Mets Minors Report 4/23: Montgomery Suspended 50 Games For Violating Drug Policy, Lagares Joins Mets

Lagares To Make MLB Debut? (Photo by Gordon Donovan)

Last Night’s Quick Scores

Prospect Pipeline (Morsels From The Minor League Staff)

  • BREAKING: RHP Christian Montgomery of the Advanced-A St. Lucie Mets, was suspended 50 games for a second positive test of a banned substance. “My job is not done and my goals aren’t reached yet, but I’m striving and dedicated to be where I wanna be,” he said to fans via Twitter.
  • NEW: RHP Tyler Pill makes his fourth start of the year with the B-Mets. He got his first win of 2013 in his last start, a 4-3 victory over New Hampshire. He threw 6.0 innings, gave up three runs on seven hits, and struck out six batters. On the season, he has struck out 14, and walked four. Opponents are hitting .338 overall against the righthander, and are hitting .438 (7-for-16) against him with runners in scoring position. Pill was ranked the #25 prospect in the Mets organization by Baseball America  prior to the 2013 season. He was drafted by the Mets in the fourth round of the 2011 draft out of Cal State Fullerton.
  • So resident psychic Joe D. gave Juan Lagares a well-deserved shout-out yesterday – and lo and behold, the story broke that he might be making his MLB debut with the Mets ASAP. As for my opinion on the matter, Joe and I are sharing a brain. I know that some people argue that Lagares may be experiencing a little statistical inflation, but I think Lagares has always had the potential to become a successful MLB player. More importantly, he has the tools to do it in CF, where the Mets are desperate for any kind of talent. You never know when a rookie can come up and light a fire under a team with some hard-nosed play, so I wish Lagares the best.
  • Wally Backman gave his Lagares a sweet send-off. “He’s a kid who can play all three outfield positions and he’s got speed. He’s a good outfielder. He throws to the right bases. He has a knack for getting the barrel on the ball. He looks like he’s a real good hitter. I mean, if you just watch him, you say, ‘This kid is going to be able to hit.” It’s almost as if it was taken straight out of my Prospect Spotlight on Lagares. (Joe D.)
  • Speaking of sharing a brain, Mitch and I both have high hopes for T.J. Rivera – and he is definitely a feel good story. Rivera added two more hits and RBIs to his stat sheet for the 2013 season last night and is continuing to turn heads. Rivera can flat out hit and it may not be long before he is raking in a Binghamton uniform soon.
  • Jacob deGrom was a hard luck loser in his first AA start a couple days back, and he ran into some more bad luck on Monday night as the B-Mets had a ton of defensive issues behind him. His final line was tough, as he somehow lasted five innings, but allowed seven hits and four walks. He was on the hook for six runs, but only one of them was earned. The Jake deGrom that you should expect to see going forward is a lot more like the young man we saw in his first AA start – where he lasted eight innings and allowed only three hits and one earned run.
  • Jim Callis recently wrote about a piece about a 25-man prospect roster taking at most one player from each team. He chose Zack Wheeler from NY, but he mentioned that he could have easily gone with D’Arnaud. He also answered a direct question about Rainy Lara, where he stated “He’s also old for low Class A at 22, and unless he adds velocity or develops a quality second pitch, he’s looking at a ceiling as a middle reliever.” Lara, as Callis also mentioned, has gained some respect because of the effectiveness of his sinker, which sits at 89-92 MPH. Lara may not be the sexy prospect right now, but I would advise that you keep an eye on him until he gives you a reason not to. The right-hander is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 16.2 innings pitched so far this season, with a 3:15 BB:K ratio.
  • Aderlin Rodriguez may have three home runs and three doubles in 68 at-bats, but he is struggling mightily to keep his batting average anywhere near respectable – it fell to .162 last night.
  • Shout-out to T.J. Chism, who picked up his second save of the season for St. Lucie and has a 1.59 ERA so far this season.
  • Adam Rubin tweeted on Monday that his next farm report would feature Steven Matz…a fun fact? The Mets, as an organization, have only five left handed starting pitchers listed in contrast to 22 right handed starting pitchers according to their organizational depth chart. Jon Niese and Aaron Laffey make up two of them. Angel Cuan, Darin Gorski, and Steven Matz are the other three. Matz’s 1.29 ERA through 14 innings is tops in the Mets Minors right now.
  • It’s no fun when Savannah has an off-day and you’re all ready to gush about Kevin Plawecki and Brandon Nimmo. For all the talk about Las Vegas inflating offensive numbers, the top three batting averages in the Mets Minors belong to three Savannah players: Nimmo’s .424, Boyd’s .388 and Plawecki’s .381 who all play at one of the toughest places to hit – Historic Grayson Stadium..
  • T.J. Rivera is a well-oiled, finely tuned hitting machine at the plate. After another two-hit game, he’s now swinging a .310/.383/.394 slash and at 24, you’ll soon be seeing him at a Bingo hall near you and I’d be shocked if he doesn’t make it to Sin City and even to that other Citi for a September cup of coffee. (Joe D.)
  • You know how I’m always harping on Zack Wheeler‘s command? If only he could put up strikeout to walk ratios like Jake deGrom 21:3, Rafael Montero 27:1, Steven Matz 18:4. Then you’ll know you really have a can’t miss prospect. Wheeler’s K/BB ratio is 21:12 if you want to know how that would translate in the Majors, take a look at Oliver Perez‘s career. I still maintain that Montero is more MLB-ready than Wheeler is (not so crazy now, huh?), but it won’t stop the frenzied fanbase from forcing Wheeler up based solely on his heightened legendary-status that’s being driven by SNY –  who happens to be owned by Fred. Once attends shrivels up some more, you’ll see Wheeler in Flushing – ready or not. Hopefully it won’t lead to his unravelling. (Joe D.)
  • The executive producer of SNY told me last week that 99% of Mets fans only care about Wheeler, Nimmo and D’Arnaud, and that nobody cares about Montero, Flores or Lagares. I was asking him why they only cover the same 4-5 prospects day after day and ignore 3-4 dozen other great names and rattled off the three I mentioned. Toby Hyde jumped into our conversation and said, “Bingo!” Whose Minor League coverage would you rather read after seeing a mindset like that? (Joe D.)

Stat Line of the Day

T.J. Rivera: 2-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB

Tweet Of The Day

I thought we had the market cornered here at MetsMerized with pictures of hot farm hands… We may now have some competition. This tweet had some competition from @JohnStrubel, who noted that Jason Bay flew out to Fernando Martinez to end an inning – right before Oliver Perez entered the game…


  • Pedro Feliciano was placed on the temporary inactive list down in St. Lucie. Feliciano left the team to deal with a personal issue in Puerto Rico.
  • Darwin Frias was called up to St. Lucie from Brooklyn.
  • Shaun Marcum threw 52 pitches over 5.0 innings in an extended spring training game for St. Lucie yesterday. He is scheduled to be promoted to the Mets and start Saturday against the Phillies.
  • Mets announced they have signed RHP D.J. Mitchell, who was released by the Seattle Mariners. He’s only made one start for Tacoma (AAA) this year and allowed three runs in four innings. He was assigned to Mets extended spring training camp.

Comment Of The Day

Buddy3 asked… “Do you see Matt Reynolds and TJ Rivera jumping over Tovar and Muno at some point this year or next at the double play combo? Seems like Reynolds is going to push Tejada, not Tovar.”

I love this question. First off, remember not to count Phillip Evans out – the Mets have invested a lot in him financially and he is pretty talented. Now, although Matthew Reynolds always profiled defensively as a third baseman, it was unlikely that his offensive capabilities would progress to match the expectations for that position – so the move to short should benefit him in the long run.

Reynolds may have a good glove, but Wilfredo Tovar has an elite glove…so although Reynolds will likely work out to be a better offensive contributor than Tovar, he is fighting an uphill battle. Rivera can flat-out hit and that statement will be said so many times this year that it will be drilled into most readers’ minds. I actually do believe T.J. Rivera will eventually overtake Daniel Muno when projecting the future, but Tovar’s defensive wizardry will likely keep him in the conversation over Reynolds for now.

Photo Of The Day

Don’t mind me, I’m just watching some Mets Minors baseball…