Two months ago I rolled out my first pass at pre-season projections for our Mets minor league rotations. We now have more mush clarity and some official assignments that have been announced. Many of the pitchers I reached out to at the lower levels have replied back to me with their assignments.
I’ve asked Teddy, one of our two MInor League Analysts, to look over my projections and share some of his commentary and analysis. He’s seen many of these pitchers up close and knows a good many of them personally. Now that he’s returned from Minor League camp, I thought it would be great to have him add his feedback to my post.
Here you go…
Las Vegas 51′s (Triple-A)
I’m pretty sure that Dylan Owen and Mark Cohoon will be on hand when duty calls although I’m disappointed that Cory Mazzoni and Darin Gorski got squeezed out of AAA. Jenrry Mejia, as you all know, is shut down for 1-2 months with more arm woes. I don’t get the Torres fascination, I really don’t.
Teddy’s Take: Well, of course Wheeler and McHugh are givens, considering their ability to have thrived at the lower levels, and I didn’t even realize Chris Schwinden was still with the Mets. I believe that Laffey might be the first pitcher up when an injury goes down, and Cohoon would be the one to take over. I don’t believe however, that Dylan Owen will be considered another starting pitcher after two poor years statistically, and a fastball that barely scrapes 90. I do believe that Gorski deserves a spot over Carlos Torres, who pitched himself out of spring training early enough. Gorski is a more advanced arm, and that has been evident. The question is: who takes over for Wheeler, Laffey, and McHugh after they leave? I also believe Armando Rodriguez’s time as a starter is over, he will be a reliever this year. But, if it were me, I’d have Torres in the pen, and Cohoon starting. Gorski deserves the spot.
Binghamton Mets (Double-A)
The Mets have a real numbers problem at starting pitching. Having Gorski and Mazzoni in Bingo means we had to hold back a couple of starting pitchers who were ready for the jump like Logan Verrett and Chase Huchingson. At this point I’m thinking they’ll go with a six-man rotation and somehow squeeze Goeddel into the mix. As for Gonzalez Germen and Greg Peavey, I’m stumped. Looks like bullpen duty and spots starts. Speaking of the bullpen, was glad to see Jack Leathersich get assigned to Bingo. I told him he would be, but he seemed skeptical.
Teddy’s Take: We have many interesting arms at Binghamton. Mazzoni is definitely going to headline opening day, no doubt about it, with the question going forward being, who will start Game 2? Will it be Gorski or Montero? All of these pitchers are definitely locks to stay in the rotation for Binghamton, including Goeddel, but he should definitely be relegated to reliever soon. He has a history of arm injury, and more success as a reliever rather than a starter. I believe that Peavey will have another chance in the B-Mets rotation, for now. With promotions though, who is going to get called up to Triple-A first? The first bet is Mazzoni, Gorski, then Rafael Montero, with Degrom right behind him. It’s a very interesting logjam the Mets will have next year, with plenty of options to choose from for the AAA squad rotation.
St. Lucie Mets (High-A)
It totally sucks that Michael Fulmer will miss a huge chunk of the season on the DL. Mateo is 23 so he’s a lock, and I can’t see Tapia and Pants not being here. Verrett really has nothing left to prove in Advanced-A, but the Mets held on to all their pitching this offseason and now we have a huge logjam. Bringing in guys like Carlos Torres in the offseason certainly didn’t help matters either and it’s having a trickle down effect. Poor Hansel Robles ends up in Savannah now even though I initially had him skipping a level. Angel Cuan to the bullpen? Weird…
Teddy’s Take: Poor Fulmer, he would definitely be a Number 2 had he not injured his knee, but he will be back in a very, very impressive starting rotation. The thing to remember is the factor of starter piggybacking. It will help the logjam of talented starting pitchers that is “troubling” the Mets. That way, one starter will go around 4-5 innings, and another destined for starting will follow, so we will see more starters on this roster, this time around, as well as relievers, and interesting ones as that. Angel Cuan will end up as a reliever, which will give us more options at relief. He was destined to be there, being undersized, and barely cracking 90. It’s about time. Robles deserves a roster spot, but there’s no hurry for him with the amount of players we have.
Savannah Sand Gnats (Single-A)
I would have had Steven Matz and Matthew Bowman here too as both youngsters are very deserving. But maybe both will benefit with another year in a short-season league. It looks like looks like Matthew Koch and Marcos Camarena may get some spot starts out of the bullpen.
Teddy’s Take: I would disagree, but Joe’s right, with the logjam of pitchers in general. There’s just so many to choose from to start these staffs. I believe, yeah Joe, you’re right with the 1-5, but I saw Hilario at PSL pitching with the extendeds, so he’s staying there. It might be Camarena, or the Mets might make it really interesting and bring in Steven Matz, (which is my hope), but I’m sure it’s going to be Bowman. There is however, the outside chance that Robert Gsellman might be the 6th starter, and there’s also the possibility of more piggybacking such as the St. Lucie Crew.
Brooklyn Cyclones (Low-A SS)
This group was the most difficult to assess and has the most likelihood of being totally wrong, but if Matz is healthy I’m certain he’ll get the bump from Kingsport. Gsellman and Gant are no-brainers to make the squad, but I’m afraid Chris Flexen and Corey Oswalt will most likely start at Kingsport. They’re both still young and really should have been in the GCL anyway in 2012 if only we had a GCL team.
Teddy’s Take: If the headlining starter is Matz, it will help for many Long Islanders to visit MCU park. The only questions are actually Flexen and Oswalt, they should be in Brooklyn, and Logan Taylor is destined for St. Lucie or Savannah as a fast-rising reliever. As I said above, it could be either Gsellman or Bowman up at Savannah, but my money is definitely on Bowman, as a college starter, and one from Princeton, no less. The issue is seeing whether the logjam becomes much clearer at the upper levels. Making a promotion movement sooner rather than later will aid in developing some of these pitchers stuck either in Savannah or Kingsport. The other issue is the influx of the 2013 draft. Will they hopefully go for a ton of high-upside hitters and make it easier for us next year to speculate rotations? Or will they take some starters for Brooklyn, Kingsport, and Gulf Coast? Another factor to consider is the Dominican IFA’s: I don’t know which ones really, but it’s just important to note.
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