New York Mets: Noah Syndergaard
Syndergaard was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in the December 2012 trade that also brought Travis d'Arnaud and Wuilmer Becerra to the organization for R.A. Dickey.
Here is the full top-10 list:
1. Noah Syndergaard, rhp
2. Travis d’Arnaud, c
3. Rafael Montero, rhp
4. Dominic Smith, 1b
5. Kevin Plawecki, c
6. Wilmer Flores, 2b/1b
7. Amed Rosario, ss
8. Brandon Nimmo, of
9. Gavin Cecchini, ss
10. Jacob deGrom, rhp
It's Halloween! You know what that means? Max out on squats! pic.twitter.com/OUORUntwaZ— Noah Syndergaard (@Noahsyndergaard) October 31, 2013
Syndergaard also was ranked the No. 6 prospect in the Class A Florida State League by the magazine.
Meanwhile, 17-year-old Amed Rosario was named the top prospect in the Appalachian League. That was more based on potential than performance with Kingsport. Rosario, who signed for $1.75 million last year, hit .241 with three homers and 23 RBIs in 212 at-bats with the K-Mets.
With only the Triple-A Pacific Coast League list yet to be unveiled, here is a look at Mets prospects who ranked in the BA top 20 for their respective leagues:
Eastern League (Binghamton)
No. 3 Syndergaard
No. 13 Rafael Montero, rhp
Florida State League (St. Lucie)
No. 6 Syndergaard
South Atlantic League (Savannah)
No. 20 Steven Matz, lhp
Appalachian League (Kingsport)
No. 1 Rosario
No. 15 Rob Whalen, rhp
No. 19 Chris Flexen, rhp
New York-Penn League (Brooklyn)
No. 11 Gavin Cecchini, ss
No. 18 Robert Gsellman, rhp
No. 20 Miller Diaz, rhp
Gulf Coast League
No. 4 Dominic Smith, 1b
See the full rankings by league here.
FIRST PITCH: We already have noted that whether the Mets finish with a protected or unprotected draft pick appears largely immaterial. That is because, with the exception of Shin-Soo Choo, team insiders suggest the club does not intend to pursue the free agents with draft-pick compensation attached anyway.
But let’s go through the daily projection anyway of where the Mets would pick if the season ended now …
With two games to go in the season, the Mets (73-87) are in a three-way tie with the Milwaukee Brewers and Toronto Blue Jays for the ninth-worst record in MLB.
The tiebreaker is the 2012 winning percentage.
So the order would be No. 9 Toronto (.451), No. 10 Mets (.457), No. 11 Toronto (for not signing last year’s 10th pick), then No. 12 Milwaukee (.512).
There are only two other teams outside the top 10 within two games of the Mets in the standings -- and neither can displace the Mets from the top 10.
The San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres each are 75-85. But both had better winning percentages than the Mets in 2012. So even if the Mets win their final two games and one of those teams loses both, the Mets would get the tiebreaker.
So from a Mets perspective, it boils down to this: Only the Brewers can bump the Mets from a protected pick.
And the only way that can happen is if the Mets win the final two games in the head-to-head matchup, since a split and tie in the standings means the Mets select first.
“I’m not trying to lose games, I can honestly tell you that,” Collins said pregame Friday. “I’m trying to win baseball games. I don’t care what time of the year it is. We’re trying to teach people how to win here, because we plan on winning down the road.”
In Game No. 161 today, Aaron Harang (5-12, 5.57 ERA) opposes rookie right-hander Jimmy Nelson at 4:10 p.m. at Citi Field. Nelson, who has tossed five scoreless relief innings since a call-up, makes his first major league start.
By the way, MLB Trade Rumors identifies the free-agent outfielders likely to receive qualifying offers (one year at somewhere about $14 million) as Choo, Jacoby Ellsbury, Hunter Pence and Curtis Granderson.
Saturday’s news reports:
Terry Collins said pregame that he believed when Wright gets to retirement age, the captain will be viewed by Mets fans just as Mariano Rivera is viewed in the Bronx.
“I think when David Wright’s days are done here, he’ll be thought of in that light,” Collins said. “He’ll hold every record there is in this organization. He’ll have every offensive record there is. And I know one of the things you’ve heard and mentioned so many times [during the Yankee Stadium ceremony] was Mariano Rivera off the field, how he is in the clubhouse, how he is in real life. This guy is the same way.’’
Read more in the Daily News, Record and Times.
• Sandy Alderson, appearing for three half-innings on SNY’s game telecast Friday, offered only limited insight into the offseason plans.
The GM did say Travis d’Arnaud’s injury track record likely would prompt him to seek a bona fide alternative who could handle the majority of the duty if the rookie became injured.
Alderson also indicated that right now he can only count on three starting pitchers next season: Jonathon Niese, Zack Wheeler and Dillon Gee. (A team official said Matt Harvey, rules-wise, would be permitted to test his elbow in the Arizona Fall League. That’s because Harvey has less than two years of service time and missed time due to injury.)
• The Mets handed out their Sterling Awards to top minor league performers before Friday’s game.
First baseman Allan Dykstra and catcher Kevin Plawecki were named co-players of the year. Right-hander Gabriel Ynoa was named pitcher of the year.
The individual level award winners: Rafael Montero (Las Vegas), Noah Syndergaard and Jeff Walters (Binghamton), Dustin Lawley (St. Lucie), Jayce Boyd (Savannah), Rob Whalen (Kingsport), Robert Gsellman (Brooklyn), Dominic Smith (Gulf Coast League), and John Mora and Jose Medina (Dominican Summer League).
Boyd did not attend the ceremony. He recently underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He had been limited to DH rather than first base after June 28 because the shoulder/neck issue prevented him from throwing.
Read a write-up on the 2013 first-round pick Smith here and on Syndergaard here.
Read more in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger and Record.
• Carlos Torres allowed two first-inning homers and Daniel Murphy was thrown out trying to score from third base on a would-be wild pitch with the bases loaded in the sixth as the Mets lost to the Brewers, 4-2, Friday. Murphy said he made the mistake of initially being indecisive and should have aborted the attempt. Torres curiously threw a ball into the upper deck at the end of one half-inning on the mound. He said postgame he does it all the time, having not had a seat close to the field when he was a fan.
Read game recaps in the Post and MLB.com.
• Read more on the draft-pick issue from Jorge Castillo in the Star-Ledger.
• Mike Petriello writes about closer candidate Vic Black at fangraphs.com.
• From the bloggers … John Delcos at Mets Report believes Collins should be more tactful in answering sensitive questions.
BIRTHDAYS: Former reliever Mike DeJean turns 43.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Which Sterling Award winner will have the best major league career?
Words can't describe how blessed and thankful I am for the NYM for making these past 2 days a truly amazing experience! Still in awe of it— Rob Whalen (@RobWhalen38) September 28, 2013
The numbers would have been even more unreal if he had not been rocked for nine runs in three innings in his final regular-season start, after being skipped one turn.
"I feel like right now I have a plus fastball with the command to go with it, and a plus curveball," Syndergaard said Friday at Citi Field, where he received a Sterling Award as the top performer with the B-Mets. "Right now, I've shown pretty good signs of improving the changeup. I just don't throw it that often. There are certain situations where I really don't need to throw the changeup.
"That's something Abby [Binghamton pitching coach Glenn Abbott] and I worked on in Binghamton -- no matter if you don't need it, you've still got to develop it. That's the big picture. You don't want to pitch in Double-A or Triple-A. Ultimately you want to pitch in the big leagues."
The Mets treated Syndergaard gingerly as his innings rose in 2013.
Not only did Syndergaard skip that late-season start the turn before getting beat up, he also routinely had his outings capped at five innings.
During a three-start stretch in mid-August, Syndergaard tossed 15 scoreless innings, allowing only seven hits and two walks while striking out 18. Yet he was pulled with pitch counts of 66, 56 and 66 during that stretch.
Asked if being routinely pulled prematurely from games was frustrating, Syndergaard said: "Yes and no. Yes, because I wanted to go farther into games and get my innings limit up. But, no, I wasn't that agitated, because I know there's a bigger picture involved."
Syndergaard already has pitched at Citi Field, by the way. He was the Futures Game starter opposite fellow Mets prospect Rafael Montero on July 14. Syndergaard tossed a scoreless inning, as did Montero.
"I'm glad to be back here," Syndergaard said.
Those prospects, along with individual level award winners, will be honored during a pregame ceremony at Citi Field on Friday night.
The individual level Sterling Award winners:
• Right-hander Rafael Montero (Las Vegas)
• Right-handers Noah Syndergaard and Jeff Walters (Binghamton)
• Outfielder/third baseman Dustin Lawley (St. Lucie)
• First baseman Jayce Boyd (Savannah)
• Right-hander Rob Whalen (Kingsport)
• Right-hander Robert Gsellman (Brooklyn)
• First baseman Dominic Smith (Gulf Coast League)
• Outfielder John Mora and left-hander Jose Medina (Dominican Summer League)
Dykstra earned Eastern League MVP honors. Ynoa won 17 games in the South Atlantic League, including two in the postseason as the Gnats won the title. Walters' 38 saves set the Binghamton single-season and career records. Lawley led the organization in homers (26) and RBIs (96). He jumped to Las Vegas for the postseason.
Whalen's 1.87 ERA ranked second in the Appalachian League. Smith, the Mets' first-round pick in June, hit .287 with three homers in 167 at-bats in the GCL.
Lopez will be the lone coaching call-up. A team spokesman said Wally Backman would not be joining the Mets. The Triple-A manager, including Backman last season, customarily has joined the major league staff during the final month.
"I've been telling everybody: I think the most important thing was just seeing guys grow as the season went on," Lopez said about Binghamton's season. "It's too bad at the end it went down the way it did. But you know what? There's no shame. The guys did a good job, and we just got beat by a better team."
Right-hander Noah Syndergaard went 6-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 11 regular-season starts for the B-Mets during the second half -- a number that was skewed because Syndergaard, 21, allowed nine earned runs in three innings in his final start.
"The fastball command -- that's the one thing that was impressive about him," Lopez said. "He was able to command the fastball. He was able to keep his pitch count down in order for him to pitch deep into the games. His secondary pitches were great, too. I think he's a kid that's going to be fun to watch in the next couple of years."
SAVANNAH 10, AUGUSTA 2: The Gnats used a six-run fifth to win Game 1 of the best-of-three Southern Division Championship Series. With two outs in the third, Eudy Pina singled,
BROOKLYN 4, TRI-CITY 2: The Cyclones snapped a five-game losing streak in their season finale and avoided the first losing season in the club's 13-year history. Jeurys Familia, who underwent surgery on June 5 to clean out his right elbow, started and allowed one unearned run in one inning. Familia allowed a leadoff single to Jack Mayfield, who advanced to second on an error by Brooklyn second baseman L.J. Mazzilli. Familia retired the next two batters via groundout, but Mayfield came around to score. Miller Diaz took over for Familia in the second and Tri-City put together a two-out rally. Ernesto Genoves walked and Jon Kemmer singled to put runners on the corners. Ydarqui Marte then produced an RBI single for a 2-0 lead. After the first six Cyclones were retired, Juan Gamboa homered to open the third. Facing Tri-City reliever Randall Fant in the fifth, Matt Oberste, Gamboa and Eris Peguero walked to load the bases. Fant subsequently hit Colton Plaia with a pitch to force in the game-tying run. Krishawn Holley entered and retired the first batter he faced, but Ismael Tijerina then produced a run-scoring single. The lead swelled to 4-2 when Holley uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Peguero to score. Kevin McGowan and David Wynn combined for three scoreless relief innings. Johnny Magliozzi tossed a scoreless ninth for his ninth save. The Cyclones (38-37) failed to make the playoffs for only the fourth time in 13 seasons. Brooklyn is one of four teams in affiliated baseball to have posted at least 13 straight non-losing seasons, joining the Arizona League Giants, Elizabethton Twins and New York Yankees. Box
Compiled from team reports
FIRST PITCH: The Mets are about to get KO’d in the NL East.
Atlanta’s magic number to eliminate the Mets from division contention stands at three entering today’s 12:10 p.m. series finale. Dillon Gee (10-9, 3.63 ERA) opposes right-hander Kameron Loe (0-1, 10.13) at Turner Field.
In the wild-card race, the Mets (62-75) are 15 games behind the Cincinnati Reds for the second spot. The tragic number: 10.
More relevant: The teams with the 10 worst records have their first-round draft picks protected, no matter what free agent they sign. The Mets and Philadelphia Phillies currently are tied for that last protected spot.
In the minors, the Mets’ three remaining playoff teams open first-round series tonight. The Game 1 starters: Matt Fox for Las Vegas, Noah Syndergaard for Binghamton (at Trenton) and Gabriel Ynoa for Savannah.
Wednesday’s news reports:
Ranked by WAR, the top-10 free-agent starting pitchers this offseason, via MLB Trade Rumors, are: James Shields, Hiroki Kuroda, A.J. Burnett, Jon Lester, Bartolo Colon, Jorge De La Rosa, Ervin Santana, Ricky Nolasco, Andy Pettitte and Scott Feldman.
Read the full recap of Alderson’s comments here. Read other recaps in the Daily News, Newsday, Record, Times and Star-Ledger.
• Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post reports the Mets will not have an internal debate about Ike Davis’ future until after the season. Davis made $3.125 million this season. Players almost exclusively trend upward during their arbitration years. Sherman writes this caution:
For those in the turn-the-page camp, we offer you another Davis named Chris.
His skinny batting average and fluctuating power frustrated the Rangers, who twice sent him to the minors in 2010, when he hit .192. Texas traded him during the 2011 season and he finished with 33 homers in 2012 -- one more than Ike.
Still, at the end of 2012, his age-26 season, Chris Davis had a .775 OPS and 77 homers in 1,644 plate appearances working in homer-friendly Texas and Baltimore, or not all that different than Ike Davis has now at the end of his age-26 season with a .768 OPS and 67 homers in 1,711 plate appearances hitting in hardly homer-friendly Citi Field.
Read more speculation about Davis’ future in the Journal.
• Carlos Torres took a scoreless effort into the seventh, then surrendered homers to Evan Gattis and Andrelton Simmons, and the Mets lost the Braves, 3-1, Tuesday. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record and MLB.com.
• Daniel Murphy earned NL Player of the Week honors.
• Mike Puma in the Post looks at Eric Young Jr.’s contribution. Young, who is arbitration-eligible and under the Mets’ control for three more seasons, ideally recedes to a backup role -- if the Mets can add two outfielders this offseason. “The numbers might not be exactly where I want them, but I’m learning a lot about myself and my body and I’m excited to be part of this organization and part of the future,” Young told Puma.
• Wheeler has about 28 innings remaining in his season.
• Jeurys Familia has moved to Brooklyn for its season finale as he returns from surgery to clean out his right elbow.
• One out from victory, Kingsport instead was eliminated by Greeneville in a winner-take-all Game 3 Tuesday in the first round of the Appalachian League playoffs. Meanwhile, Brooklyn lost its fifth straight game. The Cyclones must win on the final day of the regular season today to avoid the first losing season in the 13-year history of the team. Read the full minor league recap here.
• Ray Glier in the Times profiles newly acquired reliever Vic Black, whose velocity had dropped to the upper-80s two years ago after a shoulder issue.
• From the bloggers … Mark Berman at Blogging Mets speculates on the possible 2014 Mets payroll.
BIRTHDAYS: Mike Piazza, who is due to be inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame at Citi Field on Sept. 29, turns 45. … Luis Lopez is 43.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
NEW HAMPSHIRE 8, BINGHAMTON 1: Despite the loss, the B-Mets finished the regular season with a franchise-record 86 wins. They will take on Trenton on Wednesday in the first round of the Eastern League postseason. The Fisher Cats scored the game's opening run against Mark Cohoon (9-5) in the third. After Lance Zawadzki singled, Jonathan Jones plated him with a two-out hit. New Hampshire added to its lead in the fourth with another two-out RBI single. Ryan Schimpf delivered the run-producing knock to give the Fisher Cats a 2-0 lead. Cohoon’s day ended after five innings. In the sixth, Armando Rodriguez surrendered two runs. Kevin Nolan hit an RBI single into right field and Schimpf followed with a sacrifice fly. Long Island native Marcus Stroman baffled Binghamton's hitters. He did not allow a baserunner until the fifth, and only allowed two base hits over eight innings. The only time Binghamton got on the scoreboard against the righty came in the sixth. Richard Lucas led off with a double and scored two batters later on Alonzo Harris' sacrifice fly. In a 4-1 game, New Hampshire added insurance against Ryan Fraser in the seventh. Andy Burns delivered an RBI single. Nolan brought home two more on a single. Hamilton Bennett tossed a perfect eighth. Chasen Bradford gave up one unearned run in the ninth. The B-Mets (86-55) begin postseason play at Trenton on Wednesday. Binghamton will send right-hander Noah Syndergaard to the mound opposite Bryan Mitchell. Binghamton has not played in the postseason since 2004. The B-Mets have been held to three hits or fewer in three of their past seven games. Box
GREENVILLE 1, SAVANNAH 0: The first-half-champion Gnats open the Southern Division playoffs on Wednesday at Augusta against the second-half-champion GreenJackets. In the regular-season finale, Greenville (29-40/51-87) scored the game’s lone run in the second inning. With one out, Savannah starter Marco Camarena plunked Keaton Briscoe. He advanced to third on Boss Moanaroa’s single. Leonel Escobar then grounded out to first. Brian Harrison stepped on the bag, but could not throw to second in time to nab Moanaroa for a double play, allowing Briscoe to score. Camarena finished six innings with six strikeouts. Greenville starter Sergio Gomez threw six scoreless innings to earn his first South Atlantic League win. The Gnats (34-35/77-61) went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. All three Savannah hits were singles. The upcoming playoff series shifts to Savannah for Game 2 on Friday. Game 3, if necessary, in the best-of-three first round will be Saturday. Box
GREENEVILLE 7, KINGSPORT 2: A winner-take-all Game 3 will be played Wednesday to determine the Appy League divisional pennant. Greeneville grabbed a 4-0 lead in the third against K-Mets starter Carlos Gomez. Yeixon Ruiz homered in the fifth and Jeyckol De Leon homered in the sixth to pull the K-Mets within 5-2, but they got no closer. Box
TRI-CITY 3, BROOKLYN 1: The Cyclones (37-36) lost their fourth straight and were eliminated from postseason contention. Brooklyn had taken a 1-0 lead in the second. Singles from Jared King and Alex Sanchez started the rally, and Juan Gamboa’s two-out single plated King. But Tri-City right fielder Ronnie Mitchell gunned down Sanchez at the plate for the final out of the inning. Brooklyn starter Dawrin Frias cruised through three innings, but ran into trouble in the fourth. Consecutive singles from Tyler White and Conrad Gregor put runners on the corners with nobody out. Mitchell produced a game-tying sacrifice fly. That score held until the eighth. Cyclones reliever Cristian Chivilli instantly found himself in trouble. A leadoff single from Ryan Dineen, a wild pitch and a booming double from White broke the 1-all tie. Mitchell’s second sac fly of the game pushed the ValleyCats' advantage to 3-1. The Cyclones close the regular season with two more games at Bruno Stadium against the ValleyCats. Box
Compiled from team reports
NEW HAMPSHIRE at BINGHAMTON: The game was canceled due to unplayable field conditions and will not be made up. The B-Mets have two regular-season games remaining before the Eastern League playoffs begin Wednesday. Noah Syndergaard is due to start Game 1. Box
JUPITER at ST. LUCIE (canceled): St. Lucie completes is season Sunday. Box
SAVANNAH 4, GREENVILLE 2
SAVANNAH 6, GREENVILLE 4: The playoff-bounced Gnats swept a doubleheader for the
KINGSPORT at GREENEVILLE (ppd.): Box
ABERDEEN 7, BROOKLYN 0: Aberdeen took a half-lead lead over Brooklyn for first place in the division and a playoff berth. The teams meet for the final time Sunday at MCU Park. Brooklyn has four regular-season games remaining. IronBirds third baseman Tanner Rust, who entered the game with only two extra-base hits in 92 at-bats, sent the first pitch he saw in the second into the right-field bleachers to give Aberdeen a 1-0 lead. That was the only damage Brooklyn starter Akeel Morris allowed, but the Cyclones were blanked. Morris struck out seven and surrendered three hits in five innings. For the season, Morris has allowed one earned run in 35 innings at MCU Park. With Morris out of the game in the sixth, the IronBirds expanded their lead. Reliever Kevin McGowan was charged with four runs in three innings. In the ninth, the Cyclones mounted their first threat, loading the bases with two outs, but Matt Oberste struck out looking. Box
Compiled from team reports
Rich Schultz/Getty ImagesMatt Harvey may be lost for the 2014 season with a torn UCL in his right elbow.
FIRST PITCH: The Mets had waited for three years for contracts to expire, and presumably now are poised to reenter free agency in a meaningful way at a time when the young nucleus of starting pitching is ready to contribute.
But the optimism about 2014 being the year the Mets announce their return to contention has been tempered by this sobering news: An MRI on Monday revealed Matt Harvey has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
Harvey will wait two to three weeks for inflammation to subside before making a decision, but there is a distinct possibility the ace will require Tommy John surgery that would prompt him to miss most, if not all, of next season as well.
Harvey acknowledged he had been seeking treatment for forearm tightness for a month or two. Sandy Alderson indicated the organization had been satisfied the elbow ligaments were structurally sound. The GM described the injury as somewhat inevitable, suggesting even with innings caps and prudence “there’s no safe harbor” to prevent ligament tears.
Terry Collins had expressed concern throughout the season that Harvey’s full-throttle, upper-90s fastball from wire-to-wire during outings might end up costly. The manager had implored the ace to dial it back at points during games and be content with coaxing groundouts with low-90s fastballs.
So now what? Certainly resources that could have gone to bats during the offseason might need to be diverted to signing another starting pitcher. Or, perhaps, a young pitcher the Mets might have entertained trading for a bat now must be retained because of the potential loss of Harvey for the entire 2014 season.
According to J.B. Kurtz of ESPN Stats & Information, four pitchers since 2010 have landed on the disabled list with some type of UCL tear: Jose Contreras, Danny Duffy, Jorge De La Rosa and Stephen Strasburg. The quickest to return to major league action was Contreras. His absence: 11 months, 3 days.
Harvey's 0.93 WHIP would rank second in major history for an age 24 or younger season in the live-ball era (since 1920), according to ESPN Stats & Information. The only better: Denny McLain, who had a 0.91 WHIP while winning the Cy Young in 1968. Nos. 3, 4 and 5 also won Cy Youngs: Vida Blue (0.95, 1971), Roger Clemens (0.97, 1986) and Dwight Gooden (0.97, 1985). McLain, Blue and Clemens also were named league MVP.
Harvey's 95.8 mph average fastball velocity ranks first in the majors, as does his 89.7 mph slider.
For now, Carlos Torres steps into the rotation, beginning with Harvey’s next turn, in Thursday’s matinee series finale against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Tonight, Jonathon Niese (5-6, 4.03 ERA) opposes right-hander Kyle Kendrick (10-10, 4.51) at 7:10 in Game 2 of the four-game series.
Stayed tuned for more news, too. Sources said the Mets plan to promote Robert Carson, Matt den Dekker and possibly Anthony Recker today. Since only Harvey is known headed to the DL, a trade appears looming.
Tuesday’s news reports:
• Columnist Ian O’Connor at ESPNNewYork.com writes about his wife’s reaction to the Harvey news.
Writes columnist Bob Klapisch in the Record:
There are a million questions trailing in his wake, starting with the Mets’ passive response to the lingering forearm tightness Harvey had been experiencing since July. Warrior that he is, Harvey downplayed the discomfort, telling his bosses it was nothing unusual, nothing more than the cost of doing business with nuclear heat.
But given the Mets’ abysmal record of managing injuries, why weren’t they proactive when it was clear Harvey wasn’t improving? There’s nothing normal about forearm tenderness that doesn’t heal. Again, Harvey ignored every warning sign, noting, “There was no shooting pain down my arm and in my hand.” But what would’ve been the downside to slipping that arm into an MRI tube?
Writes columnist David Lennon in Newsday:
We've witnessed the frustration, the failed signings, the collapses. Always the punch line for David Letterman. But Harvey was changing all that. In toting that microphone around Bryant Park for Fallon, the winking Harvey was in on the joke, and the Mets could laugh along with him.
So imagine how Fred and Jeff Wilpon and Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins felt Monday when Harvey was cruelly snatched away for this season and possibly next year.
Actually, you probably felt that way, too. All along, we've been led to believe that 2014 was the goal, the return to respectability, the start of a new era -- and a big reason for that was Harvey.
Read a Harvey column from Tyler Kepner in the Times and news stories in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Times, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record and MLB.com.
• Zack Wheeler surrendered a two-out, two-run triple to Cody Asche in the fourth and the Phillies beat the Mets, 2-1, Monday at Citi Field. Philadelphia took over sole possession of third place from the Mets. The Mets have lost five straight. They have scored only six runs during that span.
Wheeler’s line: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. He was pulled at precisely 105 pitches, his team-imposed pitch ceiling, even though opposing pitcher Cliff Lee was due up. Lee limited the Mets to one run in eight innings. Josh Satin’s streak of reaching base ended at 29 straight starts, tied with Steve Henderson (1977) for the franchise rookie record.
Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record and MLB.com.
• Las Vegas swept a doubleheader at Colorado Springs to move closer to clinching a postseason berth. The 51s have a 3.5-game division lead with eight games remaining. Kirk Nieuwenhuis doubled and scored the tiebreaking run on an error in the 10th in Game 1. Nieuwenhuis then drove in the tiebreaking run with a groundout in the nightcap victory. Recker had a two-run homer against ex-Met Hisanori Takahashi. Noah Syndergaard, who had been 6-0 with a 1.59 ERA through 10 Double-A starts, was roughed up in Binghamton’s 11-0 loss at Bowie on Monday. Syndergaard, pitching for the first time in 10 days because he was skipped a turn to limit his innings, surrendered 11 runs (nine earned), including three homers, in three innings. 2013 first-round pick Dominic Smith went 4-for-5 with a triple, walk, two RBIs and five runs scored as the GCL Mets routed the Cardinals, 18-3. Read the minor league recap here.
• Binghamton left-handed reliever Chase Huchingson has been suspended for 50 games for a second violation involving a drug of abuse, MLB announced.
• Left-hander Darin Gorski has been named Eastern League Pitcher of the Week. Gorski went 1-0 and allowed three earned runs in 14 2/3 innings in two starts with the B-Mets.
• From the bloggers: Faith and Fear in Flushing cannot definitively say we should have seen Harvey's injury coming. … John Delcos at Mets Report asks if there is a scapegoat.
BIRTHDAYS: Outfielder Brian McRae turns 46. … Mike Maddux, who pitched for two seasons for the Mets in the mid-’90s, and the brother of Greg Maddux, is 52.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: How does Matt Harvey’s injury affect the complexion of the 2014 season in your view?
On the bright side, this should give Harvey enough time to be Batman in the next Batman / Superman movie! #betterbatmanthanbenaffleck— David Aardsma (@TheDA53) August 26, 2013
LAS VEGAS 10, COLORADO SPRINGS 9: The 51s opened a 3.5-game division lead with eight games remaining. Kirk Nieuwenhuis doubled and scored the tiebreaking run on an error in the 10th in the opener. Box 1, Box 2
BOWIE 11, BINGHAMTON 0: Binghamton had just two hits in the shutout loss, courtesy of Josh Rodriguez and Xorge Carrillo. Starter Noah Syndergaard suffered his first Double-A loss, allowing 11 runs and nine hits in three innings. The B-Mets suffered their worst shutout loss since 2008. Box
ST. LUCIE 5, CHARLOTTE 2: St. Lucie scored three in the eighth to break open a tied game. T.J. Rivera and Dustin Lawley each drove in a pair. Starter Domingo Tapia gave up three hits and two runs in seven innings. Box
KINGSPORT 3, PULASKI 2: Kingsport held off a late Pulaski rally to pick up the win. Joe Tuschak went 2-for-4 with an RBI, while starter Chris Flexen gave up one run over six innings while striking out six. Box
BROOKLYN 8, TRI-CITY 1: Brooklyn led 7-0 after two innings and won in a blowout. Six different Brooklyn players drove in runs, led by James Roche, who went 3-for-4 and drove in a pair. Starter Dario Alvarez gave up one run and four hits over five innings. Box
GCL METS 18, GCL 3: The GCL Mets pounded the Cardinals as they had a 17-1 lead going to the bottom of the fifth inning. Eight different Mets drove in runs, led by Wuilmer Becerra. Starter Andrew Church gave up three runs over seven innings to record the win. Box
Chism’s father Tom hit .314 and won the FSL batting title in 1975. The elder Chism, a first baseman, went on to appear in six games for the Orioles four year later.
“We have a lot of team pictures and stuff like that of him and Cal Ripken right next to each other,” Chism said. “It’s kind of cool. I was born after he was done playing, but I still feel like I was alive, because there’s all that stuff around the house. He won a Florida State League batting title, which is crazy now that I’m playing in the same league. He always tells me this is a pitchers’ league.”
“She’ll take all the credit, if you ask her,” Chism quipped. “She played high school basketball and stuff like that. She was a little bit smaller, which is why I think I got a little bit slighted on the height side. But her athletic ability was tremendous. She always tells me stories about how she scored 50 points in basketball games, which is weird because I can’t shoot a basketball to save my life. I played every other sport but basketball.”
Chism is a 32nd-round pick in 2009 by the Mets out of La Salle University. He grew up a 40-minute drive from the Philadelphia campus. He led the Explorers in homers his junior year with 11 and averaged nearly a run and RBI per game.
“I was a hitter. That was my passion,” said Chism, who noted that he pitched to get seen by scouts and because there were not clear alternatives on the team.
Added Chism: “I would start on Sundays and I’d still hit for myself. I got into the sixth inning one time, I think. That was against Temple. I was good for two or three innings and then the wheels fell off.”
Chism, who turned 25 on Aug. 9, does not have eye-popping velocity, but results are results.
In 54 innings over 42 appearances, Chism has limited opponents to 46 hits and 13 walks (three intentional) while striking out 50. His 16 saves have come in 19 chances. He has a 2.33 ERA. Lefty batters are hitting .194 with one homer in 62 at-bats against him.
Chism began closing as part of a revolving set of back-end pitchers in 2011 with Brooklyn. He then became established in the role last season with Savannah.
He primarily throws a four-seam fastball (86-87 mph) as well as a slider and changeup. He dropped to a three-quarters arm slot in 2010 with the encouragement of Jonathan Hurst, his Kingsport pitching coach.
“We were playing catch one day, and I couldn’t throw a strike to save my life,” Chism said. “So I dropped down a little bit on my own, and he goes, ‘Chiz, what’s going on? You doing something different?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I dropped down a little bit just to get a consistent release point.’ He’s like, ‘Dude, the ball is jumping out of your hand. Let’s roll with it.’ I was like, ‘All right, let’s do it.’ That saved my career.”
Average: Jayce Boyd, St. Lucie, .328; Cesar Puello, Binghamton, .326; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, .321; Jhoan Urena, GCL Mets, .319; Yeixon Ruiz, Kingsport, .316; Jeff McNeil, Kingsport, .314; Kevin Plawecki, St. Lucie, .308; LJ Mazzilli, Brooklyn, .299; T.J. Rivera, St. Lucie, .296; Eric Campbell, Vegas, .295.
Homers: Dustin Lawley, St. Lucie, 25; Travis Taijeron, Binghamton, 21; Allan Dykstra, Binghamton, 19; Cesar Puello, Binghamton, 16; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, 15.
RBIs: Dustin Lawley, St. Lucie, 90; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, 86; Allan Dykstra, Binghamton, 77; Jayce Boyd, St. Lucie, 76; Kevin Plawecki, St. Lucie, 76.
Steals: Darrell Ceciliani, Binghamton, 29; Cesar Puello, Binghamton, 24; Alonzo Harris, Binghamton, 23; Eudy Pina, Savannah, 18; Patrick Biondi, Brooklyn, 17.
ERA: Rob Whalen, Kingsport, 1.67; Chris Flexen, Kingsport, 2.14; Noah Syndergaard, Binghamton, 2.43; Robert Gsellman, Brooklyn, 2.50; Miller Diaz, Brooklyn, 2.54; Rainy Lara, St. Lucie, 2.55; John Gant, Brooklyn, 2.59; Gabriel Ynoa, Savannah, 2.71; Rafael Montero, Vegas, 2.88; Matt Bowman, St. Lucie, 3.05.
Wins: Gabriel Ynoa, Savannah, 14; Rafael Montero, Vegas, 12; Matt Bowman, St. Lucie, 10; Logan Verrett, Binghamton, 10.
Saves: Jeff Walters, Binghamton, 35; Beck Wheeler, Savannah, 17; T.J. Chism, St. Lucie, 16; Robert Carson, Vegas, 11; Bret Mitchell, St. Lucie, 10.
Strikeouts: Rafael Montero, Vegas, 137; Noah Syndergaaard, Binghamton, 128; Logan Verrett, Binghamton, 117; Matt Bowman, St. Lucie, 116; Erik Goeddel, Binghamton, 116.
• Despite innings caps, right-handers Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom should be permitted to pitch with Las Vegas through the playoffs, provided the 51s qualify. The exception: If Las Vegas became eliminated from postseason contention early, the pitching prospects likely would skip their final regular-season starts. Montero and deGrom are expected to be on 90-pitch limits for the remainder of the season.
Innings limits are hitting the entire system. Double-A phenom Noah Syndergaard, who regularly has been capped at five innings of late, is skipping a start. He is due to reenter the rotation Monday. With St. Lucie, Matt Bowman is at least temporarily shut down.
• The Mets added a pair of starting-pitching arms for Las Vegas -- right-handers Mitch Talbot and Daryl Thompson.
Talbot, 29, made one appearance for Triple-A New Orleans in April before experiencing elbow tendinitis and getting shut down. He was released by the Marlins organization at his request after appearing in two Gulf Coast League games -- the latter a five-inning effort on Aug. 1 against the Mets in Port St. Lucie -- because New Orleans did not have any roster room. Talbot is a career 12-19 with a 5.30 ERA in 43 major league appearances (41 starts) from 2008 through 2011 with the Rays and Indians.
Thompson, 27, is 0-3 with an 8.31 ERA in four career appearances (three starts) with the Reds in 2008 and ’11. He was 10-5 with a 3.17 ERA in 124 2/3 innings for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in the independent Atlantic League this season.
Las Vegas needs the extra arms, particularly because of an upcoming six-game series over four days at Colorado Springs.
The bullpen is so taxed, especially with Greg Burke getting a call-up, that starter Matt Fox had to log 107 pitches Monday despite getting drilled for eight runs in four innings.
• An observer clocked Tim Byrdak’s fastball velocity at 88-89 mph during an appearance Monday and suggested he should be no-brainer to be up with the Mets after rosters expand. Byrdak currently is on a minor league contract as he returns from Sept. 6, 2012 surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder.
The Mets should have 40-man roster room for call-ups, including Byrdak. Since Cesar Puello and Jordany Valdespin are on the restricted list and do not count, the Mets’ 40-man roster is at 38. Players on the 60-day DL do not count against the 40-man roster, either. The Mets already have Frank Francisco, Jeurys Familia and Johan Santana on the 60-day DL. Team officials potentially can open two 40-man roster more spots by shifting Jenrry Mejia and Jeremy Hefner to the 60-day DL.
While it is premature for any commitments, logical September call-ups include Anthony Recker on Sept. 1 and then Lucas Duda, Ruben Tejada, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Robert Carson and Matt den Dekker once the 51s’ season ends. (Zach Lutz, on the 40-man roster, is far more iffy.)
Den Dekker is not on the 40-man roster, but needs to be added this offseason anyway for Rule 5 protection.
The Mets often reward an unheralded player for performance, too. That could wind up being 26-year-old Eric Campbell, an eighth-round pick in 2008 from Boston College, who has more walks (55) than strikeouts (52) and a .419 on-base percentage. He can play corner infield and outfield positions.
• Binghamton’s magic number for its first division title since 2000 technically remains at one, but the B-Mets already have clinched because they own the tiebreaker with Trenton by virtue of winning the season series. The 2000 squad included Ty Wigginton, Alex Escobar, Tyler Walker, Dicky Gonzalez and Pat Strange, as well as top prospect Brian Cole, who died the following spring training.
• The B-Mets dodged a pair of injury bullets. Outfielder Cory Vaughn, struck in the back of the helmet with a pitch Monday, passed concussion tests and returned to the lineup a day later as DH. Shortstop Wilfredo Tovar, hurt in the same game, underwent X-rays on his left wrist that were negative.
Vaughn, incidentally will be part of the Mets’ Arizona Fall League contingent, his agents at Northwest Sports Management Group announced. Also AFL-bound: B-Mets right-hander Cory Mazzoni, assuming he heals from season-ending surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Mazzoni faces a five- to six-week rehab timetable.
• Savannah’s Gabriel Ynoa earned his 14th win Tuesday. That is the most wins by a Mets farmhand since Jason Scobie had 15 with Triple-A Norfolk in 2005.
• B-Mets first baseman Allan Dykstra’s 97 walks are the most in the Eastern League since Brian Myrow had 107 walks with the Trenton Thunder in 2003.
• Michael Fulmer preliminarily has been diagnosed with biceps tendinitis after leaving his last start. He is due to see team doctors in New York on Thursday.
• With 14 games remaining in St. Lucie’s season, Dustin Lawley is chasing several of the Florida State League club’s single-season records. Lawley sits at 25 homers, 90 RBIs and 31 doubles. The St. Lucie records belong to Robert Stratton with 29 homers in 2000, Nikco Riesgo with 94 RBIs in 1990 and David Wright with 39 doubles in 2003.
• T.J. Rivera leads the Florida State League with 137 hits (including one in Tuesday's suspended game). The St. Lucie record is 156 hits, jointly held by Omar Garcia (1993) and Corey Coles (2006).
• Gavin Cecchini’s hit streak with Brooklyn ended at 16 games Monday, one shy of matching the Cyclones’ record set by Lucas Duda in 2007. Cecchini isn’t the only former first-round pick heating up. Brandon Nimmo is batting .393 (24-for-61) with one homer, 12 RBIs and a .543 on-base percentage in August with Savannah.
• Kyle Johnson, acquired from the Angels for Collin Cowgill, has a 15-game hitting streak with St. Lucie -- including a hit in Tuesday’s suspended game that will resume Wednesday.
• Omar Minaya, now a special assistant for the Padres, is predicting big things for one of his former Mets signings. Minaya last weekend praised Mexican right-hander Luis Cessa, who is 7-3 with a 3.08 ERA in 19 starts with Savannah. Cessa, as noted by Minaya, originally was signed as a third baseman and dabbled in the infield in 2009 and ’10 before moving full time to pitching.
Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos/Getty ImagesTravis d'Arnaud is set to make his major league debut tonight.
FIRST PITCH: Travis d’Arnaud Day!
With wife Brooke Buck going into labor and John Buck leaving the team, the prized catching prospect d’Arnaud is due to make his major league debut at 8:40 p.m. ET today as the Mets look to make it three straight wins against the San Diego Padres.
D’Arnaud hit .400 (8-for-20) with one homer, four RBIs and nine walks in seven games since rejoining Triple-A Las Vegas. He had broken the first metatarsal in his left foot on a foul ball while catching for the 51s on April 17.
Sandy Alderson suggested d’Arnaud could remain in the big leagues after Buck’s three-day paternity leave expires if the prospect performs well during the cameo.
“We’re all excited to see Travis,” Terry Collins said. “Like a lot of these guys, there’s a huge buildup taking place. Some of the reports are pretty impressive when you hear about it. So I’m anxious to see him play. Of course, he’s got confidence off the charts. After he came back [from the broken foot], he’s done very, very well. He’s swinging the bat great. We’re going to take a look at him.”
D’Arnaud is due to catch Jenrry Mejia tonight. Mejia (1-2, 2.22 ERA) opposes right-hander Edinson Volquez (8-10, 5.80), who has the highest ERA among NL qualifiers.
Zack Wheeler raved late Friday about d’Arnaud’s ability to make a borderline pitch look like a strike.
“He receives it unbelievably,” Wheeler said. “We really didn’t get to throw all that much to each other [in Las Vegas]. I think it was three or four times, or something like that. But between that and what I saw in spring training, he can make a pitch at the bottom of the knee caps look like it’s on the top of the knee caps. It helps you out. He’s just a good catcher.”
Saturday’s news reports:
• Jeremy Hefner plans to see another doctor Monday to determine if he will require Tommy John surgery. If the procedure is necessary of repair an MCL tear in his right elbow, Hefner may miss most or all of 2014. Read more in Newsday.
• Marlon Byrd, Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy homered as the Mets beat San Diego, 5-2, Friday night. Byrd produced his 19th long ball, one shy of matching his career high, which he achieved in 2009 with the Texas Rangers. Anthony Recker, whose playing time is above to nosedive with d’Arnaud’s arrival, went 3-for-3 with a walk in the victory. Jonathon Niese limited San Diego to one run while logging 111 pitches in six innings.
Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Star-Ledger, Newsday and MLB.com.
• Wilmer Flores tested his right ankle running Friday afternoon and likely is to return to the starting lineup tonight.
• Read more on d’Arnaud’s arrival in the Post, Daily News, Times, Newsday and Star-Ledger.
• Collins expressed his sympathy after the firing of Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. The two played together at Triple-A Albuquerque in 1975. Collins is in the final year of his own deal.
A Mets insider affirmed to ESPNNewYork.com that nothing about Collins’ fate would be announced until after the season, although internally the decision is tentatively resolved. Collins widely is expected to return for 2014. Read more on Manuel’s ouster at ESPN.com.
• Jared Diamond in the Journal profiles Juan Lagares, whose 10 outfield assists already are two shy of matching the Mets’ rookie record, set by Tsuyoshi Shinjo in 2001. Writes Diamond:
Right fielder Marlon Byrd compared him to 10-time Gold Glover Andruw Jones, who was famous for playing an extremely shallow center field. Because Lagares has such impressive natural instincts going back on fly balls, he is able to play shallow and still retrieve long flies with ease.
"Juan plays more shallow than any other center fielder in baseball," Byrd said. "So when he's closing on balls in front of him, he's already up closer than everyone else."
• Noah Syndergaard, who arrived with d’Arnaud and Class A outfielder Wuilmer Becerra in the R.A. Dickey trade, continues to dominate Double-A. Syndergaard tossed five scoreless innings and struck out 10 as Binghamton beat New Britain, 1-0.
“I wasn’t really tallying the strikeouts I had, I was just pitching. … I just feel like I had all my pitches going for me tonight,” Syndergaard told the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin. “It’s a lot of fun to pitch when you’ve got the fastball, curveball, and changeup going for you.”
Also Friday: Jeyckol De Leon had four hits and three RBIs as Kingsport beat Bristol, 11-4. James Roche homered for the second straight day as Brooklyn beat Vermont, 6-4. Read the full minor league recap here.
• From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear thinks about rookies, strikeouts and pitch counts.
BIRTHDAYS: Right-hander Skip Lockwood was born on this date in 1946.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Has your opinion of the R.A. Dickey for Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard trade changed since last December?
@AdamRubinESPN Its been so long i think the baby has already hit puberty— James Schumann (@JTSchumann) August 16, 2013
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