New York Mets: Blake Taylor

Farm report: Taylor tuned out speculation

August, 27, 2014
8/27/14
9:44
AM ET
NEW YORK -- The Mets shipped Ike Davis to the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 18 for right-hander Zack Thornton. It took another two months, until the one-year anniversary of Blake Taylor’s signing after the draft, to learn that the southpaw was the player to be named heading to the Mets in the deal.

“There were rumors online and all that stuff. Everyone was saying it was between me or [Neil] Kozikowski or Cody Dickson. There were just a bunch of rumors,” Taylor said. “I was like, ‘I’m not going to believe everything I hear on the internet.’ Once I hear it from the Mets or Pirates organization, I’d believe. … I was just going to keep playing and keep going.


Courtesy of Allen Greene/Kingsport MetsBlake Taylor


“The day I found out, I was shocked. But I was like, ‘All right, I’ve got to pack my things. This is baseball. You’re going to play for a different team.’”

Taylor, who turned 19 on Aug. 17, was drafted by the Pirates in the second round in 2013 out of high school in Dana Point, Calif.

After joining the Mets organization in mid-June, Taylor made three appearances in the Gulf Coast League. He allowed two runs, neither earned, on one hit, seven walks and a hit batter while striking out 10 in 10 2/3 innings. He since has moved to the Appalachian League. In seven starts with Kingsport, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Taylor is 2-1 with a 5.16 ERA. He has allowed 39 hits and 22 walks in 29 2/3 innings.

Taylor’s fastball sits at 86-90 mph. He also possesses a changeup and curveball.

“I’m still getting better. I still have a lot more to learn with command and all that stuff,” Taylor said. “But I’ve been progressing this year and throwing my changeup for a strike more than I have been normally. It’s been a very, very educational year for me just to learn. This is my first full season.”

Said Mets VP Paul DePodesta: “We liked Blake a lot leading up to the 2013 draft. We felt he was an athletic left-hander with size and the makings of a plus breaking ball.”

Taylor had signed with the University of Hawaii out of high school, but being taken in the second round (along with a reported $750,000 signing bonus) prompted him to turn pro.

“Going into the draft, I didn’t really want to have high expectations,” Taylor said. “I wasn’t really known, so I kind of accepted the fact that I probably might go to college. It was a big surprise to go in the second round. So I was like, ‘Well, baseball has been my dream. Let me go do it.’”

He arrived with the Mets not knowing anyone beyond having played against Dominic Smith and Andrew Church in the Area Code Games. Still, Taylor said, his new teammates have been “welcoming me with open arms.”

Said Taylor: “Everyone has been really nice and cool and showing me the ropes. Baseball is a fraternity. You go anywhere and it’s the same group of guys, basically.”

Organization leaders

Average: T.J. Rivera, Binghamton, .352; Matt Reynolds, Vegas, .347; Matt den Dekker, Vegas, .334; Dilson Herrera, Binghamton, .320; John Mora, Brooklyn, .319; Kevin Plawecki, Vegas, .310; Jean Rodriguez, Kingsport, .303; L.J. Mazzilli, St. Lucie, .297; Jeff McNeil, St. Lucie, .295; Wuilmer Becerra, Kingsport, .294.

Homers: Brian Burgamy, Binghamton, 23; Dustin Lawley, Binghamton, 20; Andrew Brown, Vegas, 19; Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 16; Travis Taijeron, Binghamton, 15.

RBIs: L.J. Mazzilli, St. Lucie, 76; Brian Burgamy, Binghamton, 75; Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 74; T.J. Rivera, Binghamton, 72; Dilson Herrera, Binghamton, 70.

Steals: Champ Stuart, Savannah, 27; Patrick Biondi, Savannah, 23; Dilson Herrera, Binghamton, 23; Matt Reynolds, Vegas, 19.

ERA: Marcos Molina, Brooklyn, 1.56; Corey Oswalt, Brooklyn, 2.04; Steven Matz, Binghamton, 2.19; John Gant, Savannah, 2.59; Robert Gsellman, Savannah, 2.67; Matt Bowman, Vegas, 2.88; Kevin McGowan, St. Lucie, 3.63; Tyler Pill, Binghamton, 3.98; Casey Meisner, Brooklyn, 4.08; Ricky Knapp, Savannah, 4.19.

Wins: Greg Peavey, Binghamton, 12; Gabriel Ynoa, Binghamton, 11; Logan Verrett, Vegas, 11.

Saves: Chasen Bradford, Vegas, 16; Akeel Morris, Savannah, 15; Cody Satterwhite, Binghamton, 15; Shane Bay, Brooklyn, 14.

Strikeouts: Noah Syndergaard, Vegas, 135; Matt Bowman, Vegas, 124; Steven Matz, Binghamton, 121; Greg Peavey, Binghamton, 118; Tyler Pill, Binghamton, 117.

Short hops

Manuel Hilario, who was unconscious and suffered a seizure in a second-base collision Friday with the Gulf Coast League Mets, was released from the hospital and is “recovering well,” according to the organization. Hilario, 22, is done for the season with the GCL season ending Thursday.

• The organization placed multiple players on year-end all-star teams. Already announced: Las Vegas’ Matt den Dekker in the Pacific Coast League, St. Lucie’s Cam Maron in the Florida State League and Kingsport’s Wuilmer Becerra in the Appalachian League.

• Several Mets affiliates are playoff-bound as minor-league regular seasons wrap up by Monday:

Triple-A Las Vegas (79-60) has won the PCL Pacific Southern Division.

Double-A Binghamton (83-53) has clinched no worse than a wild-card spot. The B-Mets trail Portland by two games for the division crown with five games remaining.

Low-A Savannah (82-48 overall) won its division in the first half in the South Atlantic League.

Meanwhile, Brooklyn (39-31) has a two-game lead on Connecticut for the New York-Penn League’s wild-card berth with six games remaining. And Kingsport is on the outside looking in right now. The K-Mets trail Johnson City by two games for the second wild-card spot with three games remaining.

• Outfielder Brandon Nimmo, middle infielder Matt Reynolds, right-handers Julian Hilario, Cory Mazzoni, Paul Sewald and Rob Whalen and one position player to be determined will represent the Mets in the Arizona Fall League. Valentino Pascucci, who received rave reviews in his first season as an instructor, will serve as a hitting coach.

Sewald received a promotion to Double-A on the eve of the Eastern League playoffs. The 24-year-old University of San Diego product had posted a 1.73 ERA and 1.038 WHIP in 40 relief appearances with St. Lucie.

• Right-hander Michael Fulmer, who was selected with the 44th overall pick in the 2011 draft out of high school in Oklahoma, went on Binghamton’s DL after making his Double-A debut. Fulmer has a bone spur in his pitching elbow. He needs to be evaluated by doctors to determine if the spur needs to be surgically removed.

• Left-handed reliever Paul Paez, a 38th-round pick in 2013 out of Rio Hondo College in California, was named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week. Paez allowed one hit and one walk and struck out nine batters in 6 1/3 innings with Savannah.

• Right-hander Johnny Magliozzi, a 17th-round pick in 2013 out of the University of Florida, underwent Tommy John surgery.

Minors 8.9.14: Lara silences Senators

August, 10, 2014
8/10/14
1:06
AM ET
LAS VEGAS 8, ALBUQUERQUE 3: Kevin Plawecki contributed a two-run homer and Cory Mazzoni allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings. Albuquerque committed six errors, leading to four unearned runs. Box

BINGHAMTON 3, HARRISBURG 1: Rainy Lara tossed 7 2/3 scoreless innings and Brian Burgamy went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and extended his hitting streak to a season-high 13 games. In his return to the lineup three days after suffering a jammed finger on a slide, Dilson Herrera hit a first-inning solo homer against John Simms. The B-Mets added to that total in the third. Lara and Brandon Nimmo, who was starting for the first time since Sunday, hit back-to-back singles to put two on with nobody out. After a fly out, Burgamy smacked a two-run double for a 3-0 lead. Harrisburg finally got on the scoreboard in the ninth against Cody Satterwhite. Jason Martinson made it all the way to third base on an error by right fielder Darrell Ceciliani. Martinson scored on Adrian Sanchez's pinch-hit single. Lara (6-4) has has allowed one run in 14 2/3 innings over his last two starts. Satterwhite notched his 13th save. Binghamton starting pitchers have allowed three earned runs over the last seven games. Nimmo, who had been sidelined with a hand injury, went 2-for-4 and scored a run. Box

ST. LUCIE 4, BRADENTON 3: Eudy Pina scored on a wild pitch as St. Lucie earned a walk-off win. Pina had worked a four-pitch walk against Bryton Trepagnier to open the frame. Gilbert Gomez bunted him to second, and Pina advanced to third on Jeff McNeil’s groundout. Then, on a 1-1 pitch to Maikis De La Cruz, Trepagnier skipped a fastball wide of catcher Jacob Stallings. The Mets had taken a 3-2 lead into the ninth inning, but Stallings hit a one-out solo homer against Beck Wheeler. Earlier, Jeff McNeil, De La Cruz and L.J. Mazzilli opened the first inning with singles to load the bases. However, the Mets only came away with one run, on Phillip Evans’ bloop single. Mets starter Matt Koch maintained the 1-0 lead into the fifth. That frame, he walked Justin Maffei to load the bases, then plunked Adam Frazier to force in the tying run. With the bases reloaded, Walker Gourley hit a sac fly that gave the Marauders a 2-1 lead. However, the Mets scored two runs in the bottom half to take a 3-2 lead. Cam Maron's single plated McNeil. Evans later beat out a potential inning-ending double play that allowed Mazzilli to score the go-ahead run. Koch went six innings and surrendered two runs. He walked two, hit two and struck out a season-high-matching six. Box

SAVANNAH 9, AUGUSTA 2
AUGUSTA 3, SAVANNAH 1: In Game 1, 2013 first-round pick Dominic Smith produced an RBI double in the sixth that evened the score at 2. Jeff Glenn added a three-run triple later in that five-run frame. Smith had a two-run homer in the seventh that capped the scoring. It was Smith's first 2014 long ball. Starter Ricky Knapp contributed a seven-inning complete game to even his record at 6-6. After five scoreless innings from starter Robert Gsellman in Game 2, Augusta posted three runs in the sixth against Bret Mitchell. Box 1, Box 2

KINGSPORT 5, BRISTOL 4: Jean Rodriguez had a first-inning homer and finished 3-for-4 as the K-Mets built a 5-0 lead and held on. Rodriguez and Zach Mathieu drove in two runs apiece. Former Pirates farmhand Blake Taylor allowed three runs on six hits and five walks in three innings. David Roseboom converted his second save despite allowing two hits in the ninth. Box

BATAVIA 4, BROOKLYN 2: Starter Marcos Molina, one of six Cyclones All-Star selections earlier in the day, allowed four runs on eight hits while striking out 11 in six innings. Molina's ERA swelled to 1.78. Also chosen for the Aug. 19 game, which will be played in Brooklyn: shortstop Amed Rosario, third baseman Jhoan Urena, right-hander Corey Oswalt, left-hander Shane Bay and outfielder Michael Bernal. Box

GCL CARDINALS 6, GCL METS 2: Starter Darwin Ramos and reliever Joel Huertas allowed three runs apiece as the Cardinals built a 6-0 lead. Dale Burdick, a 40th-round pick out of high school in Tennessee in June, produced his first professional homer in the loss. Box

Compiled with team reports

Minors 8.2.14: T.J. Rivera lifts B-Mets

August, 2, 2014
8/02/14
11:52
PM ET
SACRAMENTO 7, LAS VEGAS 5: The Rivercats broke a 2-all tie and knocked out starter John Lannan during a five-run seventh. Lannan ultimately was charged with six runs on eight hits and three walks in 6 2/3 innings. Taylor Teagarden went 3-for-4 with a ninth-inning solo homer in the loss. Las Vegas rallied for three ninth-inning runs in total, capped by a two-run single by Cesar Puello. The 51s had evened the score in the sixth on Teagarden's RBI single, although Andrew Brown was thrown out at the plate also attempting to score on the play, on a throw from left fielder Shane Peterson. Box

BINGHAMTON 2, BOWIE 1: T.J. Rivera delivered a tiebreaking RBI single in the bottom of the eighth. That capped his 4-for-4 night, which extended his hitting streak to 10 games. At

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Rivera
67-46, the B-Mets are back at their high-water mark for the season. Bowie took a 1-0 lead in the second with three singles against Rainy Lara. Binghamton was held scoreless by Anthony Vasquez into the sixth. That’s when Brian Burgamy singled with one out. He advanced to second on Rivera's single. Darrell Ceciliani then delivered a bloop hit to plate Burgamy and even the score. The B-Mets broke the tie in the eighth against Steven Hensley. Dilson Herrera walked and reached third on Jayce Boyd's single. Rivera laced a single up the middle to bring home Herrera. Lara and Vasquez each gave up one run on six hits in seven innings in no-decisions. Lara struck out seven and did not walk a batter. Jack Leathersich (3-3) pitched a scoreless eighth to pick up his second straight win. It marked the first time Leathersich has appeared in back-to-back games this season. Cody Satterwhite shut the door in the ninth for his 11th save. He is 11-for-12 in save opportunities. Box

ST. LUCIE 6, CLEARWATER 3: With the score tied at 3 in the top of the eighth, Gavin Cecchini belted a two-out double off the wall in right that scored Gilbert Gomez. Albert

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Cecchini
Cordero followed with a two-run homer for the three-run margin of victory. Beck Wheeler pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth to earn his eighth save. Dario Alvarez, making his St. Lucie debut, inherited runners at second and third with one out in the sixth and walked the first batter he faced to load the bases. However, he got Herlis Rodriguez to line into an inning-ending double play. That kept the deficit at 3-2. The Mets wasted no time tying the score in their next trip to the plate. With Cordero on third base, Maikis De La Cruz hit a slow chopper that was booted by third baseman Harold Martinez. Cordero scored on the error to make it 3-all. J.P. Crawford led off the bottom of the seventh with a double against Alvarez, but Alvarez (1-0) struck out three to finish his appearance. Cecchini, who went 2-for-3 Friday, matched that output Saturday. Both hits were run-scoring doubles with two outs. Cordero went 2-for-4 and is now 9-for-his-last-19 in a six-game stretch. Jared King had two hits for the third straight game. Starter Matt Koch went 5 1/3 and scattered six hits in a no-decision. He allowed three runs (two earned). Box

SAVANNAH 5, HICKORY 2
SAVANNAH 8, HICKORY 0: In Game 2, Robert Gsellman tossed a seven-inning shutout to

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Gsellman
improve to 9-5 and lower his ERA to 2.45. He allowed six hits and a walk while striking out five. It was Gsellman's fourth complete game of the seasons. The Gnats put the game away early with a four-run second inning. Colton Plaia provided the key swing with a three-run double into the right-center gap. Savannah, which drew seven walks in the game, added three runs in the fourth and one run in the fifth. In the opener, the Crawdads scored first with a run in the second inning on Ronald Guzman's single against starter Ricky Knapp. However, the Gnats erased that early lead with a five-run fourth inning, capped by a two-run single by Matt Oberste. Knapp held the Crawdads to two runs in his 5 1/3 innings to earn his fifth win. Box 1, Box 2

ELIZABETHTON 4, KINGSPORT 0: Starter Blake Taylor allowed four runs (three earned) in four innings. Taylor (2-1), a former Pirates farmhand, allowed five hits and four walks. Box

BROOKLYN 8, CONNECTICUT 1: First-round pick Michael Conforto produced his first professional homer, had two walks, scored twice and threw out a runner at the plate from left field. Amed Rosario and Adrian Abreu had three hits and two runs scored apiece. Starter Marcos Molina allowed one run on five hits and a walk while striking out nine in eight innings. Box

GCL METS 6, GCL NATIONALS 4: Dash Winningham went 2-for-3 with a solo homer, walk and three runs scored. The GCL Mets built a 6-0 lead behind five scoreless innings from starter Darwin Ramos and three scoreless relief innings from Joel Huertas. Gabriel Feliz was charged with four runs (three earned) in the ninth. Alex Palsha entered with the score 6-3 and two outs and allowed an inherited runner to score on a single. Palsha then stranded runners on the corners with a strikeout for his sixth save. Box

Compiled with team reports

Minors 7.27.14: Reynolds homer lifts 51s

July, 27, 2014
7/27/14
9:28
PM ET
LAS VEGAS 6, SALT LAKE 5: Matt Reynolds launched a three-run homer against Michael Kohn with one out in the seventh as the 51s overcame a 5-3 deficit. It marked only

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Reynolds
Reynolds' third homer in 337 at-bats this season between Triple-A and Double-A. The Bees had scored three runs in the top half of the inning. The damage included a two-run double by ex-Met John Buck against Gonzalez Germen. Germen had inherited those runners from Miguel Socolovich. Noah Syndergaard allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks while striking out eight in five innings. He threw 103 pitches (68 strikes). In his past two starts, Syndergaard has allowed one earned run in 11 1/3 innings. Chasen Bradford tossed a scoreless ninth for his second save despite allowing a leadoff single to Buck. After a sac bunt advanced pinch runner Zach Zaneski to second, Bradford struck out Roberto Lopez and John Hester. Pitching coach Frank Viola was ejected in the fifth inning by plate umpire Scott Mahoney. Box

TRENTON 7, BINGHAMTON 3: B-Mets starter Rainy Lara was tagged for seven runs on 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings. The damage included a four-run sixth, capped by Jake Cave's two-run triple that staked the Thunder to a 7-2 lead. Jayce Boyd went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored in the loss. Binghamton had opened the scoring in the third inning against Manny Banuelos. Travis Taijeron walked and moved to second when Kai Gronauer reached on Banuelos' throwing error. Both runners then advanced on a wild pitch. Rylan Sandoval followed with an RBI groundout. Trenton answered in the bottom half against Lara on Cave's solo homer. The Thunder took a 3-1 lead in the fifth. Casey Stevenson produced a solo homer. Back-to-back singles by Ali Castillo and Cave then put runners on the corners with none out. Ben Gamel produced a sacrifice fly. Binghamton got a run back in the sixth against Danny Burawa. T.J. Rivera smacked a one-out single and moved to second on a passed ball. Boyd also singled to plate Rivera and cut the deficit to 3-2. Chase Huchingson and Adam Kolarek blanked Trenton over the final 2 1/3 innings. Banuelos went four innings and surrendered one unearned run. Box

DAYTONA 4, ST. LUCIE 3
DAYTONA 6, ST. LUCIE 5: After three Gulf Coast League appearances since returning from

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Hefner
Tommy John surgery, Jeremy Hefner allowed three runs on three hits and four walks in three innings in Game 1 of a Florida State League doubleheader. All three runs against Hefner came in the first inning. St. Lucie evened the score with a three-run fifth that included consecutive RBI doubles by Gilbert Gomez and Eudy Pina. Wilfredo Tovar, who was just assigned to the FSL club as he returns from thumb-ligament surgery, added a game-tying RBI single. The Cubs broke the 3-all tie in the bottom half without the benefit of a hit. Jake Kuebler issued a leadoff walk to Marco Hernandez. Hernandez advanced to third on a wild pitch and passed ball and scored the decisive run on Kyle Schwarber's sacrifice fly. Kuebler (3-2) suffered the loss on the unearned run despite not yielding any other baserunners in three relief innings.

In Game 2, St. Lucie took a 5-4 lead with a three-run fifth inning that included Jared King's tiebreaking RBI double. However, T.J. Chism surrendered a two-run homer in the bottom half to Dan Vogelbach after inheriting a runner from Luis Cessa. Box 1, Box 2

LEXINGTON 5, SAVANNAH 2: Dario Alvarez uncorked a wild pitch in the seventh that allowed a runner inherited from Bret Mitchell to race home and even the score at 2. An inning later, Alvarez surrendered three more runs. He had a throwing error on a bunt attempt as the tiebreaking run scored. The Gnats had taken a 2-1 lead in the sixth when Matt Oberste tripled and scored on a passed ball. Starter John Gant allowed one run on seven hits and four walks in five innings in a no-decision. Box

KINGSPORT 11, BURLINGTON 3: Pedro Perez had a pair of doubles and drove in three runs as the K-Mets overcame an early 2-1 deficit. Starter Blake Taylor allowed three runs in six innings. Box

BROOKLYN 9, LOWELL 3: Michael Bernal went 4-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs off

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Bernal
the bench after replacing injured first baseman Michael Katz as the Cyclones overcame an early 3-1 deficit. First-round pick Michael Conforto went 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and walk to lift his average to .412. Conforto has hit safely in all nine games since signing and joining Brooklyn. Starter Marcos Molina allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits and two walks in six innings. Katz was injured in the third inning when Danny Mars hit a groundball into the hole between Katz and second baseman Tyler Moore. Moore was able to get to the ball and tried to retire Mars at first base. As Katz tried to catch Moore’s throw he twisted a knee. Box

Compiled with team reports

Morning Briefing: Colon Day!

July, 23, 2014
7/23/14
6:22
AM ET
SEATTLE

FIRST PITCH: The Mets look for a rubber-game win Wednesday when Bartolo Colon opposes Seattle Mariners top prospect Taijuan Walker in the 3:40 p.m. ET series finale at Safeco Field.

Wednesday’s news reports:

Jacob deGrom continued to put up NL Rookie of the Year-type numbers. DeGrom limited the Mariners to one run in seven innings as the Mets won, 3-1, Tuesday. The Amazin’s snapped a three-game losing streak. Read game recaps in the Seattle Times, Post, Daily News, Newsday, Times, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.

Ruben Tejada's left hand was swollen, but the shortstop indicated he did not need X-rays after getting struck with a fifth-inning pitch on the left hand.

Curtis Granderson was held out of Tuesday’s lineup because of illness and Chris Young's left calf, which forced him to depart the series opener, continued to limit him. Read more in the Daily News.

• Noah Syndergaard tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings in Game 1 and Wilmer Flores lost a 22-game hitting streak as Las Vegas split a doubleheader at Tacoma. Left-hander Blake Taylor, the player to be named in the Ike Davis trade, tossed six scoreless innings as Kingsport blanked Greeneville, 5-0.

"For the most part, I attacked hitters," Syndergaard told milb.com. "I was trying to be a little unpredictable. I threw quite a bit of my curveball. I threw some pretty good curveballs, and some ended up out of the strike zone. Even though it wasn't for a strike, it showed the hitter I wasn't afraid to throw a breaking pitch in certain counts."

Read the full minor-league recap here.

Jeremy Hefner tossed three innings in his third Gulf Coast League appearance since returning from Tommy John surgery.

• Left-handed reliever Scott Rice is due to undergo surgery on Wednesday to remove a bone spur from his pitching elbow and also to relocate a troublesome nerve. Read more in the Record and at MLB.com.

• Triple-A catching prospect Kevin Plawecki has been diagnosed with vertigo. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Citing a source close to Colon, ESPNDeportes.com’s Marly Rivera reported the San Francisco Giants have interest in the 41-year-old right-hander.

Executives from other teams tell columnist Joel Sherman in the Post that the $11 million owed to Colon in 2015 will make it very difficult to trade him. Writes Sherman:

Though there are multiple teams -- including the Yankees -- looking for rotation help, the case against Colon was described by several personnel men as significant. One put it this way: “His old team [the A’s] didn’t want to sign him for two years. The only team willing to sign him for two years already has him and that second year is a killer for the Mets to move him even if they don’t want any prospects back.”

Colon has a 4.12 ERA. But when you adjust that for the league and his big ballpark, Colon’s ERA is actually 15 percent worse than the league average. He already has surrendered 14 homers -- the same number as all of last season. There is always worry about his weight and his steroid past. All of that might be possible to overlook -- to some extent -- as one NL scout said, “if his contract were expiring.”

Read more in Newsday.

• ESPN’s Keith Law ranks the Mets’ farm system No. 4 in the majors. Writes Law:

The Mets have graduated a few prospects to the majors -- Travis d'Arnaud (No. 2 in the system coming into the year) and Jacob deGrom (No. 13) in particular -- but nearly all of the guys still in the system have taken steps forward. Noah Syndergaard (No. 1) has had an excellent year in the pitchers' hell of Las Vegas. Brandon Nimmo (No. 5) is hitting for power now that he's out of Savannah, a terrible park for left-handed power hitters. Catcher Kevin Plawecki (No. 6) continues to receive well, as expected, but he also has hit well enough to push himself up to Triple-A in his second full season.

ESPN Insiders can read the full entry here.

• The Mets will play the AL East in interleague play in 2015. In those years, the Mets and Yankees will meet six times, up from the now-customary four Subway Series games. The Boston Red Sox are tentatively due to visit Citi Field from Aug. 28-30, Gordon Edes writes at ESPNBoston.com.

• Read more on Walker’s call-up to face the Mets in the Seattle Times.

• Marc Carig in Newsday and Sherman in the Post revisit the R.A. Dickey deal and ask if the Mets took the right pitching prospect in Syndergaard over Aaron Sanchez.

Eric Young Jr. cheered up a couple of boys he had a close call with in the left-field stands by giving them his wrist band after the half-inning, Carig writes in Newsday.

• Tim Rohan in the Times writes about the Mets’ second-half stumble.

BIRTHDAYS: Savannah left-hander John Mincone, a product of Half Hollow Hills East High School on Long Island, turns 25.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you believe Jacob deGrom can win NL Rookie of the Year?

Minors 7.22.14: Flores hit streak ends

July, 22, 2014
7/22/14
11:31
PM ET
LAS VEGAS 4, TACOMA 0

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Syndergaard
TACOMA 4, LAS VEGAS 3: Noah Syndergaard limited the Rainiers to four hits in 6 1/3 scoreless innings and combined with Gonzalez Germen on the seven-inning shutout in Game 1 of a doubleheader. Matt den Dekker had a game-opening homer and Josh Satin had a two-run shot later in the first inning against James Paxton. Den Dekker finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Wilmer Flores went 0-for-4 as his 22-game hitting streak ended. Syndergaard (8-5) walked three and struck out five and tossed 109 pitches. In Game 2, starter Giancarlo Alvarado allowed three runs in three innings. Trailing 4-1 in the final frame, den Dekker had a two-out, two-run double. However, he was stranded at second base when Matt Reynolds struck out. Box 1, Box 2

PORTLAND 4, BINGHAMTON 3: B-Mets reliever Jon Velasquez surrendered a walk-off RBI

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Velasquez
double to Jonathan Roof. Dilson Herrera went 3-for-4 and fell a double shy of the cycle. He was ejected in the eighth inning for arguing after being called out at home plate. Binghamton had opened the scoring in the third. Travis Taijeron and Herrera singled and Brian Burgamy walked to load the bases. With Dustin Lawley at the plate, Luis Diaz tossed a wild pitch and Taijeron scored for a 1-0 lead. The Sea Dogs responded with a three-run fourth against Rainy Lara. After the righty retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced, rehabbing Ryan Lavarnway launched a solo homer to tie the score. Later in the frame, Sean Coyle and Stefan Welch singled and Shannon Wilkerson plated both. The B-Mets evened the score at 3 a half-inning later on solo homers by Taijeron and Herrera. Velasquez (4-3) went 1 2/3 innings in the losing effort. Lara tossed 5 1/3 innings and allowed three runs on six hits. Box

TAMPA 3, ST. LUCIE 2: Greg Bird’s solo homer on the first pitch from John Lannan in the bottom of the sixth broke a 2-all tie. Trailing 2-1 in the sixth, Jared King had tied the score

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Lannan
when he scampered home on Kyle Haynes’ wild pitch. That same wild pitch moved Cam Maron to third base with no outs. Yet the Mets couldn’t get Maron home. After Aderlin Rodriguez walked, Gavin Cecchini struck out, Jeff McNeil lined out to shallow center and Eudy Pina flied out. Earlier in the game, the Mets had the bases loaded with one out in the fourth. However, Cecchini struck out and McNeil grounded out. Tampa’s first two runs came in a three-error third inning and were unearned. Lannan struck out Claudio Custodio, but Custodio reached first base safely because strike three was a wild pitch. Lannan then appeared to have Custodio picked off at first, but Rodriguez dropped the throw and Custodio advanced to second. Custodio advanced to third on Jose Rosario's single. It looked like Lannan was poised to get a double play to escape unharmed, but umpire Brennan Miller ruled Phillip Evans didn’t hold the bag at second and Custodio scored. Later in the inning, Rodriguez committed a fielding error at first base that allowed Rosario to score as the Yankees took a 2-0 lead. Lannan took the loss despite limiting the Yankees to one earned run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings. Seth Lugo retired all eight batters he faced after taking over for Lannan. Taylor Garrison and Cesar Vargas combined to strike out seven of the last eight St. Lucie hitters. Box

KINGSPORT 5, GREENEVILLE 0: Blake Taylor, the player to be named in the Ike Davis trade, allowed one hit and two walks in six scoreless innings. He combined with Christian Montgomery, David Roseboom and Nicco Blank on a two-hit shutout. Wuilmer Becerra went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and three RBIs. Oswald Caraballo went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Box

ABERDEEN 7, BROOKLYN 6: The Cyclones nearly overcame a five-run deficit, but tying run Anthony Chavez was stranded at second base in the ninth when Amed Rosario struck out. Michael Conforto's run-scoring groundout had capped a three-run eighth that pulled Brooklyn within 7-5. Rosario and Jhoan Urena drove in two runs apiece for Brooklyn. The IronBirds broke a 2-all tie with a five-run fifth against Alberto Baldonado and Cameron Griffin. Box

GCL NATIONALS 5, GCL METS 1: Jeremy Hefner allowed one run in three innings in his third start since returning from Tommy John surgery. Audry German then surrendered four fourth-inning runs as the Nats built a 5-0 lead. German subsequently contributed four scoreless frames. The Mets' lone run came in the fifth on a leadoff homer by Hengelbert Rojas. Box

Compiled with team reports

Farm report: Mazzoni finally Vegas-bound

July, 16, 2014
7/16/14
9:26
AM ET
NEW YORK -- Right-hander Cory Mazzoni was slated to be part of a standout Triple-A rotation to open the season with Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom.

Instead, the honor of starting the Grapefruit League finale on getaway day for the Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla., became a major setback for the 2011 second-round pick out of NC State.

With the Mets wanting to avoid using Bartolo Colon against the Nationals since he also was due to face them in his first regular-season outing, Mazzoni took the March 27 start at Tradition Field. He was forced to leave the game against Washington in the second inning because of what eventually was diagnosed as a right lat-muscle strain.


Courtesy of New York MetsCory Mazzoni


Only now is the 24-year-old Mazzoni due to head to Las Vegas.

In what was expected to be his final tune-up before joining the 51s, Mazzoni tossed seven innings for Binghamton at Erie on Saturday. That was his fourth minor-league appearance as he gets back into pitching shape.

“I thought it was going to be a couple-of-week thing,” Mazzoni said. “It was tough being out that long, seeing all of your friends pitching well and stuff in Double-A and Triple-A. It’s definitely tough to watch.

“You see what deGrom did in Triple-A and now he’s in the big leagues, pitching really well. Obviously everything gets pushed back a little bit now. But you still have to keep the same mindset and you can’t dwell on that.”

Mazzoni went 5-3 with a 4.36 ERA in 13 appearances (12 starts) with Binghamton in 2013 before requiring season-ending surgery on Aug. 2 to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.

Mazzoni’s fastball sits at 92-94 mph. He also throws a slider and changeup. He is projected to pitch in relief in the majors.

“He’s come with some high recommendations from the people in the organization that this kid can be an absolute late-in-the-game kind of bullpen guy, because he’s got three quality pitches,” Terry Collins has said.

Said Mazzoni: “I can always work on fastball command. I’m still developing my splitter. It needs to be a little bit more consistent. But my arm feels good, and I feel like my stuff is pretty good. It’s just refining and tweaking it a little more.”

Organization leaders

Average: Matt Reynolds, Vegas, .350; John Mora, GCL Mets, .338; T.J. Rivera, Binghamton, .336; Enmanuel Zabala, GCL Mets, .329; Oswald Caraballo, Kingsport, .323; Matt den Dekker, Vegas, .312; Dilson Herrera, Binghamton, .312; Jeff McNeil, St. Lucie, .312; Kevin Plawecki, Vegas, .308.

Homers: Dustin Lawley, Binghamton, 16; Andrew Brown, Vegas, 15; Brian Burgamy, Binghamton, 15; Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 12; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, 12.

RBIs: Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 59; L.J. Mazzilli, St. Lucie, 58; Brian Burgamy, Binghamton, 53; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, 53; Kevin Plawecki, Vegas, 53.

Steals: Patrick Biondi, Savannah, 19; Dilson Herrera, Binghamton, 17; Jeff McNeil, St. Lucie, 15.

ERA: Marcos Molina, Brooklyn, 0.94; Rob Whalen, GCL Mets, 1.67; Octavio Acosta, Brooklyn, 1.86; Kevin McGowan, St. Lucie, 2.14; Steven Matz, Binghamton, 2.41; Robert Gsellman, Savannah, 2.89; John Gant, Savannah, 2.97; Corey Oswalt, Brooklyn, 3.16; Matt Bowman, Vegas, 3.43; Darin Gorski, Vegas, 3.51.

Wins: Gabriel Ynoa, Binghamton, 10; John Gant, Savannah, 9.

Saves: Chasen Bradford, Vegas, 12; Robert Coles, St. Lucie, 12; Randy Fontanez, Binghamton, 10; Akeel Morris, Savannah, 8.

Strikeouts: Darin Gorski, Vegas, 96; Dario Alvarez, Savannah, 89; Steven Matz, Binghamton, 87; Matt Bowman, Vegas, 85; Noah Syndergaard, Vegas, 82.

Short hops

• First-round pick Michael Conforto is due to head to Los Angeles for Thursday’s Golden Spikes Award. Conforto, who officially signed on Friday after a standout career as an outfielder at Oregon State, is one of three finalists for the award, which goes to the nation’s top amateur player. The winner will be revealed on “SportsCenter.” The other finalists are LSU right-hander Aaron Nola (selected seventh overall by Philadelphia) and Kentucky left-hander/infielder A.J. Reed (a second-round pick by Houston). Conforto is due to rejoin the Brooklyn Cyclones on Friday and should make his professional debut shortly thereafter.

Matt Reynolds has continued his offensive surge since a promotion to Triple-A. In 24 Pacific Coast League games, the former second-round pick out of Arkansas is hitting .337/.389/.453. Not known for being accomplished defensively, Mets personnel nonetheless say he is showing better range at shortstop than Ruben Tejada and Omar Quintanilla possess. That’s not a terribly high bar, but suggests he may be viable at the position in the majors.

Allan Dykstra, who won Monday’s Triple-A Home Run Derby in Durham, N.C., topped a familiar face in the finals. Former Mets minor-league teammate Francisco Pena finished as the runner-up.

Pena, a catcher like his All-Star father Tony Pena, left the Mets last offseason as a minor-league free agent and signed with Kansas City. The 24-year-old Pena made his major league debut on May 20, catching the final inning, but was returned to Triple-A Omaha without a plate appearance. He did throw out the first would-be base stealer against him. His father formerly managed the Royals and his brother Tony Jr. played there. He is hitting .254 with a career-high 18 homers and 40 RBIs in 205 PCL at-bats this season.

Dykstra will serve as the PCL’s DH for Wednesday’s Triple-A All-Star Game.

• The Eastern League All-Star Game also will be played Wednesday night. Representing Binghamton at Altoona, Pa.: infielder Brian Burgamy, outfielder Kyle Johnson and right-handers Cody Satterwhite and Jon Velasquez.

• Left-hander Blake Taylor, the player-to-be-named acquired from Pittsburgh with Zack Thornton in the April 18 trade for Ike Davis, has been promoted from the Gulf Coast League to Kingsport. Taylor, who turns 19 on Aug. 17, made three GCL appearances. In 10 2/3 innings, he allowed two unearned runs and one hit while walking seven and hitting a batter. In his K-Mets debut Monday, Taylor was pulled one out into the third inning. He was charged with four earned runs on six hits and two walks.

• Binghamton right fielder Travis Taijeron has been named Eastern League Player of the Week. For the week ending Sunday, the 25-year-old Taijeron hit .400 (8-for-20) with three homers and 10 RBIs and had a league-leading .900 slugging percentage. The former 18th-round pick out of Cal Poly Pomona is hitting .251 with 11 homers and 46 RBIs in 227 at-bats this season with the B-Mets.

• Binghamton reliever Hamilton Bennett, 26, was released by the organization last week. The former 29th-round pick in 2010 out of Tennessee Wesleyan College had produced a 3.38 ERA in 10 appearances with Double-A Binghamton this season. A Mets official said the release came at Bennett’s request.

• Montero is nearing a return to Vegas. He tossed four scoreless innings for Class A St. Lucie on Monday. Five days earlier he had logged two innings in the Gulf Coast League. Montero had been sidelined since leaving a Triple-A start on June 14 after only five pitches with a strained left oblique.

• Catcher Ali Sanchez, right-hander Adonis Uceta and infielder/catcher Victor Moscote represent the Mets on the Dominican Summer League All-Star team.

Minors 7.14.14: Ceciliani homers twice

July, 14, 2014
7/14/14
10:56
PM ET
BINGHAMTON 11, ERIE 4: Darrell Ceciliani homered twice and Brandon Nimmo also went deep and the B-Mets head into the Eastern League All-Star break a season-high 20

lastname
Ceciliani
games over .500. Starter Gabriel Ynoa (2-0) allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings. With the B-Mets trailing 1-0 in the second, Ceciliani sent Jeff Ferrell’s first pitch over the right-center wall for his first homer since June 10. Binghamton took a 2-1 lead in the fourth when Jayce Boyd ripped a two-out double that plated T.J. Rivera from first base. Binghamton ended Ferrell’s night in the fifth. Dilson Herrera doubled to score Kyle Johnson from first. Two batters later, Travis Taijeron singled to collect his 46th RBI of the season. Following a single from Rivera, Ceciliani delivered a first-pitch three-run homer inside the right-field pole. Nimmo had a two-run homer against Bryan Augenstein in the sixth. Binghamton tacked on two more runs against Will Startup in the seventh. After laboring through the first inning, Ynoa chewed through the next four frames without allowing a run. Ramon Cabrera ended the streak with a leadoff homer in the sixth, which became Ynoa’s final frame. Three B-Mets relievers combined to take the game to the finish line, allowing two runs on three hits over 3 1/3 innings. Box

ST. LUCIE 3, LAKELAND 2
ST. LUCIE 6, LAKELAND 1: In Game 1, Rafael Montero dominated in what essentially was a rehab start as he works back from a left oblique strain. He blanked the Flying Tigers over

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Montero
four innings, allowing two singles and one walk while striking out four. He threw 64 pitches (40 strikes). Maikis De La Cruz gave the Mets a 1-0 lead in the second with a sac fly that plated Aderlin Rodriguez. Phillip Evans put the Mets up 2-0 with a solo homer against Yorfrank Lopez in the fourth. It was the second straight game with a long ball for Evans, who now has four this season. The Flying Tigers cut the Mets' lead to 2-1 in the sixth when Andy Dirks scored from third on a passed ball by Cam Maron. However, Maron doubled to lead off the bottom half and scored on Rodriguez’s single. Austin Green blasted a solo homer against Paul Sewald in the seventh to complete the scoring. Sewald settled down to strike out James Robbins and Jared Reaves. Lance Durham grounded out to end the game. Jake Kuebler allowed one run in 1 2/3 relief innings and earned the win. Sewald notched his sixth save.

In Game 2, De La Cruz gave the Mets an early lead with a two-run single in the second against Logan Ehlers. In the fourth, Flying Tigers reliever Tyler Clark walked three batters, threw a wild pitch that allowed Gavin Cecchini to score and surrendered a two-run single to Evans that made it 5-0. L.J. Mazzilli drove in Gilbert Gomez one batter later to put the Mets up by six runs. Mets starter Domingo Tapia pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings. He scattered five hits and struck out seven while walking two. Robert Coles entered with one out and two in scoring position in the sixth and stranded both runners. The Flying Tigers scored an unearned run in the seventh on Jeff McVaney’s infield single. Box 1, Box 2

KINGSPORT 7, BRISTOL 7 (suspended): Wuilmer Becerra homered twice before the game was halted in the seventh inning. Blake Taylor, who was acquired from the Pirates for Ike Davis, allowed four runs on six hits and two walks in 2 1/3 innings. Box

CONNECTICUT 2, BROOKLYN 0 (6 innings): The game was called one batter into the sixth because of fog. Brooklyn starter Marcos Molina (2-1) was charged with two earned runs on five hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings as his ERA rose to 0.94. Molina entered the start having allowed only two runs (one earned) on eight hits and five walks in 24 innings this season in the New York-Penn League. Box

GCL METS 8, GCL MARLINS 3: Taylor Teagarden caught five innings in his second rehab game with the GCL Mets as he returns from a left hamstring strain. He has been on the DL since June 22. Teagarden went 1-for-3 with a double and two strikeouts. He had served as DH on Saturday. Starter Eucebio Arias allowed three runs (one earned) in 5 2/3 innings. Nabil Crismatt, Joel Huertas and Gabriel Feliz combined for 3 1/3 scoreless relief innings. Milton Ramos went 2-for-4 with three RBIs. The Mets broke a 3-all tie with a five-run fifth. Alfredo Reyes had a tiebreaking RBI single and Ramos followed with a two-run double. Box

Compiled with team reports

Minors 7.7.14: Taijeron's 2 HRs lift B-Mets

July, 8, 2014
7/08/14
1:25
AM ET
RENO 14, LAS VEGAS 8: Starter Giancarlo Alvarado was charged with 12 runs in 2 2/3 innings. Wilmer Flores' streak of five straight games with a homer ended, but he did drive in two runs. Box

BINGHAMTON 11, PORTLAND 4: Travis Taijeron launched two homers and T.J. Rivera
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Taijeron
tied a franchise record with three doubles. Rivera contributed a two-run double and scored on Jayce Boyd's single in a three-run first against Brian Johnson. Cory Mazzoni allowed three runs in five innings in his season debut with the B-Mets after working back from a spring-training lat strain. In the fifth, Taijeron hit his second long ball, this one off Jeremy Kehrt, to put Binghamton up 8-3. It marked the seventh multi-homer game of the season for a B-Met player. Binghamton blew the game open in the sixth against Michael Olmstead. Rivera doubled with one out and Boyd walked to put two on for Brandon Nimmo. He launched a homer for an eight-run lead. 11-3. Randy Fontanez contributed three scoreless relief innings. Box

SAVANNAH 6, AUGUSTA 1: Savannah won its record-tying 11th straight game behind eight strong innings from John Gant. The Gnats also won 11 consecutive games in 1993 (as the Savannah Cardinals), in 2000 and in 2011. The GreenJackets scored their only run against Gant in the first inning, although right fielder Victor Cruzado threw out a runner at the plate to end that inning. After the first inning, Gant allowed only two hits in his next seven innings of work. One runner reached second base during that span. He improved to 9-4 with a 2.64 ERA. Matt Oberste and Dominic Smith accounted for five of the Gnats' nine hits. Oberste finished 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Smith went 2-for-4 to lift his batting average to .296 in 82 games. Box

KINGSPORT 16, PULASKI 11: Oswald Caraballo and Luis Ortega drove in three runs apiece. After Pulaski broke an 8-all tie with three runs in the top of the eighth, the K-Mets answered with eight runs in the bottom half. Box

HUDSON VALLEY 8, BROOKLYN 4: Jhoan Urena had a two-run homer as Brooklyn built a 4-1 lead, but Hudson Valley scored seven runs over the final four innings. Octavio Acosta allowed five runs (three earned) in 6 1/3 innings. Hudson Valley took a 5-4 lead with a two-run seventh that included a throwing error by shortstop Amed Rosario. Tomas Nido went 3-for-4 with two RBIs in the loss. Second baseman Will Fulmer had two of Brooklyn's four errors. Box

GCL METS 6, GCL CARDINALS 2: Blake Taylor, acquired in the Ike Davis trade, tossed four scoreless relief innings to earn the win. Jared King homered and finished 2-for-4 in his third Gulf Coast League game as he returns from a broken right fibula. Manuel Hilario had two RBIs. Box

Minors 6.30.14: Pina finishes June on fire

July, 1, 2014
7/01/14
12:15
AM ET
LAS VEGAS 7, SALT LAKE 3: Greg Peavey, promoted from Double-A before the game, carried a 7-1 lead into the eighth. Allan Dykstra and Brandon Allen homered in the win. Peavey recorded the victory with a season-high eight innings pitched. He allowed eight hits, three runs, issued no walks and struck out three in 99 pitches (67 strikes). It matched the longest outing by a Las Vegas pitcher this season (also Logan Verrett vs. Memphis, June 23). Box

BINGHAMTON 8, NEW BRITAIN 3: Dustin Lawley launched his 11th homer and finished

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Lawley
with four RBIs as Binghamton won its 17th in 20 games. Binghamton loaded the bases in the second against Taylor Rogers. Rylan Sandoval then plated Brandon Nimmo and Travis Taijeron with a two-run single. In the bottom half, Reynaldo Rodriguez blasted a solo homer against Rainy Lara. Binghamton stretched its 2-1 lead with two-out production in the seventh. After Kyle Johnson was plunked with two outs and Dilson Herrera walked on four pitches, New Britain dipped into its bullpen. Jayce Boyd greeted Adrian Salcedo with an RBI single and Lawley capped the inning by ripping a two-run double. Lawley capped the B-Mets night emphatically in the ninth. Following a four-pitch walk to Boyd, the cleanup hitter crushed an 0-1 pitch from Jim Fuller over the left-field wall. Lara (5-2) surrendered one run on five hits over six innings to earn his first victory since May 17. Three B-Mets relievers combined to allow two runs over the final three innings. Lawley’s production capped a month in which he launched seven homers and collected 18 RBIs. Box

ST. LUCIE 5, BRADENTON 2: Eudy Pina’s two-run triple in the fourth erased a 2-1 deficit.

lastname
Pina
Pina then scored on L.J. Mazzilli’s two-out hit for a 4-2 lead. Pina also provided an insurance run with a single in the sixth that plated Maikis De La Cruz. Pina finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs. He batted.375 in June. On the mound, Kevin McGowan took over for John Lannan with two outs in the fourth. McGowan did not allow a run and finished out the last 5 2/3 innings of the game. He only gave up three hits. It was McGowan’s first relief appearance of the season. He started 10 games with Savannah and won his first Florida State League start last week. Lannan cruised until running into trouble in the fourth. He allowed three straight one-out hits, the last a two-run triple by Eric Wood that put the Marauders up 2-1. McGowan entered and struck out Walker Gourley and got a groundout from Taylor Lewis to prevent Wood from scoring. Pirates top pitching prospect Tyler Glasnow had trouble with his command in his start. The fireballer needed 70 pitches to get through 2 2/3 innings. He walked four and struck out five. The Mets had their chances to pounce on Glasnow early, but the only run they managed against him came on Gilbert Gomez's solo homer in the third. De La Cruz went 1-for-3 and scored twice. Gomez went 2-for-5. Box

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Oberste
SAVANNAH 8, ROME 1: Matt Oberste had his second straight big game for the Gnats. After going 4-for-4 with six RBIs and his first homer on Sunday, Oberste followed that up with a 3-for-3 game Monday that included long ball No. 2. Champ Stuart and Dominic Smith each reached base three times. Stuart singled twice and walked while Smith singled twice and doubled into the left-field corner. Dario Alvarez continued his strong season by blanking Rome for five innings. He earned his fifth win and lowered his ERA to 0.96, with 78 strikeouts against 12 walks. The Gnats improved to 14-2 against Rome this season. Box

KINGSPORT 7, JOHNSON CITY 4
JOHNSON CITY 3, KINGSPORT 2: In Game 1, Oswaldo Caraballo had a tiebreaking two-run homer in a three-run sixth. David Roseboom tossed 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to earn his first professional win. In the nightcap, K-Mets starter Andrew Massie allowed three runs in four innings. With Kingsport trailing 3-0, Luis Ortega had a two-run single in the fourth. Brandon Brosher is out with a broken fibula. Box 1, Box 2

GCL NATIONALS 3, GCL METS 2: Milton Ramos' single plated Darryl Knight to even the score at 2 in the top of the seventh, but the Nats retook the lead in the bottom half against Darwin Ramos. Former Pirates farmhand Blake Taylor allowed two unearned runs in 2 2/3 innings. He allowed no hits, but issued three walks. Box

Compiled with team reports

Morning Briefing: On the road again

June, 26, 2014
6/26/14
5:57
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: After a two-game homestand, the Mets return to the road.

The Amazin’s open a four-game series at Pittsburgh, with Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-1, 2.68 ERA) opposing right-hander Vance Worley (1-0, 1.98) at 7:05 p.m. Thursday at PNC Park. The Mets also make a stop at Atlanta during the trip.

Juan Lagares, who had been on the disabled list with a strained intercostal muscle on his right side, will be activated for the series opener.

The Mets optioned lightly used Wilmer Flores (.225, 1 HR, 7 RBIs) to Triple-A Las Vegas to clear the roster spot. That means Ruben Tejada will be leaned on heavily at shortstop, since the Mets do not have a bona fine backup on the major league roster.

Eric Campbell has played only two pro games at shortstop -- both this season with Vegas. David Wright fancies himself a shortstop and can be used there in a pinch, but it would be hard to foresee him ever getting a start there. (Jacob deGrom, who has a .333 average, played shortstop in college at Stetson.)

The Mets will now have seven active outfielders, if you’re liberal in your counting: Curtis Granderson, Lagares, Chris Young, Eric Young Jr., Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Bobby Abreu and, at least in terms of capabilities, Campbell.

Meanwhile, the Mets will again get to catch up with Ike Davis this weekend. Davis is hitting .254 with four homers and 19 RBIs and has a .360 on-base percentage in 58 games since the trade for Zack Thornton and player-to-be-named Blake Taylor, a left-hander who made his organization debut with four scoreless innings in the Gulf Coast League on Tuesday.

Thursday’s news reports:

• On the heels of his first complete game, Zack Wheeler had his shortest career start. Wheeler allowed a career-high six earned runs in two innings and the Mets had a three-game winning streak snapped with an 8-5 loss to the Oakland Athletics.


Brad Penner/USA TODAY SportsZack Wheeler had his shortest career start Wednesday.


Wheeler thought A’s baserunners had been relaying the location of his pitches to batters. The bigger issue: his fastball “leaking” over the plate.

Down by eight runs, Lucas Duda had a pinch-hit three-run homer, for his first extra-base hit against a southpaw this season. Chris Young added a two-run homer, for his first third homer in two games, calming talk of his potential release.

Wright’s streak of consecutive games with an RBI ended at a career-high-matching seven.

Columnist Anthony Rieber in Newsday suggests Wheeler more resembles A.J. Burnett than Matt Harvey, and Wright apparently doesn’t disagree. Columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News also dissects Wheeler’s outing.

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

• Read more on Lagares’ activation and Flores’ demotion in the Star-Ledger, Record and Newsday.

• Catcher Kevin Plawecki, a supplemental first-round pick in 2012 out of Purdue, has been promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas. He will represent the Mets in the Futures Game in Minneapolis alongside Noah Syndergaard.

• First baseman Matt Clark asked for and was granted his release by the organization from Double-A Binghamton. Clark, 27, signed with the Mets late in the offseason after slugging 25 homers in Japan in 2013. He was hitting .297 with 10 homers and a team-high 46 RBIs with the B-Mets, but was poised to lose playing time with younger players the priority.

• The Mets announced the signings of six additional draft picks, although most had been known and/or already appeared in minor league games: right-hander Gabriel Llanes (15th round), outfielder Raphael Ramirez (18th), outfielder Tucker Tharp (30th), left-hander Kurtis Horne (31st), outfielder Arnaldo Berrios (39th) and Dale Burdick (40th). Berrios is a product of the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico. The Mets have signed 26 of their 39 picks.

• Andrew Beaton in the Journal tries to decode what a positive run differential and losing record means.

• The Mets will be conservative with Wheeler’s innings, Terry Collins indicated. Still, Wheeler logged 168 2/3 innings in 2013. So approaching 200 innings, if he’s capable, would not seem outlandish. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

John Lannan, who had not pitched in a game since being outrighted by the Mets in mid-April, allowed five runs on one hit and four walks and recorded only one out in a start for Class A St. Lucie at Fort Myers on Wednesday. Octavio Acosta allowed a solo homer but no other hits in six innings as Brooklyn beat Aberdeen, 5-1. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Harvey expects to throw off a mound for the first time in mid-July. Read more in the Post.

Scott Kazmir feels sympathy for Victor Zambrano. "It’s unfortunate how that went down with Victor Zambrano because I’m sure he’s a great guy," Kazmir told Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger. "He didn’t deserve all that. It was something where maybe he -- I don’t know. I don’t know what happened with the injury or anything like that, but if he would have done fine, if he would have done good with the Mets, maybe we wouldn’t even be talking about this trade. It’s just one of those things.”

BIRTHDAYS: Derek Jeter, the other captain in New York, turns 40. ... Double-A Binghamton reliever Hamilton Bennett is 26. ... Former pitcher Jason Middlebrook is 39. ... Ex-infielder Luis Hernandez is 30.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Who should play shortstop if Ruben Tejada has a day off?

Farm report: L.J. Maz reflects on O's days

June, 25, 2014
6/25/14
11:02
AM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- L.J. Mazzilli was born on Sept. 6, 1990, the year after his father Lee Mazzilli’s major league career ended in the American League Championship Series with Toronto’s loss to Oakland.

Still, L.J. eventually did enjoy the benefits of his father being in a major league uniform. Lee managed the Baltimore Orioles during the 2004 and part of the ’05 seasons. So L.J., during his early teenage years, spent plenty of time in the clubhouse. He grew particularly close to then-Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts, who now is with the Yankees at the twilight of his career.

L.J., the Mets’ fourth-round pick out of UConn in 2013, was part of last week’s wave of promotions throughout the organization. He hit .292 with seven homers, 45 RBIs and 11 steals in 250 at-bats with Savannah and played in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game. He since has moved on to St. Lucie, where he is hitting .286 through six games and slugged his second homer in six Florida State League games on Tuesday night.


Courtesy of New York MetsL.J. Mazzilli


“That was the perfect year for any kid to be a manager’s son,” L.J. recalled about his days hanging out at Camden Yards. “I got there and I was bat boy and I lived with him for a year in Baltimore and I got to be around Brian Roberts, who is my favorite baseball player. He’s the coolest guy on earth. And I got to be around Miguel Tejada, Melvin Mora, who was a cool dude, Luis Matos, who I loved. I would be out there shagging with him as a little kid in center field. It was just really cool to experience.”

As for his particular affinity for Roberts, L.J. added: “He just took me under his wing. Every single day I would just hang out around him. He was an All-Star that year [’05]. And he was a little guy, a switch-hitting second baseman. And my dad gave him the starting nod for the first time in his career. He took him over Jerry Hairston Jr. that year and his hitting exploded.

“He and my dad had a really good connection. Every single day I would be around him. There would be days where my dad would have to go do something, because I was living with my dad, and he would just leave me with [Roberts], and I’d go to the field with him. He’d give me food and stuff like that. It was like he wasn’t a major league baseball player. He was just awesome.”

With Lee now a special advisor to Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost and around that ballclub, Roberts recently had the opportunity to ask for L.J.’s cell phone number.

“He sent me a text,” L.J. said. “He’s awesome.”

L.J., whose average was in the .220s with Savannah into mid-May, had received a piece of advice from Yogi Berra through Lee about that time this season: “If you see it, hit it. If you don’t see it, don’t hit it,” the 89-year-old Berra said.

The anecdote fanned through the media, even making a New York tabloid. L.J. said, in reality, the affect it had on his subsequent performance was considerably overblown.

“It was like headlines everywhere,” L.J. said. “But it did help, though, because I was struggling and I was thinking about a lot of things. And the fact that it simplified thinking about the process of hitting -- if you see it, hit it; if you don’t see it, don’t hit it -- it was like, ‘All right. It makes sense.’”

So what happened? L.J. suggested instruction from Savannah hitting coach Valentino Pascucci and one particular home run made all the difference.

“Something clicked. I hit a home run to dead-center in Savannah. It was the farthest ball I’ve ever hit. That’s a pretty far poke,” said L.J., referring to the 410-foot dimension in center at Historic Grayson Stadium, which also has a higher-than-average wall. “I didn’t really gear up for it or anything. It was a one-motion, smooth swing. It was on time and through it.

“Pascucci, he helped me so much. Basically what he stresses is being on time. And then, when you’re on time, just stay through it, no matter where it is, if it’s in your ‘box.’ I got a middle-in fastball and I was thinking away and I was on time and smooth through the ball and all of a sudden it just clicked from there -- that’s all it is, is being on time and staying through the baseball. If you’ve got two strikes, you’ve got to expand the zone a little bit. That was the big key.”

Lee has seen his son play twice this year, double-dipping on official Yankees business while playing dad, too. He was there for Savannah’s Opening Day and also a couple of weeks ago when the Gnats played at Charleston, the Yankees’ affiliate in the South Atlantic League.

A second baseman for the bulk of his pro career, L.J. also did appear in 14 games at shortstop during the first half with the Gnats.

“Just to expand my versatility out there,” he said. “I played short my whole life, until about my sophomore year of college. There was this kid Nick Ahmed [at UConn], who last year was the Gold Glove shortstop of all the minor leagues, so I had no chance in college then. But I definitely learned a lot from him.”

L.J. said one lesson he has learned as a pro is that while it’s a long year, every at-bat counts.

As L.J. spoke on Monday afternoon at Tradition Field, he was wearing a white bracelet on his left wrist that read: “Fred L. Mazzilli Foundation.” Named for Lee’s older brother, who passed away two years ago from lung cancer, the one-year-old foundation sponsors free screening tests for lung cancer at the New York Methodist Hospital.

“For just a first step it’s amazing,” L.J. said. “We’re trying to keep going with that into the future.”

Organization leaders

Average: Emmanuel Zabala, GCL Mets, .467; Dionis Rodriguez, GCL Mets, .444; Brandon Brosher, Kingsport, .421; Matt Reynolds, Vegas, .359; Jairo Perez, St. Lucie, .359; Alfredo Reyes, GCL Mets, .353; Oswald Caraballo, Kingsport, .350; T.J. Rivera, Binghamton, .340; Kevin Plawecki, Vegas; .326; Jeff McNeil, St. Lucie, .319.

Homers: Andrew Brown, Vegas, 13; Brian Burgamy, Binghamton, 13; Matt Clark, Binghamton, 10; Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 10; Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Vegas, 10.

RBIs: Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 52; L.J. Mazzilli, St. Lucie, 51; T.J. Rivera, Binghamton, 49; Matt Clark, Binghamton, 46; Aderlin Rodriguez, St. Lucie, 46.

Steals: Patrick Biondi, Savannah, 16; Jeff McNeil, St. Lucie, 15; Dilson Herrera, Binghamton, 15; L.J. Mazzilli, St. Lucie, 11; Stefan Sabol, Savannah, 10.

ERA: Kevin Canelon, GCL Mets, 0.00; Corey Oswalt, Brooklyn, 0.00; Blake Taylor, GCL Mets, 0.00; Marcos Molina, Brooklyn, 0.69; Octavio Acosta, Brooklyn, 0.84; Martires Arias, Kingsport, 1.04; Yoryi Nuez, Kingsport, 1.69; Logan Taylor, GCL Mets, 1.80; John Gant, Savannah, 2.13; Kevin McGowan, Savannah, 2.39.

Wins: Gabriel Ynoa, St. Lucie, 8; John Gant, Savannah, 7; Matt Koch, St. Lucie, 7.

Saves: Chasen Bradford, Vegas, 12; Robert Coles, St. Lucie, 12; Randy Fontanez, Binghamton, 10; Vic Black, Vegas, 7; Jeff Walters, Vegas, 6; Beck Wheeler, St. Lucie, 6.

Strikeouts: Darin Gorski, Vegas, 79; Dario Alvarez, Savannah, 70; Matt Bowman, Binghamton, 68; Noah Syndergaard, Vegas, 67; Steven Matz, Binghamton, 66.

Short hops

Brandon Brosher is not letting a conversion to full-time catching affect his production at the plate. Brosher, an outfielder and first baseman in high school in Florida who did not begin catching until last fall's instructional league, has slugged four homers through his opening five games with Kingsport, although four of the starts have come as DH. He is hitting .421 with four homers and seven RBIs through 19 at-bats and was recognized as the season’s first Appalachian League Player of the Week. In his lone start at catcher so far, Brosher did have one passed ball, and Kingsport’s starter was charged with two wild pitches. The 19-year-old Brosher was a 36th-round pick in 2013. He had committed to Oral Roberts, but was enticed to go pro with a $167,500 signing bonus. The Mets believed he would grow into power, and it has come quicker than expected.

• Left-hander Blake Taylor, the player to be named in the Ike Davis deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates, made his organization debut Tuesday. After Dillon Gee handled the first two innings in a rehab start, Taylor entered and tossed four scoreless innings. He limited the Gulf Coast League Marlins to one hit and three walks while striking out seven in four innings. Taylor, 18, was drafted by the Pirates in the second round last year out of high school in Dana Point, Calif.

Noah Syndergaard is not having an exceptional year for a top prospect. He is 6-4 with a 4.98 ERA in 13 starts for Las Vegas and twice has been injured. So why is he joining catcher Kevin Plawecki at the Futures Game at Target Field? A Mets official said Futures Game organizers select the players, not the individual clubs, although an organization can nix someone for health or other legitimate reasons. Plawecki, newly promoted, is due to join Las Vegas on Thursday.

(Read full post)

Morning Briefing: Happy Colon Day!

June, 18, 2014
6/18/14
5:45
AM ET
ST. LOUIS

FIRST PITCH: The Mets have lost 11 of 14 and are a season-worst nine games under .500.

Now, Bartolo Colon (6-5, 4.14 ERA) will try to avoid the Mets getting swept at Busch Stadium when he opposes St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn (7-4, 3.16) at 1:45 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Wednesday’s news reports:

David Wright and Lucas Duda homered, but the Mets lost to the Cardinals, 5-2, Tuesday. Jonathon Niese surrendered five runs (three earned) in six innings. Daniel Murphy had a pair of miscues in St. Louis’ two-run sixth.

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

• Terry Collins said it took him 75 minutes to construct Tuesday’s lineup. Wednesday’s lineup will return to the pitcher batting ninth, since Colon is hitless since 2005. Bobby Abreu also is expected to rest in the matinee after starting seven straight games. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.

• Wright, in a prolonged slump, had two hits Tuesday, including the homer against Michael Wacha. He told reporters he’s had “sleepless nights” because of his struggles. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Journal and Newsday.

• Mike Puma in the Post writes this about Travis d’Arnaud, who has been tearing things up since he went to Las Vegas:

A club source indicated the changes to d’Arnaud’s mechanics have been minimal. The biggest adjustment is d’Arnaud’s back foot has been moved closer to the plate, allowing him to better reach outside pitches.

“He had no approach,” the source said. “He was going up there and changing his approach per pitch. He’s sticking with the same approach now about hitting. He’s focused on driving the ball through the middle. Whatever approach he takes up to the plate against a certain pitcher, he’s sticking with the plan instead of changing the plan throughout his at-bat.”

• ESPN’s Keith Law calls the Ike Davis trade for Zack Thornton and player-to-be-named Blake Taylor a fair swap. (ESPN Insiders read here.) Writes Law:

Taylor, who won't turn 19 until August, hasn't pitched this year because of a lat strain that kept him in extended spring training. When healthy, he has a fastball that's mostly 89-91 mph with some life, but he was clocked as high as 94-95 in high school. His main feature is a sharp-breaking curveball that should allow him to miss left- and right-handed bats as he fills out and adds a little velocity to the pitch.

At the time of the [2013] draft, I had him as a potential mid-rotation starter, but still with a ton of development ahead of him. He has below-average fastball command and is in need of a changeup.


• Brian Burgamy had a grand slam and Matt Bowman tossed six scoreless innings as Binghamton beat Richmond, 5-1. St. Lucie enters the final day of the first half still alive for a postseason berth after beating Charlotte, 10-5. Corey Oswalt tossed six scoreless innings as Brooklyn beat Hudson Valley, 5-1. Savannah pitchers had a rough time at the South Atlantic League All-Star Game. Read the full minor-league recap here.

Jose Reyes says the Mets should have reached the World Series in 2006, Howie Kussoy writes in the Post.

From the bloggers … Blogging Mets says Curtis Granderson should not bat leadoff.

BIRTHDAYS: Felix Heredia turns 39. ... Sandy Alomar Jr. is 48. ... Ben Johnson turns 33.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Can the Mets halt their freefall?

Morning Briefing: A reprieve at Busch?

June, 16, 2014
6/16/14
5:30
AM ET

Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesThe Mets won't be facing the real hook from hell -- Adam Wainwright's -- on Monday.
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The Mets get a reprieve Monday when they open a series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium at 8:10 p.m. ET.

Maybe.

Adam Wainwright, the originally scheduled starter, will have his turn skipped because of tendinitis in the back of his pitching elbow. Right-hander Carlos Martinez and his 97 mph fastball instead will make his second career major league start in the opener.

“We’re not going to get Wainwright, although Martinez isn’t a party,” Terry Collins said.

Jacob deGrom makes his seventh major league start, still in search of his first victory.

In Port St. Lucie, Fla., Dillon Gee is due to throw off the slope of a mound Monday for the first time since landing on the disabled list. He could be in a rehab game early next week.

Monday’s news reports:

Daisuke Matsuzaka had to depart after one inning with intense stomach pain, but Carlos Torres stepped up to toss four innings as the Mets won Sunday’s rubber game against the San Diego Padres, 3-1, at Citi Field. Vic Black and Jenrry Mejia added two scoreless innings apiece. Mejia’s appearance marked his first action since getting pulled from Thursday’s game with lower-back discomfort. Curtis Granderson, batting leadoff for the first time this season, homered and finished 2-for-3 with two walks after being out of the starting lineup the previous three games with a left-calf injury.


Kathy Willens/Associated PressBig contributors Jenrry Mejia and Curtis Granderson celebrate Sunday's win.


“I just tried to get myself on base and try to get the team going,” Granderson told reporters. “I’ve done it plenty of times in my career. I just didn’t know it was going to be today.”

Still, Collins lamented wasted chances, including leaving baserunners on second and third in a two-run first inning despite having them in scoring position with none out.

“We had opportunities to blow this game open, and we’ve got to start blowing some games open, because it’s going to take a lot of pressure off a lot of people,” Collins said.

Writes columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post:

This could have been the ugliest of Father’s Days for the Mets, who badly needed a victory to close out their homestand at 3-3 after losing nine of their previous 11 games. Instead, they hit their gross-out apex when starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka puked up his breakfast in the bullpen and responded to the crisis when the right-hander checked out after just one inning.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Record, Times and at MLB.com.

• On batting Granderson leadoff, columnist David Lennon in Newsday writes:

Terry Collins first brought up the idea of hitting leadoff to Curtis Granderson on the dugout bench during Saturday's embarrassing two-hit loss to the Padres. The manager described the chat as a conversation, a way to gauge Granderson's feelings on the subject, "to see if he had any problems" with the assignment.

In other words, a cry for help.

Collins basically told Granderson he had no one else. To which we say, "What the heck took you so long, Terry?"

• The Mets completed their trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, acquiring left-hander Blake Taylor as the player to be named in the April 18 deal for Ike Davis. Taylor was drafted out of high school by the Pirates in the second round in 2013. Read more in the Post and Star-Ledger.

Eric Young Jr. went 0-for-3 with a walk and played seven innings in left field for Double-A Binghamton on Sunday in what appeared to be his final rehab game. Collins said he expected E.Y. Jr. (hamstring) to rejoin the Mets on Monday. “I feel ready to go and help out the big club,” he told the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin’s Lynn Worthy (tweet). Read more in the Post.

Rafael Montero has been diagnosed with a left-oblique strain. He left Saturday’s start for Triple-A Las Vegas after five pitches. Meanwhile, Noah Syndergaard, who injured his left shoulder in a June 5 collision while covering the plate on a wild pitch, is due to return from the disabled list to start Monday’s game for the 51s. He will be capped at about 75 pitches.

• First-round pick Michael Conforto is “getting close” to being officially signed, an insider told ESPNNewYork.com.

David Wright leads for the second straight week in NL All-Star balloting at third base, but old voting nemesis Pablo Sandoval is making a charge. Read more at MLB.com.

• Jeff Roberts in the Record profiles the relationship between Wright and his father Rhon, a retired Norfolk, Va., assistant police chief. "He lost all his credibility with me in baseball when he started playing me in the outfield in Little League," Wright quipped to Roberts.

Travis d’Arnaud homered for the fifth time in a week in the Pacific Coast League, but Las Vegas lost to Oklahoma City, 13-9. Brooklyn split a doubleheader with Staten Island as heralded Casey Meisner and Marcos Molina made their Cyclones debuts as the starting pitchers. Read the full minor-league recap here.

BIRTHDAYS: Former reliever Calvin Schiraldi turns 52.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should Curtis Granderson remain the leadoff hitter?

Taylor is player to be named in Ike deal

June, 15, 2014
6/15/14
12:59
PM ET

Courtesy of Pittsburgh PiratesBlake Taylor


NEW YORK -- Left-hander Blake Taylor, a second-round pick in the 2013 draft, has been sent to the Mets as the player to be named in the Ike Davis trade with the Pirates.

Taylor, 18, will be assigned to the Gulf Coast League Mets. He was the 51st overall selection last year out of Dana Hills (Calif.) High School.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound southpaw went 0-2 with a 2.57 ERA (6 ER/21 IP) in eight games (seven starts) with the Gulf Coast League Pirates last year.

The Mets already had acquired right-handed reliever Zack Thornton in the April 18 trade.

ESPN's Keith Law wrote after last year's draft: "Lefty Blake Taylor is a two-pitch guy who has reached 94-95, has a projectable frame and can spin a curveball that's already close to average."

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187