3B Aderlin Rodriguez was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer in the first inning. That’s back-to-back games with a bomb for the 20-year old and four in his last five contests. After a three week adjustment period in July in advanced-A when he hit .206/.260/.353, Rodriguez is banging .321/.387/.786 wiht four homers in seven games in August. For the year, he’s up to 26 doubles and 22 home runs as part of a .266/.327/.493 line. More than half of his 110 hits have gone for extra-bases.
He might not stay at third, although apparently he’s working harder at improving at the position. On the other hand, his bat has the power to carry across the diamond and make an impact at first base. I get at least an email a week asking if it makes sense for the Mets to move Rodriguez to the outfield to solve two problems: fortifying the Mets’ future bleak outfield and moving Rodriguez from a position where he might be blocked by David Wright. The answer remains a resounding, “no.” Rodriguez has well below average speed and at best, would be a below average outfielder. If he can’t stick at third, he’s going to first.
His 22 homeruns put him in the top-20 in minor league baseball on a list mostly populated by aging AAA types, the Royals’ Wil Myers, the Rangers’ Mike Ott and the Twins’ Miguel Sano. Remember too, Rodriguez played the first half of the year in power-suppressing Historic Grayson Stadium.
Erik Goeddel appeared out of the bullpen, working behind LHP Angel Cuan. It was Goeddel’s first bullpen outing since April 20, after 16 starts in a row. He was solid, striking out four without walking a batter while giving up an unearned run on five hits. There is more help on the way to the St. Lucie rotation but it would be interesting for Cuan to keep the rotation spot over Goeddel.
Alex Panteliodis and a late offensive surge helped the Gnats snap a six-game losing streak, their second of the first half.
Panteliodis, the big lefty out of Florida, who the Mets drafted in the 9th round last year had some of his best control of the year: 6 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. In his last four starts, he has struck out 34 batters, walked three and pitched to a 2.08 ERA (3 ER/25 IP). He’s largely lived off his fastball in this run, but his control is much improved over earlier this year.
CF Gilbert Gomez was 3-for-5 with a triple up the left-center field gap and two singles into leftfield. The 20-year old is hitting a patient .265/.376/.356. He is unlikely to be a centerfielder in the end, and with one homerun this year, the power will have to come in a big way to support a move to leftfield. He has some time, however.