New York Mets: Aaron Laffey

Minors 5.11.13: Zack Wheeler logs 7.1 IP

May, 12, 2013
5/12/13
12:21
AM ET
LAS VEGAS 4, ALBUQUERQUE 3: Zack Wheeler produced his third straight solid start. The top prospect limited the Isotopes to two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out

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Wheeler
seven in 7 1/3 innings -- his longest outing in 15 Triple-A starts over two seasons. Wheeler threw 99 pitches (61 strikes) and shaved his ERA to 3.74. He surrendered a game-tying solo homer to Matt Angle in the seventh, but Eric Campbell answered with a homer in the bottom half against reliever Red Patterson to give the 51s a 3-2 lead. Wheeler has now limited opponents to three runs on 14 hits and three walks while striking out 19 in 20 innings over his past three starts. Wheeler's lone walk Saturday night came to the final batter he faced. He received a no-decision when Justin Hampson surrendered a run in the top of the ninth that evened the score at 3. Peter Moylan walked pinch-hitter Reese Havens with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth. Campell homered for the second straight day. Ex-Met Aaron Laffey, who declared free agency and signed with the Dodgers after being removed from Toronto's 40-man roster, limited Las Vegas to two hits in six innings and received a no-decision. After walking Josh Satin, Laffey surrendered a two-run homer to Wilmer Flores in the fourth as Las Vegas took a 2-1 lead. Box

HARRISBURG at BINGHAMTON (ppd.): The rainout will be made up as part of a 12:05 p.m. doubleheader Sunday.

PALM BEACH at ST. LUCIE (ppd.): Because the teams do not play again during the first half, the game will not be made up.

SAVANNAH 3, ROME 2: Robert Gsellman was charged with one run in 5 1/3 innings

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Gsellman
and earned the win in his Gnats debut. Savannah took a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Eudy Pina singled and Kevin Plawecki doubled up the left-center gap to put both in scoring position. Cole Frenzel drove in a run with a groundout. Maikis De La Cruz then singled to score Plawecki. Gsellman, who had made two starts for Class A St. Lucie before swapping teams with Matt Bowman, allowed a walk and a single to place runners at the corners in the sixth, ending his outing. Reliever Julian Hilario allowed one inherited runner to score. Gsellman surrendered four hits and two walks while striking out two. Jayce Boyd's solo homer in the bottom half of the sixth reestablished a two-run lead. Rome pulled within a run in the eighth, but Savannah reliever Hunter Carnevale struck out Carlos Franco to strand the tying run at second. Box

Compiled from team reports

Morning briefing: Marcum debuts for Mets

April, 27, 2013
4/27/13
7:01
AM ET

Getty Images
The Mets will need to clear a roster spot for Shaun Marcum. The candidates (l to r): Jeurys Familia, Robert Carson and Josh Edgin.
FIRST PITCH: Shaun Marcum, who signed a $4 million deal on Jan. 30 that included the opportunity to double that amount by achieving incentives, is due to make his Mets debut today as the Mets oppose the Philadelphia Phillies at 1:05 p.m. at Citi Field.

Marcum received injections on April 4 to calm an inflamed nerve that was causing pain in his neck and shoulder. He never appeared in an official minor league rehab game, instead pitching in extended spring training against low-level competition. Marcum threw 52 pitches in five scoreless innings Monday in Florida, then continued to toss on the side to try to up his pitch count. He likely will be capped at roughly 90 pitches today, Terry Collins indicated.

The Mets will need to make a pregame roster move, subtracting a member from the bullpen, in order to clear room for Marcum. Josh Edgin has struggled badly, although he had a 1-2-3 ninth Friday. The alternatives: Jeurys Familia or, seemingly less likely, Robert Carson. Familia tossed two scoreless innings in the series opener against Philadelphia. That workload led to speculation he may be out.

Marcum faces right-hander Jonathan Pettibone in the rookie’s second major league start.

Saturday’s news reports:

• The Mets dropped below .500 for the first time this season with a 4-0 loss to the Phillies in Friday’s series opener. Dillon Gee matched zeroes with Kyle Kendrick until the sixth, when Gee surrendered a run-scoring single to Michael Young and three-run homer to Ryan Howard. Kendrick produced a three-hit shutout. It marked the fourth time in five games the Mets mustered five hits or fewer. Perhaps recognizing the Mets like to take pitches, Kendrick threw a season-high 71 percent first-pitch strikes, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Howard, the active home run leader against the Mets with 36, now has four homers in 12 career at-bats against Gee. That is the most homers Gee has surrendered to any player. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday, Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and MLB.com.

• Collins preached patience and insisted any consideration about demoting Ike Davis is a long way away. The manager tried to compare Davis’ struggles to the woes of Matt Kemp, who arrived in Queens with the Dodgers this week homerless. Yet Kemp still was respected by the Mets as a dangerous bat, according to Collins.

"I looked at Matt Kemp’s numbers the other day," Collins said. "They weren’t very good for Matt Kemp. I’m still scared to death of him. And you can be sure that the Philadelphia Phillies, when Ike Davis gets in the batter’s box, they’re worried, because they know he’s going to get out of it."

Davis was dropped to No. 7 in Friday’s lineup and went 0-for-2 with a walk. His average dipped to .169. Read more in the Record, Post and Star-Ledger.

• Collins’ Friday lineup juggling also included Daniel Murphy moving into the No. 3 slot and David Wright to cleanup, both for the first time this season. Read more in the Times.

• Read more on Marcum’s Mets debut and the impending roster move in the Journal, Post and Star-Ledger.

• Columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post analyzes the state of the struggling Phillies and Washington Nationals, and wonders if the Mets will make a trade if those teams stumble and the Mets end up more in contention than they thought. Writes Davidoff:

The Mets say they have the funds to add payroll during the season, and their prospect/trade chip base has grown with the development of pitchers like Rafael Montero, Luis Mateo and Cory Mazzoni. Will they have cause to make a move, courtesy of the Phillies and Nationals? I’d like to see it, just to learn whether the Mets would live up to their word. After a night like this, though, you wonder whether the possibility of the 2013 Mets being relevant is the true mirage.

• In a batter of young NL East phenoms, Matt Harvey is scheduled to oppose Marlins right-hander Jose Fernandez on Monday in Miami. Fernandez, who limited the Mets to one run in five innings in his major league debut on April 7, had allowed nine runs in nine innings over his past two starts -- at Cincinnati and at Minnesota.

In Miami, lightning-rod owner Jeffrey Loria denied influencing which game of a doubleheader Fernandez pitched at Minnesota this week, according to Manny Navarro in the Miami Herald.

• Catcher Carlos Ruiz is due to join the Phillies on Sunday after completing a 25-game suspension for amphetamines. "It's been a little hard for me," Ruiz told John Smallwood in the Philadelphia Daily News while rehabbing with Double-A Reading. "Definitely, I would like to be with the team. I want to help the ballclub win games. But now it's just about over. I'm real close, and I can't wait to see [Sunday]. It was tough, but at the same time, you had to prepare yourself to be ready for when you came back. I'm not happy with what happened, but there was nothing I could do except work every day."


Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Aaron Laffey was ineffective Friday night in the Bronx after being claimed by the Jays.


Aaron Laffey, claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays a day after being designated for assignment by the Mets, started in the Bronx on Friday night in place of Josh Johnson, who had triceps tightness. Laffey lasted only 2 2/3 innings and walked five. He was charged with two runs. Brad Lincoln inherited the bases loaded from Laffey and stranded three by striking out Ichiro Suzuki.

Richard Griffin in the Toronto Star notes Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has made a massive number of waiver claims. Writes Griffin:

The Jays have made 21 such claims since Oct. 17, 2012. That is crazy high. Here is the list: OF Scott Cousins; RH Cory Wade; RH Tyson Brummett; C Bobby Wilson; RH David Herndon; RH Chad Beck (twice); LH Scott Maine; C Eli Whiteside; RH Mickey Storey; IF Russ Canzler; RH Tommy Hottovy; 1B Lars Anderson; RH Guillermo Moscoso; RH Todd Redmond; 1B Clint Robinson; RH Alex Burnett; RH Edgar Gonzalez; 1B Mauro Gomez; OF Casper Wells and Laffey. Only eight of the 20 different claims (Beck twice) are still in the organization. Only Laffey is on the Jays’ 25-man roster. Only Laffey, Robinson, Gomez and Redmond remain on the 40-man roster.

• Howard Johnson, back in baseball as the first-year hitting coach for Triple-A Tacoma (Seattle Mariners), is in Las Vegas this weekend facing Mets-affiliate Las Vegas. Regarding 51s manager Wally Backman getting a major league managerial gig, HoJo told the Las Vegas Sun: “One of these days, Wally is going to get a shot. I would love to be one of his coaches. It’s important to have people that you know and trust. We go back a long way and share a lot of the same experiences.”

• Zack Wheeler is 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA in five starts with Las Vegas. He has allowed 26 hits and 15 walks while striking out 28 in 23 1/3 innings. Opposing Pacific Coast League batters are hitting .283 against him.

“His velocity is good and his mechanics are good,” Sandy Alderson told columnist John Harper in the Daily News. “That’s what’s most important. And he threw well for four innings [Thursday]. We’re looking for his development as opposed to his line scores. But there’s no question it’s a big adjustment pitching in that league.”

Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Rafael Montero suffered his first 2013 loss as Binghamton was blanked by Akron, 4-0. Montero (3-1, 1.95 ERA) allowed two runs on four hits and two walks in five innings. He struck out eight. Dustin Lawley homered twice as St. Lucie beat Bradenton, 5-2. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Jonathan Lehman in the Post profiles Binghamton left-handed reliever Jack Leathersich. Although he allowed two hits and a walk last night, Leathersich also struck out three in a scoreless ninth to keep his ERA at 0.00 for the season. The 2011 fifth-round pick from UMass-Lowell has 157 Ks in 95 2/3 professional innings.

• ESPN West Palm launched a weekly video segment featuring the St. Lucie Mets. Watch the first installment here.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear in Flushing realizes some losses are less miserable than inevitable. … Shannon from Mets Police has some thoughts about the Mets’ efforts on social media.

BIRTHDAYS: Smithtown, Long Island’s Frank Catalanotto is 39. … Orber Moreno turns 36. … Eric Hillman is 47. … Brian Giles turns 53.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Who should the Mets demote/release from the bullpen to clear a roster spot for Shaun Marcum?

Aaron Laffey is outta here; claimed by Jays

April, 23, 2013
4/23/13
2:54
PM ET
Left-hander Aaron Laffey, who was designated for assignment by the Mets on Sunday, has been claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays.

Laffey, 28, had a 7.20 ERA in four starts (two appearances) during his brief Mets career.

The Mets recently signed ex-Yankee D.J. Mitchell to a minor league deal. He should offset the loss of Laffey in terms of starting-pitching depth.

The series in Metrics (Mets vs. Nationals)

April, 22, 2013
4/22/13
8:32
AM ET
Matt-iculous about Harvey
We ran through the accolades for Matt Harvey already (they're here in case you missed them), but let's go through a couple more.

Harvey has now had six career appearances in which he pitched at least seven innings and allowed four or fewer hits.

There are six other pitchers who have done that in their major-league careers within their first 14 games in the Live Ball Era (since 1920) and two of them did so for a New York team -- Dwight Gooden and Dave Righetti.

Harvey and Gooden are the only two pitchers from that half-dozen to have allow one run or fewer in all six of those starts.

Harvey is the first pitcher to start a season with four straight appearances of seven innings pitched and one run or fewer allowed since Tim Hudson in 2007. Two other Mets have done that -- Tom Seaver in 1973 and Rick Reed in 2000.

Other good things happened Friday, too
Ike Davis and Lucas Duda each went deep twice, marking the 11th time in Mets history that a pair of players had multiple home runs in the same game. But it was only the second time that both hitters hit both home runs from the left side.

The other instance was against the Diamondbacks on June 9, 2006, when switch-hitter Carlos Beltran (hitting left-handed for both) teamed up with Carlos Delgado to hit two each in a Mets win.

The next Chipper
In our last series recap, we referred to Carlos Gonzalez as being Chipper Jones-like with his crushing of the Mets, but Bryce Harper continues to stake a pretty good claim to next-Chipper status.

Harper, 20, became the youngest player with a multi-homer game against the Mets, surpassing Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, who was 21 when he did so in 1965.

The list of the four youngest to hit multiple homers in a game in New York against the Mets is pretty cool: Harper, Morgan, Giancarlo Stanton (age 22) and Dave Winfield (age 22).

Those were two of the Nationals' seven hits, all for extra bases. It marked the most hits allowed by the Mets in which all were for extra bases.

Passing the Buck
John Buck's home run on Sunday was calculated at 448 feet by ESPN's Hit Tracker Online.

That's the longest home run at Citi Field this season and the longest by a right-handed hitting Met at Citi Field since the ballpark opened in 2009. Two right-handed hitting opponents hit one longer there -- Giancarlo Stanton (465 feet) and Mark Reynolds (462).

Laffey's stats not very funny
Should Aaron Laffey never pitch for the Mets again, he will be the 17th pitcher in Mets history to finish with at least 10 innings pitched and a WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) higher than two.

Laffey’s 2.1 WHIP falls well short of the Mets "record" -- 2.719, held by Joe Sambito, who allowed 21 hits and eight walks in 10 2/3 innings pitched for the Mets in 1985.

Obscure stat of the week
David Wright tripled in the first two games of this series. It was the first time he tripled in consecutive games and he was the first Met to do so since Jason Pridie two years ago.

Twenty-nine different Mets have had triples in consecutive games in which they had an at-bat or sacrifice fly (including Tom Seaver). Jose Reyes did so most often -- seven times.

Morning briefing: Harvey misses Kershaw

April, 22, 2013
4/22/13
5:07
AM ET

USA TODAY Sports
Clayton Kershaw pitches at Citi Field on Tuesday, while Matt Harvey's outing against L.A. waits until the following day.
FIRST PITCH: Citi Field narrowly will miss another marquee matchup involving Matt Harvey this week.

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will take the mound for Tuesday’s series opener against the Mets opposite Jonathon Niese. Harvey’s next trip to the mound after out-dueling Stephen Strasburg waits until Wednesday, opposite ex-Yankee Ted Lilly.

Jeremy Hefner is expected to oppose 26-year-old South Korean Hyun-Jin Ryu in the series finale.

The upcoming meeting with the Dodgers marks the first series of three-plus games in which the Mets face exclusively southpaw starters since June 9-11, 2009 against the Philadelphia Phillies (J.A. Happ, Cole Hamels and Jamie Moyer).

The Mets and L.A. are off today before beginning the midweek series.

Monday’s news reports:

Shaun Marcum is due to throw 70 pitches today in an extended spring training game in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Assuming Marcum (neck/shoulder) clears that hurdle, he is due to be activated from the disabled list Saturday to face the Phillies at Citi Field.


USA TODAY Sports
Aaron Laffey (left) has been designated for assignment, with Robert Carson (center) promoted and Shaun Marcum (right) looming Saturday.


With Marcum nearing a return, the Mets designated fill-in Aaron Laffey for assignment and promoted left-handed reliever Robert Carson from Triple-A Las Vegas. Laffey had surrendered a three-run homer to Adam LaRoche on Saturday in relief of Hefner. That upped Laffey’s ERA to 7.20 in four appearances (two starts).

Carson had been 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA in eight relief appearances with Las Vegas. Lefty batters hit .077 (1-for-13) with five strikeouts and one walk against him in the Pacific Coast League.

Read more in the Times, Star-Ledger and MLB.com.

Dillon Gee tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings to earn his first win since July 13, 2012 -- before undergoing surgery to repair a damaged artery in his pitching shoulder -- and the Mets won Sunday’s rubber game against Washington, 2-0.

Scott Rice allowed a pair of baserunners to reach to open the eighth inning and then fell behind Jayson Werth 3-0. But Rice coaxed a double-play groundout from Werth, who was ill-advisedly swinging on the next pitch. Rice then struck out Bryce Harper to preserve the two-run lead.

“I was caught up in the moment,” Werth said about swinging on the 3-0 pitch, according to Adam Kilgore in The Washington Post. “Looking back, I was trying to do too much. I was trying to win the game right there. That’s it, really. We can sit here and talk about the situation. I was just trying to do too much. The situation got the best of me. That’s probably one of the dumber things I’ve done on the field in a while. Look no further than right here. We had a chance to win the game. I feel like I pretty much blew it.”

Bobby Parnell tossed a 1-2-3 ninth for his second save. John Buck produced his seventh homer and 22nd RBI, on a solo shot in the second inning against Jordan Zimmermann that opened the scoring.

Buck is now four RBIs shy of matching Jeff Kent’s franchise record for the opening month of a season. Kent had 26 RBIs for the Mets in April 1994.

Buck’s homer measured 448 feet, according to hittrackeronline.com. That is the longest by a righty-hitting Met and third-longest by a righty hitter overall at Citi Field since the ballpark opened in 2009, according to ESPN Stats & Info’s Mark Simon. The only two longer were produced by Giancarlo Stanton (465 feet) and Mark Reynolds (462 feet).

The Mets (9-8) moved back above .500 with Sunday’s rubber-game win. Last season the Mets went 4-14 against the Nats.

The Mets had lost the last seven series to Washington dating back to 2011.

The last time they had lost that many consecutive series to the same opponent? That spanned August 2002 through May 2006, when the Mets lost eight straight series to the St. Louis Cardinals, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Read game recaps in the Times, Newsday, Journal, Post, Star-Ledger, Daily News, Record and MLB.com.

• Terry Collins says he will not move Lucas Duda from the No. 6 slot to cleanup, displacing Ike Davis, even though Duda has a .475 on-base percentage and .659 slugging percentage to Davis’ .254/.317.

“This game is all about confidence,” Collins said. “Lucas Duda is feeling pretty good. I don't want to change that. One thing I don't want to do right now is put him in a situation where he thinks he's got to do more than he's doing at this particular moment.”

• Tim Marchman in the Journal dismisses Ruben Tejada’s six April errors as either irrelevant or unimportant. Writes Marchman:

Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro, for instance, has made seven first-month errors each of the last three years. Over that time, he's averaged -4 defensive runs per season, which, given the imprecision of fielding statistics, rates as basically normal. The others who have made a half-dozen or more errors by May 1 are Elvis Andrus, Ian Desmond and Alcides Escobar; in all, they and Castro graded out as slightly above-average in the years where they had botch-prone Aprils.

Conversely, shortstops who consistently rated badly, like Yuniesky Betancourt and, yes, Derek Jeter, weren't especially error prone at the beginning of the year. This goes to show why judging a fielder by April errors is a bit like judging pitchers by April losses.

• Columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News noted Gee's performance offered a sigh of relief.

• Alonzo Harris went 4-for-5 with two RBIs and Logan Verrett improved to 3-0 with a 2.55 ERA as Binghamton clubbed New Hampshire, 15-2. Hansel Robles, Jim Fuller and Chasen Bradford combined on a six-hit shutout as St. Lucie beat Charlotte, 1-0. Collin McHugh allowed four runs on 13 hits in 5 1/3 innings in a no-decision as Las Vegas lost at Colorado Springs, 8-7. Read the minor league recap here.

From the bloggers … Keith from Mets Police brought a friend from England to her first baseball game. She compared the atmosphere at Citi Field to that of a soccer game back home. … Faith and Fear in Flushing believes Harvey lit up a fan base and transformed a facility into a ballpark on Friday night.

BIRTHDAYS: No one to appear for the Mets was born on this date, but Jack Nicholson, Brazilian soccer play Kaka and Peter Frampton all celebrate birthdays today.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Would you rather Matt Harvey and Clayton Kershaw square off? Or are the Mets better off with Harvey not lining up against another ace?

Carson up, Marcum close, Laffey gone

April, 21, 2013
4/21/13
12:08
PM ET
The Mets called up Robert Carson from Triple-A on Sunday and designated Aaron Laffey for assignment.

Also, Shaun Marcum could make his Mets debut on Saturday against the Phillies.

For all the details, click here to read the news story.

Wright: We needed zeros

April, 20, 2013
4/20/13
8:48
PM ET
This is a game David Wright expected to win.

In Saturday's 7-6 loss to the Washington Nationals, the New York Mets scored five off All-Star Gio Gonzalez, knocked him out after four innings and had all the momentum after plating five runs in the fourth to grab a 5-3 lead. Normally, those actions would result in the Mets securing a victory.

Saturday, that wasn't the case. Mere minutes after taking the lead, the bullpen coughed it up, serving up three runs to put the Mets behind, 6-5.

"We get five off Gio, we've got to win that game," Wright said. "You're able to have a big inning like that, and couldn't capitalize on it. The name of the game is you get some momentum on your side, we got to find a way to go out there and put up zeros, and we weren't able to do that today."

After falling behind 3-0, the Mets rallied for five runs in the fourth by batting around the lineup. Citi Field came to life as the Mets' bats were knocking around the All-Star just one day after pouncing on Stephen Strasburg.

The good fortunes ended quickly, though, as Aaron Laffey gave up the lead. After retiring the first two hitters, Laffey walked Jayson Werth, surrendered a double to Bryce Harper and then allowed a three-run homer to left-center to Adam LaRoche that put the Nationals up 6-5. All the excitement and energy of the five-run fourth suddenly were zapped from Citi Field.

The Mets did rally to tie the game in the seventh, but Harper's solo shot in the eighth made the difference.

"I keep going back to it, you score runs against good teams, you got to put up zeros and we need to play better defense and obviously make better pitches," said Wright, who went 1-for-3 with two walks. "Offensively, when we have an opportunity to put a team away we got to do that."

With Saturday's loss, the Mets are now 1-3 in one-run games and 2-4 in games decided by two runs or less. Their third baseman acknowledged the team needs to improve in these close games, as they make the difference between being a .500 team and a winning squad.

Wright said the responsibility for these blown games, like Saturday's, falls on the entire team, not just one area. He specifically talked about the Mets' 9-8 loss in Colorado Tuesday, when he said the offense did not do a good enough job putting the Rockies away.

For the most part, though, it's been the team's pitching that hasn't held up its end, as the Mets offense has scored 97 runs this year (fourth in MLB). Wright believes the development of specific roles will benefit the arms.

"It's still relatively early in the season and guys are still learning their roles and learning what situations they're going to come in. There's obviously an adjustment period that comes along with that," Wright said. "At the same time when guys are called upon, whether it's pitching or position players, we'll get better at understanding what the roles are and guys becoming better at that role.

"That's no excuse for today. If we're going to hopefully be at the top of this division, we're going to have to win close games like this, that seesaw game, we have to find ways to take these."

Mets next eye 80 pitches for Shaun Marcum

April, 19, 2013
4/19/13
5:10
PM ET

Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports
Shaun Marcum is due to up his workload to 80 pitches in his next outing.


Terry Collins said Shaun Marcum got through Thursday's four-inning outing in extended spring training without issue. The next step: Marcum will try to ramp up to 80 pitches, according to the manager.

Marcum opened the season on the disabled list with a nerve issue that caused pain in his neck and shoulder.

He threw 41 pitches in four no-hit innings while striking out five and walking none Thursday in Port St. Lucie, Fla., according to the team.

"He pitched very well," Collins said. "He felt great. We're very excited."

The Mets do not need a fifth starter until next Saturday. So it would appear conceivable Marcum could be ready for that outing and the Mets would not need another start from Aaron Laffey.

Laffey will work out of the bullpen for the time being regardless.

Morning briefing: Homecoming soon

April, 18, 2013
4/18/13
8:19
AM ET
DENVER

FIRST PITCH: The Mets are headed home tonight. Game or no game.

For the third time in four days, the Mets were idle Wednesday. Their game against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field was snowed out. It will be made up later in the season at a date to be determined.

The positive byproduct: The Mets can now skip the fifth starter’s turn for more than a week. Jeremy Hefner, who would have started last night, instead faces the Washington Nationals on Saturday. That bumps Aaron Laffey to long relief.

The Mets will not need the fifth starter’s spot again until a week from Saturday. By then, Shaun Marcum -- who is supposed to pitch in Port St. Lucie, Fla., today -- could be ready to return.

See the projected upcoming pitching matchups here.

Thursday’s news reports:

Matt Harvey will enjoy the chance to match up with Stephen Strasburg on Friday night at Citi Field. Read more in the Daily News.

• Sandy Alderson tells ESPNNewYork.com that Zack Wheeler’s promotion will come when the prospect is ready and is not closely tied to the state of the rotation. Read more in the Daily News.

• The Mets promoted Jeurys Familia and optioned dropdown reliever Greg Burke to Triple-A Las Vegas to work on his changeup. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• What’s wrong with Ruben Tejada, who already has six errors? “He’s putting a lot of pressure on himself,” David Wright told Mike Puma in the Post. “You can just tell he’s thinking about a lot of things instead of just playing. The ones that are reactionary plays, he’s fine with. It’s the one’s he’s got to think about. I’ve been there. Everybody has been there.” Read more in the Star-Ledger and Record.

Frank Francisco began a rehab assignment with Class A St. Lucie. He tossed a 1-2-3 inning while registering 90-92 mph.

• Jacob deGrom allowed one run in eight innings in his Double-A debut, but Binghamton lost to Portland, 1-0, Wednesday. Travis d'Arnaud left Las Vegas' game, reportedly with an ankle inury after being struck with a pitch. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Read more on Wednesday’s postponement in the Post, Newsday, Times, Star-Ledger.

From the bloggers … John Delcos at Mets Report suggests Tejada may not be the answer at shortstop. … Shannon from Mets Police left his notes from his interview with Howie Rose lying around. His family found them and thought Shannon was depressed. It was actually Howie's comments about Twitter.

BIRTHDAYS: Rico Brogna turns 43. … Doug Flynn is 62.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Are you OK with Zack Wheeler developing in Triple-A when the Mets have a need now?

Jack Dempsey/Associated Press
Rockies owner Dick Monfort helps clear eight inches of snow from Coors Field before Tuesday's doubleheader. The twin bill was delayed two hours because of the removal efforts.
DENVER

FIRST PITCH: Ruben Tejada’s throwing error in the eighth led to two unearned runs that tied the score and the Rockies overcame a six-run deficit to eventually beat the Mets 9-8 in 10 innings in the nightcap of Tuesday’s doubleheader.

The Mets were swept in the twin bill, which was delayed for 122 minutes at the start because eight inches of snow needed to be removed from Coors Field. Even Rockies owner Dick Monfort grabbed a shovel, aware the club did not have enough manpower to remove the snow without enlisting office workers.

"I know our guys were freezing at the end of the game,” Terry Collins said late Tuesday, after the sweep. “Freezing. But they had to play. And they did the best they could. We lost two games. We had a chance to win the second game. It would have been a little easier to take. But I'm not going to use weather as an excuse. They did a great job getting the field ready. We're going to leave here hopefully with all four games played. We've just got to regroup and hopefully play better tomorrow."

The Mets and Rockies will try to play Game 3 of the series at 8:40 p.m. ET today, but the forecast may make that a struggle.

One to three inches is predicted during the daytime for Denver, with a nighttime low of 21 degrees and a 70 percent chance of more snowfall in the evening.

Weather-permitting, Jeremy Hefner (0-2, 6.00 ERA) opposes right-hander Jon Garland (1-0, 3.75) tonight.

Wednesday’s news reports:

• The once-sure-handed Tejada now has six errors in 13 games this season. He said the cold weather is not a valid excuse.

Lucas Duda’s back tightened and he was pulled from Tuesday’s nightcap in the fifth inning. Duda minimized the issue and vowed to be back in the lineup today. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger and MLB.com.

Dillon Gee’s short outing in Game 1 contributed to an 8-4 loss. The rotation trio of Gee, Hefner and Aaron Laffey clearly is a concern.

• Laffey, who allowed two runs in four innings in Game 2, will be back on short rest Saturday to face the Washington Nationals, Collins said. Laffey is expected to oppose Gio Gonzalez.

The marquee matchup remains Matt Harvey facing Stephen Strasburg on Friday night. Gee and Jordan Zimmermann line up for Sunday’s series finale at Citi Field.

• Read recaps of the doubleheader sweep in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Denver Post and Record.

• Columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post suggests the Mets will have a compelling second half no matter how they are performing. Davidoff cites curiosity about Collins’ job status in the final year of a contract, looming promotions of Zack Wheeler and Travis d’Arnaud, the numbers Harvey will put up over his first full major league season and the Mets’ shopping for an outfielder (whether or not they’re in contention) as must-see topics.

• Travis Lawley’s grand slam paced St. Lucie to a 13-3 win against Charlotte. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Read more on the snow-removal efforts in the Times, Denver Post, Journal, Star-Ledger, Daily News and Record.

Mike Piazza has started practicing for a cameo in the Miami City Ballet. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• SNY’s Kevin Burkhardt handles play-by-play for Saturday’s Mets-Nats game televised by Fox.

From the bloggers Faith and Fear in Flushing takes comfort in a sweet story regarding a longtime Mets fan and his incandescent encounter with the late Danny Frisella.

BIRTHDAYS: Catcher Gary Bennett, who was acquired for Todd Pratt and traded a month later for player-to-be-named Ender Chavez in 2001, turns 41.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: How excited are you about Friday’s projected Matt Harvey-Stephen Strasburg matchup?

Laffey to start on short rest Saturday

April, 17, 2013
4/17/13
2:11
AM ET

Jack Dempsey/Associated Press
Aaron Laffey's pitch count was capped Tuesday in part so he can pitch on short rest Saturday against Washington.


DENVER -- Terry Collins confirmed after Tuesday's doubleheader sweep that he pulled Aaron Laffey from the nightcap after four innings and 77 pitches in order to allow the left-hander to come back on short rest Saturday against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field.

Having a pitcher come back on short rest is required because of Monday's postponement. Laffey was charged with two earned runs on four hits and three walks in four innings.

Josh Edgin inherited a six-run lead in what became a 9-8, 10-inning loss.

"We wanted to keep him at 75 pitches anyway," Collins said. "We were hoping he could get through five. But he was at that point."

Said Laffey: "We're in a doubleheader. We've got guys that had already threw out of the pen in that first game. Just from having experience in the pen as well, you always want your starter to go as deep as you can, especially in those types of games -- doubleheader days. More for me, I wish I could have gone back out there to save a couple of guys in the pen.

"They came over to me after the fourth and let me know I'd be coming back on short rest and we're going to stop it there. You know, with the exception of a couple of walks today, I was pretty pleased with the outing."

Matt Harvey is lined up to face Stephen Strasburg in Friday's series opener at Citi Field, followed by Laffey and Gio Gonzalez on Saturday, and Dillon Gee and Jordan Zimmermann on Sunday.

Rapid Reaction: Rockies 9, Mets 8 (10)

April, 17, 2013
4/17/13
1:06
AM ET


WHAT IT MEANS: Ruben Tejada committed a costly throwing error that allowed the Rockies to overcome a six-run deficit.

Colorado completed a 9-8 win in the 10th as Jordan Pacheco delivered a two-out walk-off RBI single against Greg Burke to complete the doubleheader sweep. David Wright had been charged with an error to allow the winning run to reach third base. The official scorer later reversed the decision and awarded a hit on the tough play to Wright's left.

Bobby Parnell, bidding for a four-out save, had inherited runners on the corners with two outs in the eighth and the Mets’ clinging to a two-run lead.

After allowing Carlos Gonzalez to steal second without paying much attention -- which placed the tying run in scoring position -- Parnell coaxed Michael Cuddyer into a seeming inning-ending groundout to shortstop.

Instead, Tejada fired the ball into the Rockies’ dugout for his sixth error of April. Two runs scored on the misfire and the Rockies tied the score at 8.

Tejada had 12 errors all of last season.

He had a chance at redemption in the top of the ninth, batting with runners on the corners and two out in the ninth. But Tejada flied out to center against left-hander Rex Brothers.

PAIN IN THE BACK: Lucas Duda left the game in the fifth inning with lower-back tightness.

LAFFEY MATTER: The Mets had bashed Rockies starter Jeff Francis for eight runs (seven earned) in 4 1/3 innings.

Meanwhile, Aaron Laffey was pulled after four innings and 77 pitches, seemingly to set him up to return on short rest Saturday against the Washington Nationals.

Assuming that was the motivation, the projected matchups for the weekend series at Citi Field -- barring snow interruptions the next two days in Denver -- would be:

Friday: Matt Harvey vs. Stephen Strasburg

Saturday: Laffey vs. Gio Gonzalez

Sunday: Dillon Gee vs. Jordan Zimmermann

Collin McHugh tossed 102 pitches for Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday night (allowing one unearned run), indicating he is not a candidate to start Saturday.

Laffey was charged with two earned runs on four hits and three walks while striking out three in four innings.

UGLY FIFTH: After Laffey departed, Josh Edgin entered with an 8-2 lead and struggled in the fifth, loading the bases and then forcing in a run with a walk. LaTroy Hawkins then allowed all three inherited runners to score as Colorado pulled within 8-6 with a four-run frame.

DEEP THOUGHTS: The Mets’ homer streak to open the season ended at 12 consecutive games after they failed to go deep in the nightcap. It marked the longest streak to open a season since Tampa Bay also went deep in 12 straight to open 2007.

ATCHA BOY: After loading the bases in the seventh inning, Scott Atchison bailed himself out by striking out pinch-hitter Troy Tulowitzki to preserve an 8-6 lead.

WHAT’S NEXT: Heavy snow overnight. The prediction is for four to eight inches of snow by Wednesday’s scheduled game.

Snow already had started falling by the end of Tuesday’s nightcap.

Weather-permitting, Jeremy Hefner (0-2, 6.00 ERA) opposes Jon Garland (1-0, 3.75) in Game 3 of the four-game series, at 8:40 p.m. ET Wednesday.

Aaron Laffey on tap for Game 2

April, 16, 2013
4/16/13
9:22
AM ET

Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports
Aaron Laffey is now officially scheduled to start Game 2 tonight.


DENVER -- After wavering yesterday, the Mets have decided to proceed with Aaron Laffey for the nightcap of Tuesday's doubleheader, if the game is played.

Laffey appeared for one inning in Minnesota on Friday. Otherwise, he has not pitched since last Sunday, when he allowed three earned runs on 10 hits, a walk and a hit batter in 4 1/3 innings against the Miami Marlins.

Laffey would oppose left-hander Jeff Francis in the 8:40 p.m. ET nightcap.

Dillon Gee and right-hander Juan Nicasio start the 3:10 p.m. ET opener.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 16, Twins 5

April, 12, 2013
4/12/13
11:35
PM ET
WHAT IT MEANS: It’s not quite as cold when you’re on the winning side of a laugher.

The Mets put up consecutive five-run innings to begin Friday’s interleague game en route to a 16-5 win against the Minnesota Twins amid snowflakes at Target Field. The first-pitch temperature officially was recorded at 34 degrees.

John Buck put an exclamation point on the early offensive explosion, greeting reliever Pedro Hernandez with a grand slam in the second inning. That closed the book on ex-Phillie Vance Worley, who was charged with nine runs (seven earned) in one-plus innings.


Jesse Johnson/USA TODAY Sports
John Buck has homered in four straight games. He has 19 RBIs in the Mets' first 10 games of the season.


Buck has now homered in four straight games. That’s the longest streak by a Met since David Wright also went deep in four straight in June 2007. It’s one shy of matching Richard Hidalgo’s franchise record, set shortly after he joined the Mets in 2004.

Buck’s 19 RBIs surpassed his career high for a month (17 in August 2004, as a rookie).

Only three other players in major league history have produced 19 RBIs through their teams’ first 10 games of a season: Chris Davis this year with Baltimore, as well as Lou Gehrig in 1927 and Manny Ramirez in 1999.

The Mets’ record for RBIs in a month is owned -- at least for a few more days -- by Jeff Kent, who had 26 in April 1994.

Buck’s six homers this season already exceed the five Mets catchers produced last season (Kelly Shoppach 3, Josh Thole 1, Mike Nickeas 1).

Wright also had a noteworthy achievement Friday. With Jordany Valdespin and Daniel Murphy in scoring position to open the game, Wright delivered a two-run double to break a tie with Mike Piazza for the most RBIs in franchise history in interleague play. Wright added a run-scoring single in the second and run-scoring triple in the seventh, giving him 93 RBIs to Piazza’s 89.

Buck, Murphy and Wright had four RBIs apiece.

Worley had the shortest start by a pitcher against the Mets since the Yankees’ Darrell Rasner was forced from a May 19, 2007, outing at Shea Stadium without recording an out. Rasner took a sharp shot off the bat of Endy Chavez and broke his index finger in that game.

The 16 runs produced by the Mets matched their most ever in an interleague game. They beat Detroit 16-9 on June 29, 2011.

The Mets had scored one run total in the first inning of their first nine games of the season before posting a five-run first against the Twins.

The Mets became the first team in MLB history to score five-plus runs in each of their first two innings in their first-ever game in a ballpark, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Murphy had four hits, matching a career high. The production included a three-run double in the seventh that gave the Mets a 13-5 lead.

SIXTH SENSE: Jonathon Niese, the beneficiary of the offensive outburst, departed after five innings with a 10-5 lead and his pitch count at 101. Niese’s streak of 22 straight starts completing six innings, the longest active in the majors, ended.

An error by Ruben Tejada, the shortstop’s fifth of the season, resulted in one of the runs against Niese being unearned.

Philadelphia’s Cliff Lee now has the longest active streak in the majors of six-plus-innings starts, with 19 straight.

LAFFEY MATTER: Aaron Laffey, who has eight days between starts, pitched the ninth to get work in. Laffey is due to start Tuesday in Colorado.

WHAT’S NEXT: Matt Harvey (2-0, 0.64 ERA) opposes left-hander Scott Diamond, who is making his first 2013 start after recovering from Dec. 18 surgery to remove a bone chip from his pitching elbow.

Mets aiming to quickly get Marcum ready

April, 10, 2013
4/10/13
5:12
PM ET
PHILADELPHIA -- Placeholder Aaron Laffey is due to start Tuesday at Colorado, but the Mets believe they can get Shaun Marcum ready to be activated from the disabled list relatively quickly.

Marcum, who has experienced shoulder and neck pain that required injections to ease, is due to throw two innings in a simulated game in a couple of days.

Mets officials plan to have him ramp up to five innings, potentially in an official rehab game with St. Lucie in the Florida State League, in the next outing. After that, DL activation is possible.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
David Wright
BA HR RBI R
.316 1 11 9
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 3
RBID. Wright 11
RE. Young Jr. 15
OPSL. Duda .817
WC. Torres 2
ERAJ. Niese 2.84
SOZ. Wheeler 21

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