AA: Binghamton Mets 3, @ Trenton Thunder 1
Start here with the most important thing: RF Cesar Puello homered twice, doubling his season total from two to four. Puello now owns a 15-game hitting streak over which time he is hitting .327/.373/.655 with eight extra-base hits (and for what it’s worth a .378 BABIP). Puello’s streak is fairly remarkable too in that he has not drawn a walk in 12 games. Overall, the 22-year old is up to .296/.360/.531 in 24 games in AA. Here’s a crazy stat from Baseball Reference: he has ONE plate appearance this year against a pitcher younger than himself. He’s big, fast and strong and quite likely a Major League outfielder. The question is whether there’s enough plate discipline and in-game power to be an impact guy on the corner.
Also, for those impatient, and to answer a question I’ve received a few times on Twitter recently, yes there’s a chance that Puello sees some time in Queens this year. He will need 1. to perform and 2. a little bit of help. First, the thing he controls: he will needs to hit his way out of AA and improve his walk rate. Second, the Mets will need to have a hole in the outfield to justify giving Puello a shot. As far as #2 goes, Mets’ outfielders have hit an ugly combined .217/.301/.381 so far, 27th in MLB in wOBA and RC+. I like wRC+, which scales to 100 as average – the Mets’ OF has a collective 91 wRC+ compared to MLB average. He’s already on the 40-man roster, so that will not be a hurdle. To be clear, we are not talking about Puello as anything like an imminent outfield, but there’s a chance he will make his big league debut in August or September. No guarantee, just a chance.
RHP Logan Verrett had his best start of the year, one of his best as a professional: 8.2, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K. The key: he threw 71 of his 99 pitches for strikes. It’s the second time in three starts that Verrett has finished eight innings. In fact, those two 8+ inning starts have accounted for over 50% of his strikeouts this year, as he’s fanned 30 in 47.1 innings for a 16% strikeout rate.
Nothing matches that Spurs-Warriors game. I was looking forward to a nice early night with some box scores, a writing project or two and instead I watched one of the greatest basketball games I’ve ever seen. That was just awesome.
AAA: Las Vegas 51s @ Sacramento RiverCats – ppd by rain
AA: @ Trenton Thunder (NYY) 5, Binghamton Mets 0
The B-Mets were two-hit in Cory Mazzoni’s return to action.
Mazzoni was making just his second start of the year, and his first since April 5th after elbow neuritis sidelined him for the last month. The Thunder jumped on him for three runs in the first and he lasted only three innings: 7 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HP. Jessica Quiroli, who was watching the start, tweeted, “Mazzoni with HBP (Pirela) just above the elbow. But he got out of the inning. Still wild and inconsistent, leaving pitches up. T3 #Mets“
RF Cesar Puello was 1-for-2 with two HBP, his second and third of the season, which helps support a .288/.358/.425 line. The hit extended his hitting streak to 13 straight games. He’s hit .319/.373/.511 in his streak, but has not drawn a walk in the last 10 games. Someone asked me on Twitter on Monday which AA outfielder I thought was likeliest to play in the big leagues this year. The 22-year-old Puello, who is on the 40-man is the easy answer. It’s not going to be anytime soon though; he really still needs to improve his pitch selection, not just to draw walks, but to help his power and strength play in game situations.
Cory Vaughn has not played since April 29, when he left a game early after feeling a twinge in his arm. A week ago, he was “day-to-day.”
AA: @ Binghamton Mets 6, Erie Seawolves (DET) 5
The B-Mets scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning when C Blake Forsythe doubled to the wall in right and took a chance on a read and scored on 2B Danny Muno’s single into right.
The 23-year-old Forsythe, was 2-for-4 with a double and a homer to lift his line to .333/.404/.644 with five walks against 15 strikeouts in 13 games. Nine of his 15 hits have gone for extra-bases. The Mets’ 3rd round pick in 2010 out of Tennessee, he’s a big strong catcher with some power from his strength, especially to right-center. However, the strikeouts will catch up to him. He’s not a .300 hitter (.235 in Savannah in 2011 and .244 in St. Lucie in 2012). I need a whole lot more than 13 games at the start of a season to say that a guy has completely changed his prospect status. Still, the ability to catch and hit mistakes will keep him employed for a while.
The 24-year-old Muno was 3-for-3 with a double, a walk and two stolen bases. He’s gotten hot, going .323/.462/.484 with eight walks against seven strikeouts in his last 10 games, but a frigid first week has weighed down his overall line to .224/.379/.329. I do not see an average regular, but if Muno might well play in the big leagues.
LHP Mark Cohoon gave the B-Mets’ four scoreless innings starting in place of Tyler Pill who was skipped with a sore right shoulder.
LHP Jack Leathersich ran into trouble in the sixth and seventh innings: 2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR as his ERA rose to 2.77. That’s now 10 walks against 21 strikeouts in 13 innings for Leathersich.
The name to watch in the B-Mets bullpen is becoming RHP Jeffrey Walters. He worked a 1-2-3 ninth with a strikeout. The 25-year-old is a fastball/slider righty who used to be 92 ish, but apparently is throwing a little harder earlier this year.
Cory Vaughn who left Monday’s game as a precaution after feeling something in his arm sat on Tuesday.
A+: St. Lucie Mets at Tampa Yankees
This one was suspended by lightning in the top of the second and will be resumed on Wednesday. The bummer is that Domingo Tapia was on the hill and only threw one inning. I wonder if the Mets will rearrange the St. Lucie rotation to get Tapia back on the mound before his normal turn.
A: Gnats – Off.
AA: Akron Aeros (CLE) 7, @ Binghamton Mets 5
These two teams combined on five home runs, which is kinda fun if you’re a broadcaster who likes to call homers.
RF Cesar Puello, (pictured) who missed 10 days with a “sore” left wrist was back in the lineup, going 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his sixth in 13 games. He’s hit .286/.375/.429 and is 6-for-6 stealing bases. At 22, he’s on the young side for AA and he’s already drawn five walks in 13 games after earning seven in 66 (!) games in advanced-A last year. Also, I’m using that photo of Puello for obvious hair-related reasons.
RHP Jacob deGrom was not good: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2 HR. He threw 65% of his pitches for strikes (55 of 85) but obviously was hurt in the zone. He’s been roughed up a bit in his last two starts, yielding 15 hits and 5 walks in 10.1 innings. I still like his arm, but this kind of adjustment period just serves to illustrate how remarkable Rafael Montero’s success at each level has been.
2B Danny Muno was 2-for-3 with a double, a triple, and a walk to push his season line to .200/.356/.300 in 22 games. The 24-year old is at a solid .290/.421/.452 with seven walks and nine whiffs in his last 10 games. He played a little over half a season last year in St. Lucie with a .132 isolated slugging percentage before he was suspended for a steroid. I’m curious to see what his production looks like over a full season.
AA: @ Binghamton Mets 7, Akron Aeros (CLE) 2
Logan Verrett was good, and picked up plenty of support on a night when the B-Mets outhit Akron 13-2. Verrett: 8 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 1 HR as he lowered his ERA to 2.48.
Offensive stars included CF Alonzo Harris (2-for-4, HR, BB) and LF Darrell Ceciliani (3-for-5, 2B, RBI, SB). The homer was the second of the year for Harris who’s hitting .293/.323/.402 at the top of the B-Mets batting order to go along with 10-for-12 stealing bases. After a slow start, Ceciliani has hit safely in four straight games to improve to .238/.299/.325 in his 20 games.
AAA: Tacoma Rainiers (SEA) 10, @ Las Vegas 51s 1
Yuck, yuck, yuck.
Carlos Torres: 5 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis doubled in four trips.
Darin Gorski made his first relief appearance after running a 7.11 ERA with 17 hits, 8 walks and 7 strikeouts as a starter. He hit a batter and walked on in his first try as a reliever. I see very little value in Gorski as a reliever.
AA: Akron Aeroes (CLE) 4, @ Binghamton Mets 0
The Mets’ AAA team had four hits, the AA team had five.
According the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin, J.P. Ricciardi “was on had to watch B-Mets ace Rafael Montero….”
Montero’s line: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K with 69% of his pitches (63 of 92) for strikes.
LHP Jack Leathersich had a messy ninth with a couple of hits and an intentional walk, but three strikeouts. He’s fanned 18 in 11 innings, and walked nine. I’m a little bit surprised he’s striking out 38% of the batters he’s faced in AA.
AA: Binghamton Mets 8, @ Portland Sea Dogs (BOS) 6
The B-Mets built an 8-0 lead in the first two innings and made it stand up to finish their seven-game road trip at 4-3.
CF Alonzo Harris was 2-for-5 with two stolen bases to kickstart the B-Mets offense. The 24-year old is sitting at .286/.310/.369 in 19 games while going 9-for-11 stealing bases. He’s drawn just two walks and will need to rediscover some of the patience that was the key for him in 2012.
RF Cory Vaughn was 2-for-5 with a double to land his batting average squarely on .300 ast part of a .300/.364/.500 line with 20 strikeouts in his first 18 games.
Staked to the big early lead, Erik Goeddel could not get any further than the fourth. He needed 97 pitches to get through four innings with the following line: 4 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP.
AA: @ Portland Sea Dogs (BOS) 9, Binghamton Mets 8 (10 innings)
The Sea Dogs scored the winning run in the bottom of the tenth when John Church skipped a pitch to the backstop.
The B-Mets built a 5-0 that RHP Tyler Pill and LHP Adam Kolarek could not hold when the ‘Dogs evened the game at 6-6 in the fifth. The teams then traded pairs of runs in the bottom of the seventh and top of the eighth to send it to extras.
Pill had a rough night: 4 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 K as his ERA rose to 7.58.
The B-Mets got to rehabbing big leaguer Craig Breslow in the top of the first before he could retire a batter. Alonzo Harris and then LF Darrell Ceciliani each singled and then executed a double-steal on which Harris took home. Both guys stole two bases in the game. Ceciliani was 2-for-5 with a double to pull his average above the Mendoza line and up to .209/.274/.284 in 17 games in AA.
C Blake Forsythe was 2-for-4 with a double. Six of his nine hits have gone for extra bases as he’s hitting .345/.457/.655 in his nine games. Forsythe hit .244/.339/.397 in advanced-A last year, but will have plenty of opportunity for playing time in the next two months to push his way back into the catching-prospect pitcture.
As Nate likes to point out, when the B-Mets draw walks, they score and on Tuesday, they drew six walks and scored eight runs.
Maybe it’s the weather (cold), but it sure seems like the B-Mets have played some odd baseball recently.
AA: @ Portland Sea Dogs (BOS) 8, Binghamton Mets 2
This was a mess. In his second AA start, Jacob deGrom was not really sharp, walking four, one intentionally, and hitting a batter in his five innings, but he was also betrayed – badly – by his defense. Binghamton committed four errors – two by CF Alonzo Harris, one by RF Cory Vaughn and one by SS Danny Muno - behind deGrom in his five innings of work, leading to five unearned runs. deGrom’s line: 5 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP with 60% of his pitches for strikes (58 of 97).
Just to make sure every outfielder erred, LF Darrell Ceciliani committed an error after deGrom for Binghamton’s fifth of the game.
Binghamton had seven hits – all singles. C Francisco Pena, who was 2-for-4 was the only B-Met with more than one. Pena’s off to an 8-for-30 (.267) start with two walks and one strikeout in nine games as part of the B-Mets timeshare at catcher.
Monday, JD Sussman profiled “frustrated” Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts at Fangraphs. Monday night, the 20-year-old Aruban went 3-for-5 to improve to .290/.355/.333 with 22 strikeouts in 16 games.
AAA: Las Vegas @ Colorado Springs: ppd (cold)
With temperatures in the Rockies right around freezing the teams postponed this one to play two on Tuesday beginning at 4 pm when the forecast calls for 33 degrees with a few snow showers.
AAA: @ Colorado Springs Sky Sox (COL) 8, Las Vegas 51s 7
The Sox scored twice in the bottom of the ninth against the combination of Greg Peavey and recently acquired Sean Henn, neither of whom recorded an out. Peavey allowed a pair of singles to start the inning, Penn walked the bases loaded and then allowed the game-winning single to LF Tyler Colvin.
The two teams combined on 15 runs, 32 hits (!) all in a brisk 3:33. So add this to the “Yay, PCL!” column.
Jamie Hoffman, a Terry Collins’ favorite, had the best offensive day for Vegas, going 2-for-4 with a double and 3 RBI. The 28-year-old is hitting .289/.319/.467 in 13 games with two walks and 10 whiffs.
CF Juan Lagares was 1-for-5 with a homer, his third of 2013 to push his season line to .346/.378/.551 and threw out a runner at the plate. If the Mets decide they need a right-handed hitting outfielder, Lagares and Hoffman are the top two internal choices. Lagares holds a number of advantages: he’s younger, on the 40-man roster and better defensively. Still, I suspect the Mets would like to see the 24-year-old Lagares, who has always been an aggressive hitter become more selective at the plate as his walk rate sits at 4.8% right now.
Collin McHugh was PCL’ed: 5.1 IP, 13 H, 4 R 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K. He threw 71% of his pitches for strikes (63 of 89). Seven of the 13 hits he allowed were ground balls and 12 of the 13 were singles. In 23.1 innings thus far, he’s fanned 18 and walked only four.
AA: Binghamton Mets 15, @ New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR) 2
Hey, look a PCL game broke out in the Granite State.
LF Alonzo Harris had a monster day: 4-5, BB, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3 SB. The 24-year-old is now sitting at .286/.315/.386 while going six-for-eight stealing bases in the season’s first 16 games.
RF Cory Vaughn was 3-for-6 with three singles to push his season line to .298/.365/.526 in 15 games. For what it’s worth, he’s 7-for-15 (.467) against lefties with a triple and a homer, while hitting .238 (10-for-42) with four extra-base hits against rights. SSS and all, but extreme platoon splits have been a theme for Vaughn in the last few years.
Big C Blake Forsythe was 1-for-3 with a double. Playing in a little under half of the team’s games, he’s off to a 8-for-22 start (.364) with five extra-base hits for a .727 slugging percentage. There’s certainly power in his strong frame, but I wasn’t sure that there was enough of everything else. He will get more playing time to prove it with Juan Centeno in AAA.