Mets Minors Beat Monday Edition: Mejia, McHugh, Robles Dazzle Again
Welcome back to MMO’s exclusive feature Mets Minors Beat: The Monday Edition. Today we bring you the most interesting happenings from over the weekend in the Mets minor league system. This weekend the thing that really stood out was the pitching. There were some stellar starting performances by some familiar names that have been doing it the right way all season long.
Collin McHugh and Jenrry Mejia keep showing why they are considered top Mets pitching prospects. Logan Verrett, Gabe Ynoa, Hansel Robles, Cory Mazzoni, and Gonzalez Germen keep putting up solid pitching performances as they strive to finish their seasons strong.
And as for position players, there are two virtual unknowns before the season started who have been making a name for themselves lately with their outstanding hitting, in corner-infielder Richard Lucas, and infielder-outfielder Jorge Rivero. Keep reading to see the latest on what these players are doing this year, and much more.
Jenrry Mejia – The hard-throwing right-hander registered his second win in a row with a dominant performance against Lehigh Valley on Friday night. Mejia made his fourth consecutive start and pitched deeper into the game than he had all season going 6.0 innings and allowing just one run, earned, on five hits, with a walk and a strikeout. Mejia showed that he could be economical with his pitches, firing 77 over his outing, 53 for strikes, as he improved his record to 3-2 with a 2.75 ERA. In his first start on July 30th, he tossed 57 pitches, 34 for strikes over 3.0 innings, in his second start on August 6th, he threw 72 pitches, 45 for strikes in 4.1 innings. And then in his most recent start before Friday’s, he threw 70 pitches, 42 for strikes over 5.0 innings.
Collin McHugh – On Saturday the 6’2″ right-hander picked up his second win since being called up to Triple-A. McHugh hurled 95 pitches in the contest against Pawtucket, 63 for strikes, going 7.0 innings while giving up no runs on five hits, no walks and four strikeouts. The effort improved his record with Buffalo to 2-4 with a 3.39 ERA over 12 game starts.
Cory Mazzoni – The 22-year-old right-hander was tagged with the loss in Saturday’s game against the Richmond Flying Squirrels, however he turned in a very solid outing, just with zero run support. The B-Mets hitting attack consisted of no runs on three hits all night on Saturday, effectively wasting another good outing by Mazzoni whose record dropped to 5-4 with a 3.49 ERA. In 7.0 innings, Mazzoni allowed three runs all earned, on seven hits, with no walks and seven strikeouts. Having thrown 130.2 innings this year, it remains to be seen how many more starts he will get before being shut down for the year.
Gonzalez Germen – Coming off a string of four straight losses in his last four starts, Germen was able to notch a win for the B-Mets on Sunday, the first time since July 15th. Playing the role of “stopper,” the 24-year-old right-hander was able to help the B-Mets avoid a series sweep by the Flying Squirrels, and snap a three game Binghamton losing streak. He went 7.0 innings on Sunday surrendering two runs, both earned on eight hits, with one walk and three strikeouts. The win improved Germen’s record at Double-A to 7-10 on the year with a 4.65 ERA. If I asked you who is second in wins this year to R.A. Dickey in the entire Mets system, how many of you would guess Gonzalez Germen? How many would guess Rafael Montero? Actually if you did guess Germen that would make you pretty special because you would be half right. Earlier this season he made four starts at St. Lucie, and won three games. He was sent up to Buffalo to make an emergency start at the end of July and won that decision too before being sent back down to Bingo. Add those four victories to his seven Double-A wins, and he’s got a combined record of 11-10 this year. The only other Mets player to win 11 games, is Montero who was 11-5 split between Savannah and St. Lucie, but he has been shut down for the year due to reaching his innings limit. Jon Niese, Zack Wheeler, and Cory Mazzoni have each won ten games this year.
Logan Verrett – The 22-year-old 6’2″ righty tossed his fourth Florida State League game start for St. Lucie on Friday night against Charlotte. Although Verrett left the game after six with a 4-2 lead, the bullpen (and defense) couldn’t hold it and blew the game, losing 6-5. Verrett has been very good and very consistent since being promoted to St. Lucie. In four starts he has gone 24.2 innings, allowing 23 hits, seven earned runs, while walking three and striking out 16, for a record of 1-0 with a 2.55 ERA. Overall between Lucie and Savannah this year, he is 4-2 with a 2.92 ERA in 89.1 innings over 15 game starts. He has given up 80 hits, while posting an 83/12 K/BB ratio.
Richard Lucas – With a 1-for-4 day on Sunday, Lucas has now hit safely in his last seven games. On July 31st he was batting .239, but after scalding the ball for the last three weeks he has raised his average .022 points to .261. So far for the month of August, he has gone 21-for-54 with 11 runs scored, five doubles, a homer, nine RBI, five walks and five stolen bases, for a slash-line of .389/.459/.537.
Danny Muno – The St. Lucie second-baseman has been a very consistent performer this season, but in his last nine games he is one of the hottest hitters in the entire system. Over that span he has gone 15-for-32 with seven runs, two doubles, one triple, one home run, six RBI, six walks, three stolen-bases, and a slash-line of .469/.553/.688.
Jim Fuller – The 25-year-old lefty hurler threw a pretty good game on Friday night but the effort went to waste as the Savannah offense managed just four hits and no runs all night. Fuller lasted 5.2 innings surrendering two earned runs, on two hits, with a walk and ten strikeouts. The bullpen didn’t help the cause when they came in to give up four runs, on six hits, in the final 2.1 innings to ice the game for the Hickory Crawdads, by a final score of 6-0. The loss dropped Fuller’s record on the year to 3-5 with a 6.37 ERA.
Gabe Ynoa – The 19-year-old righty made the start for Brooklyn on Saturday, the first since his successful one inning outing in the NYPL All-Star game last Tuesday. Ynoa benefited from a 12 run, 10 hit attack by the Cyclones to defeat the Tri-City ValleyCats by a score of 12-4. He went 5.0 solid innings, giving up one earned run, while scattering eight hits, and striking out five. The win improved his record this year to 5-1 with a 2.40 ERA in 60.0 innings, over ten game starts. New York Penn League opposition is hitting .212 against him and he has put up a K/BB ratio of 50/7.
Hansel Robles – The 22-year-old right-hander made his tenth start of the season on Sunday night, and for the third game in a row, he didn’t allow a single run. Over his last three starts, Robles has pitched a total of 21.0 innings and only given up one unearned run on six hits, with 18 strikeouts and one walk. Actually the walk was the only base-on-balls he has issued in his last five starts, covering 34.0 innings. On Sunday Robles threw 6.0 innings giving up just two hits with the one walk and three strikeouts, to improve his record on the year to 4-1 with a 1.34 ERA. In his ten starts he has pitched 60.2 innings giving up nine earned runs, on 38 hits, no home runs, and a K/BB ratio of 54/7.
Akeel Morris – The 19-year-old 6’1″ right-hander made his third scoreless relief appearance in a row on Saturday night, by throwing three scoreless innings, to help the K-Mets defeat the Elizabethton Twins by a final score of 8-4. Morris tossed 3.0 innings giving up no runs, on one hit, with a walk and five strikeouts. Over his last three games he has pitched ten innings in relief, giving up no runs on four hits, with five walks and 15 strikeouts.
Jorge Rivero – Welcome to this week’s installment of the Jorge Rivero Report. Our hero had another big week this past week as he puts up some remarkable numbers in August. Settling in for the K-Mets in right-field these days, Rivero has gone 28-for-71 this month, with eight runs scored, four doubles, three triples, and ten RBI, for a slash of .394/.403/.535. For the season, the 23-year-old Rivero has emerged as the K-Mets best hitter.
Andrew Massie - The 18-year-old right-hander was taken by the Mets in the 24th round of the 2012 draft, but has struggled his first time through the Appalachian League. On Sunday he started the game against Elizabethton, and threw his best outing of the season despite coming away with a no-decision. In 5.0 innings he gave up just one run, earned, on four hits, two walks, and four strikeouts. With Kingsport’s last game of the season taking place on August 28th, it leaves Massie with one more start before season’s end.
Maikis De La Cruz – The 21-year-old center-fielder has been settling in nicely with the K-Mets this season. In his last 12 games De La Cruz has been on fire. During that span of games he has gone 18-for-50, with six runs, two doubles, two triples, ten RBI, and a slash-line of .360/.373/.480.
Steve Matz – The K-Mets placed the 21-year-old lefty on the D.L. on Friday, with left-shoulder tendinitis. I spoke to Steve and he said the MRI showed nothing structurally wrong in the shoulder, and he is back at Port St. Lucie rehabbing. In six starts this year Matz has a record of 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA over 29.0 innings, with 17 walks and 34 strikeouts.
Jeff Stevens – The Bisons activated the righty reliever off the D.L. on Friday. For the year with the Herd, the 28-year-old Stevens is 1-1 with a 3.71 ERA, and one save in 34.0 innings pitched.
Scott Patterson – The Bisons announced they released the 6’7″ right-hander on Saturday. After signing with the Mets as a free-agent at the end of July, Patterson managed to only get into two games for the Herd before landing on the D.L. In those games he went 0-1 with a 21.60 ERA. In 1.2 innings of work he was hammered for four earned runs on seven hits with two strikeouts.
I hope you have enjoyed this latest installment of the MMO exclusive, Mets Minors Beat, which of course will post every Monday and Friday morning throughout the remainder of the Mets minor league season. Check back Friday to get caught up on everything of interest that happens this week in the Mets system, right here on MMO. The place for everything that is Mets baseball.
About the Author: Peter Shapiro
The first time I went to Shea was not for a Mets game, it was for the Beatles concert there in August of '66. My first Met game was '67, a guy named Salty Parker was the interim-manager then. My first pennant race was 1969. As a 12 year-old that summer and fall, I managed to get to the park for 3 games. The first was the beginning of the Miracle which actually started on Tuesday July 8, 1969 with a day game against the Cubs. I was there a lot in '73. I saw games 3 & 5 of the 1973 NL Playoffs against the "Big Red Machine", from the upper deck behind home plate. It was from there that I witnessed the fight between Bud Harrelson and Pete Rose, and the mayhem that ensued. And that sweet victory in game 5! I saw a couple of WS games at Shea that year against that legendary Oakland A's club. I was there in 1985 for every single game Dr. K pitched including his two 16 strikeout performances, and the day he one-hit the Cubs on an infield single and the Mets won 1-0. I loved being a Met fan in those days. Hopefully we are once again preparing to emerge from the darkness.
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