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Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Farm report: Carson gets LH compliment

By Adam Rubin

In his first four starts with Class A St. Lucie to open the season, left-hander Robert Carson was 0-3 with a 7.07 ERA as he adjusted to that level of competition.

The southpaw, who went on to go 7-2 the remainder of his stay in the Florida State League, is now experiencing a similar adjustment period with Double-A Binghamton.

In three starts with the B-Mets since a promotion, the 21-year-old Carson is 0-3 with a 9.60 ERA.

Still, the 14th-round pick out in 2007 out of high school in Hattiesburg, Miss., has impressed B-Mets pitching coach Mark Brewer and is considered one of the organization’s most promising pitching prospects.

“The first time I saw him, it was exciting,” Brewer said. “As a coach throughout the year you get new guys. Some guys are fillers. Some guys you automatically feel like they can contribute at some point and you get excited about them. And that’s what I did with him. He’s young from an experience standpoint. But, man, it’s all there. The ethic and the will to learn and the right frame of mind is there.”

Carson’s fastball ranges 92-94 mph and tops out at 95 mph. He also throws a slider and a changeup.

Brewer is working with Carson to harness the cutting action on his fastball.

“It’s not a bad thing, but you need to know when you’re going to do it,” Brewer said. “That’s what we’re working toward. Plus, his changeup was also a changeup that cut. We’ve already made strides with the changeup to try to get it to be a pitch that fades to his arm side so he has something to offset the cutter.”

Said Carson: “It’s an adjustment period for me. I kind of started the same way in St. Lucie this year. I dropped my first four starts. I’m just going to take it like I did there and just focus on my bullpens and what I need to work on and try to come back the next few starts and bounce back from it. The hitters here, they’re more advanced. They don’t let you make as many mistakes as the Florida State League. You’ve got to really be pinpoint with first-pitch strikes and getting ahead and put them away when you can. That’s pretty much the difference.”

Organization leaders

Average: Darrell Ceciliani, Brooklyn, .389; Joe Bonfe, Brooklyn, .352; Eric Campbell, Binghamton, .327; Justin Schafer, Kingsport, .317; Javier Rodriguez, Kingsport, .316; Julio Concepcion, GCL Mets, .311; Cory Vaughn, Brooklyn, .310; Luis Hernandez, Buffalo, .309; Josh Satin, Binghamton, .308.

Homers: Mike Hessman, Buffalo, 18; Lucas Duda, Buffalo, 18; Nick Evans, Binghamton, 17; Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Binghamton, 16; Mike Jacobs, Buffalo, 15.

RBIs: Lucas Duda, Buffalo, 69; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 64; Sean Ratliff, Binghamton, 59; Mike Hessman, Buffalo, 58; Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Binghamton, 58.

Steals: Cesar Puello, Savannah, 37; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, 28; Juan Lagares, St. Lucie, 25; Emmanuel Garcia, St. Lucie, 18; Darrell Ceciliani, Brooklyn, 14.

ERA: Angel Cuan, Brooklyn, 1.38; Jimmy Fuller, Savannah, 1.93; Mark Cohoon, Binghamton, 2.55; Brandon Moore, St. Lucie, 2.57; Yohan Almonte, Brooklyn, 2.68; Wesley Wrenn, Brooklyn, 2.85; Edioglis Villasmil, GCL Mets, 3.14; Mitchell Houck, Brooklyn, 3.24; Collin McHugh, Savannah, 3.28; Armando Rodriguez, Savannah, 3.39.

Wins: Pat Misch, Buffalo, 9; Dillon Gee, Buffalo, 9; Mark Cohoon, Binghamton, 8; Jimmy Fuller, Savannah, 8; Josh Stinson, Binghamton, 8.

Saves: Manuel Alvarez, Binghamton, 13; Michael Powers, Savannah, 13; Jose Bierd, St. Lucie, 8; John Lujan, Binghamton, 7.

Strikeouts: Brandon Moore, St. Lucie, 127; Dillon Gee, Buffalo, 115; Mark Cohoon, Binghamton, 98; Mike Antonini, Binghamton, 98.

Short hops

Charlie Aliano, the eastern supervisor for the Chicago Cubs, spent part of the past week scouting Double-A Binghamton with the Mets at least marginally in the mix to acquire left-hander Ted Lilly via trade. … Outfielder Matt den Dekker, the Mets’ fifth-round pick last month out of the University of Florida, has agreed to terms and will initially play for the Gulf Coast League Mets. He hit .352 with 13 homers as the Gators reached the College World Series. … Mike Hessman, the active leader in minor league homers with 329, received a hero’s welcome while playing for Buffalo in Toledo last weekend before being promoted to the Mets. Hessman played the previous five seasons with the Mud Hens. He had returned from the disabled list July 19 after missing six weeks with a fracture and benign cyst in his right hand. …  Former Nationals closer Chad Cordero made his Bisons debut Tuesday with a scoreless inning that included one walk. … Pat Misch and Dillon Gee remain stuck on nine wins apiece with Buffalo. Each is bidding to become the first Bisons pitcher to double-digit wins since Jeremy Guthrie in 2005, when Buffalo was a Cleveland Indians affiliate. Misch is winless since July 7. He received a no-decision Monday despite limiting Toledo to one run in seven innings. Gee picked up his ninth win on July 18 against Gwinnett, but surrendered six runs in four innings at Toledo five days later. … Outfielder Fernando Martinez is 3-for-his-last-36 with the Bisons. His average has slipped to .237 with 10 homers, 30 RBIs, 13 walks and 54 strikeouts in 224 at-bats. … Catcher Michael Barrett made his Bisons debut Saturday after hitting .220 in 15 games with Class A St. Lucie. Barrett, 33, came out of retirement to add catching depth in the Mets organization. He played in 1,054 games over 12 major league seasons with the Montreal Expos, Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres. He’s expected to share duty behind the plate at Triple-A with J.R. House, who has appeared in 32 major league games. … Lucas Duda continues to produce against International League pitching. With a 2-for-4 performance that included a homer and three RBIs on Tuesday, Duda lifted his average to .313 with 12 homers and 35 RBIs in 134 at-bats as a Bison. … Third baseman Zach Lutz, who landed on the Binghamton disabled list May 25 with a stress fracture in his left foot, rejoined the B-Mets on Tuesday without requiring surgery. Lutz delivered a two-run homer in his first at-bat. It was his ninth homer of the season and first as a B-Met since May 10. Lutz will take calcium pills to try to guard against future bone issues. A stress fracture in the other foot while playing with Brooklyn after being drafted in the fifth round in 2007 required surgery. Michael Fisher was dispatched to St. Lucie to clear room. … Second baseman Reese Havens, a first-round pick in 2008 from the University of South Carolina, has not been progressing well from recurring oblique issues that landed him on the disabled list June 20 and may not return this season. … Akeel Morris is drawing rave reviews after making his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League. A 10th-round pick last month out of high school in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, the 17-year-old right-hander is registering 93-94 mph with his fastball and also displaying an advanced feel for pitching for a young age. … Taddy Porter, the band whose lead singer Andy Brewer is the son of B-Mets pitching coach Mark Brewer, will be touring with SLASH from Sept. 10-23 through Boston and New York. … B-Mets center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis is tied for the Eastern League in doubles at 32 with Bowie’s Ryan Adams and New Britain’s Steve Singleton. Binghamton leads the league as a team in doubles (225) and homers (110). ... The B-Mets improve to 11-0 in games started by Josh Stinson this season, despite the right-hander getting knocked out in the third inning Tuesday against Portland in his shortest start of the year. Stinson allowed seven runs in what became a 12-8 B-Mets victory. … Right-hander John Lujan made his 13th straight scoreless appearance with Binghamton on Tuesday. … The B-Mets placed pitchers Scott Shaw (shoulder strain) and Derrick Ellison (elbow strain) on the disabled list. … Savannah right fielder Cesar Puello extended his hitting streak to seven games Tuesday. After hitting .192 in May, Puello hit .303 in June and is hitting .337 this month. … Center fielder Pedro Zapata was promoted from Savannah to St. Lucie. He hit .288 in 84 games with the Sand Gnats. … Shortstop Robbie Shields, the Mets’ third-round pick in 2009 out of Florida Southern, whose first pro season ended with Tommy John surgery, has joined Savannah after playing 23 games in the Gulf Coast League and twice with St. Lucie. Shields twice has started at shortstop and twice has appeared at DH with Savannah.

Adam Rubin’s farm report appears Wednesdays during the season