AAA: Rochester Red Wings (MIN) 10, @ Buffalo Bisons 4
Collin McHugh was ok in a start merely designed to keep him fresh for his next big league assignment, September 3rd in St. Louis.
This was not a pretty game: the Bisons committed three errors while the pitching staff issued eight walks.
An 0-for-4 with two strikeouts dropped 25 year old CF Matt den Dekker to .215/.248/.376 with 88 whiffs in 73 games in AAA.
Jordany Valdespin played second, where he was 0-for-4 with a strikeout, and yes, oddly a walk.
AA: @ Reading Phillies 12, Binghamton Mets 8
Good first: 2B Wilmer Flores was 3-for-5 with a double and a triple and a strikeout. In, August, the month he turned 21, Flores is hitting .392/.443/.639 in 25 games in August with 15 extra-base hits to push his season line at AA to .328/.376/.515 in 60 games. That’ll work.
CF Juan Lagares was 2-for-5 with a homer, his fourth. The 23-year old is hitting .279/.332/.385. He’s hit for a little more power as the year has gone one. In the first half, he had a singles and doubles heavy .089 isolated slugging in 85 games, which he’s raised to .142 in 41 games in the final 41 games.
Every B-Mets’ pitcher gave up at least three runs starting with Cory Mazzoni: 3.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 1 HR. It was the third time in his last five starts that he’s given up six runs or more as he’s now allowed 26 runs on 47 (!) hits in 31.2 innings in August.
AA: @ Reading Phillies 4, Binghamton Mets 1
The B-Mets had two hits. 1B Wilmer Flores had both of them, including a solo homerun, his 17th of the year. He’s now hit safely in eight straight games and is up to .380/.436/.609 in 24 games. It was his seventh game at first, to go along with 20 at second and 24 at third in AA. Reese Havens played second while Jefry Marte handled third. The homerun was his 17th of the year, a new career-high.
LHP Mark Cohoon wasn’t good enough: 5 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR.
Saturday: Binghamton Mets 5, @ Portland Sea Dogs 1
Sunday: Binghamton Mets 5, @ Portland Sea Dogs 3 (10 innings)
Saturday, Wilmer Flores played thirdbase where he was 3-for-4 with two doubles and a walk. Sunday, again at third, he was 3-for-5. The big weekend took the just-turned 21-year old to .317/.368/.484 in 58 games in AA with 24 extra-base hits and 19 walks against 26 strikeouts.
Reese Havens played second both days and after a 1-for-11 weekend is hitting .219/.345/.356 with 110 strikeouts in 92 games.
After a 4-for-4 day on Sunday, little SS Wilfredo Tovar is hitting .244/.296/.315 as a 21-year old. I see him as a bench piece who will not hit enough to play everyday.
LHP Darin Gorski put together his best start in a while on Sunday: 7.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K as his ERA dropped to 3.66.
RHP Greg Peavey Sunday was meh: 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 2 HR – 5.06 ERA.
AAA: Scranton/WB Yankees 6, @ Buffalo Bisons 4
Jeurys Familia was bad early, but steadied himself and finished six innings. He allowed five runs in the first that started: single, homer, double, single, wild pitch, wild pitch, E6, single… Then, after a single and a double accounted for a run in teh second inning, he righted himself and retired 14 of the final 16 batters he faced. Which is the real pitcher? Both, really. His final line: 6 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 1 HR. He’s not really close to contributing in the big leagues, but his final five innings have to be an encouraging sign in a second half in which he has cut his walk rate from 14% in 18 starts before the All-Star Break to 9% after.
Once again, Lucas Duda, who was 1-for-5 with a double, played leftfield. I guess the Mets were not serious about having him reacclimate himself to firstbase.
CF Matt den Dekker was 0-for-4 with two more strikeouts. The 25-year old is hitting .212/.246/.383 with a 85/12 K/BB ratio in 68 games in AAA. End of story.
AA: @ Portland Sea Dogs 4, Binghamton Mets 3
2B Wilmer Flores homered for the second straight night in a 1-for-4 effort. A .338/.398/.538 line with seven doubles, three homers, eight walks and 12 strikeouts in 21 games in August has carried him to .302/.353/.467 in 56 games in AA.His 16 homeruns in 2012 are a new career-high, easily surpassing his 11 from 2010. He just turned 21. At this rate, he’ll be in the big leagues in 2013.
CF Juan Lagares was 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to six straight games. He’s up to .295/.342/.425 in 38 games after the AA All-Star break, but a .130 isolated slugging is an ominous sign for the 23 year old.
25-year old Reese Havens was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. His season line dipped to .220/.349/.353 with 109 strikeouts in 90 games this year.
Gonzalez Germen: 7.2 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 2 HR. Meh.
AAA: Scranton/WB Yankees 4, @ Buffalo Bisons 3 (11 innings)
The Bisons had a 3-1 lead in the seventh, but the bullpen could not hold a lead. Sound familiar?
RHP Armando Rodriguez made the spot start for the Bisons after working the vast majority of the year out of the Binghamton bullpen. His line: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K. Rodriguez has been on and off the Mets’ 40-man roster in the last year and went unclaimed when he was exposed to waivers.
CF Matt den Dekker was 2-for-4 with a strikeout. The 25-year old is hitting .298/.322/.386 with two doubles and a homerun in his last 15 games, but has 18 strikeouts against two walks in that time span. In 66 games in AAA, he’s sitting at .211/.244/.387 with 12 walks in 88 games.
AA: @ Portland Sea Dogs (BOS) 14, Binghamton Mets 9
Good first or bad?
Cory Mazzoni: 3 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR.
Mazzoni’s short outing drove his double-A ERA to 4.24 with a 2.6 K/BB ratio (45 K/17 BB) in 70 innings. That’s a 5.8 K/9 coupled with a 2.2 BB/9 ratio. The outing was his shortest in AA, and the seven runs he allowed tied a season-high.
I got a question on Twitter about whether Mazzoni is tiring. It is certainly possible. Or it’s possible he had a bad night at the office.
In terms of innings, he’s thrown 133.2 this year over 24 starts between St. Lucie and Savannah. In 16 starts with North Carolina State last year, Mazzoni threw 114.2 innings, which he followed up with 13 innings between Brooklyn and St. Lucie for a total of 127.2 innings so he’s just six innings over last year’s total.
2B Reese Havens (.223/.353/.357) was 0-for-5 with a strikeout, his 107th in his 89 game in AA this year.
DH Wilmer Flores (.303/.355/.457 – 55 games) was 3-for-4 with a double and a homer, his fifth in AA and his 15th of the year. The 21-year old has hit .342/.405/.513 with nine-extra base hits, eight walks against 11 strikeouts in 20 games this month. I don’t know where he’ll play, but he can hit.
CF Juan Lagares was 2-for-5 with a double. After a .091 isolated slugging percentage in the first half, he’s up to .134 in the second half as part of a .289/.338/.423 line in 37 games.
Ted Berg went to Binghamton and has notes on Wilmer Flores, Greg Peavey, Michael Jordan (seriously) and the Spiedie.
On Flores defensively:
“Flores played second base on Tuesday night. He looked OK there but didn’t get a ton of chances. Flores says he feels most comfortable at third base, but everything I heard from people who have been watching him suggested he’s been at least passable at second and first this year in his first season off shortstop.”
On Greg Peavey:
…threw seven shutout innings to earn the win for the B-Mets. I don’t know from Peavey, but his fastball sat around 93 on the stadium gun and he didn’t seem to have much trouble throwing his breaking ball to both sides of the plate for strikes….. I wonder if he’s the type of guy who could dial up his fastball a bit (and tally more strikeouts) and prove effective in a relief role down the road.”
This gun has a history of being fast. Remember back in 2009 when it said Jenrry Mejia hit 102? Well it did.
Peavey is a four-pitch college guy who can certainly throw his breaking stuff for strikes, but has an 88-90 mph fastball. In 23 starts for AA Binghamton, he’s allowed 154 hits in 130 innings with a 76/33 K/BB ratio. That’s a 5.3 K/9 and a 2.3 BB/9 rate. He’s certainly not a starter in the big leagues. I have trouble seeing him in a big league bullpen unless the 93 mph is more right that his usual 88-90 velocity.
I was trying to get away from daily recaps and focus on more big-picture stuff, but every time I do that, I’m reminded when I look at the box scores everyday, that the games really do matter. Everyday. We’ll just have to do both.
For example, Wednesday’s development at the upper levels was Jenrry Mejia’s best start since his return to the Bisons rotation.
AAA: Scranton/WB Yankees 2, @ Buffalo Bisons 1
Again, the story here is Jenrry Mejia: 6 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 2 WP. He threw 63% of his pitches (54 of 86) for strikes.
Bisons manager Wally Backman after the game on Mejia:
“It was a very good start. He had a couple of balls that were hit real hard off of him. Pitched himself out of trouble a couple of times, but overall, he stayed down in the strikezone. I thought he threw his secondary pitches really well. Today, it was probably one of his better starts. I was happy to see that and he’s been better as a starter. What the future holds for Mejia is still uncertain probably. Even when I go back to when he was pitching in the bullpen, before we made him a starter, his last three outings in the bullpen were pretty good too. He’s made some big improvements coming back from Tommy John as quick as he had. He’s definitely going in the right direction.
I’m curious for whom the future is certain. I kid, gently.
I know Backman was again referring to the fact that despite his progress starting in AAA, Mejia might be destined for a relief role. Whatever Mejia’s future role turns out to be, it’s good to see him not just pitching well, but missing more bats. And as long as he’s pitching well as as starter, there really should be absolutely no rush to move him to the bullpen.
Mejia’s line as a starter in Buffalo this season: 1.12 ERA, 40.1 IP, 33 H, 12 R, 5 ER, 2 HR, 11 BB, 21 K.
Lucas Duda (.273/.337/.409 – 23 games) was 2-for-4 with a walk, and again played leftfield. That’s 21 games in the outfield and two at first for Duda in AAA.
AA: @ Binghamton Mets 6, New Hampshire Fisher Cats 3
2B Reese Havens was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts to slip back to .227/.358/.363 with 106 strikeouts in 88 games. Considering the fact that he’s 1. not hitting, and 2. 25 years old, his 40-man roster spot has to be in some jeopardy this winter.
Meanwhile, 2B Wilmer Flores was 1-for-4 with a double. The 21-year old is up to .294/.345/.431 in 54 games in AA.
Friday: Richmond Flying Squirrels 10, @ Binghamton Mets 3
Saturday: Richmond Flying Squirrels 4, Binghamton Mets 0
Saturday, Reese Havens, who had missed eight days with a stiff back, returned to the lineup, playing second and hitting second. Havens was 0-for-3 with a walk and three strikeouts. The 25-year old is hitting .232/.365/.370 with 100 strikeouts against 57 walks in 85 games in his third go-round in the Eastern League. He needs to play in 12 of the B-Mets last 16 games, to match his career-high of 97 games set back in 2009 in a season. His season started late while he recovered from injury, and he’s missed time during the season with back-stiffness. For the year, he’s struck out at a 27% clip. Even while hitting for a little better average (.265/.385/.426) since June 1 he’s fanned in 29% of his plate appearances.
Havens, one of three Mets’ first round picks in 2008, might still play in the big leagues. However, the chances of him becoming an impact guy, that is league average or better over any significant stretch of time, has dropped to nearly nil.
Cory Mazzoni on Saturday: 7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 1 HR. I like that he struck out a batter an inning, but overall, he’s fanned just 43 in 67 innings as a starter in AA, that’s 5.8 K/9. He’s thrown strikes, as his walk rate of 2.4 BB/9 is very nice, but he’s given up just too many balls in play. He mostly works around 90-91, but can reach back to 94 or 96 suggesting that his stuff would play up in a significant way out of the bullpen where he does not have to pace himself.
AAA: Lehigh Valley IronPigs 5, @ Buffalo Bisons 2
Zack Wheeler’s third AAA start: 5 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HR. He was in the strike zone all afternoon, but his fastball command, was spotty. Sure, some of the hits, including a two-run bloop over shortstop, and a double over Lucas Duda’s head in rightfield might have been caught by more proficient defenders, but the ‘Pigs were still able to put Wheeler’s stuff in play. His velocity – at 94-95 mph – much of the game was fine, and there was still plenty of movement on his fastball. He was just hurt by location.
Bisons’ manager Wally Backman told Bisons.com after the game,
“His velocity was there. Everything was there. He just didn’t have good command today, and good command is key. Those guys were swinging early, and they hurt him (by) swinging early in the count.”
Duda, who’s hitting .262/.319/.400 in 17 games in AAA still looks like Lucas Duda playing leftfield.
AA: @ New Hampshire Fisher Cats 5, Binghamton Mets 2
Reese Havens sat gain while 21-year old Wilmer Flores (.297/.343/.434 – 48 games) played second again, going 1-for-4 with a walk.
Greg Peavey took the relatively unusual complete game loss: 8 IP, 9 h, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2 HR – 5.41 ERA.
AAA: @ Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (PHI) 4, Buffalo Bisons 1
Giant meh of a game.
Chris Schwinden: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
If you’re on the CF Matt den Dekker strikeout watch, he added two to run his AA total to 73 in 59 games. The 25-year old was 1-for-4 to lift his AAA line to .211/.244/.408.
Lucas Duda, who was 1-for-3 with a walk, played LF while Adam Loewen handled first.
AA: Binghamton Mets 6, @ New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR) 2
Still no Reese Havens, who is out nursing a tight back again. That allowed another start at second for Wilmer Flores who was 2-for-4 with a walk to run his AA line to .297/.343/.434. The 21-year old has 14 walks against 21 strikeouts in 48 games with Binghamton.
I do want to point out SS Wilfredo Tovar who walked twice. However, AA has been a very tough test for Tovar, who turned 21 this week, is hitting .220/.280/.291 in 42 games.
LHP Darin Gorski was solid, but gave up another homer: 7 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HR. His 19 homeruns allowed in 123 innings are just one off the Eastern League lead in the category.