Rafael Montero Looks Intimidating (Photo by MMO Contributor Gordon Donovan)
Last Night’s Quick Scores
- Las Vegas dropped to Albuquerque, 5-2.
- Binghamton topped Akron, 5-3.
- St. Lucie dropped to Brevard County, 6-5.
- Savannah lost to Charleston, 5-3.
The Wheeler Watch has taken a turn…hopefully not for the worst. Adam Rubin has reported that Zack Wheeler will miss his next start due to discomfort in his clavicle, and is flying to NY to meet with doctors.
I’m not an injury expert, but I do know that Zack Wheeler pitches using the “Inverted W,” which could put added stress on the anterior labrum ligament in the shoulder — it slowly loosens the ligament and can actually lead to tears. Hopefully this is not why Wheeler is suffering from shoulder discomfort.
- Wheeler Watch: Based on Sandy Alderson’s comments yesterday, it sounds like we will probably see him before the All-Star Break. It has to be good for both Wheeler and the team, meaning they won’t call up Wheeler until he is ready to face major league hitters (getting close, if not there already), and the team has holes to fill in the rotation (um, yes). It sounds to me as if Wheeler is on the cusp of making his major league debut. I’m not so much concerned with Wheeler getting called up as I am about how the fans will react when he does. Will they expect Matt Harvey-like success — because he was the exception, not the rule. He will now have the pressure of being the top prospect being called up, have to pitch in New York, and has to live up to Harvey’s success…tough.
- The guy likely to get called up when Wheeler is promoted pitched last night in Binghamton. Rafael Montero pitched another six solid innings last night, striking out six and walking none. Montero is the type of pitcher that is going to give up some hits if his secondary pitches aren’t on point. His fastball isn’t overpowering, and when you are around the strike zone as much as Montero, the hitters are going to put the bat on the ball. Consider his control a gift and a curse at the same time, if his off-speed pitches aren’t working well for him. Montero isn’t going to give any teams free runs, but because of the type of pitcher he is, he isn’t going to hold many teams scoreless. Not for the time being anyway. If he can live on the corners, he may be the type of guy that eventually develops into a shutout threat every time he takes the hill.
- Travis Taijeron is having a solid year for St. Lucie. Over the last ten games, Taijeron is hitting .371 with three home runs and a ridiculous .511 on base percentage.
- It has been two games without a double from Dr. Doubles, Kevin Plawecki. He has 19 two-baggers so far this season.
- Hansel Robles gave up four walks in four innings of work last night. He was pretty pedestrian, although he did manage to strike out five opposing hitters.
- I have to admit that Wilmer Flores is not having the type of season I thought he would be having in a “hitter’s league.” I was hoping he would step up offensivley after Travis d’Arnaud went down with an injury, but I’m just not seeing it. I think most would agree that they expected to see more than a .264 batting average and three home runs from the second highest rated offensive prospect in the organization. The good news is, it’s only May, so Flores can still get on track.
Stat Lines of the Day
Travis Taijeron: 2-for-3, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 BB, 1 RBI, 1 R
Dustin Lawley: 2-for-5, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R
Brandon Hicks assigned to St. Lucie Mets from Las Vegas 51s.
New York Mets optioned Andrew Brown to Las Vegas 51s.
Quote of the Day
Today’s quote of the day is from the interview that Sandy Alderson gave on WFAN yesterday afternoon, regarding Zack Wheeler:
“Bringing Zack Wheeler up here, does it create a second day out of five that fans would have a greater interest in watching us play?” Alderson told WFAN radio Monday. “Yeah, I think initially. But if he doesn’t have success, that won’t last very long.”
It sure sounds like Alderson is tip-toeing around this Wheeler call-up. It almost sounds like he is afraid that things are going to go bad, and then everyone is going to turn and point a finger at him demanding his job.