Upper Minors Wednesday: All About 2B. Havens Blasts Two Homers in AA, Murphy Hurt in AAA

AAA: Syracuse Chiefs 6, @ Buffalo Bisons 3

The news here is that Dan Murphy left the game in the seventh inning and was unable to put any weight on his right leg.

The always entertaining Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News explains what went down on the play:

Murphy was carried off the field in the seventh inning after Syracuse’s Leonard Davis roll-blocked him sliding past second base on a double-play pivot. Dirty play.

Bisons’ manager Ken Oberkfell told Harrington:

I don’t think it’s real good.  I haven’t heard anything from back there [the training room] yet but he was pretty banged up on the play. The way he turned the double play was nice. He made the right pivot.”

Josh Thole also left the game early after getting knocked on the head by a Syracuse Chief’s long back swing which left him woozy.

Weird night in Buffalo.  Bobby Livingston was ejected in the fourth inning for plunking a Chief with a breaking ball, while working on a no-hitter.  That’s bad.  Adam Pettyjohn and Manny Acosta gave up six runs in three innings.  Also bad, but in a different way.

AA: @ Bowie Bay Sox 8, Binghamton Mets 5

Reese Havens drilled a pair of opposite field home runs as part of a 3-4 night with three runs scored, 3 RBI, a walk and a strikeout.  In his first nine games in the Eastern League, he’s hitting .351/.415/.703 with three homers.  All told, in 23 MiLB games this year between St. Lucie and Binghamton, he’s hitting .309/.387/.585 with six jacks.

I got into a twitter discussion last night about whether the Mets should call up Havens if Luis Castillo needs to hit the DL.  The answer is simply “no, not yet.”
Look, gang. That’s a great first nine games in AA for Havens.  It also took him almost three weeks because he missed nine days with his latest back problem.  He has 37 at-bats above a-ball.  Yes, watching Castillo limp around the diamond might be almost as painful for fans as it is for Castillo, but Havens needs time in the upper minors before he’s MLB ready.

At the time of his promotion to the Big Leagues, Ike Davis had 240 minor league AB above advanced A and 85 in the AFL for a total of 325.  Davis is currently hitting .255/.358/.447 for the Mets in 41 games.  By contrast, Havens with his 37 AA at bats and 38 in the AFL has 75 at bats above the FSL, or under a quarter of Davis’ experience above the FSL.  A good week and a half in AA simply does not mean Havens is ready to contribute to a winning Major League team.

Besides, there’s currently a young Met, who’s already on the 40-man roster who’s a better option than Havens: Ruben Tejada.  Tejada just finished up a May in which he hit .316/.364/.367 for the Bisons.  Longterm, Havens’ power might make him the more valuable of the two, especially if they’re both forced to second base, but Tejada is a better immediate replacement if the Mets decide to DL Castillo.  Alex Cora (.205/.287/.265 with below average defense) just should not play everyday.  The 40-man roster implications are important.  Adding Havens anytime soon (and assuming that he doesn’t hit like Chase Utley and lands back in the minors when Castillo returns from the DL) would severely limit the Mets’ flexibility later in the season.

All of the other prospect stuff from his game is disappointing to varying degrees.
Brad Holt: 4 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 2 K, HR – according to Grant Paulsen he “popped” 92
Eddie Kunz: .1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 0 K
Kirk Nieuwenhuis: 0-5.  He’s 0-for his last 9 and 3 for-26 (.115) in his last seven games.
Nieuwenhuis hit differently in the season’s first two months.  After a well-rounded .319/.361/.484 April, his average and OBP dipped, but his power surged with a  .271/.310/.492 line in May complete with 13 extra-base hits.