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.
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.