AA: Binghamton Mets 8, @ New Britain Rock Cats (MIN) 3
The B-Mets scored four times in the fourth against hard-throwing Alex Meyer and that was enough Wednesday on a night when four different B-Mets collected multiple hits.
RHP Erik Goeddel survived into the sixth inning, but a 1:1 strikeout to walk ratio is far from ideal: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K. For the year, Goeddel’s at 45 K/20 BB in 46.1 innings with a 5.05 ERA and 51 hits in 46.1 innings. This might be the wall on his path as a starter. He gave up over a hit an inning last year in St. Lucie with a similar K/BB ratio a little over 2.
Las Vegas 51s 9, @ Iowa Cubs (CHI) 4
Mets top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler (3-1) returned to action Wednesday after missing his last start with soreness in his right clavical and a short stint on the triple-A disabled list. Despite early command issues, the outing was successful and the 51s beat the Iowa Cubs 9-4.
Wheeler loaded the bases in the 1st inning thanks to a walk, hit by pitch and single but got through the frame without allowing a run to score. After an easy 2nd inning, he surrendered a leadoff homerun to Brian Bogusevic in the 3rd, followed by a sac fly later in the frame for an additional run. The Georgia native cruised through the 4th inning only to give up another leadoff homer, this time from Edwin Maysonet, in the 5th. After finishing the 5th inning, Wheeler was pulled from the game with 67 pitches thrown (43 for strikes). Based on his velocity, the right hander showed no sign of arm discomfort, throwing fastballs in the mid to upper 90′s the entire outing.
Final line for Wheeler: 5IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 2K, 2HR
Supplying run support was no issue for the 51s bats today and it was a pair of former New York Mets who delivered the biggest blows. CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis opened the game with a homer against Cubs starter Guillermo Moscoso for his third AAA long ball of the season. It’s been tough year so far for Nieuwenhuis, who’s batting average is .207 after a 1 for 3 performance Wednesday. In his last 10 games, he’s just 8 for 38 at the dish with two XBH.
It’s also been a tough go for LF Collin Cowgill, who entered the game batting .236 in 15 games with the 51s. However, he’s still capable of popping the occasional long ball, in this case leaving the yard with a grand slam in the 4th.
C Francisco Pena, who was recently called up from the B-Mets after Juan Centeno went on the DL, smacked his second 3A homer, a two run shot in the 2nd. Pena added his third rbi of the day on a single in the 8th and is now 3 for 10 in three games with Vegas.
AA: Binghamton Mets (25-20) @ New Britain Rock Cats (21-24) Listen
Wednesday 6:35 ET – RHP Erik Goeddel (3-2, 5.31) vs. RHP Alex Meyer (2-1, 3.56)
In his last start Erik Goeddel allowed 3 runs on 6 hits and 1 walk, striking out 6 over 6 IP against Portland. This will be his sixth road start out of nine starts this year.
Alex Meyer allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and no walks while striking out 4 in his last start. He has struck out 51 and walked 18 over 43 IP this year.
A+: St. Lucie Mets (25-18) @ Dunedin Blue Jays (25-17) Listen
Wednesday 6:30 ET – RHP Noah Syndergaard (2-1, 2.62) vs. RHP Jesse Hernandez (2-4, 2.86)
Noah Syndergaard struck out a season high 10 without walking a batter in his last start, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits over 6.2 IP. It was just the third time in eight starts that he has allowed more than 1 run.
Jesse Hernandez took a tough loss to Fort Myers in his last start, allowing 2 runs (1 ER) on 9 hits over 5 IP. He’s struck out just 29 over 44 IP this year with 17 walks.
A: Charleston RiverDogs (25-17) @ Savannah Sand Gnats (25-18) Listen
Wednesday 7:05 ET – LHP Evan Rutckyj (4-2, 5.03) vs. RHP Rainy Lara (4-1, 1.17)
Evan Rutckyj (I’d like to buy a vowel) allowed 8 hits over 4.2 IP in his last start. He limited the damage to 2 runs on 1 BB and 8 K. On the year he has struck out 32 over 34 IP, but walked 17.
Rainy Lara threw 8 shutout inning in his last start, striking out 9 while allowing just 1 walk and 2 hits. He’s struck out 47 and walked 5 in 46 IP. He has a 0.92 ERA in 3 home starts walking just 1 to 24 strikeouts.
AAA: Las Vegas 51s (20-23) @ Iowa Cubs (18-24) Listen
Wednesday 1:05 ET – RHP Zack Wheeler (2-1, 3.74) vs. RHP Guillermo Moscoso (2-0, 2.14)
Zack Wheeler last pitched May 11th and was on a string of 3 sharp starts (20 IP, 14 H, 3 BB, 19 K) before some discomfort in his shoulder caused him to miss a start. After checking things out and resting he’s set to resume today, although he is likely to be limited to 75 to 80 pitches.
Guillermo Moscoso is with his 5th organization after splitting last year between the Rockies and AAA Colorado Springs. He’s a veteran of the PCL having thrown 359 innings in the league since 2009 as well as spending time on big league rosters in each of those years.
Rafael Montero has been sent back to AA and Dylan Owen is going along with him. These moves open Las Vegas rosters spots for Wheeler to be activated from the DL and recently signed David Aardsma to be added to the bullpen.
AA: @ New Britain Rock Cats (MIN) 9, Binghamton Mets 3
RF Cesar Puello, from the #3 spot in the order was 1-for-5 with a homer (good) and three strikeouts (bad). The 22-year-old is now hitting .338/.393/.623 in 20 games in May and is up to .315/.379/.543 overall with six homers in 35 games – that’s 25 homers over 150 games. Yeah, that’ll play. Remember, Puello hit seven homeruns total in his first 198 professional games in America, before busting out with 10 in 117 games in the FSL in 2011. His current isolated slugging percentage of .228 would easily be a career-high.
RHP Jacob deGrom (1-5, 5.83): 4.2 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 4 BB, 3 K.
- On the pitching side, deGrom’s struggles in AA, are one of the early disappointments of the 2013 season. I really believed in the sinker, his velocity, and feel for a slider with the potential to improve the pitch.
A+: St. Lucie Mets 5, @ Dunedin Blue Jays 3
Not much exciting here in the box score.
22-year-old LHP Alex Panteliodis was ok, but not special: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, with 5 ground outs and six flyouts.
A pair of 24-year-olds – 2B TJ Rivera and RF Travis Taijeron -were both 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Taijeron is hitting .270/.385/.482 thanks to a big May (.323/.432/.613 with 9 2B and 3 HR) but he has major contact problems, for an offensively oriented position (LF), having struck out 44 times in 41 games. Rivera, a non-drafted free agent out of Troy is hitting .300/.362/.371. He’s stretched at shortstop, but makes a fine second baseman in a-ball.
A: Charleston RiverDogs 2, @ Savannah Sand Gnats 0
This one, played in perfect weather – 77 degrees at first pitch – featured a really fun pitching matchup: NYY’s Rafael De Paula and the Mets’ Steven Matz (pictured).
Both Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America rated De Paula as the Yankees’ #10 prospect coming into this year, and he has more than lived up to the billing, leading minor league baseball in strikeouts with 73. De Paula lied about his age and identity and MLB investigated him for 16 months before finally approving his contract last year (more background here). De Paula’s line actually might understate how good he was: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. He did not allow a runner to third. I didn’t get gun readings on him during the game, but he was throwing damn hard (BP had him topping out at 99 entering the season and BA at 98). Gnats’ hitters could not square up his stuff. He showed both a breaking ball and a changeup with a chance to be plus. I believe I described one change on air as “unfair.” The one blemish on De Paula’s game: control: he’s walked 19 batters in 45.1 innings. For a guy making the jump from the DSL to the SAL, that’s understandable. I think he’s the top pitching prospect I’ve seen against the Gnats this year.
Steven Matz was almost as good: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, and 93 pitches and first pitch strikes to 15 of 22 batters. Matz gave up a run in the first that should never have happened and a run in the fourth that should have happened. In the first, leadoff man Taylor Dugas slapped hard one-hop single past 3B Jeff Reynolds who was drawn in against his speed to begin the inning. I thought it was a ball Reynolds should have fielded. After Dugas stole second, Matz gave up a single the other way to light-hitting SS (bust) Cito Culver to put runners at the corners with no outs. He induced a double-play grounder, but the run scored three batters into the game. In the fourth, Matz gave up a pair of triples blasted up the right-center field gap for the ‘Dogs’ second run. After that, he set down the final eight batters he saw in the game.
Matz was sitting at 92 mph, was 90-93 and touched 95, according to those sitting behind home plate. He worked heavily off his fastball early, before working in more sliders and changeups as the night went on. He got back-to-back strikeouts off the slider in the fifth. Many of his other whiffs were on elevated heat. The good news is that he was 1. more comfortable throwing his slider in games and 2. getting swings and misses with it. The nine strikeouts were a new season-high, tying his career high from last year in Kingsport.
C Kevin Plawecki (.356/.441/.597 – 41 games) was 0-for-2 with two walks, and has now reached base safely in 31 straight games. I asked Mets’ Special Assistant to the GM JP Ricciardi before the game what else Plawecki had to prove in the South Atlantic League. Not much, he conceded, saying it was “only a matter of time” until he earned his promotion to advanced-A. I had a scout praise Plawecki’s “quick release” the other day to me and he was 1-for-2 throwing out runners Tuesday.
Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson was a guest of Gary Cohen and Ron Darling during the SNY broadcast of Mets vs Reds Tuesday night. During the one inning Q&A session, Alderson was asked about the status of Mets top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler and his eventual promotion to the big league team.
Alderson said Wheeler is scheduled to start tomorrow in Iowa and every fifth day thereafter. He would like to see him throw well for two or three more starts at which point he will be a strong candidate for promotion.
Prior to missing his last start with a sore right clavical and subsequent cortisone injection, Wheeler had been in the midst of his best stretch of the season. In his last three starts the Georgia native is 2-0, allowing just 14 hits in 20 innings, with 3 walks and 19 strikeouts. This season Wheeler is 2-1 with a 3.74 era in eight starts.
Las Vegas 51s 1, @ Iowa Cubs (CHI) 2 – Game 1
RHP Rafael Montero, who was promoted from double-A Binghamton this week, made his PCL and AAA debut Wednesday afternoon in game 1 of a doublheader against the Iowa Cubs in Des Moines. The native of the Dominican Republic didn’t disappoint, throwing 6.2 innings of a scheduled 7 inning game, surrendering four hits and two runs, while striking out five and walking one. That’s on par with the types of outings he’s had all season with the B-Mets, where he K’d 54 and walked six in 46.2 innings.
Unfortuantely, on this day, the Vegas bats didn’t give him any run support and he took the loss but it appears Montero has the stuff to quickly make the adjustment to the higher level.
Final line for Montero: 6.2IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 5K 86 pitches/ 52 strikes. After the outing his era stands at 2.70.
Las Vegas 51s 5, @ Iowa Cubs (CHI) 6 – Game 2
In game 2 of the doubleheader, the 51s fell behind 5-0 heading into the 6th inning but rallied for five runs to get even. In the process they got starter D.J. Mitchell off the hook after the right hander allowed five runs on seven hits in four innings. In his five starts with the 51s this season, Mitchell has failed to go deeper than 5.1 innings and has allowed three or more runs in his last four.
Reliever Gonzalez Germen gave up a single run in the top of the 6th breaking the tie and giving Iowa the eventual winning margin.
3B Zack Lutz continues to swing a hot bat, going 1 for 2 with two rbi. He was also 1 for 2 in the opener and has now hit safely in 11 straight games.
AA: Binghamton Mets (25-19) @ New Britain Rock Cats (20-24) Listen
Tuesday 6:35 ET – RHP Jacob deGrom (1-4, 4.86) vs. RHP Trevor May (2-2, 3.95)
Jacob deGrom picked up his first AA win in his last start, allowing 4 runs (3 ER) on 8 hits and 1 walk with 6 K over 7 IP. In his last two starts he has struck out 11 and walked 2, after beginning at the AA level with 8 BB and 14 K in his first four starts.
Trevor May was trade to the Twins from the Phillies in the Ben Revere trade. He allowed 5 runs in 4 IP in his last start at Bowie, and has struck out 40 and walked 21 for the year.
A: Charleston RiverDogs (24-17) @ Savannah Sand Gnats (25-17) Listen
Tuesday 7:05 ET – HP Rafael De Paula (4-2, 2.75) vs. LHP Steven Matz (2-1, 2.83)
Rafael De Paula allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and 1 BB while striking out 11 over 6 IP. He has struck out 10 or more four times and totaled 69 with 17 walks in 39.1 IP, while limiting batters to a .174 clip. I would expect to see the 22 year old Dominican in Tampa for the second half of the year.
Steven Matz lost to Charleston in his last start, allowing 5 runs (4 ER) on 7 hits and 3 walks over 4.1 IP. His walk rate is up to 8.4% to go along with a 25.2% strikeout rate. Last year he walked over 14% while with Kingsport. Despite being mid-May Matz has equaled his time on the mound last year when he made 6 starts and threw 29 IP.