AAA: Las Vegas 51s 9, Sacramento RiverCats 3
The RiverCats played some a-ball level defense which led to a five-run Vegas third inning that removed much of the suspense from this game early.
Notable offensive performances:
C Travis d’Arnaud: 1-for-2, 3 BB.
– The only statistical blemish in d’Arnaud’s performance in the last two years in AA and AAA has been his walk rate – under 7% last year in AAA, so it’s especially nice to see him being this patient early.
Game two in AAA is already Chris Schwinden time, and he was very Schwindeny: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K.
AA: Binghamton Mets 1, Akron Aeros (CLE) 1
The B-Mets scored the go-ahead run in the seventh on a dropped popup.
Cory Mazzoni had a nice start: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. Watch his strikeout rate really closely in 2013. His seven strikeouts tied a AA-high he achieved once in 14 starts in 2012.
For the second game in a row, Alonzo Harris lined up in CF, with Cory Vaughn in LF and Cesar Puello in RF. Harris was 1-for-4.
LHP Jack Leathersich fanned two and walked two in the ninth for his first AA save. His walk rate has climbed as he’s moved through the minors.
The Las Vegas 51s released their Opening Day Roster Monday evening. The complete roster is here.
The big names are RHP Zack Wheeler and C Travis d’Arnaud.
Outside of Wheeler, the pitching staff is nearly exclusively MLB depth guys like Collin McHugh and Aaron Laffey and Carlos Torres.
There are two notes that are interesting in terms of pitching assignments.
- The first surprise is that Greg Peavey, coming off a year when he ran a 5.06 ERA and allowed 169 hits in 144 innings in AA earned the promotion to AAA. The second half of the surprise is that he did so at the expense of LHP Darin Gorski, who is headed back to AA Binghamton.
- Cory Mazzoni is headed back to AA. Given that he made only 14 starts in AA in 2012, and was far from dominant, this makes sense. If the organization wanted to be aggressive with him, they could have moved him to the AAA bullpen, but that is far from the Mets’ current style. And there really is no urgency at the big league level.
I wonder how much the pitcher-hostile environment factored into Gorski and Mazzoni’s assignments. There appears to be plenty of innings to go around while creating a spot for either (or both) of Gorski and Mazzoni. So, this looks like a developmental decision.
I suspect that this pitching staff, as it is currently configured, is going to give up a lot of runs.
On the infield, the big name is Wilmer Flores. As always, the question is where he’ll play and how he’ll look while doing it. Given how cautious the Mets appeared with their pitchers, it’s notable that they felt comfortable promoting Flores who played a strong half a season in AA where he hit .311/.361/.494 in 66 games. Flores is joined by Brian Bixler, Zach Lutz, Reese Havens, Brandon Hicks, Josh Satin and Omar Quintanilla.
The roster lists only three outfielders: Andrew Brown, Jamie Hoffman and Juan Lagares. Brown is exclusively a corner guy, and Hoffman played just four games in center last year after 86 in 2011 and 124 in 2010 for AAA Albuquerque. I’d think Lagares, who mostly played center last year in AA, will be the primary centerfielder in this group. All three can thank Matt den Dekker’s wrist for an increase in their own playing time in the first half. Eric Campbell split his time between first base and left field in AA Binghamton in 2012, and given the crowded infield, I suspect much of his early playing time will be in left.
Full Roster: 51s_2013Roster_1
The AAA Las Vegas 51s named their coaching staff today, headed by manager Wally Backman. I am mildly surprised that Backman chose to return to the Mets to manage in Las Vegas, but I think it speaks to the fact that switching jobs, or finding a better one, can be awfully difficult. Backman will be joined by pitching coach Randy St. Clair and hitting coach George Greer.
This is St. Clair’s first go-round with the Mets after working for the Marlins for three seasons in the big leagues and six some odd seasons for the Expos/Nationals. He’s an interesting hire in that he seems never to have worked with Sandy Alderson, Paul dePodesta or J.P. Ricciardi before. Rather, he would have worked with Omar Minaya, Tony Bernazard and their associates in the final days of the Montreal franchise.
Greer is now in his eighth year with the Mets. He’s worked his way up from rookie ball after 23 seasons as the Head Coach at Wake Forest.
Monday night, the Mets made their divorce with the Buffalo Bisons official, signing a two-year player development contract with the Las Vegas 51s.
From the Mets’ press release:
The New York Mets today announced they have signed a two-year player development contract with the Las Vegas 51s, which will be the club’s new Triple-A affiliate. The 51s play in the Pacific Coast League and have Cashman Field as their home stadium.
“We are excited about our new partnership with the Las Vegas 51s and the city of Las Vegas, one which values equally player development, winning and community involvement,” said Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson.
“We are familiar with many of the front office personnel with the Mets,” said 51s Executive Director Don Logan. “I’ve known Sandy Alderson for 20 years to go along with J.P. Ricciardi, Paul DePodesta, Dick Scott and Terry Collins. These individuals are all very familiar with Las Vegas from the time they spent here with other organizations. We are excited to welcome the Mets as our new Triple-A affiliate.”