New York Mets: Adam Wogan

Report: Wogan out with Mets

November, 21, 2012
11/21/12
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Adam Wogan, who oversaw the minor league system under Omar Minaya and then Sandy Alderson, will not have his contract renewed, according to the Daily News. Wogan was bumped up to a front-office role this past season, with Jon Miller taking over Wogan's former minor league role.

Farm report II: Leaders, player notes

May, 30, 2012
5/30/12
12:00
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Organization leaders

Average: T.J. Rivera, Savannah, .333; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, .317; Eric Campbell, Binghamton, .315; Vinny Rottino, Buffalo, .307; Jefry Marte, Binghamton, .306; Matt den Dekker, Binghamton, .306; Matt Tuiasosopo, Buffalo, .299; Travis Taijeron, Savannah, .297; Wilfredo Tovar, St. Lucie, .289.

Homers: Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 11; Travis Taijeron, Savannah, 10; Cory Vaughn, St. Lucie, 10; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 9; T.J. Rivera, Savannah, 7.

RBI: Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 37; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 36; Travis Taijeron, Savannah, 34; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 32; Omar Quintanilla, Buffalo, 27.

Steals: Luis Nieves, Savannah, 10; Cesar Puello, St. Lucie, 10; Wilfredo Tovar, St. Lucie, 10; Alonzo Harris, St. Lucie, 9; Pedro Zapata, Binghamton, 9.

ERA: Tyler Pill, Savannah, 1.93; Zack Wheeler, Binghamton, 1.97; Collin McHugh, Binghamton, 2.17; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 2.59; Jeremy Hefner, Buffalo, 2.72; Angel Cuan, St. Lucie, 2.74; Rafael Montero, Savannah, 2.81; Dylan Owen, Buffalo, 2.95; Cory Mazzoni, St. Lucie, 3.10; Chase Huchingson, St. Lucie, 3.18.

Wins: Hamilton Bennett, St. Lucie, 5; Matt Harvey, Buffalo, 5; Chase Huchingson, St. Lucie, 5; Collin McHugh, Binghamton, 5.

Saves: Adrian Rosario, Binghamton, 12; Fernando Cabrera, Buffalo, 11; T.J. Chism, Savannah, 8; Adam Kolarek, St. Lucie, 7.

Strikeouts: Matt Harvey, Buffalo, 56; Garrett Olson, Buffalo, 54; Collin McHugh, Binghamton, 53; Zack Wheeler, Binghamton, 52; Tyler Pill, Savannah, 47.

Short hops

• The Mets have reorganized roles within their front-office hierarchy, including promoting Adam Wogan from director of minor league operations to a role more involved with major league duties. Deputy Jon Miller moves to Wogan’s former role under Paul DePodesta.

Matt Harvey had Tar Heel bragging rights when he beat his former UNC teammate Adam Warren on Thursday, in a 6-2 Buffalo victory over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Although Harvey matched a season-low with two strikeouts while logging 5 1/3 innings, manager Wally Backman felt the 2010 first-round pick had his best location of the season down in the zone over the first four innings of that game. Harvey then limited Columbus to one run and three hits in six innings Tuesday in a no-decision. In his past eight starts, Harvey is 5-0 with a 2.91 ERA and .183 opponent batting average.

• Left-hander Steve Matz, the Mets’ top pick in 2009, and outfielder Brandon Nimmo, the top pick last June, continue to participate in extended spring training. Matz is now likely ticketed for Kingsport when short-season play begins next month, while Nimmo should land in Brooklyn.

Jordany Valdespin, who had a pinch-hit homer for Buffalo the day he was demoted from the Mets, then went on a strikeout binge and ended up in a meeting with Backman and roving minor league hitting coordinator Lamar Johnson. The staff was concerned Valdespin was swinging wildly and did not seem to have any plan at the plate or recognition of what the game situation demanded. Valdespin also lacked effort pursuing balls in his first game assigned to second base after the return from the majors.

While the Mets wanted a bona fide shortstop in the majors in deciding to promote Omar Quintanilla to fill Justin Turner’s infield spot, clearly Valdespin’s effort cemented the decision.

Sean Kazmar was promoted from Binghamton to Buffalo to take Quintanilla’s shortstop role. B-Mets pitchers had raved last week that the 27-year-old Kazmar, who appeared in 19 games for the Padres in 2008, was the best defensive shortstop they had ever pitched in front of during their minor league careers.

• Right-handers Brandon Moore and Scott Moviel and catcher Dock Doyle have completed 50-game suspensions after testing positive for drugs of abuse last year. All three had been participating in intrasquad games in extended spring training and are ready to join full-season teams, although they had not yet been assigned.

• St. Lucie outfield prospect Cesar Puello landed on the disabled list with a suspected fracture of the hamate bone in a hand, which would require surgery to remove the bone. Puello’s injury coincides with the return of former New York-Penn League batting champ Darrell Ceciliani to St. Lucie’s outfield. Ceciliani returned Friday after being out since April 22 with a hamstring strain.

Kevin Mulvey, the Mets’ top pick in 2006 (second round), retired. He had been working in relief with Double-A Binghamton. Mulvey was traded to Minnesota in the Johan Santana trade. The right-hander returned to the organization late in spring training after being released by Arizona. He had a 5.59 ERA with the B-Mets.

• The good news: Second baseman Reese Havens is regularly playing for Binghamton, after being tormented by back and side issues since being selected along with Ike Davis when the Mets had a pair of first-round picks in 2008. The bad news: The usually solid-hitting Havens is off to an extremely slow start at the plate for the B-Mets since his season debut on April 29. Through 78 at-bats, Havens is hitting .154 with one homer and 27 strikeouts, although he had walked 18 times, giving him a .323 on-base percentage.

• Binghamton first baseman Allan Dykstra arrived at the Mets’ Florida complex a few days ago to begin baseball activities after spending the past five weeks at home in California limited to aerobic work. Dykstra has been out since suffering a fractured left forearm reaching into the runner for a throw from pitcher Darin Gorski on April 14, but his return to Binghamton is now within sight.

Chris Young’s start Thursday at 10:30 a.m. for Triple-A Buffalo, in which Josh Thole will catch, will be televised by MLB Network. Young has a contract out Friday, but Sandy Alderson said it is likely the right-hander will make at least one additional Triple-A start before joining the Mets.

With Young and Jenrry Mejia at least temporarily joining a Bisons rotation that includes Harvey and Jeurys Familia, there is an excess starter -- even with Chris Schwinden joining Jeremy Hefner at the major league level. Dylan Owen, a 20th-round pick in 2007, is coming off a start in which he limited Columbus to one run and two hits in six innings. Owen may merit staying in the rotation over left-hander Garrett Olson (4.70 ERA), who could be bumped to the bullpen.

• New Britain, which currently is affiliated with the Minnesota Twins, held a meet-and-greet for Mets fans when Binghamton visited May 21. That raised eyebrows even in the B-Mets clubhouse, since Binghamton’s affiliation agreement with the Mets and New Britain’s with the Twins both expire at season’s end and neither has yet been renewed.

• Right-hander Tyler Pill, a fourth-round pick out of Cal State Fullerton last year, tossed 7 1/3 scoreless innings in his last outing to take over the organization ERA lead at 1.93.

Adam Rubin’s farm report appears Wednesdays during the regular season

Farm report: Mound of praise for Edgin

August, 24, 2011
8/24/11
9:47
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Mets VP Paul DePodesta said he hesitated to mention left-hander Josh Edgin’s name when the subject arose of minor leaguers who may have an impact with the Mets in 2012. But DePodesta went ahead and named the southpaw as a candidate, even though Edgin has not yet pitched above Class A St. Lucie.


Courtesy of New York Mets
Josh Edgin


“He’s got major league stuff and he’s left-handed,” DePodesta recently said. “Again, you just never know how quickly those guys can come. He’s in Port St. Lucie right now, which is why I’m squeamish about talking about 2012."

Asked if that praise had filtered back to him, Edgin -- a 30th-round pick out of Division II Francis Marion University in South Carolina in 2010 -- said: “Actually, I haven’t really seen it. I know my agent mentioned it.”

Edgin, 24, currently is 2-0 with a 1.55 ERA and six saves in 20 appearances for St. Lucie. That comes on the heels of opening the season at Savannah and posting a 0.87 ERA along with 16 saves in 31 innings.

He throws a fastball in the 92- to 95-mph range as well as an 82-85 mph slider. He also is trying to hone his changeup, which he does not use much now in games because it is a work in progress. He’s also trying to throw a slower version of his slider -- a curveball, he labeled it -- but that has been slow to progress as well.

Edgin grew up in rural Three Springs, Pa. Where’s that?

“To be honest with you, it’s in the middle of nowhere,” Edgin said. “It’s about 45 minutes from the nearest Walmart. Have you ever heard of Chambersburg? It’s like right in the middle of the state.”

Regardless of the remoteness, Edgin found his way to Ohio State University, where he served as a reliever. In December of his junior year, Edgin then transferred to Division II Francis Marion, where he had the opportunity to start.

“The Ohio State coach wanted to keep me in the bullpen,” Edgin said. “I thought that I needed to start to get drafted. When I was playing summer ball in the Coastal Plains League, I met a guy named David Walters, who is with the Orioles now. He was on my team. We talked. He said, ‘Hey, we’re one good pitcher away from a D-II World Series team.’ Basically I got hooked up with them through him. And it just so happened that one of my catchers from Legion ball when I was in high school actually went to Francis Marion as well. That kind of drew me, and playing baseball in the South.”

Edgin was drafted after his junior year in the 50th round by Atlanta but was not signed by the Braves. Then the Mets took him last year in the 30th round on the recommendation of amateur scout Marlin McPhail, who has repeatedly unearthed middle-round gems for the Mets from the Carolinas over the years. Edgin actually was working construction on draft day, not expecting much news.

“Since I went that late my junior year, and I had the same exact season my senior year, I really didn’t think I’d get signed,” Edgin said. “It kind of caught me off-guard I guess, especially on the second day (of the three-day draft). I was thinking if it did happen, it would be (rounds) 40 to 50.

“I still had the questionnaires from scouts to fill out and stuff, so I didn’t really put it in the back of my head. I still, I guess, hoped to be drafted. But I started trying to figure out what I was going to do if it didn’t happen.”

Organization leaders

Average: Juan Lagares, Binghamton, .349; Danny Muno, Brooklyn, .332; Josh Satin, Buffalo, .325; Greg Pron, Kingsport, .315; Julio Concepcion, Kingsport, .311; Cam Maron; Kingsport, .308; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, .308; Travis Taijeron, Brooklyn, .303; Luis Figueroa, Buffalo, .301; Richard Lucas, Brooklyn, .295.

Homers: Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 24; Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 20; Allan Dykstra, Binghamton, 17; Jordany Valdespin, Buffalo, 16.

RBI: Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 90; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 75; Josh Satin, Buffalo, 73; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 71; Allan Dykstra, Binghamton, 69.

Steals: Jordany Valdespin, Buffalo, 34; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, 31; Matt den Dekker, Binghamton, 22; Darrell Ceciliani, Savannah, 22; Rafael Fernandez, Savannah, 19.

ERA: Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 2.26; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 2.81; Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 3.17; Gabriel Ynoa, Kingsport, 3.29; Marcos Camarena, Brooklyn, 3.30; Gonzalez Germen, Savannah, 3.40; Greg Peavey, St. Lucie, 3.41; Ryan Fraser, Savannah, 3.50; Angel Cuan, Savannah, 3.50; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 3.52.

Wins: Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 12; Greg Peavey, St. Lucie, 11; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 11; Angel Cuan, Savannah, 10; Brandon Moore, Binghamton, 10.

Saves: Josh Edgin, St. Lucie, 24; Dale Thayer, Buffalo, 18; Hamilton Bennett, Savannah, 13; Jeffrey Kaplan, St. Lucie, 10.

Strikeouts: Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 151; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 131; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 124; Collin McHugh, Binghamton, 120; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 120.

Short hops

• Left-hander Shawn Teufel, a 25th-round draft pick last year out of Liberty University, beat his father Tim Teufel’s Triple-A Buffalo squad by tossing six scoreless innings in a spot start Thursday. The 25-year-old Teufel had been promoted for the opportunity from Class A Lakeland. The Bisons loaded the bases with one out in the third, but Zach Lutz and Valentino Pascucci struck out and Buffalo’s best opportunity went for naught.

• Outfielder Juan Lagares has a 13-game hitting streak, the longest by a Binghamton player this season. In 26 Eastern League games since a promotion from St. Lucie, Lagares is hitting .381 with two homers and 16 RBIs in 113 at-bats.

Terry Collins indicated the Mets will need two starters during next week’s series against the Florida Marlins as the result of a doubleheader and Jon Niese headed to the disabled list. Collins identified the candidates as 40-year-old Miguel Batista, Chris Schwinden and Pat Misch. With DePodesta on hand for his latest start, Batista allowed fours on nine hits, including a pair of homers, and also hit and walked a batter in 5 1/3 innings Monday at Columbus. Batista is 3-0 with a 4.24 ERA in 10 appearances (eight starts) with Buffalo since being released by the St. Louis Cardinals. He actually had limited opponents to two runs or fewer in four of his previous five starts. Misch allowed four runs in 6 2/3 innings Tuesday and is 7-9 with a 4.37 ERA with the Bisons this season. Schwinden, a 22nd-round pick in 2008 out of Fresno Pacific, is 7-6 with a 3.60 ERA in 23 starts for Buffalo.

• After signing for $2.1 million last week at the deadline, first-round pick Brandon Nimmo -- a high school outfielder from Wyoming -- made his pro debut in the Gulf Coast League on Friday. Through four games, Nimmo is hitting .158 (3-for-19). He has struck out seven times in eight at-bats over his past two starts. After serving as DH in his debut, Nimmo has manned center field.

Phillip Evans, the Mets’ 15th-round pick, who signed for an over-slot $650,000, debuted Tuesday in the GCL. He went 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored. Evans’ preference is to remain at shortstop, so the Mets will let him work there for the time being. Evans, out of La Costa Canyon High School in California, received the largest signing bonus by the organization ever for any pick below the second round. With the Gulf Coast League ending Saturday and inclement weather expected in the interim, Evans is likely the last player from this year’s draft to make his debut before the fall instructional league that opens Sept. 18.

• Savannah right-hander Taylor Whitenton (4-3, 2.70 ERA) was named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week after tossing 10 scoreless innings over a pair of starts.

• Before an approximate crowd of 14,500 at Fenway Park on Saturday, Binghamton beat Portland, the Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, in 11 innings. Right-hander Collin McHugh tossed six scoreless innings. Boston College product Eric Campbell had the tiebreaking RBI in the 11th. Catcher Kai Gronauer then added a three-run homer over the Green Monster. Campbell, who hails from Norwich, Conn., had played at the historic ballpark in high school and college, but with a fraction of Saturday’s fan presence.

• Fifth-round pick Jack Leathersich from UMass-Lowell has dominated New York-Penn League competition. Working no more than two innings every five to six days, Leathersich now has limited Brooklyn’s opponents to one run and five hits in 10 2/3 professional innings. He has struck out 22 and walked three.

• Buffalo’s Pascucci has 20 homers and leads the International League with 90 RBIs, four more than runner-up Stefan Gartrell of Gwinnett.

• Outfielder Raul Reyes earned a promotion to Buffalo on Thursday after hitting .292 with 12 homers and 50 RBIs in 367 at-bats with Binghamton.

• 2010 first-round pick Matt Harvey tossed seven scoreless innings, requiring only 85 pitches, with Jeff Wilpon in attendance Monday at Binghamton. Harvey is 4-3 with a 4.35 ERA and has 59 strikeouts in 51 2/3 innings in 10 starts with the B-Mets. Although the organization is monitoring Harvey’s innings count, he is expected to be allowed to complete the season uninterrupted. “He should be fine,” farm director Adam Wogan said. “He’s strong.”

• Binghamton reliever Rhiner Cruz has bounced back from a pair of rough performances by tossing eight scoreless innings during which he has allowed only one hit and two walks over four appearances.

• Middle infielder Jordany Valdespin has multi-hit games in three of his past six games with Buffalo, and is hitting .237 in 14 games in Triple-A.

• Buffalo infielder Josh Satin lost an eight-game hitting streak Sunday, but nonetheless has collected a hit in 26 of 31 games since a promotion from Binghamton. He is hitting .325 and has a .391 on-base percentage since joining the Bisons while seeing action at third base, second base and first base.

• Lutz had eight RBIs in a four-game span with Buffalo through Monday. He has driven in at least one run in eight of the Bisons’ past 11 games. Lutz is hitting .341 with runners in scoring position this season.

• Reliever John Lujan, a probable September call-up and former minor league Rule 5 pick from the Chicago White Sox, lost a 10 2/3-inning scoreless streak with Buffalo on Friday against Toledo.

• The Arizona Fall League contingent is expected to be announced next Tuesday. Revised rules allow for as many as four prospects who have yet to appear in Double-A. The Mets’ contingent is expected to include 2008 first-round pick Reese Havens.

Adam Rubin’s farm report appears Wednesdays during the regular season

Farm report: Harvey looks to Futures

July, 6, 2011
7/06/11
1:26
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Right-hander Matt Harvey’s return to his home state of Connecticut this weekend will get cut short.

Double-A Binghamton opens a series Friday at New Britain, but the 2010 first-round pick from Fitch High School in Mystic -- about a 40-minute drive from the Eastern League stadium -- is departing after the opener. Harvey will represent the Mets in Sunday’s ESPN2-televised Futures Game at Chase Field in Phoenix, along with St. Lucie third baseman Jefry Marte.


Courtesy of New York Mets
Matt Harvey


Harvey, 22, makes his third Double-A start on Wednesday night, against Portland.

After allowing four runs on nine hits and two walks in his B-Mets debut on June 26 at Bowie, Harvey rebounded against the same opponent back in Binghamton last Friday while mostly ranging from 93-95 mph with his fastball -- “which is slightly below average for me,” Harvey said. He tossed five innings, allowing two runs, and was pulled before a callus that ripped off could become a blister.

“For some reason I went to a lot of offspeed the first game,” Harvey said about his Double-A debut. “When that happens, if you get behind using your offspeed, obviously they’re going to know the fastball is coming. (In the rematch) I just tried to keep it down and get ahead of the guys. My two-seamer was working good, and I was able to get some groundballs and just let the infielders do their jobs.”

Harvey bypassed attending the Florida State League All-Star Game so that he could pitch what turned out to be St. Lucie’s first-half division clincher two days later.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Harvey, who was charged with two runs (one earned) in six innings and received a no-decision in the 11th-inning walk-off win. “The celebration we had after the game was really cool. Being able throw and keep the team in a good place to win was something I was happy about.”

Harvey then was promoted to Double-A. He went 8-2 with a 2.37 ERA in 14 Class A starts to launch his career, striking out 92 while holding opponents to a .238 average in 76 innings.

Farm director Adam Wogan said the timing of Harvey’s promotion primarily was tied to his development -- that Harvey was moved to Double-A when he demonstrated improved proficiency with his changeup as well as a better rate of first-pitch strikes. He also throws a slider and a curveball. The Mets also left Harvey at that level to pitch the clinching game to experience the playoff-type atmosphere.

Harvey is highly unlikely to get a September call-up. In fact, his success may cut short his season.

He already has logged 85 2/3 innings this season. While the Mets can be slightly more liberal in how much Harvey will pitch because he was used heavily during his junior year in 2010 at the University of North Carolina, Harvey likely will be capped at about 130 innings to avoid ramping up too many innings this season.

The Mets will count the one-inning Futures Game appearance as a start -- with reasonably standard rest on both sides of the showcase appearance -- to space out Harvey’s outings. They also may pull him early from games soon and even cut short his season.

“We’re definitely on top of the inning total,” Wogan said.

Said Harvey: “I know it’s weird. A lot of people might not say it. But I feel a lot better throwing every fifth day than I did once a week (at UNC). My arm feels better. My body feels better. I’m right around 100 innings, and it feels great right now.”

Organization leaders

Average: Cam Maron, Kingsport, .375; Greg Pron, Kingsport, .372; Juan Carlos Gamboa, GCL Mets, .371; Juan Lagares, St. Lucie, .348; Nick Evans, Buffalo, .323; Julio Concepcion, Kingsport, .322; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, .320; Josh Satin, Binghamton, .319; Chad Zurcher, Kingsport, .316; Ismael Tijerina, Brooklyn, .306.

Homers: Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 15.

RBI: Josh Satin, Binghamton, 52; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 50; Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 50; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 46; Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 43.

Steals: Jordany Valdespin, Binghamton, 27; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, 24; Matt den Dekker, Binghamton, 15; Darrell Ceciliani, Savannah, 13; Cesar Puello, St. Lucie, 12.

ERA: Jose De La Torre, GCL Mets, 1.23; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 1.56; Eduardo Aldama, Brooklyn, 2.33; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 2.38; Carlos Vazquez, Brooklyn, 2.41; Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 2.73; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 2.78; Taylor Whitenton, Savannah, 2.79; Jeff Walters, Brooklyn, 2.89; Greg Peavey, St. Lucie, 2.97.

Wins: Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 8; Greg Peavey, St. Lucie, 8; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 7.

Saves: Josh Edgin, St. Lucie, 18; Jeffrey Kaplan, St. Lucie, 10; Nick Carr, St. Lucie, 8; Hamilton Bennett, Savannah, 8; Ronny Morla, Savannah, 7.

Strikeouts: Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 101; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 93; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 92; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 80; Taylor Whitenton, Savannah, 76.

Short hops

• Left-hander Steve Matz, the organization’s top pick (second round) two years ago, is home on Long Island. Matz, who had Tommy John surgery in May 2010, has halted throwing for the time being. He is expected to return to the Mets’ Port St. Lucie, Fla., complex in a week to 10 days. After being examined by Mets doctor David Altchek following elbow discomfort, Matz sought a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews. Wogan suggested neither doctor has any concern. Instead, the farm director said, the throwing interruption is a reminder that despite some pitchers returning as quickly as 11 months after Tommy John surgery, the length of recovery can be as long as 18 months, and that Matz fits into the category of a longer recovery time.

Nick Evans’ hitting streak with Triple-A Buffalo ended at 19 games with an 0-for-4 performance last Thursday. The streak matched the fifth-longest in Bisons modern history, tied with Ben Francisco (2007), Franklin Gutierrez (2007) and Karim Garcia (2002). The Buffalo record was set by Alex Ramirez in 1998 at 28 games. The other longer streaks: Ben Francisco, 25 games in 2006; Jolbert Cabrera 21 in 1998; and Tommy Shields 20 in 1990. In 220 Triple-A at-bats this season, Evans has a .323 average, which ranks sixth in the International League. Either Evans gets a call-up later this season, perhaps when rosters expand in September, and is returned to the 40-man roster, or he will be a minor league free agent at season’s end.

• Right-hander Miguel Batista, who was released by the St. Louis Cardinals, was charged with four runs while recording only one out in his Bisons debut Tuesday. He faced six batters and allowed four hits and a walk. Batista is expected to be used as a starting pitcher after the Triple-A All-Star break, when his innings count has built further. He worked in relief for the Cardinals. John Lujan, who opened the season as Double-A Binghamton’s closer, returned to the B-Mets with Batista joining Buffalo. Lujan was 1-2 with a save and 2.96 ERA in 19 appearances (one start) with Buffalo.

• Right-hander Chris Schwinden will be the Bisons’ lone representative in next Wednesday’s Triple-A All-Star Game in Salt Lake City. Since a mid-April promotion from Binghamton, Schwinden is 5-3 with a 2.87 ERA in 15 starts. He has allowed 67 hits and 30 walks (two intentional) in 87 2/3 innings and has not lost a decision since May 31. Buffalo hosts the Triple-A game in 2012.

• Right-hander Jeurys Familia and infielders Josh Satin and Jordany Valdespin will represent Binghamton in the Double-A All-Star Game the same day at Manchester, N.H. Familia returned from a 15-day absence (as the Mets acted conservatively with soreness) to notch his first Double-A win Monday, against Portland. Familia tossed five scoreless innings to shave his Eastern League ERA to 3.02 in nine starts spanning 50 2/3 innings. Satin (.319) and Valdespin (.300, 27 steals) both notched their 10th homers Tuesday.

Zach Lutz (.313, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 96 at-bats) returned to Buffalo’s lineup Monday after missing nine days with a concussion, suffered when he was hit with a curveball. It’s been an unfortunate season injury-wise for the third baseman. On the DL earlier this season with a hamstring injury, Lutz was hit in the dugout by a foul ball while inactive and broke the ring finger on his non-throwing hand. Those injuries cost him a combined seven weeks.

• Buffalo center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis (.298, 6 HR, 14 RBI), already out a month with a strain of his left, non-throwing shoulder, is not making progress and may be forced to decide soon between rehab and surgery. Nieuwenhuis struggles to lift his shoulder during everyday activities and is unable to swing a bat.

• The organization is limiting the innings counts of certain June draft picks by having the college-groomed pitchers work every fifth day in relief, generally for an inning, and no more than two with Brooklyn. The plan applies to right-hander Cory Mazzoni (second round, N.C. State), left-hander Jack Leathersich (fifth round, UMass Lowell) and right-hander Randy Fontanez (27th round, South Florida). Leathersich is due to make his pro debut with the Cyclones on Thursday. Mazzoni’s outings will definitely be limited to one inning since he had a heavy workload this season with the Wolfpack, while the reins on Leathersich and Fontanez will be a little looser.

Fernando Martinez took advantage of a 72-hour window to report to Triple-A after a demotion and is expected to join Buffalo for Wednesday’s series opener at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Wogan said Martinez had a personal issue.

Ryota Igarashi’s 14 1/3 inning scoreless streak -- during which he allowed six hits in 10 appearances -- was snapped Friday. Igarashi allowed a run charged to himself, as well as a runner inherited from Mike O’Connor to score, in the ninth inning in a 2-0 loss to Lehigh Valley. Igarashi then allowed three runs in his next appearance before tossing two scoreless innings at Syracuse on Tuesday.

• Catcher Dusty Ryan, who underwent knee surgery for a meniscus tear earlier this year, was activated from Buffalo’s disabled list and assigned to Binghamton. The B-Mets have an extra game before their All-Star break compared with Buffalo, which partly fueled the temporary Double-A assignment. The B-Mets have been without catch Kai Gronaeur since he left a May 12 game with a hamstring injury.

• 2008 first-round pick Reese Havens landed on the DL with Binghamton with a lower-back strain.

• With Binghamton short available relievers last week, infielders Travis Ozga and Jose Coronado appeared in consecutive games on the mound. Neither surrendered a run. Coronado sports a Fernando Valenzuela-style delivery, turning his back completely to the plate before spinning and firing.

• Binghamton reliever Rhiner Cruz (2.70 ERA) registered 102 mph on the Bowie, Md., stadium gun. He recently has been throwing 96-97 mph with a solid slider.

• Right-handed relievers Michael Powers and Jeff Kaplan returned to St. Lucie from Binghamton. Powers had limited opponents to one run in 7 2/3 innings in four relief appearances during his latest Double-A stint. Kaplan, who has 10 saves in 15 chances with St. Lucie this season, allowed two runs in four Eastern League innings.

• Outfielder Raul Reyes has the RBIs in both of Binghamton’s walk-off wins this season.

• Brooklyn left fielder Javier Rodriguez, a second-round pick in 2008 from Puerto Rico, tied a Cyclones record with six RBIs last Thursday at Hudson Valley. Brian Harrison last year and Caleb Stewart in 2005 also drove in six.

• Third baseman Richard Lucas reached base in 13 straight games to open the season with Brooklyn before having the streak snapped Sunday.

• Brooklyn left-hander T.J. Chism has not allowed an earned run since Sept. 1, 2010. The former 32nd-round pick out of La Salle University in Philadelphia is 1-0 with three saves and has tossed 8 2/3 scoreless innings for the Cyclones this season.

• St. Lucie infielder Robbie Shields has been out since June 30 with back stiffness.

• Savannah has won 11 straight games, its longest streak since becoming a Mets affiliate in 2007. First baseman Sam Honeck is doing his part. After a torrid opening two weeks of the season, Honeck hit .161 in May and .194 last month. In five July games, he’s hitting .389.

Cam Maron, a product of Hicksville High School on Long Island, who was drafted in the 34th round in 2009, is off to a quick start with Kingsport. Through 12 games, the 20-year-old catcher is hitting .375 and has a .519 on-base percentage. Athletic, Maron also received some outfield exposure before signing, but the Mets are keeping him exclusively as a catcher. He sports an advanced approach at the plate for that level of Class A ball, although he is not known for power.

Farm report: Gorski still perfect in FSL

June, 29, 2011
6/29/11
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Left-hander Darin Gorski’s 1.55 ERA not only is the best in the Florida State League, it leads by a wide margin. Former St. Lucie teammate Matt Harvey, already promoted to Double-A Binghamton, still qualifies innings-wise to rank No. 2 in the league, at 2.37. Palm Beach’s Joe Kelly ranks third at 2.59.


Courtesy of New York Mets
Darin Gorski


Gorski also is unbeaten at 6-0, while his 87 strikeouts rank third in the league, trailing only Clearwater’s Trevor May (108) and Harvey’s 92. The St. Lucie southpaw started the Florida State League’s All-Star game in Clearwater.

“It was a great honor,” Gorski said.

Not bad, especially considering the 23-year-old Gorski went 6-8 with a 4.58 ERA in 25 games (18 starts) at low-A Savannah in 2010.

“It’s great when you pitch with a little bit of confidence,” said Gorski, a seventh-round pick in 2009 out of Division II Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. “You get some good results and a little bit of confidence, it feels great. I’m very happy.”

As for the uptick in performance from last season in the South Atlantic League, Gorski said: “Consistency is the biggest thing. I’ve been working with the pitching coach here, Phil Regan, a lot. He helped me with some mechanical changes and just getting me more consistent with my off-speed pitches. It’s just translated into a lot of success from there.”

Gorski calls his slider “a work in progress.” As for the rest of his repertoire, he also likes to throw a changeup.

“The combination of those two have been progressing pretty well together,” said Gorski, whose fastball averages about 89 mph. “As far as the fastball goes, for me it was never really a big velocity thing. I’m not like one of those mid-90s guys. It’s more location when I’m throwing it. I’m not too worried about what the radar gun is reading, because it’s nowhere close to 95 mph. I just try to hit my spots and keep the ball down and pitch to contact basically.”

And yet, despite pitching to contact, Gorski does have the 87 strikeouts in 75 2/3 innings.

“Last year I had quite a few walks (43 in 114 innings), so one of the biggest things coming into this season for me was trying to not walk a lot of guys -- trying to induce contact and get ahead in the count,” said Gorski, who has walked 15 in 75 2/3 innings this season. “It’s a lot easier to pitch when you’re ahead in the count.”

Farm director Adam Wogan said Gorski has added some fastball velocity since he joined the organization. And although averaging 89 mph is not eye-popping, it is now at a level to work well in contrast to his other pitches.

Organization leaders

Average: Gregory Pron, Kingsport, .423; Juan Carlos Gamboa, GCL Mets, .407; Julio Concepcion, Kingsport, .382; Juan Lagares, St. Lucie, .344; Carlos Leyva, GCL Mets, .333; Nestor Moreno, Kingsport, .320; Cam Maron, Kingsport, .316; Josh Satin, Binghamton, .314; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, .309; Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Buffalo, .298.

Homers: Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 14; Lucas Duda, Buffalo, 10; Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 10.

RBI: Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 49; Josh Satin, Binghamton, 48; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 47; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 42; Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 40.

Steals: Jordany Valdespin, Binghamton, 22; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, 21; Matt den Dekker, Binghamton, 14; Darrell Ceciliani, Savannah, 12; Cesar Puello, St. Lucie, 12.

ERA: Miller Diaz, GCL Mets, 0.00; Ernesto Yanez, GCL Mets, 0.00; Hunter Carnevale, Brooklyn, 0.93; Jose De La Torre, GCL Mets, 1.42; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 1.55; Alberto Baldonado, GCL Mets, 1.80; Marcos Camarena, Brooklyn, 1.80; Edioglis Villasmil, GCL Mets, 1.80; Carlos Vazquez, Brooklyn, 1.88; Eduardo Aldama, Brooklyn, 2.45.

Wins: Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 8; Greg Peavey, St. Lucie, 7; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 6.

Saves: Josh Edgin, St. Lucie, 17; Jeffrey Kaplan, St. Lucie, 10; Nick Carr, St. Lucie, 8; Hamilton Bennett, Savannah, 6.

Strikeouts: Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 96; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 87; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 87; Taylor Whitenton, Savannah, 73.

Short hops

Nick Evans extended his hitting streak with Buffalo to 18 games Tuesday night. That is the longest active streak in the minors, matching Tony Abreu’s streak with Reno in the Pacific Coast League. Evans caught Abreu because Reno’s game was postponed Tuesday. In 13 games since returning to Triple-A after being designated for assignment, Evans has nine multi-hit games and is hitting .490 (24-for-49) with eight doubles, 12 RBIs and eight walks. In Bisons modern history, Evans’ 18-game hitting streak matches Brandon Phillips (2004), Jeromy Burnitz (1995) and Les Norman (1997) for eighth longest. The record is 28 straight games by Alex Ramirez in 1998.

• Right-hander Matt Harvey and third baseman Jefry Marte will represent the Mets at the Futures Game on July 10 at 6 p.m. ET at Chase Field in Arizona, two days before the All-Star Game. The event will be televised on ESPN2. Harvey, the organization’s 2010 first-round pick, struggled with his fastball command and was charged with four runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out four in 4 2/3 innings in his Double-A debut Sunday at Bowie. The 22-year-old UNC product went 8-2 with a 2.37 ERA in 14 Florida State League starts before the promotion. Marte, who turned 20 on June 21, is hitting .286 with five homers and 37 RBIs in 73 games with St. Lucie.

• Infielder Josh Satin became the first player in the Binghamton Mets’ 20-year history to hit for the cycle when he did so Friday at Bowie. Satin ranks seventh in the Eastern League with a .314 average and third in on-base percentage at .412.

• Buffalo outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis (.298, 6 HR) has been sidelined since June 9 because of an injury to his left, non-throwing shoulder. He was due to attempt dry swinging and may progress to light cage work.

Zach Lutz’s rough Triple-A season injury-wise continued when the corner infielder landed on the disabled list Tuesday with a concussion, four days after being struck in the head with a curveball. Lutz had returned to the Bisons on June 10 after missing seven weeks with a hamstring injury and then a broken left index finger. The fractured occurred when Lutz was struck with a foul ball in the dugout while already on the disabled list. Lutz’s concussion triggered the promotion of Jon Malo to the Bisons from Binghamton, and Travis Ozga from St. Lucie to Binghamton.

Ryota Igarashi has put together a stellar stretch of relief appearances for the Bisons. Since surrendering a walk-off homer at Gwinett on June 6, Igarashi has limited opponents to four hits and three walks while tossing 13 1/3 straight scoreless innings. He has struck out 11 during that span. The key for Igarashi has been fastball command. Igarashi has a tendency to get in trouble when the pitch drifts up in the zone.

• Buffalo middle infielder Luis Hernandez, whose average was sitting at .196 on June 5, is hitting .310 (22-for-71) with 15 RBIs in his past 19 games.

Rhiner Cruz has more or less settled into the closer’s role with Binghamton, succeeding Erik Turgeon. The B-Mets’ bullpen had struggled, particularly at the back end, since John Lujan had been promoted to Buffalo in early May. It has now somewhat stabilized with Cruz closing, and with Josh Stinson assigned to the pen from the Triple-A rotation and Brad Holt from the Double-A rotation. The B-Mets, in fact, have won three straight series for the first time this season. Roy Merritt, the lone lefty in the pen, had a spot start with Jeurys Familia missing a turn. Merritt allowed one run in five innings. Familia threw a side session and is scheduled to be reinserted into the rotation by early next week.

• B-Mets second baseman Reese Havens, who has been tormented by oblique problems, has been out since last Thursday with an unrelated injury that the organization has not disclosed, but which has been described as short term.

• Center fielder Matt den Dekker is hitting .212, with 14 strikeouts in 33 at-bats, in eight games since a promotion from St. Lucie to Binghamton. The defensively solid den Dekker’s promotion has allowed Raul Reyes to move to right field from center. That has diminished Eric Campbell’s playing time, with Brahiam Maldonado getting the majority of the starts in left field.

Joe Bonfe, a 21st-round pick in 2009, who has an advocate in Savannah hitting coach Benny Distefano, went 4-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored Monday as the Gnats put up a season-high 13 runs. Bonfe had only 77 at-bats in the first half, but is now seeing regular playing time in right field with teammates’ promotions to St. Lucie. A natural third baseman, he is boxed out there by the presence of Aderlin Rodriguez. Bonfe hit .326 with four homers and 28 RBIs in 270 at-bats with Brooklyn last season, also with Distefano as his hitting coach. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Bonfe can “run a little bit for is size,” according to Wogan.

Darrell Ceciliani returned from a three-day absence for an illness Tuesday in style with a ninth-inning two-run double in Savannah’s 5-3 win at Rome.

Rafael Fernandez, pushed off the St. Lucie roster because of outfield crowding, is seeing regular playing time with the Gnats and has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games. Fernandez is hitting .337 in June.

• Brooklyn left-hander T.J. Chism, a 32nd-round pick in 2009 out of La Salle, is 1-0 and 3-for-3 in save conversions in 6 2/3 scoreless innings for the Cyclones. Born in Phillies country, Chism has been particularly tough on lefty hitters, despite an average fastball. He combined to allow three runs (two earned) in 25 2/3 innings last season between Kingsport and Brooklyn.

• Right-hander Jose De La Torre pitched an inning in the Gulf Coast League on Tuesday as he works back from shoulder discomfort that dates to winter-ball activity in Puerto Rico. He went 3-2 with a 2.98 ERA in 36 relief appearances for Buffalo last season.

• N.C. State right-hander Cory Mazzoni, the Mets’ second-round pick earlier this month, should appear in a game with Brooklyn within a week, although his innings counts will be severely restricted.

• UCLA product Erik Goeddel, a right-hander, is on a throwing program in Port St. Lucie. He was shut down after a May 23 appearance with Savannah with a shoulder strain.

Adam Rubin's farm report appears Wednesdays during the season

Farm report: Mid-90s plenty for Rhiner

June, 22, 2011
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Rhiner Cruz has not quite reached 100 mph on a radar gun.

“Just 99,” Cruz said.


Courtesy of New York Mets
Rhiner Cruz


Still, the right-handed reliever has been plenty good enough for the Binghamton Mets of late. In his past four relief appearances, the 24-year-old Cruz has limited opponents to one hit and four walks while striking out nine in 10 2/3 scoreless innings. Since an early May promotion from Class A St. Lucie, Cruz is 1-1 with a 2.84 in 14 appearances spanning 25 1/3 innings in Double-A.

“He’s a guy who can command when he stays within himself,” B-Mets pitching coach Marc Valdes said. “When he gets out of whack, he’s trying to throw the ball 100 mph. And, believe me, he’s come close. But his 94 to 96 mph with movement down is just as effective as 99 and ball one, ball two.”

As for Cruz’s breaking pitch, Valdes adds: “When it’s good, it’s more of a nice, sharp little slurve. The other day he threw one to a tough left-handed hitter. The guy was just set up on 99, 98 mph. And he threw a sharp slider. Swing and miss. He had no chance.”

Cruz, a native of the Dominican Republic, originally signed as a 16-year-old with the Detroit Tigers. He pitched for two seasons in the Gulf Coast League with that organization, compiling a 4.65 ERA in 30 relief appearances, and was let go. After not pitching in 2006 with any organization while allowing an elbow issue to heal -- no surgery was performed -- then-Latin American scouting chief Ramon Pena signed Cruz for the Mets. Pena also had brought Cruz to the Tigers organization when he worked for Detroit.

“I was young,” Cruz said, reflecting on his brief Tigers days. “And when I signed, I didn’t know too much. I just knew to throw hard. And then I started to learn how to pitch.”

He added, referring to the elbow: “I pitched sore.”

Cruz actually represented Spain in the 2009 World Cup in Europe, the same tournament for which Ike Davis represented the United States. Cruz’s mother Lucia is Dominican, but she was working at the time as a caretaker for the elderly in Spain and was able to secure a passport for Cruz. She now is in Italy performing similar work.

Cruz had 22 saves with Savannah in 2009 under Valdes, then six with St. Lucie last season, and he could end up back in closing role at some point. Or, he even could be a starting pitcher, as his lengthier relief outings suggest.

“I’ll do whatever they want,” Cruz said.

Organization leaders

Average: Gregory Pron, Kingsport, .600; Julio Concepcion, Kingsport, .500; Jeyckol De Leon, GCL Mets, .500; Cam Maron, Kingsport, .500; Danny Muno, Brooklyn, .462; Juan Carlos Gamboa, GCL Mets, .400; Travis Taijeron, Brooklyn, .375; Juan Lagares, St. Lucie, .338.

Homers: Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 13; Lucas Duda, Buffalo, 10; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 9; Stefan Welch, St. Lucie, 9.

RBI: Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 45; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 44; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 39; Josh Satin, Binghamton, 39; Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 37.

Steals: Jordany Valdespin, Binghamton, 19; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, 17; Matt den Dekker, St. Lucie, 12; Darrell Ceciliani, Savannah, 11; Cesar Puello, St. Lucie, 11.

ERA: Peter Birdwell, Kingsport, 0.00; T.J. Chism, Brooklyn, 0.00; Isaac Monrroy, GCL Mets, 0.00; Hansel Robles, Kingsport, 0.00; Tyson Seng, Brooklyn, 0.00; Jared West, GCL Mets, 0.00; Ernesto Yanez, Kingsport, 0.00; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 1.57; Matt Harvey, St. Lucie, 2.37; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 2.52.

Wins: Matt Harvey, St. Lucie, 8; Greg Peavey, Savannah, 6.

Saves: Josh Edgin, St. Lucie, 16; Jeffrey Kaplan, St. Lucie, 10; Nick Carr, St. Lucie, 7; John Lujan, Buffalo, 5; Erik Turgeon, Binghamton, 5.

Strikeouts: Matt Harvey, St. Lucie, 92; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 87; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 82; Taylor Whitenton, Savannah, 70; Greg Peavey, Savannah, 69.

Short hops

• With St. Lucie on Monday joining Savannah as a first-half division champion, promotions continued. 2010 first-round pick Matt Harvey, a right-hander from the University of North Carolina, and fifth-round pick Matt den Dekker, a center fielder from the University of Florida, have been promoted from St. Lucie to Binghamton (although den Dekker missed a connecting flight Wednesday in Philadelphia because of a mechanical-related delay on his first flight). Harvey’s first Double-A start is scheduled for Sunday at 2:05 p.m., on an extra day of rest, as the B-Mets play at Bowie, Md. Harvey’s promotion will push Brad Holt to the bullpen with the B-Mets. Since opening the season by limiting opponents to two runs (one earned) in 18 innings over his first three Binghamton starts, the 24-year-old Holt is 2-6 with a 6.96 ERA in 10 starts and has walked 37 and hit two batters in 42 2/3 innings.

• Binghamton also should get a jolt with Josh Stinson’s return from Triple-A Buffalo. Stinson went 3-7 with a 7.44 ERA in 13 starts in Triple-A. He had opened the season with two starts for the B-Mets. Stinson is expected to work in relief during this tour of duty in the Eastern League. Jack Egbert, who made five starts in the Florida State League after returning from Tommy John surgery, will take Stinson’s rotation spot with the Bisons.

• The promotions of Harvey and den Dekker will lead to outfielder Cory Vaughn (fourth-round pick in 2010/San Diego State) and right-hander Greg Peavey (sixth round/Oregon State) joining St. Lucie from low-A Savannah on Thursday. Vaughn was hitting .286 with four homers and 30 RBIs in 245 at-bats with the Sand Gnats. Peavey was 6-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 14 starts in the South Atlantic League. The Gnats already had sent closer Josh Edgin and infielder Robbie Shields to St. Lucie last week, after clinching their first-half title. Edgin had converted 12 straight saves and was tied for the South Atlantic League lead with 16 saves at the time of the promotion. He did not allow a run in his final 16 appearances with the Gnats.

• Vaughn started in center field and had a two-run homer in the South’s 6-3 win in Tuesday’s South Atlantic League All-Star Game. Taylor Whitenton started and allowed two runs (one earned) in one inning. Chase Huchingson tossed a scoreless relief inning with two strikeouts, while Peavey also had a scoreless frame, allowing one hit. Savannah skipper Ryan Ellis, who won a first-half title with the Gnats in his first full season managing, was on the South All-Star staff. Ellis, a former infielder for two seasons in the New York-Penn League for the Montreal Expos as a player, previously had been Savannah’s hitting coach. Ellis’ first managerial gig was in last fall’s instructional league.

Chin-lung Hu, who left Triple-A Buffalo for the Mets’ Port St. Lucie, Fla., complex suffering from the throwing yips, is picking up switch-hitting during the stay there. Farm director Adam Wogan said the primary intent of Hu going to the complex was to become a switch-hitter, not because of the throwing issues. Hu is working with minor league hitting coordinator Lamar Johnson. Hu has switch-hit in batting practice for several years, but has not taken it into games. As an exclusively right-handed hitter, Hu has had little success against any pitchers in the majors. He is hitting .157 against left-handers and .183 against right-handers.

Nick Evans is on a tear since clearing waivers and accepting an assignment to Buffalo rather than declaring free agency. In six games, Evans has hit .522 (12-for-23) with eight RBIs. He has alternated between left field and right field. Evans has an 11-game International League hitting streak dating to his last stint with the Bisons.

Fernando Martinez, who was forced from last Thursday’s game at Norfolk with a flare-up in his arthritic right knee, is back in Buffalo’s lineup at designated hitter Wednesday. Fellow Bisons outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis (left shoulder) is still regaining strength and is further from returning.

• Short-season Kingsport opened its season Tuesday. The Appalachian League club’s strength may be its starting pitching. The Opening Day starter was left-hander Juan Urbina, the son of former major league Ugueth Urbina. Right-hander Domingo Tapia, who had a 3.45 ERA in 10 starts in the Gulf Coast League last season, gets Wednesday’s staring nod, followed by highly regarded right-hander Akeel Morris from the U.S. Virgin Islands on Thursday. Jeff Glenn and Long Island native Cam Maron handle the staff behind the plate. Alexander Sanchez, who saw more duty at first base in the Gulf Coast League in 2010, will shift back to more of a third-base role this season while seeing action at both positions.

• St. Lucie middle infielder Matt Bouchard, an 11th-round pick in 2007 from Georgetown, will undergo hip surgery.

• Outfielder Travis Taijeron is off to a fast start with Brooklyn. The 18th-round pick from Cal Poly Pomona is 6-for-16 (.375) with three RBIs and four walks through five games. Described as a blue-collar player and mature hitter with a lot of strength and ability to drive the ball, Taijeron has looked adequate in center field. He also can man the corners in the outfield.

• With D.J. Carrasco promoted to the Mets, Dylan Owen (2-4, 4.71) has rejoined Buffalo’s rotation.

• Binghamton middle infielder Jordany Valdespin recently got in Wally Backman’s doghouse and did not appear in games for a few days.

• Buffalo infielder Michael Fisher has a 15-game hitting streak, longest active in the International League.

Adam Rubin’s farm report appears Wednesdays during the season

Farm report: Muno gets Cyclone ride

June, 15, 2011
6/15/11
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Danny Muno crossed paths with Ike Davis back in 2008, on the home turf of Davis’ Arizona State Sun Devils in an NCAA Regional.

“He was an awesome player,” Muno recalled. “Just to be on the field with all of those No. 1 draft picks, it was pretty intimidating. Then we beat them. It was a big thrill just to beat them in their own park.”


Icon SMI
Danny Muno, who will be Brooklyn's shortstop, scores against Nebraska while playing for Fresno State on March 11.


The thrill did not end there. Fresno State, with Muno as its true freshman shortstop and leadoff hitter, won that regional, despite being the lowest-seeded team of the four programs assigned to that site. Fresno State eventually won the entire College World Series, too, and became national champs.

“That was the experience of a lifetime, definitely something I’m going to remember for the rest of my life,” said Munno, who was drafted in the eighth round by the Mets last week. “We were the lowest seed ever to win the College World Series.”

Now, Muno and Davis are on the same team -- or, at least they have the same employer. Muno will open the season Friday as the shortstop for Brooklyn, which opens the 2011 campaign at Staten Island, the New York-Penn League affiliate of the Yankees.

Muno, 22, also played second base, third base and in the outfield during college, but the Mets will let him try to prove himself as a shortstop before having him dabble elsewhere.

Muno -- a natural left-handed hitter -- picked up switch-hitting his sophomore year of college, after facing a ton of tough southpaws as a freshman when the program reached the College World Series.

“I faced [current Oriole] Brian Matusz and a couple of top draft picks my freshman year that were throwing lefty, and left-on-left,” Muno said. “It was a pretty tough battle. So I just decided to hit right-handed.”

One facet of Muno’s game certainly is compatible with the Mets’ new front office. By his junior season, Muno already had broken Fresno State’s career walk record. Muno was drafted in the 26th round by the Chicago Cubs after that junior season but decided to return to Fresno State for his senior year.

“Getting on base is a big part of my game, and scoring runs,” Muno said.

As for the College World Series, Muno and Fresno State never did return to Omaha his following three years. His sophomore year he ended up in a regional at Irvine, which was Baseball America’s No. 1 team. San Diego State, with Stephen Strasburg, also was assigned there.

“It was an upset,” Muno said about his freshman-year CWS title. “Going there as a freshman, you can’t really top that the next couple of years. Anything less than that is considered a disappointment, I guess, because you won it your first year and you want to win it all the rest of the years.”

Organization leaders

Average: Juan Lagares, St. Lucie, .326; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, .319; Matt den Dekker, St. Lucie, .304; Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Buffalo, .298; Cory Vaughn, Savannah, .297; Josh Satin, Binghamton, .292; Jesus Feliciano, Buffalo, .281; Jefry Marte, St. Lucie, .277; Michael Fisher, Buffalo, .275; Robbie Shields, Savannah, .274.

Homers: Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 12; Lucas Duda, Buffalo, 10; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 9; Josh Satin, Binghamton, 8; Stefan Welch, St. Lucie, 8.

RBI: Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 42; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 41; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 38; Josh Satin, Binghamton, 37; Matt den Dekker, St. Lucie, 36.

Steals: Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, 17; Jordany Valdespin, Binghamton, 15; Matt den Dekker, St. Lucie, 12; Darrell Ceciliani, Savannah, 11; Cesar Puello, St. Lucie, 11.

ERA: Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 1.72; Matt Harvey, St. Lucie, 2.44; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 2.49; Ryan Fraser, Savannah, 2.96; Greg Peavey, Savannah, 3.13; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 3.18; Gonzalez Germen, Savannah, 3.34; Brandon Moore, Binghamton, 3.92; Robert Carson, Binghamton, 4.08; Brad Holt, Binghamton, 4.26.

Wins: Matt Harvey, St. Lucie, 8; Greg Peavey, Savannah, 6; Angel Cuan, Savannah, 5; Gonzalez Germen, Savannah, 5; Brandon Moore, Binghamton, 5.

Saves: Josh Edgin, Savannah, 16; Jeffrey Kaplan, St. Lucie, 10; Nick Carr, St. Lucie, 6; John Lujan, Buffalo, 5; Erik Turgeon, Binghamton, 5.

Strikeouts: Matt Harvey, St. Lucie, 88; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 77; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 76; Gonzalez Germen, Savannah, 67; Taylor Whitenton, Savannah, 65.

Short hops

• The Mets’ two Class A full-season affiliates may both be headed to the postseason. Savannah clinched its first-half division title in the South Atlantic League on Tuesday night, freeing the organization to start making some promotions from that squad to St. Lucie within the next 24 hours -- even before Tuesday’s SAL All-Star game in Salisbury, Md. The All-Star Game had been scheduled to include right-handers Taylor Whitenton and Greg Peavey, left-handers Chase Huchingson and Josh Edgin, infielder Robbie Shields and right fielder Cory Vaughn, but is now expected to take at least a modest hit in terms of Mets representation. St. Lucie leads its Florida State League division by two games over Fort Myers and three over Jupiter with five to play in the half.

St. Lucie is not expected to make promotions to Double-A Binghamton before the completion of the half. As a result, 2010 first-round pick Matt Harvey is expected to make one more Florida State League start before joining the B-Mets. Center fielder Matt den Dekker’s promotion should wait a week, too. Harvey is 8-2 with a 2.44 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 70 innings with St. Lucie. The Florida State League has its All-Star game Saturday, before officially completing the first half with three more games next week. It is unlikely the Mets will allow Harvey to pitch in Saturday’s FSL All-Star Game and compromise his final St. Lucie start. Also selected with Harvey to represent the Mets in Clearwater, Fla., are fellow right-handers Scott Moviel and Jeffrey Kaplan, left-hander Darin Gorski and outfielders Pedro Zapata and den Dekker.

Savannah, which is a league-best 38-26 despite a slow start, has the SAL’s top ERA at 3.09. The Gnats clinched the division despite a .241 batting average, which is one point ahead of Augusta for worst in the 14-team league.

• The SAL All-Star Edgin, Savannah’s closer, has the league’s second-lowest batting average against among relievers at .135, trailing only Hagerstown’s Chris Manno (.117). Edgin, who is 16-for-17 in save opportunities, has converted 12 straight chances since his lone blemish April 26 at Delmarva. A 30th-round pick last year out of Francis Marion University by one of the Mets’ most accomplished scouts, Marlin McPhail, Edgin has not allowed an earned run since that blown save. In 16 straight scoreless appearances, he has tossed 20 2/3 run-free innings. Edgin began his college career at Ohio State before transferring to Francis Marion. He had fastball command and walk issues as a starter in college, but his control and velocity have improved as a professional while working exclusively in relief.

• Gorski, a seventh-round pick in 2009 out of Kutztown University, leads the Florida State League with a 1.72 ERA. Harvey ranks fifth.

• Brooklyn, managed by organization newcomer Rich Donnelly, opens its season Friday at Staten Island. Frank Viola is the pitching coach and ex-Mets farmhand Bobby Malek is the hitting coach. Donnelly coached third base for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006 and 2007, and had the same role with the Milwaukee Brewers the previous three seasons.

Four 2011 draftees will open with Brooklyn: outfielders Jonathan Clark (17th round, Lee University), Travis Taijeron (18th, Cal Poly Pomona) and Charley Thurber (39th, Tennessee) as well as Munno. Farm director Adam Wogan and then-minor league field coordinator Terry Collins a year ago resolved to now have most of the draftees begin in the Gulf Coast League rather than Brooklyn. That way, they could be monitored more closely at the team’s complex after having erratic workouts since their college seasons ended. Aside from the four Brooklyn assignments, Wogan said 21 draftees already are at the Florida complex and available for GCL duty when that season opens Monday, including second-round pick Cory Mazzoni, a right-hander from N.C. State.

• 2009 top pick Steve Matz, a left-hander from Long Island, will open his professional career in the Gulf Coast League but is not going to be ready for Monday’s Opening Day. Matz backed off throwing off a mound recently because of discomfort, possibly related to scar tissue, in his surgically repaired elbow. Matz underwent Tommy John surgery on May 18, 2010.

Eduardo Aldama, 21, is scheduled to start Friday’s Brooklyn opener against the Yankees. The Venezuelan right-hander went 2-3 with a 4.95 ERA in eight starts last season at rookie-level Kingsport. Other players assigned to the Cyclones include outfielder Javier Rodriguez, infielders Brian Harrison and Luke Stewart, right-handers Marco Camarena and Jeff Walters and left-handers Chris Hilliard and Carlos Vazquez.

• Buffalo right-hander Jose De La Torre, who had not appeared in a game since May 3 because of a shoulder strain, is scheduled to work in a rehab game on Monday for the first time since the injury.

• Savannah middle infielder Wilfredo Tovar lost a 12-game hitting streak in Tuesday’s clincher. It matched Shields’ streak from May 10-22 for the longest by a Gnat this season.

• Buffalo center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who had missed 10 days with a right shoulder injury suffered in a diving catch, returned for six games but is now out with a left shoulder strain. Nieuwenhuis (.298 BA, .403 OBP, 6 HR, 5 SB, 188 at-bats) suffered the more-recent injury on a swing. He also had an issue with the same shoulder last season, although this may be rotator-cuff related. Still, the Mets are hopeful Nieuwenhuis will return to the lineup soon.

• Buffalo’s Zach Lutz, a member of the 40-man roster, returned to the Bisons on Friday after missing seven weeks -- first with a hamstring injury, then because he was struck with a foul ball and broke the ring finger on his non-throwing hand while watching a game from the dugout while on the DL. Lutz primarily is playing third base, but also will DH and get some first-base time.

• St. Lucie third baseman Jefry Marte (.277, 5 HR, 30 RBI) was pulled from Tuesday’s game after getting hit in the hand by a pitch, but preliminary indications are the injury is not serious.

Nick Evans, who could have opted for free agency, instead will rejoin Buffalo on Thursday in Norfolk after a team off-day. Evans will get regular playing time between first base and corner outfield spots, and occasionally at third base.

• Binghamton manager Wally Backman was ejected from consecutive games Friday and Saturday, although he appeared to have legitimate beefs with the umpiring crew. In the latter instance, Trenton took the lead on what was ruled a double, although the shot appeared to be a foot foul. The same crew has tossed pitching coach Marc Valdes, slugger Brahiam Maldonado and infielder Jordany Valdespin this season.

• Second baseman Reese Havens is hitting .259 with two homers in 15 games since joining the B-Mets. Observers say his swing looks smoother than last season, which may make it easier on his previously troublesome oblique.

• Binghamton left-hander Robert Carson had experienced forearm stiffness, but has been throwing on the side and shoulder reenter the rotation this weekend at home against Trenton. That may bump Collin McHugh to the B-Mets’ bullpen. Carson (1-7, 4.08 ERA) last appeared May 31. Also on the injury front, Savannah hard-throwing reliever Luis Rojas, who has been out since May 25, is nearing a return from a shoulder strain.

Adam Rubin’s farm report appears Wednesdays during the season

Farm report: Havens back on path to Mets

June, 8, 2011
6/08/11
1:37
PM ET
Fourteen of the 21 first-round picks out of college programs in the 2008 draft have now appeared in the major leagues, including Buster Posey (fifth overall), Gordon Beckham (eighth), Brett Wallace (13th), Ike Davis (18th) and Daniel Schlereth (26th).


Courtesy of New York Mets
Reese Havens


Reese Havens -- taken 22nd overall that year, when the Mets had a pair of first-round picks because of losing Tom Glavine back to the Braves -- might be part of that group with major league experience as well had a persistent rib-cage injury not undermined the past year of his development.

But now, after 2010 oblique woes and then offseason surgery to remove an inch of a rib that was causing that area problems, Havens may finally have the issue behind him. He joined Double-A Binghamton on May 27. Scar tissue following the surgery had limited his activities during spring training and during the first month of the season, he suspects.

“The injuries, I’ve had a rough go with them,” Havens said. “But that’s part of it. There have been plenty of guys who have asked me the same question. My answer is: I hate being the woulda, coulda, shoulda guy. I know I could probably be in a different place right now, but I’m here. You know, I’m still in a good place. I’m just happy to be back on the field, to tell you the truth.”

A gifted hitter drafted out of the University of South Carolina, the 24-year-old Havens is hitting .278 with a homer and four RBIs through 36 at-bats with the B-Mets, where his Double-A season ended June 11 of last year because of the oblique woes. Havens is sitting roughly every fourth game with the B-Mets as the organization attempts to ease him back into action without further issue.

“They’ve got me on a schedule right now, for the time being,” Havens said.

A natural shortstop, the Mets moved Havens to second base a year ago. Given the recent major league issues at that position, Havens undoubtedly would have been prepared for a shot already at the major league level absent the injuries.

Havens said he is perfectly comfortable at second base despite injuries limiting his development time. He was working with Tim Teufel at second base with Binghamton last season. Now, Teufel has been promoted to Triple-A Buffalo’s helm, but fellow former second baseman Wally Backman has taken over managing Binghamton.

“I feel real comfortable over there,” Havens said about second base. “I’ve had plenty of time to get comfortable. I feel good turning a double play. I’ve had help from Wally. It’s made it a lot easier and sped up the process.”

Havens said there is no particular thing he needs to work on. Instead, it’s just about getting repetitions and back in a groove.

“Right now I’m getting at-bats back under my belt, and am trying to feel comfortable and make good contact,” he said. “That’s really the name of my game -- hitting early and hitting the fastball. I’m just working on getting timing back and the rhythm of being comfortable. And as far as second base goes, I’m just taking my groundballs every day. I’m just working back to being an everyday player and to where I was before I went down with this injury.”

Organization leaders

Average: Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, .329; Juan Lagares, St. Lucie, .323; Cory Vaughn, Savannah, .317; Matt den Dekker, St. Lucie, .306; Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Buffalo, .301; Josh Satin, Binghamton, .298; Jesus Feliciano, Buffalo, .284; Michael Fisher, Buffalo, .277; Robbie Shields, Savannah, .274; Stefan Welch, St. Lucie, .273.

Homers: Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 10; Lucas Duda, Buffalo, 9; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 9; Josh Satin, Binghamton, 8.

RBI: Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 36; Josh Satin, Binghamton, 35; Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 34; Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 33; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 33.

Steals: Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, 14; Jordany Valdespin, Binghamton, 11; Cesar Puello, St. Lucie, 11; Matt den Dekker, St. Lucie, 9; Rafael Fernandez, Savannah, 9.

ERA: Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 1.62; Chase Huchingson, Savannah, 2.14; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 2.21; Matt Harvey, St. Lucie, 2.44; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 3.03; Ryan Fraser, Savannah, 3.25; Greg Peavey, Savannah, 3.27; Gonzalez Germen, Savannah, 3.63; Brad Holt, Binghamton, 3.67; Brandon Moore, Binghamton, 3.78.

Wins: Matt Harvey, St. Lucie, 6; Brandon Moore, Binghamton, 5; Greg Peavey, Savannah, 5.

Saves: Josh Edgin, Savannah, 12; Jeffrey Kaplan, St. Lucie, 9; John Lujan, Buffalo, 5.

Strikeouts: Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 73; Matt Harvey, St. Lucie, 71; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 66; Taylor Whitenton, Savannah, 60; Greg Peavey, Savannah, 58.

Short hops

• Left-hander Steve Matz, the Mets’ top pick in the 2009 draft (second round, 72nd overall), has been backed off throwing because of suspected scar tissue where he had May 18, 2010 Tommy John surgery. Players generally work through scar tissue to break it up, but the Mets proceeded more cautiously with the 20-year-old southpaw, who is a product of Ward Melville High on Long Island. Farm director Adam Wogan said Matz is due to resume throwing Friday, when the extended spring training group returns from a three-day break. Matz, who has yet to throw a professional pitch in a game, will initially be assigned to the Gulf Coast League, not Brooklyn, according to Wogan. That team starts play in Port St. Lucie on June 21.

• Full-season Class A teams had their All-Stars representatives announced, and both St. Lucie and Savannah were well-represented with six players apiece. Selected to the June 18 Florida State League All-Star Game at Clearwater, Fla.: right-handers Matt Harvey, Scott Moviel and Jeffrey Kaplan, left-hander Darin Gorski and outfielders Matt den Dekker and Pedro Zapata. Selected to the June 21 South Atlantic League game in Salisbury, Md.: right-handers Taylor Whitenton and Greg Peavey, left-handers Chase Huchingson and Josh Edgin, infielder Robbie Shields and right fielder Cory Vaughn. Sand Gnats manager Ryan Ellis and first base coach Jose Carreno also will participate.

• A pair of siblings of Mets farmhands were taken in the draft Tuesday. The Mets selected Binghamton right-hander Erik Turgeon’s brother Casey Turgeon, a high school shortstop from Dunedin, Fla., in the 22nd round. Savannah right-hander Erik Goeddel’s brother Tyler Goeddel was selected by the Rays with the 41st overall pick, which Tampa Bay received as compensation for losing Carl Crawford as a free agent to the Boston Red Sox. He is a high school third baseman from California. The Mets’ Goedell has not pitched in a game since May 23 because of a shoulder strain, but Wogan indicated he should be back for an inning or two soon -- perhaps at a lower level to ease back.

• Buffalo’s prospects are on the mend. Lucas Duda, who missed three weeks with a back injury, is hitting .410 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 12 games since a May 28 return while primarily splitting duty between left field and first base. Center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis (.301, 6 HR, 14 RBI, .405 OBP), who missed 10 days after landing on his right shoulder making a diving catch, returned Saturday. Third baseman Zach Lutz is poised to rejoin the Bisons after one more Florida State League game on Wednesday night. Lutz originally landed on the disabled list with Buffalo with a hamstring injury after an April 21 game. Then, while inactive and in the dugout, he was struck with a foul ball and broke the ring finger on his non-throwing hand. Lutz’s return to the Bisons will displace hot-hitting Michael Fisher from third base, but not from the lineup, because Fisher has experience at the other infield positions. Fisher, 26, originally was a Braves draft pick, and was signed as a minor league free agent last year.

• Left-hander Mike O’Connor returned to action for the Bisons on Sunday, allowing a homer to Brandon Hicks at Gwinnett. O’Connor had made nine relief appearances at the major league level before the demotion. Meanwhile, in his first start with Buffalo after clearing waivers and accepting a Triple-A assignment, Pat Misch allowed six runs in six innings Saturday against the Braves’ top affiliate. Misch pushed himself to 92 pitches, which was a feat since he had not logged more than 31 pitches in any appearance during a two-week stay in the majors.

• Binghamton infielder Josh Satin homered twice in Game 2 of Tuesday’s doubleheader against Harrisburg. The performance highlighted Satin’s return from a week-long absence, except for one game at DH, while he dealt with a thigh bruise. Satin is hitting .298 with eight homers and 35 RBIs in 178 at-bats with the B-Mets. A natural second baseman, he has assumed the third-base role since Havens’ arrival.

Oliver Perez, pitching for Double-A Harrisburg, a Washington Nationals affiliate, is due to face Binghamton in a Thursday morning game. Perez is 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA in four Eastern League starts. He has allowed 15 hits, walked three and hit two batters while striking out 14 in 19 innings.

• Savannah center fielder Darrell Ceciliani, the 2010 New York-Penn League batting champion with Brooklyn, has a seven-game hitting streak, during which he has lifted his average from .225 to .245. That spurt has coincided with a rare rough stretch for the SAL All-Star Vaughn. He is hitting .227 (10-for-44) with no homers and three RBIs in his past 11 games.

• Recent signee Bubba Bell, who began the season with Cleveland’s Triple-A affiliate, was pushed off Buffalo’s roster to Binghamton with the recent return of prospects. Bell has manned center field in his four games with the B-Mets since arriving during the weekend. Carlos Guzman, a Brooklyn native who works out with Jose Reyes and Pedro Beato in Nassau County on Long Island during the offseason, was released. The 25-year-old outfielder was hitting .228 in 123 at-bats with Binghamton.

Chin-lung Hu continues to experience throwing yips with Buffalo. As a result, he is only being placed at second base, and not at shortstop. He also is being pulled late in games.

• Minor league baseball is not easy, especially when rising from high-A St. Lucie to Binghamton. Right-hander Collin McHugh, an 18th-round pick in 2008 out of Berry College, can attest. After allowing four runs on nine hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings at Akron in his second Double-A start on Sunday, McHugh (@Collin_McHugh) eloquently tweeted: “There seems to be a learning curve in AA. I'm hoping it's short and not too sharp. And that it has a guard rail.”

• The Brooklyn Cyclones’ season opens June 17 at Staten Island. Twenty-nine former Cyclones have reached the majors. The most recent: outfielder Ezequiel Carrera, who debuted with the Cleveland Indians on May 20. Carrera was one of seven players shipped out by the Mets in the J.J. Putz/Sean Green deal in December 2008. He subsequently was traded by Seattle to the Indians.

• Shortstop Wilmer Flores returned to St. Lucie’s lineup on Sunday after missing a couple of days with wrist soreness. The organization’s top position-player prospect is 0-for-his-last 11, and his average has slipped to .255 in 55 games.

• Harvey, the 2010 first-round pick from the University of North Carolina, takes the mound again for St. Lucie on Wednesday night. Since getting roughed up for a career-worst eight runs in 3 2/3 innings on May 10, Harvey has limited opponents to four runs while striking out 29 in four starts spanning 22 2/3 innings.

• When will a flurry of roster movement occur? Wogan said he never had been a big fan of tying promotions to the midpoints of seasons, after Class A leagues have determined first-half winners. But Wogan said he has now come around to the idea. After all, players get to experience extra incentive and pressure while trying to secure postseason berths for their teams -- even if they will be at a higher level when the playoff games occur in September. As a result, movement among top Mets prospects such as den Dekker and Vaughn may occur in just less than two weeks, after Savannah and St. Lucie complete their first halves. Savannah leads Greenville by 3 games in that South Atlantic League division, with the Gnats having 11 games remaining in the half. St. Lucie, after a torrid April, is one game over .500 and clinging to a one-game lead over Fort Myers with 12 games to go.

Adam Rubin’s farm report appears Wednesdays during the season

Farm director Wogan on top prospects

February, 24, 2011
2/24/11
5:22
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Mets farm director Adam Wogan chatted with ESPNNewYork.com Thursday about the prospects invited to the organization's invitation-only STEP camp, which staged its first workout in the afternoon. (Full list of players here.) Here's what Wogan had to say:

How did you decide which players to invite?

“It’s probably the same answer you get on any type of camp you do, but it’s in talking to different staff, what guys they feel could benefit from some extra time before spring training. We try to think about guys who are probably going to go to a full-season club because we don’t want to extend the season for [short-season-ticketed] guys. It’s already long enough. And it’s obviously guys we feel very highly about.”

Will some of these guys be ready to be borrowed for early Grapefruit League games? You even have a split-squad Sunday with the University of Michigan in Port St. Lucie and a game at Disney against the Braves.

“There will be. There are some guys who were at the academy in the Dominican who will be in games, and some guys who came in early. We had the voluntary camp that Terry [Collins] was running with other staff. Some guys like [outfielder Sean] Ratliff were down here already playing, so they’d be more prepared than others.”

Anyone in particular you’re eager to see?

“The two guys we’re obviously looking to get a look at that haven’t pitched yet -- [right-hander Greg] Peavey [from Oregon State in the sixth round] and [first-round pick Matt] Harvey [from the University of North Carolina].”

Harvey was in Fort Myers for the instructional league, but had not thrown a ball all summer before signing. And he had to leave right before he was poised to get in the game because of a family issue.

“Going off of what we’ve seen and heard from our scouts, and what we saw in the instructional league, he’s got a big, physical body -- a prototypical body you can dream of being able to handle the load as a starting pitcher for a long time. He’s a guy with a real good fastball -- both a two-seam and a four-seam fastball -- and a curveball and a slider. He’s able to throw a good changeup. He’s intelligent, mature, physical. A lot of good things about him.”

Because of warmth and other factors, is St. Lucie a reasonable place for a pitcher of that caliber to open his career out of college under these circumstances?

“We can look at a lot of things right now, but I think we’re just reserving -- kind of holding on until we actually see him throw and we’ll be able to make a call.”

You haven’t seen Peavey either then.

“He’s from up in the Northwest, so he had a long trip down here. But he’s just a solid, mature guy with a good mix. He ought to be a good option for us.

Outfielder Cesar Puello has been here for a while and hitting the ball a long distance?

“He’s a strong kid. He’s a speed guy. He hasn’t shown power as much in games, but he definitely projects to have quite a bit of power.”

Collectively the other outfielders with him that you have here -- Darrell Ceciliani, Matt den Dekker, Cory Vaughn, Sean Ratliff you feel pretty good about that group?

“It’s a great group. Really athletic guys, guys who can play center field for the most part. In fact all five of them can play center field.”

Right-hander Ryan Fraser, the 16th-round pick from last year, is here too.

“He was out of Memphis last year. He was a starter in college, but because he threw so many innings, we let him pitch in relief with Brooklyn. He’ll probably go back to start this year.”

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
11 3.85 125 161
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .297
HRL. Duda 22
RBIL. Duda 66
RD. Murphy 69
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.49
SOZ. Wheeler 145