Mets Merized Online » Hansel Robles http://metsmerizedonline.com Sun, 01 Feb 2015 12:00:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.5 Hansel Robles Shined In Relief, Mets Took Notice http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/hansel-robles-shined-in-relief-mets-took-notice.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/hansel-robles-shined-in-relief-mets-took-notice.html/#comments Sun, 23 Nov 2014 13:43:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=166198 hansel robles

On Thursday, the New York Mets added RHP Hansel Robles to the 40-Man Roster so that he would be protected from the Rule 5 Draft in December. Since then, we’ve had quite a few readers ask us about him in the comment threads and via email. Here’s something our Binghamton beat writer, John Bernhardt, wrote about Robles a few weeks ago. It will give you a glimpse into this exciting talent and why the Mets felt it was important to protect him this week. Joe D. 

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Over the last eight weeks of the minor league season, a new name surfaced as part of the stable of New York Mets pitching prospects. Actually, to be accurate, it’s a name many Met fans already know. It’s this young pitcher’s role that changed and as a result, so too, may have his fortunes.

Hansel Robles is no stranger to Met fans who pay attention to prospects in the minor leagues. In terms of service time with the Mets, Robles reminds you of Wilmer Flores. He’s only 24, but it seems like Robles, who signed as a free agent out of the Dominican Republic, has been in the Mets minor league pipeline forever.

And, this talented young man is no stranger to some degree of notoriety over his minor league journey. In 2012 pitching in the NY-Penn League, he was nearly unhittable. In 72.2 innings on the hill, the strong righthander racked up a sterling 1.11 ERA while only allowing 47 hits and striking out 66 against only 10 walks. That was good for a ridiculous 0.78 WHIP. Robles struck out 24 percent of opposing batters and walked 3.7 percent. And, Robles counted off 22 scoreless innings and over 30 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run to close out his season.

Robles’s pitching magic seemed to ebb when he reached full season minor league play in 2013. It’s not as if it was bad, but gone was the consistent dominating performances we saw in the NY-Penn League. Compared to that, it was a rather pedestrian performance in Port St. Lucie the following season.

Entering 2014, Robles had always been a starting pitcher his minor league career and for much of last season it was no different in Binghamton. Robles had a spot in Pedro Lopez’s B-Met rotation, but was an enigma of sorts in eighteen starts, often either very effective or otherwise looking like a train wreck.

But sometime in mid July the composition of the Binghamton roster changed. Greg Peavey, Tyler Pill and Matt Bowman were elevated to Triple-A. Cory Mazzoni, Gabriel Ynoa, and Steven Matz joined the B-Met rotation. In a July 19th contest against Trenton, manager Pedro Lopez called for Robles’ services out of the bullpen. It was his first relief appearance of the season and one of only a handful during his minor league career.

Nothing in his first appearance out of the pen served as an omen of what was to come. Robles threw two innings allowing an earned run while walking one and striking out one.

His impact as a relief pitcher began to emerge on August 3rd when in his 4th appearance out of the pen, Robles struck out the side in his inning of work that day and then fanned four more in two perfect innings of relief four days later against Richmond.

Down the homestretch, Robles’ confidence soared. In fact, by the end of the post season Robles was almost emboldened when Lopez would make the call and signal him into a game. Out of the pen, Robles’s fastball jumped up several ticks on the radar gun coming in regularly between 93 and 96 miles per hour and occasionally inching even higher. A sweeping slider in the 84-87 mph range complimented the heater.

Now a lat inning reliever, Robles pounded the strike zone like he had in his NY-Penn days. His issues with yielding extra base hits almost completely evaporated. Most impressive, was the bigger the importance and the higher the stakes, the more dominating Robles became.

robles

What started out as an experiment evolved into a critical component of Binghamton’s Eastern League title run. As impressive outing followed impressive outing, by the post season, it was Lopez’s blueprint to stretch his starters to the point where he could use Robles as a bridge to his B-Met closer Cody Satterwhite. The relief duo rewarded their skipper with 11 innings of scoreless relief, a huge factor in Binghamton’s championship season.

What does it mean? Where does it lead? No one is really certain. Many unanswered questions remain. Can Robles work his relief magic for an entire season and at elevated levels of play? Are two pitches adequate to find success in a major league bullpen? (Robles is also working on a change-up) Can Robles handle back-to-back relief appearances, something he was never asked to do with the B-Mets?

For me the only no-brainer seems to be that with all the young starting pitchers in the Mets youth brigade, it is prudent to continue to develop Hansel Robles as another live arm out of the Met bullpen. Something clicked after this kid was converted to a reliever, he opened a lot of eyes in Binghamton.

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Winter League Update: Robles and Lara Off To Solid Starts http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/winter-league-update-robles-and-lara-off-to-solid-starts.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/winter-league-update-robles-and-lara-off-to-solid-starts.html/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 05:48:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=169263 Rainy Lara 2

Winter League Baseball started some time ago and I thought we’d check in on the several Mets scattered across each league:

Venezuelan League

Vicente Lupo - Has Not Played

Leon Canelon - 6 G, 2 AB, 2 R, .000/.000/.000

Jairo Perez - 20 G, .208/.269/.417, 3 2B, 4 HR

Wilfredo Tovar - 19 G, .295/.295/.372, 6 2B

Ryan Reid - 9 G, 4.82 ERA, 9.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 9 K

Albert Cordero - Has Not Played

Miguel Socolovich - 6 G, 1.50 ERA, 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K

Oswald Caraballo - .000/.000/.000, 5 G, 3 AB, 1R

Brandon Allen - .304/.448/.565, 19 G, 4 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR

Mexican League

Brian Burgamy - .236/.313/.361, 20 G, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR

Cory Vaughn - .246/.359/.462, 20 G, 1 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR. 4 SB

Xorge Carrillo - .255/.338/.527, 17 G, 6 2B, 3 HR

Dominican Winter League

Hansel Robles - 7 G, 6.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 K

Gonzalez Germen - 3 G, 16.20 ERA, 1.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB

Cesar Puello - .154/.231/.241, 7 G, 13 AB, 2 H, 1 2B

Rafael Montero - 1 G, 6.75 ERA,  2.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 K

Rainy Lara - 4 G, 2.35 ERA, 7.2 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

Darwin Frias - 3 G, 10.12 ERA, 2.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

Puerto Rican Winter League

Jon Velasquez - 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 SV, 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K

Arnaldo Berrios - Reserve

Carlos Alvarado - 1 G, 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 K

Randy Fontanez - Reserve

Seth Lugo - Reserve

T.J. Rivera - 4 G, .167, 2 H, 12 AB

Joel Huertas - 54.00 ERA, 0.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER

Each year, several players from the minors and majors play in the winter leagues for a few months in their home countries, and for their hometowns. The actual competition varies, because of varying levels of professional experience ranging from Rookie Ball to the Major Leagues.

To learn the history behind the Dominican, Mexican, and Venezuelan leagues, last year I wrote comprehensive articles in a series called “Lessons in Latin America“.

Mexican Baseball History

Venezuelan Baseball History

Dominican Republic Baseball History

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Who’s Hot/Not Upper Minors: Plawecki Flexing Muscle, Peavey with the Sizzle http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/whos-hotnot-upper-minors-plawecki-flexing-muscle-peavey-with-the-sizzle.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/whos-hotnot-upper-minors-plawecki-flexing-muscle-peavey-with-the-sizzle.html/#comments Fri, 16 May 2014 18:49:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=155869 kevin-plawecki-2

Who’s Hot

Kevin Plawecki

Plawecki has had sort of a streaky season but he’s in a hot streak right now that’s lifted has batting average on the season to a healthy .307. He’s 13 for 39 (.333) in his last 10 games with five extra base hits, including his first home run of the season. He’s also scored five runs and drove in five during this timespan. Plawecki has never been a catching prospect that’s expected to hit for much power so all of his future value will have to be carried by his hit tool and his defense. It’s encouraging to see Plawecki’s average at .307 on the season but he’s drawn just four walks in 88 AB’s this season (.333 OBP). It’s worth noting, however, that he hasn’t been striking out much either.

Jayce Boyd

After an extremely cold start to the season, Boyd is picking up the pace in a hurry with a .393 batting average, five RBI and seven runs scored in his last 10 games. He’s also clubbed three doubles and his first two home runs of the season during this hot streak as well. Boyd’s season numbers still look relatively ugly (.232/.333/.374) but it’s good to see that they’re finally on the upswing.

Greg Peavey

Peavey was good enough in his last two starts to earn MMN’s Pitcher of the Week honors as he recorded his first complete game shutout of his professional career his last time out. In nine innings pitched, he allowed just two hits without walking a batter and striking out six. In the start before that, Peavey went six innings, allowing just one earned run on six hits and two walks. He struck out four in the process. Peavey earned the win in each of his last two starts as his ERA sits at a very nice 3.16 on the season with 25 K’s against 7 BB’s in 31.1 innings pitched.

Who’s Not

Hansel Robles

Robles has struggled mightily in his last two starts, which have inflated his season numbers to the point where one would have no idea he had a very solid start to the season. On May 6th, he suffered his first loss of the season, tossing 5.1 innings and allowing five earned runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out four. During his start on May 13th, Robles suffered his second consecutive loss and was beat up for seven earned runs in just 2.2 innings pitched. He allowed six hits, including three home runs, while striking out five and walking one. Robles’ ERA ballooned to 5.40 on the season after these last two starts.

Cesar Puello

Puello has showed some life in his past two games but, despite that, he has not hit at all this season. In his last 10 games he is batting a paltry .212 with one extra base hit. He has drawn three walks in his last six games, which is somewhat encouraging considering he had just two up to that point. His current line is .248/.309/.297, which is even more cringe worthy when you consider that he’s playing in a notorious hitting environment. Puello’s struggles this season are definitely concerning as his breakout season last year has been tied to the Biogenesis scandal. In order to prove the naysayers wrong, Puello will have to get on track as soon as humanly possible, especially if he wants to be considered for a call-up this summer.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis

Kirk has severely struggled since being sent down to AAA Las Vegas earlier this month. He has just four hits in his last 31 at-bats and had back to back four strikeout games as well, including 11 in those same 31 at-bats. It looks as if Kirk has not taken the demotion well and it’s hard to believe he’s anything more than a AAAA player at this point.

MMO

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Mets Farm Report: Kevin Plawecki “Steals” The Show http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mets-farm-report-kevin-plawecki-steals-the-show.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mets-farm-report-kevin-plawecki-steals-the-show.html/#comments Mon, 12 May 2014 04:53:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=155399 kevin-plawecki-2

LAS VEGAS 8, TACOMA 3

The hit parade continued for the 51′s as they put an eight spot on the Rainiers on Mothers Day. All eight runs came in a big sixth inning that saw twelve men come to the plate. The big knock was a a two run triple by first baseman Brandon Allen. Allen continued his hot pace as he’s hitting .340 on the year. All of that offense came in support of reliever Ryan Reid, who got the W. Reid came on in the 6th in relief of starter Dana Eveland. Eveland got the start for the 51′s and pitched well. He allowed five hits, struck out four, and walked three. He left after five shutout innings and took a no decision. Vegas improved to 26-11 on the year. They continue with their four game series with Tacoma at home Monday night.

BINGHAMTON 2, HARRISBURG 1

The Binghamton Mets stole one from Harrisburg in a matinee affair at NYSEG Stadium on Sunday. The B Mets were led by catcher Kevin Plawecki, who threw out three attempted base stealers on the afternoon. He chipped in with two hits and an RBI as well. His average sits at .307 on the year. Center fielder Darrell Ceciliani chipped in with an RBI hit. That would be all the offense that starter Tyler Pill would need. Pill (1-5), allowed just four hits over 5 2/3 quality innings of work. He struck out seven and walked none. He lowered his ERA to 5.16 on the year. The combo of Chase Bradford, Adam Kolarek, T.J. Chism, and Jon Velasquez went the rest of the way for Binghamton and secured the first win of the season for Pill. The B Mets, winners of four of their last five, are now 18-15 on the year. They’ll get a day off Monday before beginning a three game set with Altoona on Tuesday. RHP Hansel Robles will get the nod for Binghamton.

CHARLESTON 3, SAVANNAH 1

Control issues plagued Savannah starter Chris Flexen all day on Sunday. The bats didn’t do much to help as Savannah took the loss at Joesph R Riley Jr ballpark. Flexen gave up four walks in just 5 2/3 innings of work. He allowed three runs, all earned, on six hits en route to his fourth loss of the year. Tim Peterson pitched well in relief of Flexen. He struck out three and did not allow a runner to reach base in his 2 1/3 inning of scoreless relief. First baseman Dominic Smith had a base knock and DH Jared King chipped in with a hit and an RBI. The Gnats managed just four more singles on the afternoon as they fell to 24-10 on the year and snapped their five game winning streak. They will look to rebound on Monday as RHP Kevin McGowan (1-1 2.77) takes the mound. (box score)

METS MINORS PLAYER OF THE NIGHT

Player of the night honors go to Binghamton catcher Kevin Plawecki. The 2012 first round pick out of Purdue had a great night behind the plate flashing the leather, throwing out three would- be base stealers. His bat was’t too shabby either as he had two hits and an RBI aiding the B Mets in their 2-1 victory. Plawecki has impressed thus far in his fairly rapid ascension through the system. If he continues to improve his plate discipline Plawecki won’t be long for AA ball either.

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Mets Farm Report: Lutz Stays Hot, Robles Hurls Five Scoreless http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-farm-report-lutz-stays-hot-robles-hurls-five-scoreless.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-farm-report-lutz-stays-hot-robles-hurls-five-scoreless.html/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 13:50:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=152779 M

LAS VEGAS 6, FRESNO 5

Logan Verrett got the start for the 51′s, going six innings while giving up three runs (one earned) on eight hits. He struck out three and walked none. Jeff Walters, who came in in the ninth, gave up a run on two hits, increasing his ERA to 27.00 but was credited with the win when the 51′s rallied in the bottom of the ninth.  Eric Campbell led  the way at the dish going 2 for 5 with a double and two RBI. Zach Lutz won the game when he doubled home Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who had doubled just before him. Lutz leads the team with 9 RBI over his first four games. (box score)

BINGHAMTON 5, AKRON 4

Hansel Robles looked dominant in his debut for the Binghamton Mets. He pitched five scoreless innings, giving up just two hits, while striking out eight and walking one.  Jack Leathersich, who replaced Robles in the sixth,  didn’t look very sharp. He gave up two runs on two hits while walking two in just an inning and a third. First baseman Matt Clark had a nice day at the plate, going 3 for 4 with two doubles and an RBI. Kevin Plawecki was solid as well, going 2 for 4 with two runs scored.  (box score )

PALM BEACH 1, ST. LUCIE 0

Starter Domingo Tapia pitched well in his season debut for St. Lucie. Tapia gave up just one earned run over five innings. He allowed three hits, struck out three and walked two. It was an encouraging start to the year for Tapia who struggled with his control at times last year. The combo of Bret Mitchell and Randy Fontanez combined to go three scoreless the rest of the way. The offense didn’t do much against Palm Beach pitching, tallying just five hits. Brandon Nimmo  and Dilson Herrera each went 0 for 3. (box score)

SAVANNAH, LAKEWOOD: PPD

The Sand Gnats and Blue Claws were rained out. The game will be made up as part of a double header later this month. The Gnats begin a series with Augusta on Monday April 7th. RHP  Kevin McGowan will get the nod for Savannah.

PLAYER OF THE NIGHT

Player of the Night honors go to Binghamton starter Hansel Robles. Robles, making his AA debut, was dominant. He allowed just two hits while striking out eight and walking one over five solid innings. Robles, 23,  comes off a good year for St Lucie which saw him go 5-4 with a 3.72 ERA for the Mets’ A affiliate.

(Photo: Brooklyn Eagle)

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Mets Can Still Get Creative With Trade Market http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mets-can-still-get-creative-with-trade-market.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mets-can-still-get-creative-with-trade-market.html/#comments Wed, 27 Nov 2013 18:00:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133598 wilpon alderson sandyIt was a little disappointing for Mets fans last week when John Harper of the New York Daily News reported that Sandy Alderson would have a spending limit this offseason somewhere in the range of $25 to $30 million. While Jeff Wilpon came out later in the week, calling the spending cap a flexible one, this figure is significantly less than the $35 to $40 million that was originally tossed around.

With four to five major holes to fill, the Mets will certainly need to get creative. They already spend $7.25 million of their available funds signing Chris Young to man a corner outfield spot, solving one problem. However, if the front office wants to sign Nelson Cruz, Curtis Granderson, or a similar outfielder of their caliber, it will likely cost an additional $12 to $15 million, leaving them with less than $10 million to find a shortstop, a starting pitcher, and bullpen help.

It appears to be almost impossible to fill the holes on the Met roster with quality players through free agency exclusively, at least with the current salary restrictions the Mets are under. However, the trade market seems as active as it’s been in years, with a few major deals already taking place, including the swap of Prince Fielder and Ian Kinsler. The Mets may be able to stay within their salary restraints if they use this market to their advantage, which will require some creativity.

The Mets have two players that can be dealt to free up sizable money: Daniel Murphy and Ike Davis. Murphy is projected to make $5.8 million through arbitration, while Davis is projected to receive $3.5 million. Together, the Mets can get $9.3 million off the books by dealing these two, canceling out the money spent on Young, and even adding a few extra million to Sandy Alderson’s funds. In the spirit of the offseason, with new rumors flying hour after hour, I put together a few trade proposals that could help keep the front office under its budget constraints (spending half or even less of what it would cost to fill the same need through free agency) while still significantly improving the team,.

These are just some rough ideas to get my point across. I’m sure some of these trades are ridiculously one-sided, but they are good starting points. Who is untouchable? Who would you target through the trade market? What needs would you rather spend free agent dollars on? Sound off in the comments section!

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Hansel Robles Clears Waivers, Paves Way For Chris Young To 40 Man Roster http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/hansel-robles-clears-waivers-paves-way-for-chris-young-to-40-man-roster.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/hansel-robles-clears-waivers-paves-way-for-chris-young-to-40-man-roster.html/#comments Sat, 23 Nov 2013 15:00:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133527 Former St. Lucie right-hander Hansel Robles recently cleared waivers and was subsequently removed from the Mets 40-man roster according to ESPN’s Adam Rubin.

With the drop the Mets roster moves to 39 players, making room until Chris Young passes physicals and is added sometime next week.

Robles pitched two games for the Gulf Coast Mets before begin promoted to St. Lucie in 2013. He went on to go 5-4 with a 3.72 ERA in 16 appearances in High-A ball on the year, giving up 35 earned runs, eight homers and striking out 66 in 84 2/3 innings.

In addition, Robles went 0-2 with a 4.00 ERA in six appearances in the Arizona Fall League this season.

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Changes, Changes: My Offseason Plan For The New York Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/changes-changes-my-offseason-plan-for-the-new-york-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/changes-changes-my-offseason-plan-for-the-new-york-mets.html/#comments Sun, 27 Oct 2013 13:00:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131779 Sandy Alderson 2The Mets have a few glaring needs going into this offseason. Despite the numerous promising young players rising through the minor leagues and onto the 40-man roster, there are a few positions that will need to be filled for the team to be competitive in 2014 and beyond. The foundation seems to be there, with an emphasis on young pitching. Third base is locked up, catcher and center field look promising, and the bullpen has young hard-throwing arms that could minimize the amount the team needs to spend in that area going forward.

For my plan, I limited myself to a payroll of about $90 million, give or take a little bit. The Mets had a payroll of $93 million last season, which means they would technically be cutting payroll. It’s actually unclear whether they will actually get to $90 million, but for the purposes of discussion, we will set it at that. Frankly, despite a valuation putting the Mets at $2 billion, I am still not convinced the Wilpons are going to fork over enough money to fill the Mets’ holes.

Current Obligations

Here is a breakdown of the money the Mets owe to current and former players next season.

current obligaions

Arbitration Eligibles

The Mets face a few tough choices to make in terms of arbitration. There are quite a few players that are teetering on the edge of being non-tendered. Here is a breakdown of who I would tender a contract to, before making any trades.

arb players

Scott Atchison: The Mets did not quite get what they wanted out of Atchison. After a dominant season with the Red Sox, he posted a 4.37 ERA, 3.75 FIP, and 4.02 xFIP. With his age, he just isn’t worth the $1.3 million he is projected to get through arbitration.

Justin Turner: Turner puts up a decent batting average but not much else. He has served his purpose, but a .260/.323/.361 line isn’t good enough for a significant bat bench getting 200 plate appearances per season, even if he only makes $800,000.

Trades

1. Trade Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada to the Tampa Bay Rays for Yunel Escobar
Division Series - Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox - Game Two

On the Mets’ side, they get a solid shortstop at a good price. He put upleague average production last year, hitting .256/.332/.366 with a 97 OPS+ and 100 wRC+. That isn’t great (although it’s above average for a shortstop) but the real value comes from Escobar’s stellar defense. He has played ten runs or more above average three out of the last four seasons, including 17.5 runs above average in 2013. At best, Escobar is a four-win player and at worst he is worth 1.5 wins. Either way, his two $5 million club options over the next few years make him a very attractive option.

Net Salary Change: +$2.2 million

2. Trade Wilmer Flores, Gabriel Ynoa, and Hansel Robles to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Andre Ethier (Dodgers pay half of contract)

The Dodgers will reportedly be shopping both Ethier and Matt Kemp this winter, and it makes sense for the Dodgers to eat at least a portion of both of their salaries. Enter the Mets, who have prospects to spare. Given the right situation, giving up Wilmer Flores makes sense, and this is definitely one of them. Ethier is signed for the next four years at $71.5 million. However, if the Dodgers pay half to ship him off, suddenly the contract is a good value for the Mets, with Ethier’s salary ranging from $7.75 million in 2014 to just $9 million in 2017. Not bad for a three-win player.

Net salary change: +7.25 million

3. Trade Ike Davis to the Houston Astros for a player to be named later

Sorry Ike, but you’re time is up here. The Mets should tender him a contract to at least get something out of him, however much that may be. His value is rather unknown at this point, but he doesn’t fit into the plan.

Net salary change: -$3.5 mm

Free Agency

1. Sign Mike Napoli to a three-year, $39 million deal
Napoli originally got this very same contract from the Red Sox last offseason, but due to health concerns, it was negotiated down to just a one-year deal with a base salary of $5 million. While he strikes out at a high rate, he can handle first base better than Kendrys Morales, who would just be a more expensive version of Lucas Duda. A three year deal worth $13 million per year would be more than fair for Napoli, who will turn 32 at the end of the month.

2. Sign Corey Hart for one-year worth $5 million, with $3 million in possible incentives
When healthy, Hart is a 25 to 30 home run hitter who can get on base at a decent clip. His health concerns will lower his price, but the Mets could score big by signing him to an incentive-laden contract with a low base salary to man right field. In 2012, Hart hit .270/.334/.507 with 30 home runs with the Brewers.

3. Sign Tim Stauffer for one-year and $1.5 million

Tim Stauffer is another player who, when healthy, is worth far more than what he might get as a free agent. The 32 year-old could be effective either in the rotation or out of the bullpen, depending on who steps up. Last year for the Padres he put up a 3.75 ERA in 69.2 innings.

4. Re-Sign LaTroy Hawkins for one-year, $2 million

Hawkins definitely earned a spot on the 2014 Mets, posting a 2.93 ERA over 70.2 innings. Soon to be 41, Hawkins still has the velocity to pitch a few more years.

Minor League Contracts

Scott Rice- You’d have to be crazy to not offer Rice a minor league contract at minimum after the year he had last season.

John Lannan- Lannon had been a solid rock in the Nationals rotation until 2012 when he was unexpectedly pushed aside to the minor leagues due to the plethora of depth the Nationals had. Lannan had a 4.00 ERA in 128 starts for the Nats in 2007 through 2012. Since then, he has been on an off in the minors, but could be a steal if he returns to old form.

Aaron Harang- Aaron Harang may have struggled badly last year, but he is still a bounce-back candidate for 2014. In 2011 and 2012, he combined for a 3.62 ERA in 350.1 innings.

James McDonald- Another bounce-back candidate who could provide depth for the Met rotation is James McDonald. McDonald, 29, had a 4.10 ERA coming into this year in over 120 appearances until the wheels fell of in spectacular fashion this year. Nonetheless, McDoonald, unlike some of these other signings, is still relatively young and could easily bounce back.

Yorvit Torrealba- The Mets need a backup catcher, and Torrealba fits what they need: a cheap veteran. This isn’t where the Mets need to spend any more than the minimum, as Juan Centeno may make the team over any veteran that is signed.

Clint Barmes- Barmes would provide a solid backup up the middle.

Summary

Here is a breakdown of the proposed roster:

total plan salaries

In the end, I was able to put together a team with a total salary of $88.1 million, slightly below my original self-imposed cap. Under this plan, with major upgrades at shortstop, first base, and both corner outfield positions, as well as added depth to the starting rotation, the Mets could certainly compete for a playoff spot. In addition, keeping all but two significant prospects would still have the organization in good shape going forward, with the possibility of continued improvement after the debuts of Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero. Hopefully it will be a busy offseason for the Mets as they look to build on the foundation of young players currently in the organization.

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Arizona Fall League Update: Robles Bests the Best http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/arizona-fall-league-update-robles-bests-the-best.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/arizona-fall-league-update-robles-bests-the-best.html/#comments Thu, 24 Oct 2013 02:47:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131634 afl

Hansel Robles pitched for the Scottsdale Scorpions today and gave up four hits while striking out one while keeping the league-best Mesa Solar Sox scoreless in four innings. Chasen Bradford pitched one scoreless inning, giving up one hit in the 8th. No other Mets played today for the Scorpions.

Stats for the Arizona Fall League Mets so far:

Cory Vaughn

9 Games 9 for 38 .237 avg 4R, 2 3B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 3/12 BB:K 2/1 SB/CS .310/.421/.731

Aderlin Rodriguez

8 Games, 6 for 31 .194 avg 2R, 1 2B, 0/8 BB:K .219/.226/.445

Cam Maron

7 games, 3 for 19 .158 avg 4R, 1 2B, 8/3 BB:K .407/.211/.618

Hansel Robles

0-1 3GS 3.38 era 8IP 8H, 3ER, 2/6 BB:K

Chasen Bradford

1-0 5G 0.00 era 5.1IP 2H, 1/3 BB:K 1 Save

Cody Satterwhite

5G 0.00 era 5IP 4H 3/5 BB:K 1 Save

Jeurys Familia

3G 12.00 era 3ip 3H 4ER 1HR 2/4 BB/K

My Take

As you can plainly see about our hitters: They are all struggling. Vaughn has done the best hitting 3 of his 9 hits for extra bases, but his nature to strike out has been exposed. Aderlin Rodriguez has been struggling, mostly to make contact, and hasn’t drawn a single walk. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt because he shaking off the cobwebs after missing half the year while facing against elite competition. Cam Maron has proven his tool of plate discipline drawing almost three times as many walks as he has struck out. There is obviously need for improvement, which will happen as our players adjust to the league.

On the center of the diamond, pitching has been mostly thriving. Hansel Robles has been steadily improving from letting two runs in his first appearance over an inning, to letting one run in 3 innings the following start, and then pitching spectacularly in his third start. Chasen Bradford has proved why he was sent to the AFL, tossing up zeroes in all five and a third innings, as has Cody Satterwhite. Jeurys Familia has been struggling since his first appearance to get himself back together after having surgery during the season. He has the chance to turn it around however.

Look for more updates during the next few weeks, and an interesting tool to use to keep track of the Met’s players in the winter leagues by clicking here.

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Mets Minors: The Week in Review – Congrats To The Sand Gnats! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mets-minors-the-week-in-review-congrats-to-the-sand-gnats.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mets-minors-the-week-in-review-congrats-to-the-sand-gnats.html/#comments Mon, 16 Sep 2013 04:57:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=129365 nimmo reynolds sand gnats

The best news to come out of this past week in the Mets minor league system was the Savannah Sand Gnats capturing their first SAL Championship since 1996. The only bad news about that? Mets Minors has officially closed the book on the 2013 season, looking ahead to 2014. Don’t worry though, we’ll be rolling out some solid and constant content to keep you occupied on MMN while the weather starts to get a little colder and snow starts to fall.

Here’s the news that came up this week from the Mets’ affiliates in the minors:

Las Vegas 51s

The 51s watched their first playoff run since 2002 end prematurely, but the season continued for Las Vegas shortstop, Ruben Tejada. Mike Baxter, Aaron Harang, and Juan Centeno were the first round of call-ups following the end of their seasons in the PCL last Monday. The club waited to re-call Tejada until last Tuesday to delay his free agency another year. He doesn’t look to be a big part of the future, but if a couple days can buy the organization another year of control…why not, right?

Rafael Montero was also named to Baseball America’s MiLB All-Star team.

Binghamton Mets

The B-Mets ran into the Trenton Thunder at the wrong time, as their divisional foe went undefeated in the postseason on their way to an Eastern League title. Closer Jeff Walters spent a small amount of time with Las Vegas to bolster their ‘pen for the rest of the playoffs. However, manager Pedro Lopez got his first call to the Show, joining the MLB staff for the remainder of the season. Wally Backman‘s invite never came.

St. Lucie Mets

St. Lucie already has Hansel Robles, Cam Maron, and Aderlin Rodriguez heading to the Arizona Fall League, but one more pitcher will be on his way. Reliever Cody Satterwhite will be joining them soon on the Scottsdale Scorpions. A former draft pick of the Detroit Tigers, Satterwhite spent time in Indy Ball this season before signing with the Mets.

Savannah Sand Gnats

Obviously, the biggest news coming out of Savannah was their championship victory against the Hagerstown Suns. After Jacob Lugo evened the series at one game a piece on the road, the Gnats leaned on two great pitching performances from Gabriel Ynoa (recap here) and Steven Matz (recap here) to close the deal.

MMN Original Content:

Exclusive Interview with B-Mets Second Baseman Daniel Muno

Remembering September 11th: 12 Years Later

Player of the Week: Mike Baxter

Zach Lutz Getting a Chance to Show He Belongs in the Big Leagues

Photo Gallery: Savannah’s SAL Championship Win

Mets Should Consider Using Darin Gorski in the Big League Down the Stretch

Pitcher of the Week: Steven Matz

Trenton Thunder Claim EL Title; B-Mets Ran into Them at the Wrong Time

Featured Post: Wilfredo Tovar Shouldn’t be Overlooked at the Shortstop Position

Prospect Time Machine: Jeromy Burnitz

Pedro Lopez Joins MLB Staff; Wally Backman’s Invite Lost in the Mail

Matz Has Earned His Rule V Protection With Flying Colors

mmn 300 banner

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St. Lucie Reliever Cory Satterwhite Added to Arizona Fall League Roster http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/st-lucie-reliever-cory-satterwhite-added-to-arizona-fall-league-roster.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/st-lucie-reliever-cory-satterwhite-added-to-arizona-fall-league-roster.html/#comments Fri, 13 Sep 2013 15:00:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=129193 St. Lucie Mets reliever, Cody Satterwhite, will be extending his season according to the Arizona Fall League Twitter account:

The right-hander joins Chasen BradfordHansel RoblesCam MaronAderlin Rodriguez, and Cory Vaughn on the Scorpions. At the time of the initial announcement, the Mets said two additional pitchers would be added at a later date. Satterwhite is one of them, so we’re just waiting on the last hurler to be added to the roster before it’s complete for the Amazins.

Satterwhite, a 26-year-old from Jackson, Mississippi, was taken twice in the MLB draft before he signed. In 2005, the Cleveland Indians picked him in the 37th round out of Hillcrest Christian High School, but he opted to attend the University of Mississippi. That decision paid off; he was taken in the second round of the 2008 draft by the Detroit Tigers. His time in the Detroit organization was a rocky one, as he suffered multiple setbacks due to shoulder issues and a decrease in velocity. He didn’t play professional ball in 2012 following getting released by the Tigers in February of that year.

To start 2013, Satterwhite hooked on with Sioux City in Indy Ball, putting together a 2-1 record, 0.65 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, and 31 strikeouts in 27.2 innings pitched (19 appearances). He joined the Mets organization midway through the season, being assigned to High-A St. Lucie. He appeared in 16 more games for the Mets, going 2-2 with a 2.78 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, and 23 strikeouts in 22.2 innings pitched.

The 50.1 combined innings he’s thrown this season are the most in his professional career, and the most since he tossed 49.1 frames in 2009 with Double-A Erie in the Eastern League. I’ll be interested to see how he fares with some extra work before the winter officially hits and we’re forced to wait until spring for more baseball.

For the most comprehensive coverage of the Mets minor league system, be sure to visit MetsMinors.net!

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John Gant Faces The Minimum, Cyclones Move Into 1st Place http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/john-gant-faces-the-minimum-cyclones-move-into-1st-place.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/john-gant-faces-the-minimum-cyclones-move-into-1st-place.html/#comments Wed, 28 Aug 2013 04:58:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128157 Wednesday night at MCU Park in Coney Island was “Bark in the Park” day in which fans could bring their canines to the stadium.

But on that night, Brooklyn Cyclones’ righty John Gant was the “top dog.”

Gant tossed a complete-game shutout in which he faced the minimum amount of batters in the Cyclones’ 1-0 win over the Tri-City Valleycats to earn the series win. He allowed only one hit while walking one and striking out five.

John  Gant (Photo courtesy Brooklyn Cyclones)

With the win and an Aberdeen Ironbirds’ 7-3 loss to the Lowell Spinners, the Cyclones are now in first place by a half-game in the McNamara Division of the New York-Penn League. It’s the first time the team has been in first place all summer.

Gant disposed of the Valleycats with 99 pitches in just one-hour and 54 minutes. That’s a huge difference from Tuesday night’s four-hour and 44 minute, 16-inning marathon – which the Cyclones lost 5-3.

“After a game like that last night (Tuesday), everybody’s drained; everybody’s tired,” manager Rich Donnelly said. “But you keep playing to the end, and you see what happens.”

The win is the sixth of the season for Gant, who was named an All-Star earlier this summer. He certainly looked like an All-Star Tuesday.

“Fastballs and change-ups were working,” Gant said of his dominant performance. “With the change, I was very comfortable.”

He retired the first 17 batters to face him before allowing a two-out single to right center in the top of the sixth inning to Valleycats’ shortstop Chan Moon. Moon was caught stealing by Cyclones’ catcher Eddie Rohan to keep the minimum for Gant intact.

This game marked the third time this season Gant has taken a no-hit or perfect-game bid into the sixth inning. He threw 5.2 innings of no-hit ball earlier this season against the Lowell Spinners and then 5.1 no-hit innings against the State College Spikes.

“There’s bad luck in the sixth inning,” Gant joked.

The Cyclones struck for their only run in bottom of the sixth. Third baseman Anthony Chavez led off the inning with an infield single. Left fielder Eris Peguero dropped down a sacrifice bunt, but none of the Valleycats went for the ball and Peguero was safe at first.

Shortstop Gavin Cecchini then grounded a fielder’s choice to second base and was safe at first after Tri-City first baseman Conrad Gregor bobbled the ball, allowing Chavez to score the game’s only run.

Gant walked Valleycats’ right fielder Ronnie Mitchell to lead off the ninth inning. Not only was facing the minimum in jeopardy, but the tying run was also now on base.

After Cyclones’ pitching coach Marc Valdes visited the mound, Gant induced a fly out to center and then a game-ending, minimum-saving double play started by Chavez, who had a stellar gam defensively.

“Chavez played a great game,” Donnelly said. “He had a barehanded play. He had a play when he went almost to second base to get the ball, and then he had the last play.”

“The defense made some great plays, and Eddie (Rohan) caught a really good game,” Gant said. “I don’t think I shook him off at all.”

Gant’s effort was the first complete game of the summer for the Cyclones and the first for Brooklyn since Sept. 7, 2012 when Hansel Robles – now with the St. Lucie Mets – threw a complete-game shutout in the playoffs against the Hudson Valley Renegades.

The Cyclones now have seven games left this season, and two more wins would ensure a winning season. Brooklyn has finished over .500 every season since its inception in 2001.

Thursday night at the ballpark will commemorate the 100th anniversary of Ebbets Field – the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, though it is now an apartment complex in Crown Heights. Fans will receive special jerseys as they watch All-Star Miller Diaz take the hill for the Cyclones against the Staten Island Yankees at 7 p.m.

Click here to view the complete box score from this game.

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The Giants As A Model For The Mets, And Dealing From Strength http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/the-giants-as-a-model-for-the-mets-and-dealing-from-strength.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/the-giants-as-a-model-for-the-mets-and-dealing-from-strength.html/#comments Tue, 09 Jul 2013 17:01:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=124290 wheeler harvey

In a telling article for the Wall Street Journal, Jared Diamond questions the wisdom of the Mets potentially trading some young pitchers to obtain the offense the team desperately needs.

“As the Mets enter the final stretch before the All-Star break and begin to prepare for a crucial off-season,” he writes. “They are wrestling with a question that could define their future: Should they trade any of their young pitchers?”

The question is not that simple to answer.

One must consider the state of the team offensively and determine whether some viable help is on the way through the system and what type of impact that player or players can make in the short and long term views of the team’s future.

Pitchers like Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard, to name just two, are certainly names that would be desirable by other teams and likely to be made available.

The closest player the Mets have to helping the team offensively is Wilmer Flores – a great hitting prospect whose longterm MLB position has yet to be solidified. But he is far from a can’t miss prospect and hasn’t been seen on Baseball America’s Top 100 in three years. In other words, he’s not a sure thing.

Diamond speaks to David Wright and Assistant GM John Ricco, who both realize the importance of building a winning organization through starting pitching, and each look to the San Francisco Giants as a model and evidence that it’s a philosophy steeped in success.

“What I’ve noticed playing against them and following them is they built their team, their organization, around young power arms,” Mets captain David Wright said. “Then you mix in some pieces here and there, and I think that’s what we’re capable of doing.”

The Giants have gone far with a solid rotation despite being basically average offensively or middle-of-the-pack.

You could say that the Mets have their ace in Matt Harvey followed by some very solid options in Zack Wheeler, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee and the emerging Jeremy Hefner.

They also have ample arms in Michael Fulmer, Hansel Robles, Cory Mazzoni, Rainy Lara and a half dozen other promising pitchers besides Syndergaard and Montero.

The Mets now have strength in numbers when it comes to pitching.

The same cannot be said about their offense.

Ideally, this team needs a shortstop and at least two outfielders in the worst way.

You could also make a case that first and second base are not locked in either.

That’s a lot of different holes to fill and I haven’t even mentioned the catching position which hinges on a highly regarded prospect that hasn’t been able to avoid the disabled list in four straight seasons.

One other thing Diamond mentions is the ticking-clock that is David Wright.

“At age 30, Wright will soon reach the decline portion of his career. They can’t afford to stay too patient if they plan to win during the Wright era.”

Bingo.

That’s why I see the Mets as having no alternative, but to use that pitching strength to make some wise and worthy acquisitions that will get this team on the road to contention sooner rather than later.

And as John Ricco said regarding dealing from strength to bolster the major league team, ”Timing is going to be the key.”

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Mets Minors: Smith Hits First Professional Homer, Muno Wallops Two Homers In Seven RBI Game http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/mets-minors-smith-hits-first-professional-homer-muno-wallops-two-homers-in-seven-rbi-game.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/mets-minors-smith-hits-first-professional-homer-muno-wallops-two-homers-in-seven-rbi-game.html/#comments Fri, 05 Jul 2013 15:43:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=123895 Miami Marlins v New York Mets

Welcome to MMN Storylines, where you get a quick wrap-up of last night’s top performers..

  • Our first-round pick in the ’13 Draft, Dominic Smith, hit his first professional home run last night. It was part of a three hit game, where he went 3-for-5 with 3 RBIs. Smith and Wuilmer Becerra both had nice games, with Becerra going 2-for-4 with two doubles.
  • Daniel Muno probably went ahead and had the best game for all Mets Minor League players last night, as he burst on the scene with seven RBIs — his entire team’s offense — and propelled them to victory. Muno slammed a grand slam to tie the game in Binghamton, and he added a three-run shot later on for good measure. Muno has been swinging the hot stick lately, with a .344 average over his last ten games and three long balls.
  • Pedro Perez of the Kingsport Roster also had a two home-run game with seven RBIs yesterday — how unlikely! Speaking of Kingsport, they dropped a 20-run bomb on the scoreboard last night with a ton of players having multi-hit and RBI games. Champ Stuarthad the nicest game outside of Perez, with two hits and four RBIs.
  • Your injury updates: Ruben Tejada went 0-for-5 with a strike out in Las Vegas, Pedro Feliciano tossed a scoreless frame for Binghamton, and Hansel Robles returned to St. Lucie with a so-so start yesterday.
  • James Roche had the best night in defeat for Brooklyn, going 1-for-3 with a double, run scored, and stolen base.

MMN BANNER 500

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Featured Post: Managing The Mets 40 Man Roster http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/featured-post-managing-the-mets-40-man-roster.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/featured-post-managing-the-mets-40-man-roster.html/#comments Mon, 03 Jun 2013 19:21:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=120557 Sandy Alderson 2As part of the ongoing discussion on who should play for the Mets and who should be sent down, brought up, or traded for, one constant requirement remains: creating enough space on the 40 man roster to permit all these maneuvers to take place. For those needing a refresher, a team’s 40 man (or “expanded”) roster consists of all players on the major league team (generally 25 except for a temporary bump to 26 for day/night doubleheaders), plus 15 more players with the slots divided between minor leaguers and those on the 15-day disabled list. Players on the 60-day DL do not count toward the 40, thus moving a player from the 15-day DL to the 60-day will create a space. This was the case recently when Frank Francisco was moved to the 60-day to open a space for Omar Quintanilla. After a player has been in any team’s minor league system long enough (four or five years depending on their age when signed), they must be placed on the 40 if the team wishes to protect them from being  taken by another organization during the Rule 5 draft.

As we look forward to the eventual arrival of promising talent from the Mets’ farm system, there are those that contend the major league club would benefit from an immediate infusion. However, they may not have considered the ramifications of these proposed moves due to the requirements of getting players onto the 40 before they can be called up. Josh Satin, for instance, who many have lobbied to install as at least a platoon partner if not outright replacement for Ike Davis, does not presently have a place on the 40. If management were to make a move to bring him up from Las Vegas, he would have to be added and someone would have to be removed as the Mets presently have a full slate of players already occupying those slots (plus 3 more on the 60-day DL).

Removing a player from the 40 requires that they be designated for assignment (DFA’d) and the team then has 10 days to trade, release, or send them to the minors provided they clear waivers. Without going into undue detail over the waiver process, suffice it to say that if a team doesn’t want to risk losing a player altogether, they will strive to avoid exposing them. This was the concern recently with the promotion of Quintanilla as, out of options, he will have to clear waivers if the Mets want to return him to Vegas when Ruben Tejada is ready to return to active duty.

Judicious management of the 40 is a crucial element to a GM seeking to provide his field manager with the tools needed to compete.  Often hard choices must be made- when deciding to protect a player in the farm system who may still be years away from contributing at the major league level, a degree of flexibility with the active roster is surrendered.  To some extent, this can be pointed to as an issue with the current Mets team.

A look at the current state of the Mets’ 40 reveals how certain players are regarded within the organization and, to a degree, by baseball insiders. The 15 players beyond the active roster include those who have previously appeared on it this year (Atchison, Familia, Tejada, Brown, Cowgill, Edgin and Nieuwenhuis), and a mixed bag of prospects consisting of infielders Zach Lutz, Wilmer Flores,  and Wilfredo Tovar, catcher Travis d’Arnaud, outfielder Cesar Puello, and pitchers Zack Wheeler, Hansel Robles, and Gonzalez Germen.  Aside from Atchison, Tejada and Familia who are currently on the 15-day DL, the bulk of these players consist of fringe major league talent (or “AAAA” players) who can provide coverage in the event of injuries, and legitimate prospects who the front office clearly needs to protect.

This list says as much about those who are not on it as it does about those it includes. As mentioned before, Josh Satin did not rate a slot, and the front office is apparently content to keep him as AAA roster filler or allow him to leave next year as a six-year free agent. They have not worried about another organization drafting him, so that should tell you something about how he is regarded by the other 29 MLB clubs as well. Still, you never know, someone may yet give him a shot as a role player somewhere.

I do have some questions with respect to some of the other players who have been allotted space here. Lutz turns 27 this month, a bit old for a “legitimate” prospect, and is kept around apparently to provide insurance in the event of an injury to David Wright. He has been fairly consistent in his level of play as he has made his way up the ladder and projects as someone who would hit about .250-.260 with maybe 15-20 HR’s over a full season while providing less than stellar defense. Assuming, of course, he could stay healthy himself, something that has been a bit of an issue in the past.  In other words, he could be a decent fill-in but not a player you would tag for stardom. His place on the roster is to provide depth and were Ike Davis to be demoted, he would be the likely call-up despite a relative lack of experience at first base. His ability to play third probably gets him the edge on the roster over Satin despite the latter’s somewhat better numbers over the past few years.

The other players holding down slots that might raise an eyebrow are Tovar and Germen. Tovar, despite his youth and ability to play a key position (shortstop), apparently projects at best as a utility guy according to scouting reports. If the team is simply trying to provide depth at the position, they might have considered going with Tovar’s Binghamton teammate Josh Rodriguez, a more veteran player at age 28 who has shown flashes of power throughout his minor league career. As of this writing, Rodriguez leads the B-Mets in hits and has an OBP of .439, numbers that greatly overshadow those of Tovar to this point. Germen is a 25-year old middle reliever with decent if somewhat unspectacular numbers at Las Vegas. He has put up some nice K/9 and hits per innings numbers in the past though, and pitchers can develop later than position players so I’m willing to assume they know what they are doing with him. Still, if Jack Leathersich is bumped up to AAA at the season’s mid-point and continues to blow away the opposition like he’s been doing so far, I’m sure we would all like to see a September call-up and somebody will have to make space on the 40. In addition, Chase Huchingson’s performance out of the same bullpen has put him in the picture as a lefty relief option as well.

Clearly roster management is an inexact science that involves some guesswork. Like many, I’ll be watching the shuffling that is due to occur ahead of the Rule 5 in December.  Let’s hope for some wise decisions and for some player performances that help make those decisions easier to make.

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Mets Minors Report 5/14: (Update) Wheeler To Miss Next Start http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/wheeler-to-miss-next-start.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/wheeler-to-miss-next-start.html/#comments Tue, 14 May 2013 21:40:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=118801   Rafael Montero Looks Intimidating (Photo by MMO Contributor Gordon Donovan)

Last Night’s Quick Scores

Injury News

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. 

Prospect Pipeline

  • 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

Transactions

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.

 

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Robles Shaky, St. Lucie Can’t Complete Comeback In 6-5 Loss http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/robles-shaky-st-lucie-cant-complete-comeback-in-6-5-loss.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/robles-shaky-st-lucie-cant-complete-comeback-in-6-5-loss.html/#comments Tue, 14 May 2013 04:35:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=118720 513Stlucie

Brevard County 6, St. Lucie 5

Hansel Robles did not look like himself out there at all for the St. Lucie Mets on Monday, but he was able to keep his posture and bend, not break over the course of five innings. He walked four batters, allowed four hits, and made an errant throw on a pick-off and he still allowed only two runs.

The Mets put a few runs on the board for Robles while he was on the mound, via an RBI triple by Dustin Lawley in the first and an Aderlin Rodriguez RBI single in the third.

Dustin Lawley and Travis Taijeron both went deep in the bottom of the fifth to give St. Lucie a temporary 4-2 lead. It all got shot to hell in the top of the seventh, however, where Chasen Bradford allowed four runs off five hits in the frame, with four of them going for extra bases.

St. Lucie did bang out twelve hits overall, though, including a last-ditch few in the ninth that led to a run.

Key Stats

Robbie Shields: 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 2 R

Dustin Lawley: 2-for-5, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R

Aderlin Rodriguez: 2-for-5, 1 RBI

Travis Taijeron: 2-for-3, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 BB, 1 RBI, 1 R

Rylan Sandoval: 3-for-5

Hansel Robles: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 4 BB, 2 ER, 5 K

Jim Fuller: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 2 K

Chasen Bradford: 1.0 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 K

Hamilton Bennett: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K

Carlos Vazquez: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K

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Robles Goes Five Strong To Fuel St. Lucie 6-2 Win http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/robles-goes-five-strong-to-fuel-st-lucie-6-2-win.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/robles-goes-five-strong-to-fuel-st-lucie-6-2-win.html/#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 10:00:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=117812 56stlucie

St. Lucie 6, Daytona 2

It was a good day for Hansel Robles, who retired the 12 Cubs that he faced en route to his third victory of the 2013 campaign. Robles went five solid innings and allowed just two hits over that span, striking out five and walking none. He struck out the side to open the game. The only run he allowed crossed the plate in the fifth, where allowed a triple to Jorge Soler and he scored on a sacrifice fly.

Outside of Angel Cuan allowing a solo home run in the top of the seventh, the St. Lucie bullpen combined to close out the rest of the game relatively uneventfully. You can thank Cuan himself, along with Frank Francisco and Randy Fontanez for that much. Francisco pitched in his second straight game and the velocity/movement on his pitches all seemed to be there. It is safe to say that he is nearing his return to the MLB.

On offense, Rylan Sandoval was the spark plug in the fourth, as he doubled home a run and was eventually brought around to score himself on a Charles Thurber grounder. The St. Lucie Mets ripped five straight hits to open up the bottom of the fifth, capped off by Aderlin Rodriguez‘s bases loaded double, which plated three men. Dustin Lawley had provided an RBI single right before that.

T.J. Rivera had a ridiculous five-hit afternoon – and two of them went for doubles.

Key Stats

T.J. Rivera: 5-for-5, 2 2B, 1 R

Aderlin Rodriguez: 2-for-4, 2 2B, 3 RBI

Dustin Lawley: 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 R

Rylan Sandoval: 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 SB

Hansel Robles: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 1 ER, 5 K

Angel Cuan: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 HR, 1 ER, 4 K

Frank Francisco: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER

Randy Fontanez: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K

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Mets Minors Report 5/2: Lara Named Pitcher of the Week, Plawecki Ready For FSL, Bowman Still Dealing http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/mets-minors-report-52-lara-named-pitcher-of-the-week-plawecki-ready-for-fsl-bowman-still-dealing.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/mets-minors-report-52-lara-named-pitcher-of-the-week-plawecki-ready-for-fsl-bowman-still-dealing.html/#comments Thu, 02 May 2013 18:11:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=117187 Last Night’s Quick Scores

Minors News

RHP Rainy Lara of the Savannah Sand Gnats was named the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week for the week ending April 28. Lara pitched a brilliant game tossing 7.1 shutout innings and allowing just five hits and walking none while striking out nine against the West Virginia Power.

For the season, Lara is now 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA in four starts spanning 24 innings. He has struck out 24 and walked three and has held the Sally League to a .231 batting average this season.

Prospect Pipeline

  • Yeesh… Rafael Montero had a pretty rough go-around last night against Erie where he was lit up for ten runs, seven of them earned, over the course of six-and-two-thirds innings pitched. He still walked only one and allowed one home run, but that’s about the best of it. All prospects are allowed bad starts or bad games here and there – so we’ll just chalk this up to a bad hair day.
  • Matthew Bowman went eight strong innings last night and allowed three earned runs as he continues to find himself in the midst of a strong campaign.
  • After last night, Kevin Plawecki now has 15 doubles and four home runs in just 24 games, which is ridiculous. His slash line stands at .402/.462/.1.158 through 92 at-bats in 2013 as he does not seem to have hit a single wall yet. My first thought when he was drafted was to compare him to Paul Lo Duca – but irregardless of that, Plawecki seems to be developing very nicely.
  • Juan Centeno had a superb day at the plate last night for Las Vegas, where he banged out four hits. Centeno was a young man known more for his defensive prowess over anything else – which leads me into the point that he should be starting more than Landon Powell at the moment. At the very least, I want him to catch Wheeler’s next start. Centeno has a solid baseball IQ and can definitely help assist Wheeler in staying on track.
  • Our Minor League Analyst Teddy Klein (via Toby Hyde) told us that Brandon Nimmo has been nursing a minor hand injury and that perhaps it could explain his recent slump. He got the game off last night and it’s considered nothing serious.
  • Andrew Brown went 3-for-5 last night with a HR, a 2B, and 3 RBI as he continued his “seriously, call me up to the MLB team” tour.
  • Zack Wheeler‘s 36 strikeouts in April tied for third place among the Top 100 MLB prospects.
  • SP Alex Panteliodis will make his season debut and be activated from the DL to start for St. Lucie on Thursday. Last season for Savannah, Pants went 5-8 with a 3.64 ERA in 22 starts for the Gnats last year. He’s more of an organizational type of guy, but Pants may have some value down the line. 
  • Matt Garrioch, minor league analyst, posted his GAPPER report yesterday for April which ranks the top five pitchers and position players in many leagues and per team itself. Wilmer Flores and Zack Wheeler were fourth in his PCL rankings, Montero ranked third in the AA, and Syndergaard and Tapia both made his list for A+ ball.

Stat Line of the Day

Kevin Plawecki: 3-for-5, 3 2B, 1 RBI, 1 R

Transactions/Injuries

  • As of this point, there has been no update on Hansel Robles, who was placed on the 7-day DL yesterday. Robert Gsellman took his spot in the rotation two days ago.
  • Cory Vaughn just has some inflammation in his arm, and was advised to take it easy for about a week.
  • Cory Mazzoni threw a side session pitching and is approaching his return date.
  • Right-hander Michael Fulmer, returning from surgery to repair a meniscus tear, tossed two innings Monday in extended spring training.
  • Wilfredo Tovar was removed from last night’s game purely as a precautionary measure because he was sick. There is no injury.

Quote of the Day

Rob Brender: You’ve gotten shots at the big league level in 2011 and 2012 and you’re doing so well offensively this season. Does it make you anxious to get back to the Mets?

Josh Satin: Absolutely, but there’s a fine line. You can’t feel sorry for yourself because there are lots of other people in professional baseball who feel the same way. Then again, sometimes I look around and I’m like ’damn, this guys in the big leagues with whatever team. I know I’m better then him.’ So it’s hard sometimes but, then again, it’s just the way it is. You can’t feel sorry for yourself. You just have to keep performing.

Photo of the Day

cowgirl

Hey Plawecki, how about wrangling me up a shot of bourbon, oh and make sure it’s a double.

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Mets Minors Report 4/30: Nimmo In 2-for-30 Slide, Wheeler Looks To Rebound Today http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/mets-minors-report-430-nimmo-in-2-for-30-slide-wheeler-looks-to-rebound-today.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/mets-minors-report-430-nimmo-in-2-for-30-slide-wheeler-looks-to-rebound-today.html/#comments Tue, 30 Apr 2013 17:36:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=116922 It's Wheeler Day!

It’s Wheeler Day!

Last Night’s Quick Scores

Prospect Pipeline

  • At 2:35 PM ET, all eyes will be on Mets prospect Zack Wheeler as he takes the mound for the 51s. After a so-so last start, Wheeler looks to rebound against the Reno Aces. As always, the pressure is on Wheeler to try to throw a high strike rate and dispel the concerns about his control. The stuff will always be there for Zack Wheeler, and every start is a step towards the future for a man who already has one foot in the door. Wheeler’s last start was a mixed bag, because he dominated the first four innings only to fall apart in the middle of the game. He was victimized by two-out hits and walks, and it will be interesting to see how he handles himself this afternoon.
  • On the topic of Mets pitching prospects, Domingo Tapia is taking the mound for St. Lucie tonight against the Tampa Yankees at 7:00 PM. Tapia is in the middle of a pretty impressive year and continues to warrant attention and respect. Matthew Bowman takes the mound for Savannah tonight, and he is also in the midst of an impressive campaign.
  • Brandon Nimmo has hit a bit of a wall since peaking at a .450 average, as he has only two hits in his last thirty at-bats. Nimmo went 0-for-4 again last night and striking out at a high rate. Another thing to note is that Nimmo has only 16 ABs against left-handers this year, and he is 2-for-16 (.125) against them. Scouts are saying that he’s taking too many fastball strikes and falling behind in the count putting opposing pitchers at an advantage.
  • Andrew Brown is still knocking the cover off the ball and is batting .360/.438/.584/1.022 in 89 at-bats. Of his 32 hits, 15 of them are of the extra-base variety including 11 doubles, 3 triples and a home run. It may be time to exit Collin Cowgill stage right, and enter Andrew Brown stage left. Cowgill has proven to be what we thought he was, a Quad-A player with a marginal skillset, but I will say this about him – he’s real gritty.
  • Rylan Sandoval is on a mini-tear, batting .316 over his eight-game hitting streak, including a grand slam last night.
  • RHP Robert Gsellman was promoted directly from Extended Camp to St. Lucie to fill the slot left open when Hansel Robles was placed on the DL before last night’s game. Gsellman gave St. Lucie four scoreless innings allowing just two hits, two walks while striking out two.
  • Josh Edgin found his edge last night and managed two scoreless innings in his return to Binghamton while striking out three.

Stat Line of the Night

Rylan Sandoval: 3-for-5, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 R

Transactions/Injuries

  • RHP Adrian Rosario transferred from Binghamton (AA) to Extended Spring Training.
  • INF Joe Bonfe transferred from St. Lucie (High-A) to Binghamton (AA).
  • RHP Hansel Robles was placed on the DL. We’ll follow up on that later today.
  • Pedro Feliciano rejoined the St. Lucie roster and posted a scoreless inning.
  • Cory Vaughn will miss tonight’s game with as a precaution. He was removed from last night’s game after gunning a runner down at home plate and subsequently feeling a weird sensation in his arm.
  • Tyler Pill will miss tonight’s game as the B-Mets are also giving him the night off as a precaution. It could be fatigue related. Mark Cohoon will make the start in his place.

Quote of the Day

Art Pontarelli, the Mets area scout who signed Jack Leathersich, expects the hard-throwing lefty to get to the major leagues soon and to dominate when he arrives.

“You have to like the makeup,” Pontarelli said. “The thing in my opinion that indicates he’ll be a big leaguer is he has no fear. … He thinks he’s better than the hitter.”

Leathersich, 22, was the Mets’ fifth-round draft pick in 2011 out of UMass-Lowell. Though he is listed at just 5-foot-11, his fastball frequently touches 95 mph and sits routinely at 91-92. Interestingly enough, when I spoke to Jack in February, he told me his idol was another smallish, hard-throwing lefty – Billy Wagner.

Photo of the Day

Check out those Mets farmhands...

Check out those Mets farmhands… They call that big one over there K-Plaw…

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