Now that Jenrry Mejia has been moved from the starting rotation to the bullpen at AAA to be groomed for a relief role at Citifield in the not-too-distant future, there are presently only four starters in the Buffalo Bisons rotation: Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia, Garrett Olson, and Dylan Owen. In a TV interview last night with Bisons broadcaster Ben Wagner, the Herd’s manager Wally Backman stated that due to an off day today they would not be needing a fifth starter until Monday, the 18th.
There are currently six starting pitchers in the Binghamton rotation, and four of them are not quite ready for that promotion to AAA yet. That leaves two candidates to be called up to start the game on Monday night in Norfolk, VA against the Tides: Collin McHugh and Zack Wheeler. And after careful consideration, I believe I know who the Mets plan to call up. The player who will be moved up from AA to AAA in time for this Monday’s game, will be RHP Collin McHugh.
Wheeler has been the more dominant of the two this season, but McHugh is older and more experienced, and a bit more refined as a pitcher. Wheeler has made just ten AA starts in his career, all this season. McHugh who pitches tonight against Reading in what will probably be his last AA start, has been at Binghamton since mid-season last year and has been one of the Eastern League’s best pitchers over that time.
In 27 AA game starts and 160 innings, McHugh has an Eastern League lifetime record of 13-6 with a 2.75 ERA, 158 strikeouts and 49 walks. Buffalo manager Wally Backman knows McHugh having had him at Binghamton in 2011, and will be very happy to add him to his AAA staff. I feel Wheeler will also be getting promoted before too long, probably within the next month, but the first one to be summoned will be the player who has put in the time, and the work, and is farther along in his development.
McHugh is very deserving of this promotion and we wish him the best of luck in the International League. As far as the big picture goes, add him into the mix at AAA, and throw in Wheeler in a few weeks time, and Buffalo should have a formidable rotation for the stretch-run this year. Can you imagine a rotation consisting of: Harvey, Familia, Wheeler, and McHugh falling short of a deep play-off run in 2012? This could be a very exciting finish to the season this year for the Herd. Stay tuned.