AA: Trenton Thunder (NYY) 4, @ Binghamton Mets 1 (7 innings)
@ Binghamton Mets 4, Trenton Thunder 1 (7 innings)
This was a pretty quiet doubleheader for the BMets offense which collected eight hits over 14 innings. One of the hits in game two was a grand slam from 3B Richard Lucas, his 7th of the year. The 24-year-old is hitting .207/.268/.326 in 76 games for AA Binghamton this year.
Erik Goeddel (9-4, 3.99) again struggled with his control in game one: L, 4.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 2 WP.
RF Cesar Puello was 1-for-5 with an infield single that drove home a run and two more walks. He’s drawn a walk in four straight games and is up to 11 in his last 17 games. It’s almost as though someone told him he needed to learn to walk to get to AAA. The 22-year-old is up to .328/.405/.557 overall and .438/.494/.877 (!!) in 73 AB vs. LHP.
A+: St. Lucie Mets 5, @ Lakeland Flying Tigers (DET) 1 (7 innings)
St. Lucie Mets 2, @ Lakeland Flying Tigers 0 (9 innings)
St. Lucie picked up a pair of nice starts and enough late offense to sweep a doubleheader.
Game 1, Matt Bowman: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K 10/3 GB/FB
Game 2, Hansel Robles: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Both guys attack the strike zone at 89-91 and can throw a breaking ball for a strike, or in Bowman’s case, a variety of breaking balls for strikes.
Tim Byrdak made his 12th (!) rehab appearances with St. Lucie. Of course, in that time he’s mustered just 10.2 IP total.
Cory Vaughn, whose rehab has moved from the GCL to the FSL had a hit in game one, and two in game two and is 4-for-10 in the advanced-A portion of his rehab.
A: @ Savannah Sand Gnats 9, Augusta GreenJackets (SF) 4
The Gnats used three two-run doubles to score nine runs in the first three innings and give Gabriel Ynoa plenty of support.
Ynoa was not close to at his best. His command was wobbly, and he was up in the zone regularly. His line: 5 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K. After 76.2 innings last year in Brooklyn, Ynoa has tossed 104 in Savannah this year, a new career-high. I wonder at age 20, how many starts the Mets will have him make.
SS Philip Evans was 3-for-5 with three singles, two to right field. He’s hitting .315/.398/.452 in 23 games in the second half with seven walks and nine strikeouts.
This game took 3:15 to play thanks to a first four innings that approached two hours.
A+: St. Lucie Mets 5, @ Daytona Cubs 3 (7 innings)
@ Daytona Cubs 7, St. Lucie Mets 0 (7 innings)
Game 1, Rainy Lara was fine: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K. He’s fanned 18% of his opponents in advanced-A, while walking 7% on his way to a 2.92 ERA. He gets his outs with his slider and has a chance to be a slider heavy middle reliever if he can tighten the pitch.
Game 2, Domingo Tapia was wild: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 0 K. It’s the third time in 17 starts this year that he has failed to finish the first inning with four walks. It’s the second straight start in which he has not finished the second. He’s up to 43 walks in 73.2 innings, a 13% walk rate. Major, major uh-ohs here.
Kevin Plawecki (.323/.406/.419 – 27 gms in A+) caught game one and moved out from behind the dish to play first in game two, going 1-for-6 between the two contests.
A: @ Delmarva Shorebirds (BAL) 9, Savannah Sand Gnats 2
The Shorebirds pounded out 19 (!) hits against Luis Cessa and three relievers. Cessa, a strikethrower for whom I have a soft spot was roughed up: 5 IP, 13 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. At Historic Grayson Stadium, he owns a 2.36 ERA, but that hops up to 4.18 on the road. He has walked more batters on the road (4.8% to 2.6%) and given up more homers (3% to 1.1%).
CF Brandon Nimmo (pictured) was 2-for-3 with a strikeout before he was ejected in the fifth inning. Signs of life from Nimmo? He’s 8-for-20 (.400) in his last five games with a triple, three walks and eight strikeouts.
By the way, SS Philip Evans was officially placed on the Savannah DL with a lower back strain, retroactive to July 18.
Once again, a few issues by affiliate.
1. Michael Fulmer
The big righty was not good on Sunday: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 0 HR, 5 gb outs/2 fly outs. It was just his third start of the year at age 20 in advanced-A. Watch his walks: he’s issued six in 12.1 innings.
2. Kevin Plawecki’s Approach
When he was promoted from Savannah to St. Lucie, C Kevin Plawecki went 11 games without drawing a walk, at which point he was hitting .318/.318/.477. He’s an aggressive hitter, but I was surprised and a little disappointed he was being so hacker-ish. Since that first walk, he has hit .349/.500/.395 in his last 14 games with eight walks and six strikeouts. He’s sitting at .333/.420/.437 overall. Plawecki has also played five games at first and 18 at catcher. I really don’t think his bat plays at first, but it does behind the plate. Even so, there’s nothing wrong with working him a little at first to keep his bat in the linup and cut down on the wear and tear on his body (he missed a few days with a lower back problem) and give him a little extra versatility. It’s worth pointing out too that this is Plawecki’s first full season, and his longest ever. I thought he was fatigued in Brooklyn in 2012, so I will be curious to see what happens with his power numbers for the duration of this summer.
3. Jayce Boyd – DH
After a homerun on Sunday, and three doubles in his last four games, Jayce Boyd is holding on at .313/.364/.535 in 26 games in the FSL. After a hot start on the circuit, he’s hit .245/.344/.453 in 15 games in July. More importantly, he has not played in the field since June 28th. I did not think his shoulder was right based on his throwing in Savannah.
St. Lucie is just 1.5 games behind the Palm Beach Cardinals, in third place in the FSL South.
A+: St. Lucie Mets 9, @ Brevard County Manatees (MIL) 3
Hansel Robles(4-2, 4.04): 5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. That’s 27 hits allowed in his last 14.1 innings since coming off the DL.
C Kevin Plawecki took an 0-for-3, but at least he walked twice.
A: @ West Virginia Power (PIT) 8, Savannah Sand Gnats 1
Gabriel Ynoa (10-4, 2.82) took this one on the chin: 5 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K.
Ynoa has some significant home/road splits driven in part by pitcher-friendly Historic Grayson Stadium:
Home: a 1.99 ERA in 49.2 innings in which opponents hit .196/.224/.293 with a .239 BABIP
Road: a 3.65 ERA in 49.1 innings in which opponents hit .268/.287/.384 with a .308 BABIP
CF Brandon Nimmo: 0-for-4, BB, K. The 20-year-old is down to .252/.358/.339 with 84 strikeouts against 34 walks in 64 games. In 22 games in the second half, he’s hit .150/.261/.175 with 11 walks and 36 whiffs.
A+: @ St. Lucie Mets 4, Dunedin Blue Jays 3 (7 innings – Continued from Sunday)
@ St. Lucie Mets 4, Dunedin Blue Jays 2 (7 innings)
Game 1 was the suspended game from Sunday. Rainy Lara came on to replace Michael Fulmer and was ok (4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K). Fulmer, who threw on Sunday (3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K).
Oh, Domingo Tapia: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 1 K. That’s now 39 walks in 73 innings, a walk rate of 12.4%.
Kevin Plawecki (.365/.427/.486 – 21 gms; A+) caught game one and played first in game two.
A: Greenville Drive 2, @ Savannah Sand Gnats 1 (Continued from Saturday)
@ Savannah Sand Gnats 7, Greenville Drive (BOS) 4
The Greenville Drive scored in the top of the ninth off Jake Kuebler to win game one. I wasn’t on air (waiting for Hannity to finish on the terrestrial station), so I sat behind home plate for the first few innings of the resumption, six through eight. Kuebler was throwing 91-92 and touching 93. He was using his changeup (at 83) as his primary offspeed weapon. A converted infielder, he’s a big guy with an average arm and not much breaking ball at age 23. It’s sort of generic. Not generic? Francellis Montas who finished the game for the Drive. He has an electric arm. He was 94-98 mph with his fastball with a slider at 85-87. His line: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. Listed at 6’2″, he has a sturdy frame and a big arm. Color me impressed.
Game two was odd. The Gnats were no-hit through five innings, and then took the lead with a three-run sixth before adding runs in the seventh and eighth.
The story for me however was Luis Cessa: 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. All three runs he allowed came in the third inning that began with a bouncing ball over 1B Cole Frenzel’s shoulder for a hit and a bloop just beyond Philip Evans’ reach at short stop. Cessa (pictured) then got himself in trouble by fielding a bunt and throwing late, and wildly down the first base line for an error to allow an extra baserunner and a run to score. On another night, there are two outs and nobody on in the inning, and no runs score. Cessa was sitting 92-93 and held his velocity all the way into the seventh. He has feel for both a slider and a changeup. The fact that he’s the third-best prospect in the Gnats’ starting rotation right now, behind Steven Matz (who is LHP, and sitting 92-94) and Gabriel Ynoa (who is 20, and has a little more velocity than Cessa), speaks more to the other two’s strengths than anything else. The 21-year-old Cessa’s last eight starts: 53.2 innings, a 1.68 ERA and 54 strikeouts against eight walks and just one home run allowed while allowing a .232/.262/.288 opponents’ batting line.
CF Brandon Nimmo was 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his return from the Futures Game. The first three AB were against a LHP. He hit one ball sharply, to near 2B, that Drive 2B kicked for an error.
AA: @ Binghamton Mets 4, Portland Sea Dogs (BOS) 0
The Binghamton Mets improved to 58-34 behind six shutout inning from RHP Erik Goeddel Sunday.
Goedel’s (8-3, 3.94) line: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K. Goeddel is working on a 10% walk rate and a 22.6% strikeout rate for the year in AA Binghamton. I’m skeptical he will have the command to be a good starter, but he might well slot into a middle relief role.
RF Cesar Puello was 0-for-3 with a walk (!) that helped load up the bases.
A+: Dunedin Blue Jays 1, @ St. Lucie Mets 1 (suspended after three innings)
The rain curtailed a great prospect pitching matchup as Michael Fulmer took on a rehabbing Sergio Santos and then Aaron Sanchez, the Jays #1 prospect per BA heading into this year.
Fulmer’s line: 3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR
A: Greenville Drive @ Savannah Sand Gnats – ppd by rain
The Gnats and Drive were rained out Friday and Sunday, and suspended mid-game on Saturday, so the two team have completed one half of their scheduled three games to this point in the series. They’ll complete the suspended game on Monday and then play the regularly scheduled game. The two missing games will be made up as part of back-to-back doubleheaders August 30 and 31, during the final week of the regular season, which, I promise, will be brutal.
On the plus side, all the rain gave me a chance to watch the first few innings of the Futures Game (more on that in a bit) and work on a musical mix for the ballpark about sunshine, which has been in short supply the last few days. Obviously, we will take songs that use sunshine as a metaphor and are not strictly about sunshine.
Bob Marley – The Sun is Shining
Katrina & the Waves – Walking on Sunshine
Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun
Cream – Sunshine of Your Love
Beattles – Here Comes the Sun
Beatles – Good Day Sunshine
Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine when She’s Gone
Leslie Gore – Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows
Len – Steal My Sunshine
Matisyahu – Sunshine
Nirvana – Jesus Doesn’t Want me for a Sunbeam
Feel free to help with this project in the comments.
AA: Portland Sea Dogs (BOS) 8, Binghamton Mets 5 (15 innings)
Considering these two are scheduled for a double-header and 14 innings on Saturday, 15 innings was a bad start to the weekend for the bullpens as position players finished the game for both teams.
RF Cesar Puello (.335/.397/.570 – 71 games): 4-for-7 with a walk, SB, CS
CF Alonzo Harris, (.242/.293/.336 – 59 g) who had been on the disabled list since a collision on June 21 returned with a 2-for-6 effort with a double. He took Cory Mazzoni’s spot on the roster after Mazzoni was placed on the Binghamton DL with a strained hamstring.
LHP Pedro Feliciano fanned three over a scoreless two-inning relief effort. He’s up to 11.1 innings in AA in which he’s fanned nine and walked one.
A+: @ St. Lucie Mets 3, Dunedin Blue Jays 0
LHP Alex Panteliodis (4-3, 4.11) put together his best start of 2013: 7.1 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 HPB, 0 BB, 3 K. It was his longest outing and his first without allowing a run. I wonder if he bought himself some more time in the St. Lucie rotation and kept Steven Matz and Gabriel Ynoa in Savannah just a little longer.
Kevin Plawecki played first base again, for the second time in three games and the third time in the last seven games and was 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and a run-scored. He’s hitting a batting-average powered .371/.421/.500 with seven extra-base hits and two walks in 19 games in advanced-A. I think Plawecki is a more aggressive than Mets’ fans generally understand. Even though he strikes out very little (10.5% in A+ in 76 PA), he’ll need to adjust his approach against higher-level pitchers.
Tim Byrdak worked the ninth for his third FSL save of the year.
Kyle Drabek, who I once had high hopes for, and owned in a Scoresheet fantasy format, started and went two innings for Dunedin in a rehab start.
A: Greenville @ Savannah – ppd by rain
There was an epic storm in Savannah on Friday afternoon that lasted nearly all evening. They’ll play two on Sunday beginning at noon. The Saturday forecast looks a little shaky by gametime too.
A+: St. Lucie Mets 7, @ Charlotte Stone Crabs (TB) 6
C Kevin Plawecki: 3-for-4 with a double and 2 RBI. The 22-year-old is now hitting .358/.403/.493 in 18 games in the FSL.
Matt Bowman: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 K. I wonder if he’s getting tired. After walking 9 batters in his first 50 innings in the FSL, he’s walked 11 in his last 18.2.
A: Augusta GreenJackets (SF) 9, @ Savannah Sand Gnats 1
The ‘Jackets scored seven times off RHP Matt Koch in the second, and the game was pretty much over from there. Koch’s line in his shortest start of the year: 1.2 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 2 HBP. He hadn’t hit a batter all year (69.2 IP), and then plunked two in the same inning on Thursday night.
The 20-year-old was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts and a bloop basehit to leftfield off a left-handed reliever. The basehit moved his batting average vs. lefties over .200 for the year to .208/.296/.229 in (10-for-48) vs. southpaws.
Saturday: @ Fort Myers Miracle 12, St. Lucie Mets 2
Sunday: @ Fort Myers Miracle 4, St. Lucie Mets 1
After leaving Friday’s game early, when he tweaked his back, Kevin Plawecki returned to the lineup, and caught on Sunday. The 22-year-old has hit .361/.361/.528 in his first nine games in advanced-A. Now that he’s been there for almost two weeks, it’d be nice to see him mix in a walk or two.
Saturday, LHP Alex Panteliodis took it on the chin (3.2 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 2 BB, 1 K) as his ERA rose to 4.56 where the average is 3.81 in the FSL. He’s now fanned 28 and walked 15 batters in his 53.1 innings of work while allowing 60 hits. Panteliodis’ hold on a rotation spot might be about to get a whole lot shakier. The Advanced-A rotation is about to get a whole lot more crowded with the returns of Michael Fulmer and Hansel Robles who both pitched in GCL games last week. That leaves in rough prospect order, Fulmer, Domingo Tapia, Robles, Rainy Lara, and Matt Bowman. The Mets really like using a six-man rotation, which would keep Panteliodis pitching as a starter for a little longer. However, Gabriel Ynoa, Steven Matz and Luis Cessa have all been throwing well in Savannah. On the other hand, the Gnats are headed to the playoffs, so the Mets will likely keep a few effective hurlers in Savannah all year long. The 20-year-old Ynoa just finished a June in which he had a 1.67 ERA and a 17/0 K/BB ratio.
After 14 games in the FSL, Matt den Dekker’s rehab is over, as he will be heading out to Vegas on Monday. In those 14 games, he hit .276/.306/.310 with two doubles, three walks and six strikeouts. He had a good weekend, picking up three hits Saturday and a double on Sunday. This is a big few months for den Dekker who will turn 26 in August an hit just .220/.256/.373 with 90 strikeouts in 77 games in Buffalo last year. The Mets will face a decision this winter about whether to add him to the 40-man roster to protect him from the rule 5 draft, so he really will be playing for a 40-man roster spot in July and August.
Saturday: @ Palm Beach Cardinals 6, St. Lucie Mets 5
Sunday: Bradenton Marauders (PIT) 4, @ St. Lucie Mets 2
1B Jayce Boyd has at least two hits in each of first four games in the FSL and popped his first homerun in advanced-A on Sunday. The 22-year-old (pictured at right) is hitting .529/.529/.765 (9-for-17) with a double and a homerun since his promotion. The man can hit.
Rehabbing CF Matt den Dekker had two hits Saturday and one on Sunday, which is nice. After seven games, the 25-year-old is still looking for his first extra-base knock. Hand and wrist injuries, as den Dekker had, often sap a batter’s power.
Sunday, Matt Bowman, who has been excellent in St. Lucie since his early May promotion took his first loss. His line: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 HR, 0 BB, 7 K.