Saturday in A-Ball: Jenrry Mejia’s Short Return; Robert Gsellman’s Savannah Debut

A+: Palm Beach Cardinals 1, @ St. Lucie Mets 1 (ppd by rain)

Hey, look, a Jenrry Mejia sighting. Mejia started, but was held two two innings by rain in Florida. His line: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 3 groundouts, 0 fb outs. He also committed an error, on a pickoff. This outing was short enough that I suspect he will get another couple of cracks at advanced-A before heading west to Las Vegas. And by the time he gets to Vegas, will he be starting or relieving? My guess – by the time he’s back in the big leagues, it will be out of the bullpen.

 

A: @ Savannah Sand Gnats 3, Rome Braves 2 

The Mets’ 13th round pick in the 2011 draft, Robert Gsellman, made his Savannah Sand Gnats’ debut after a pair of spot starts earlier this spring with advanced-A St. Lucie. His line: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K. Gsellman appeared to use his changeup as his primary off-speed weapon. I did not see him throw many curves.

Bret Mitchell struck out a batter in the ninth for his sixth save in six chances. He’s another bullpen sleeper. He missed all of last year with hip labrum surgery, but he can throw 92-94. His curve at 81-83 is a potential MLB weapon and his changeup (which he rarely throws) has some sink on it as well. He’s allowed the fifth-fewest baserunners per inning among SAL relievers while fanning 23 batters and walking just three in 15.1 IP.

Where did the Gnats’ offense come from? Why extra-base hits from 22-year-olds 1B Jayce Boyd (.374/.469/.537) and DH Kevin Plawecki (.392/.449/.675). Boyd homer in the sixth, his second of the year in a 2-for-4 night. Plawecki doubled up the left-center field gap in the fourth to set up a two-run Gnats’ inning. It was the league-leading 18th double of the year for Plawecki, who now has 23 extra-base hits, the only guy in the SAL with more than 17. I was moderately surprised that the Braves were shading Plawecki the other way, creating a large space in left-center. That’s fairly standard against most a-ballers, but I’d play him straight-up or with my centerfielder a few steps into left-center to guard that gap that Plawecki uses more than right-center.