Binghamton Buzz: Marte Keeps Raking, Wheeler Says He’ll Make Next Start

An article by posted on May 8, 2012

Ramblings from Henry and Fayette Streets

The Week That Was: April 30th – May 7th

The B-Mets went 2-5 over the past week, losing both their series in Akron against the Aeros and at home against the Harrisburg Senators.  Three of the five games they lost were only by one run.  The Mets fell below .500 and slid in the standings from third to fourth place.  The big news on the week was the loss of RHP Zack Wheeler, who was placed on the 7-day DL with a right middle fingernail avulsion.  In his place, RHP Gonzalez Germen was called up from St. Lucie and started for the B-Mets on Friday night.  In his AA debut, Germen went six innings, allowing five runs on eight hits while striking out nine Harrisburg Senators batters along the way.  In other personnel news, Brad Holt was sent back to Binghamton from the Buffalo Bisons on Monday the 7th.  At weeks end, Jefry Marte leads the team in batting average at .315, and despite his injury Zack Wheeler still has the top ERA amongst B-Mets starters at 1.75. Last night, Wheeler told reporters he expects to make his next turn in the rotation.

Standings:

Club                                       W             L          PCT           GB

Reading Phillies                     19            10        .655              -

New Britain Rock Cats           18            12        .600            1.5

Trenton Thunder                    14            14       .500             4.5

Binghamton Mets                 14            15       .483             5.0

New Hampshire Fisher Cats  13             17      .433             6.5

Portland Sea Dogs                 10             21      .323             10.0

Manager Profile: Pedro Lopez

Much like the players he coaches, Binghamton Mets manager Pedro Lopez is making his way through the Mets minor league system.  In 2012, Lopez finds himself at the helm of his fifth Mets affiliate, his first at the Double A level.  Lopez has seen time in Kingsport, Brooklyn, Savannah, and St. Lucie previously.

Lopez’s professional playing career started in 1988.  As a catcher, he was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 21st round, 526th overall.  From 1988 until 1994, Lopez rose up through the Padres system with stops at every level, his final team in the San Diego organization being the Las Vegas Stars.  Over the next six seasons, Lopez played in the minor league systems of the Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Astros.  All told, over 13 seasons of his professional career Lopez played in 909 games.  In that time, he had 690 hits, which included 134 doubles, 16 triples, and 49 home runs.  His final career batting average was .247, with an on base percentage of .317.

Lopez retired from playing after the 2000 season, and began his coaching career the next year.  His first managerial stint would be for the Savannah Sand Gnats in 2001, then an affiliate of the Texas Rangers.  From ’02 until ’07, Lopez would guide the Texas Rangers rookie league clubs in Pulaski (one season, 2002) and the Arizona League.

Beginning in 2008, Lopez joined the Mets system.  His first managerial assignment was with the Kingsport Mets in the Appalachin League, a team that featured current Binghamton Mets players Pedro Zapata, Collin McHugh, Mark Cohoon, and Robert Carson.  His team went 34-32 that season, good for fifth overall in the ten team league.

In 2009, Lopez was brought to Brooklyn to manage the Cyclones.  That season, his team ended up in second place behind their cross town rival Staten Island Yankees, going 45 and 30.  The Cyclones made the playoffs that season as the wild card team, but were defeated in the first round by the Mahoning Valley Scrappers 2 game to none.

2010 would see Lopez’s return to Savannah, again at the helm of the Sand Gnats, this time as a Mets affiliate.  With the likes of Matt den Dekker, Rylan Sandoval, Darin Gorski, and Gonzalez Germen, Lopez guided the Sand Gnats to a 75 and 64 record, missing a trip to the post season by two games.

In 2011, Lopez, along with many other current B-Mets, made the next step to High Single A ball, joining the St. Lucie Mets.  After starting 18-3, Lopez’s Mets finished as the Florida State Leagues first half champions in the South Division.  In the post season, the St. Lucie Mets won the South Division Championship, but were defeated in the Florida State League Championship series by the Daytona Cubs.

Bringing many of his players from that FSL League Championship series team with him to Binghamton this season, Lopez will hopefully be able to build upon his past success and take the B-Mets to the post season for the first time since 2004.

Weekly Stats Snapshot:

Where the Binghamton Mets rank within the Eastern League.

Batters:

Matt den Dekker - 9th in runs with 18, 3rd in doubles with 10, tied for second in triples with two

Josh Rodriguez – leads the league in walks with 20

Pitchers:

Zack Wheeler – 5th in ERA at 1.75, 10th in the league with 30 strikeouts

Collin McHugh – tied for second with four wins, 7th in the league with 31 strikeouts

Did You Know?

In 1991, it was the New York Mets who financed a majority of the cost to build Binghamton Municipal Stadium, ponying up $3.1 million of the total $4.5 million needed.  At the time, the Mets wanted their AA franchise closer to Shea Stadium than they were in Williamsport, PA.  They felt the only way the project would get done in Binghamton was if they took steps to help it come to fruition.

Look At Attendance

This weeks look at attendance will feature a different slant and comparison.  Within the New York Mets system, this is how the teams match up in how well they are putting fans in the seats game after game as far as percent capacity goes.

New York Mets – 69%

Savannah Sand Gnats – 49%

Binghamton Mets – 33%

Buffalo Bisons – 31%

St Lucie Mets – 22%

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