returns next Wednesday.

        Kirk Nieuwenhus had a nice debut but you might want to consider keeping Andrew Brown in the lineup for the next series.

       Make sure Anthony Recker gets equal bats with Travis d’Arnaud.

       I hate to throw in a negative, but I really don’t care who you play at first base anymore. Knock yourself out.

Stephen Guilbert - Draft '14: Where Do You Draft These Players?


A few prospects should go within small windows in the 2014 MLB player draft. Carlos Rodon and Tyler Kolek will be in the first few picks. Trea Turner will go between 4 and 9. Jeff Hoffman and Tyler Beede will go between 3 and 7. Alex Jackson should be between 1 and 5. However, there are a number of intriguing players who could go vastly different spots in the draft. It makes them hard to project. Sometimes teams completely pass on a player for a particular reason (injury, poor performance, signability questions) or for no real reason at all. Other players grab the attention of a single team and get taken dozens of picks before they should.

We also have the new CBA to thank for underslotting early in the draft to grab a better, more financially demanding player later.

I just have no idea with these guys. On one hand, I see the talent forces teams to take them within the first few picks. Then I think about it a different way and can see them slipping dozens of spots—if not full rounds—later than some have them projected.

RHP Nick Burdi- Louisville

Simply put, Burdi is the best reliever in the draft and he could probably pitch out of a major league bullpen now and be a lot of teams’ closer. The problem is, how early do you take a relief pitcher? 

             Mack - I absolutely love this guy, but I just can't spend my #10 pick on a relief pitcher. I just can't, even though I know he won't be around when the Mets pick again at #85. I just now I'm going to kick myself in the ass around three years from now on ths one.

RHP Touki Toussaint- FL HS

I have written plenty about this young pitcher who seems to be slipping on draft boards. No, the control is not quite there yet but he has one of the liveliest arms around and has two of the best single pitches in the draft. A team who believes in the arm strength and that the control will eventually come should take him in the top ten picks. I can also see him slipping to the tail end of the first round, the same way Lance McCullers did a few drafts ago.

            Mack - Everybody has soured on Toussaint because he has lost the ability to find the zone. He's a high school kid. How many high schoolers can even spell the word zone? Ceiling wise, there is none better, and he must be considered, but I would pass if either Grant Holmes or Kyle Freeland were still on the board.

1B- Casey Gillaspie- Wichita State

This switch-hitting first baseman has been hitting the cover off of the ball this year. He was not a player who looked like a consensus first rounder before the season but now should be. The question is where in the first round does he go? Does the ridiculous .394/.500/.674 line get him into the top 15 picks? Top ten? Or will the early consensus on him let him slip to the Cardinals who get yet another patient, powerful college slugger? Do teams take up-the-middle hitters or pitchers and let Gillaspie fall to the supplemental? 

         Mack - Gillaspie should be around when the Mets pick at #85. Hell, he still may be around on the Mets next pick. Dominic Smith is no lock at first base and offers 1/10th the power potential of Gillaspie. I'd consider picking him in the 3rd round, if he still there.

C- Mac James- Oklahoma

On one hand, he’s hitting .377, has the tools to stick at catcher (in a weak catching class), and has a 4:15 strikeout-to-walk ratio (yes, you read that correctly). On the other, no one thought he was going to be this good. Those sorts of numbers for a catcher who should stick at the position get you first round consideration. However, before the season, I saw no list that had him in the top 100 draft-eligible prospects.

        Mack - Frankly, I know very little about this guy so I'm going to have to pass offering any advise here.

OF- Michael Gettys- GA HS

Mack and I have written plenty about this young athlete and we are both big fans of his. However, where he is projected to be drafted changes dozens of spots by the week—typically based on how he has hit that week. I believe in the tools and I believe in his composition as a complete athlete and competitor. He should be a top 10 pick. Some don’t have him in the top 25. Gettys is my pick to shoot up boards as the spring season progresses.

       Mack - reminds me more every day of Austin Wilson from last year. I'm still very high on him but I think it's time to get back to a power SP with the 10th pick this year.

SS- DJ Miller- Delaware St.

The argument for Miller: He hits and he hits a lot. He has had a batting average well over .400 the entire collegiate season up to this point. He’s a shortstop, has speed, and uses the entire field.

The argument against: he’s a senior from a weaker conference who has not been much of a draft prospect. Teams have used first round picks on big stat collegiate players with various degrees of success. I am fascinated to see where Miller goes because I like him a lot and he is a guy I think the Mets could grab later than he should go.

      Mack - You just never now what you get when you start picking players that compete at lower school levels. The only tie-breakers would be how they have done in leagues like Cape Cod. Miller is a longer shot at best, somewhere in the 7th-10th round range.

Morning Report – 4-17-14 – Juan Lagares, Dario Alvarez, Gonzalez Germen

1950 - The Bronx

Coming Up –

          10 am – Stephen Guilbert - Draft '14: Where Do You Draft These Players?

          12 noon - Mack - Thursday's Thoughts

           3 pm - Baseball Cube - Transactions           

5pm -  Michael Cederoth, Michael Gettys, A.J. Reed, , Justin Smith, J.J. Schwarz

         8pm –  OF - Carl Chester - Lake Brantley (FL) HS

Kevin Kernan @WheresKernan  -  My thought on the Transfer Rule is simply this: catch the ball and don't drop it and there are no issues.

Todd Gold @TGold_PG  -  2014 Alex Jackson (San Diego, CA) just broke 2-2 tie in #SDLions tourney, connecting on towering HR. Longest I've seen this spring

Some thoughts…

I think the move to replace P John Lannan with Daisuke Matsuzaka is a brilliant move at this point in the season. The team is 8-7 (thank you, Arizona rotation!) and, right now, the Mets need as much successful ‘long relief’ as they can find. Carlos Torres has done fine and the three innings the other night by Gonzalez Germen were incredible. The Mets starters are still trying to find their grove and, frankly, are hitting their pitch counts before the end of the seventh inning. Matsuzaka, Torres, and Germen are perfect guys to get it to the eight and turn it over to Kyle Farnsworth. Will it work all year? Probably not, but it could get the team around five games over .500 by mid-May.

I’m not that concerned with OF Juan Lagares going on the disabled list. I think he has already proven to all of us (especially me) that he can start at the major league level. The important thing is now is for the Mets to let the 25-year old take the proper time needed to heal from what is a nagging injury. I had hamstring problems when I played Air Force ball and it was the weirdest injury I ever experienced. I kept thinking I was 100% until I would step into the batter’s box and attempt to put the proper weight on my legs in the stance. The nanosecond I would begin to shift that weight would cause a complete loss of strength and balance.

I’m still pissed off that Carlos Gomez is playing on another team and I don’t want to lose another talented center fielder. I think that the addition of both Cesar Puello and Brandon Nimmo will create a situation (in 2016) where the Mets will not have to look for outfield help for years to come.

By the way… so far this season, Lagares has increased his OBP 25.2% and his OBP 29.8%.

The Mets do have another talented lefty in the system that’s turning heads in the ‘Sally’ league. Dario Alvarez was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2007 and pitched three years for their DSL team. His last year there, 2009 was outstanding (14-G, 13-ST, 2.59, 83.1-IP, 79-K). I have no idea what happened next but I assume there was a major injury/TJS issue. The Mets found him in 2013 on the Anzoategul roster of the Venezuelan League, where he had 5-K, 1-BB in 5.1-IP.

Last year, he started 12 games for the Cyclones (2-4, 3.10, 1.27, 58.0-IP, 57-K) and he’s being piggybacked in Savannah (2-G, 8.2-IP, 11-K, 0.00) with Kevin McGowan.

The 25-year old 6-1 Alvarez does need to pick up the pace if he wants to make it to Queens someday.

More kudos for RP Gonzalez Germen (0.87, 0.43) (I hope nothing goes wrong between the time I write this and he pitches next). Mark Simon pointed out that opponents are 7-62, 21-K, 4-BB since 9-9-13. That’s also an opponent batting average of .113. Are the Mets starting to build ‘from within’ a decent pen for this season? Well, combined, German, Kyle Farnsworth, and Carlos Torres (who have each pitched in seven games) have given up a total of four earned runs in 26.1 innings pitched.

The Mets won another game on Wednesday executing the one plan we keep harping on… great rotational pitching, strong middle relief and a couple more runs than the other guy. Forget the two runs Valverde gave up… this game was over well before that. The Mets also had double digits in hits again, something a good team consistently produces. Offensively, nothing has changed on this team other than the fact that timely hitting in combination with good pitching has resulted in results that have the Mets going in the right direction. And, it sure doesn’t hurt to play Arizona in their ballpark, does it?

The Savannah Sand Gnats defeated the Augusta GreenJackets 4-1 Wednesday night at Lake Olmstead Stadium, taking the series three games to one. Robert Whalen earned his second win in his first start of the season- a fantastic five innings of two-hit ball. Whalen was backed up by Gnats righthander Miller Diaz, who allowed just three hits over four scoreless innings.

Savannah (9-4) jumped on Augusta (8-6) early, with a lead-off double by shortstop Gavin Cecchini off of left-handed starter Luis Ysla. Cecchini then scored on a Jared King ground-out to put the Gnats up 1-0. Cecchini is now hitting .375 over his last five games.

One day after baseball celebrated Jackie Robinson Day, Gnats center fielder Patrick Biondi did his best impression of the legend on the base paths. Biondi led off the third inning with a walk and promptly stole second, and then third base. The speedy Woodhaven, Mich., native then scored on a Jeff McNeil sacrifice fly. The Gnats then added two more runs to their lead by way of a two-RBI single by designated hitter Stefan Sabol.

Whalen was sharp in his first start of 2014, inducing seven groundouts and punching out six Augusta batters over five innings without issuing a walk. The GreenJackets were able to push just one runner across the plate, when left fielder Shawn Panye scampered home on a throwing error to second base by Gnats catcher Colton Plaia in the fourth inning. Whalen’s ERA has now plummeted to just 1.00

Diaz, in relief of Whalen, was no slouch himself, striking out five over four scoreless innings. Diaz earned his first save of the season and is now sporting a 3.38 ERA.

Augusta relievers Carlos Alvarado and Jake Smith combined to throw a nice six and a third innings of two-hit ball, but the damage had already been done.

Gnats pitchers are now 4-2 with a 1.86 ERA against the GreenJackets this season, striking out 60 Augusta batters to just 17 walks. The Gnats finished the road trip 6-1 and now hold sole possession of first place in the division.- team press release

Jupiter 8 - St. Lucie 6


The Jupiter Hammerheads spoiled an exciting comeback by the St. Lucie Mets on Wednesday by defeating the Mets 8-6 in 10 innings.

The Mets rallied from a 6-5 deficit in the ninth to send the game to extras, but Viosergy Rosa belted Randy Fontanez’s first pitch of the 10th over the right field wall for the go-ahead home run. The Hammerheads would an an insurance run on an RBI double by Ross Wilson later in the inning.

The Mets had a chance to win the game in the ninth. Brandon Nimmo singled home Maikis De La Cruz to tie the game 6-6 with one out. Then with runners at the corners, Hammerheads manager Brian Schneider opted to intentionally walk the red hot T.J. Rivera to load the bases.

The move paid off. Joseph O’Gara struck out Aderlin Rodriguez and Cam Maron flew out to center on a 3-1 pitch.

The game looked like it was headed for an early blowout. The Mets scored four runs in the first inning before making an out. Rodriguez laced a two-run triple and Maron singled him home to make it 4-0.

Jupiter responded in the second with a pair of runs to make it 4-2. Then trailing by one in the third, Rosa blasted a two-run homer to right off of Gabriel Ynoa to put Jupiter up 5-4. The Hammerheads added another run later in the frame.

Dilson Herrera cut the Jupiter lead to one in the fourth. He singled off of starter Jake Esch and stole second. Herrera took third on a wild pitch and came home on a bad throw from catcher Austin Barnes to the third base bag.

The middle and late innings became a battle of the bullpens. Paul Sewald, Julian Hilario and Bret Mitchell combined to no-hit the Hammerheads over 6 1/3 innings of relief.

Jupiter’s Jheyson Manzueta and Reid Redman were nearly as good, limiting the Mets to two hits in 4 1/3 innings.

Nimmo went 2 for 4 and extended his hitting streak to nine games. He has six multi hit games in his last seven. He has hit safely in 12 of 13 games this season.

Herrera went 3 for 5 from the leadoff spot. He is riding an eight-game hitting streak. - team press release
Mack's Mets © 2012