As we enter the final weekend of minor league spring training, let’s see how the four long-season clubs fared on Friday.
BUFFALO BISONS (AAA)
Matt Harvey took the mound for the Buffalo Bisons Friday in a minor league spring training game against the Memphis Redbirds. The Bisons now have just two spring games remaining before heading north for their first workout at Coca-Cola field on Tuesday. Yesterday’s start was Harvey’s last tune-up before he takes the mound in the Bisons regular season opener Thursday against Pawtucket.
Memphis, the Cardinals AAA team, was only able to manage two runs off Harvey in 6.2 IP, but it would prove to be enough in a 2-1 Redbird win. The lone Bison tally came in the seventh inning when Lucas May singled home Valentino Pascucci. Heading into today’s game against the New Orleans Zephyrs, the Herd presently has a ST record of 1-5-3.
BINGHAMTON METS (AA)
Newly signed infielder Josh Rodriguez made his Mets debut with the AA squad, going 1-2. The B-Mets still lost Friday’s game 3-2, against the AA Cardinals. They open their regular season on Thursday against Akron. Probable pitcher for the B-Mets will be Zack Wheeler.
ST. LUCIE METS (A+)
The high A Mets squad suffered a 9-2 drubbing at the hands of the Palm Beach Cardinals in which they committed a total of seven errors. RHP Johan Almonte made the start for the Mets and struggled through 4 innings of work. LHP Jack Leathersich pitched a strong inning but then ran his pitch count so high, he had to be removed before completing inning number two. Hard throwing right-hander Jeff Walters, and RHP John Church also pitched in the game. Walters who started for the Brooklyn Cyclones last year, will more than likely be converted to the bullpen full time in 2012. Church is coming off a poor season in which he struggled with his consistancy. If he doesn’t start to pitch well very soon, time could be running out for him.
CF Darrell Ceciliani tweeted yesterday that he will be starting the year in St. Lucie, and LHP Hamilton Bennett told me he would be starting there as well. Other position players who played for the St. Lucie squad yesterday were: CF Alonzo Harris, 1B Sam Honeck, 2B Luis Nieves, 3B Aderlin Rodriguez, 3B Dustin Lawley, LF Travis Taijeron, RF Greg Pron, RF Charley Thurber, and 3B Richard Lucas, who accounted for both Lucie runs with a two-run bomb.
SAVANNAH SAND GNATS (A)
Well at least the Gnats won on Friday by a score of 6-4. LHP Alex Panteliodis, who the Mets nabbed in the 9th round last year out of Florida, spun six quality innings giving up three runs, two of which were earned. He showed good command with three solid pitches, a fastball, curveball and change-up. LHP Carlos Vasquez pitched two innings of relief while LHP T.J. Chism and RHP Tyler Seng each hurled one inning.
The hitting star of the game was infielder Phillip Evans who went 2-3 with a triple and a home run. Brandon Nimmo went 1-3 with an RBI triple. It looks more and more like Nimmo will open the season with Savannah. Other position players who played in yesterday’s game: C Cam Maron who went 1-4 with a triple and an RBI, LF Julio Concepcion 1-3 with yet another triple and an RBI, 1B Alex Sanchez, 2B Yucaryburt De La Cruz, and 3B Brandon Brown.
*Cory Mazzoni reportedly threw six very strong innings in an intra-squad game on Thursday.