After an off-night Wednesday, Cesar Puello returned to the St. Lucie lineup and was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Now 21, he’s hitting .252/.311/.387 with 45 strikeouts against five walks in 46 games. So, in a system that prioritizes plate discipline, and yes walks, Puello, in a year in which he has missed considerable time with injury, has not put the message into game action.
RHP Tyler Pill (pictured) lasted only two innings, and gave up both Cardinals runs on three hits. If the Mets are limiting the 22-year old’s innings, a two-inning start is not the ordinary way to do it. Something’s going on here, but I don’t know what it is yet. Pill, last year’s 4th round pick, threw 107.2 innings between Fullerton and professional baseball and is at 113 right now.
LHP Jack Leathersich led the reliever parade by striking out four in his two innings of scoreless relief work. He’s now fanned 64 and walked 20 in 40.1 innings in the Florida State League. For what its worth, he has a slight revers platoon split, as lefties have posted a .713 OPS against him in 55 AB in the FSL, while righties have a .671 OPS in 100 AB.
RHP Taylor Whitenton finished off the game with a scoreless inning with two strikeouts. The righthander has a good fastball, and is missing bats, but like Leathersich, control remains a problem. Since June 1, the 24-year old Whitenton has 39 strikeouts against 19 walks in 31.2 innings.
The Gnats and Greenville Drive played one whole inning before rain washed out the rest of the game. They’ll finish that one and start a second game today.