New York Mets: Chase Huchingson

Minors 7.27.14: Reynolds homer lifts 51s

July, 27, 2014
Jul 27
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' 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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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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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: Last stand for Mets?

July, 7, 2014
Jul 7
5:30
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: If the Mets want to be relevant after the All-Star break, they better win -- if not sweep -- their next series.

The Atlanta Braves arrive at Citi Field for a four-game series having just had a nine-game winning streak snapped by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Despite picking up a game in the standings Sunday, the Mets still trail first-place Atlanta by 10 games (and the Washington Nationals by 9 games) in the division.

Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-3, 3.72 ERA) opposes left-hander Mike Minor (2-5, 4.73) in Monday’s 7:10 p.m. opener.

Read the Mets-Braves series preview here.

The Mets were swept in three games last week at Turner Field. The Amazin’s squandered a two-run lead in the eighth inning last Monday when Jeurys Familia, Juan Lagares and Eric Campbell committed errors in an unsightly frame.

Catcher Taylor Teagarden is eligible to return from the disabled list for the series opener. The Mets have a few options: They can leave Teagarden on the DL, where he officially landed with a strained left hamstring two weeks ago. They can attempt to send him to the minors, although he would need to pass through waivers and also accept the assignment. Or they can demote Anthony Recker, who has an option remaining.

Of course, Recker homered Sunday.

The Mets essentially deferred the decision when Travis d'Arnaud was promoted by placing Teagarden on the DL, even though Teagarden had been getting treatment for that seemingly manageable hamstring issue for a considerable period.

Monday’s news reports:

• The Mets placed Jonathon Niese on the disabled list with a left shoulder strain before Sunday’s game and promoted right-handed reliever Buddy Carlyle. Dillon Gee is slated to be activated from the DL on Wednesday to make the start in Niese’s slot against the Braves.

Niese likely will miss only one start, since his DL stint will include the four-day All-Star break. He is eligible to return on July 20 -- the third game after the break, at San Diego.

Niese insisted he is uninjured. Still, Niese’s fastball topped out at only 86 mph in his 12-pitch start Friday against the Texas Rangers -- an outing that ended when he was struck on the “love handle” on his left side by Alex Rios’ line drive. Despite a solid 3.31 ERA, Niese’s fastball is averaging a career-low 88.6 mph this season, down from 90.2 mph in 2013.

Although the DL decision displeased Niese, even the southpaw had previously expressed hope that the All-Star break would allow his fastball to get recharged. Niese actually had wanted to come back early after Friday’s abbreviated outing and make two starts before the All-Star break.

He missed seven weeks last summer with a partial tear of his left rotator cuff.

Gee (3-1, 2.73) last pitched in the majors on May 10. He since has been on the disabled list with a strained right lat muscle. Gee made his final rehab start Friday with Brooklyn. He limited Aberdeen to one run on three hits and a walk and also hit a batter while striking out 10 in six innings. Gee logged 75 pitches. He then threw a bullpen session Sunday at Citi Field to further confirm his health before the Mets made the official announcement about Niese landing on the DL.

Read more in the Star-Ledger, Daily News, Newsday and at MLB.com.


Evan Vucci/Associated PressDaniel Murphy has been selected to his first All-Star Game.


Daniel Murphy earned his first All-Star selection and is the lone Mets representative to the July 15 game at Minnesota. Murphy (.294, 7 HR, 35 RBIs) is tied with Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen and San Francisco’s Hunter Pence for second in the National League in hits with 106, trailing only Miami’s Casey McGehee (108).

David Wright and Niese were passed over for selection, although Niese would have been disqualified anyway because of the DL stint.

Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez topped the second-place Wright by 338,728 votes in fan balloting. It is only the second time in the past nine years that Wright has been left out of the game. The other instance came in 2011, when Wright missed two months with a stress fracture in his lower back.

This marks the first time since 2003 that the Mets have only one All-Star selection. That year, it was Armando Benitez. This time, no Mets were selected via the fan or player ballots, so Murphy was chosen by St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, who will lead the NL squad.

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

• The Mets scored a season-high five first-inning runs, capped by Recker’s three-run homer, and beat the Rangers, 8-4, in Sunday’s rubber game. Zack Wheeler surrendered only a solo homer to Robinson Chirinos in 6 1/3 innings. Wheeler had been winless in his last nine starts at Citi Field, going 0-6 with a 4.65 ERA since an Aug. 20, 2013 victory.

Gonzalez Germen surrendered a pair of homers in a three-run eighth, forcing Terry Collins to insert Familia to protect a three-run lead. Germen could be vulnerable Wednesday when the Mets need to clear a roster spot for Gee’s activation. The alternative presumably would be to drop the newly added Carlyle.

Texas has lost 15 of 18.

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

• Prospects Wuilmer Becerra and Vicente Lupo were arrested by Kingsport, Tenn., police for allegedly drag racing at speeds in excess of 100 mph.

• The Brooklyn Cyclones held their “Salute to Seinfeld Night” on Saturday at MCU Park, on the 25th anniversary of the pilot episode, known as “The Seinfeld Chronicles,” having been broadcast on July 5, 1989. The festivities included players wearing puffy shirts during batting practice and a Keith Hernandez “magic loogie” bobblehead giveaway.


Courtesy of Brooklyn CyclonesFirst baseman Jeff Diehl, and the rest of the Brooklyn Cyclones, wore puffy shirts during batting practice Saturday.


ESPN’s Mark Simon back in 2010 chronicled all the Mets references on “Seinfeld,” which you can check out here. The most famous involves Hernandez’s Feb. 12, 1992 appearance, on the episode known as “The Boyfriend.” Wrote Simon:

Hernandez and Jerry become friends, with Jerry spending much of his free time worrying about how he can impress Hernandez. Hernandez and Jerry's ex-girlfriend, Elaine, date, and meet Mets outfielder Mookie Wilson (unseen) in a local restaurant. The relationship breaks up when Elaine sees that Hernandez is a cigarette smoker.

The highlight is the mystery surrounding whether Hernandez spit on Kramer and his friend Newman, after the two yelled insults at the Mets first baseman, following another game the Mets blew (based on a game "Seinfeld" creator Larry David and friends attended in 1986).

Using the same principles regarding the "magic bullet" theory in the John F. Kennedy assassination, Jerry attempts to debunk the story. In the end, it's revealed that the spitter was actually Hernandez's teammate, Roger McDowell, who was getting revenge for Newman's spilling beer on him in the bullpen.

Mike Salfino in the Journal notes “Seinfeld” actually was far more Yankees- than Mets-oriented.

• Noah Syndergaard allowed one run on six hits while striking out eight and walking none in seven innings as Las Vegas routed Albuquerque, 12-1. Wilmer Flores homered for the sixth time in his last five games. Cesar Puello homered twice in his first game since June 23. He had been sidelined with a concussion.

Chase Huchingson allowed two runs in the top of the 10th and the B-Mets lost, 10-9, after leaving the bases loaded in the bottom half despite a hit by pitch and three walks to open the frame. Jorge Rivero drove in three runs and Matt Obserte homered as Savannah beat Hickory, 8-2. Carlos Valdez and Gaither Bumgardner combined on a two-hit shutout as Binghamton blanked Abderdeen, 7-0.

• Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post suggests the Mets start making trades.

• Columnist David Lennon in Newsday acknowledges trading a pitching surplus could be shortsighted. Writes Lennon:

On paper, it's true -- the Mets have some pitching currency for the trade market. If not in the next three weeks, then certainly in the offseason. But you also can understand why Alderson might be leery of dealing from that deck. The fragile nature of pitchers, now more than ever, has made it crucial to have quantity as well as quality. If the Mets go the trade route, the pressure to pick the right chip can be cause for hesitation.

• Stephen Haynes in Newsday recaps Wheeler’s outing Sunday.

From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear offers an appreciation of Murphy as the perfect All-Star selection from an inherently imperfect Mets team.

BIRTHDAYS: Third base coach and '86 Met Tim Teufel turns 56. ... Andy Green, now managing Double-A Mobile in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, is 37. ... Minor-league left-hander Alex Panteliodis, a ninth-round pick in 2011 out of the University of Florida, is 24.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Will the Mets be represented by the correct All-Star selection in Minnesota on July 15?

Minors 7.3.14: B-Met Johnson homers twice

July, 3, 2014
Jul 3
11:04
PM ET
LAS VEGAS 9, SALT LAKE 8: Trailing 7-4, Vegas scored five runs in the seventh. Salt Lake produced a run in the ninth and then loaded the bases against Buddy Carlyle, but he retired Luis Jimenez on a pop out to third baseman Josh Satin to end the game. Matt Reynolds finished 2-for-3 with a double, walk, RBI and two runs scored. Matt den Dekker swiped home on a double-steal with Reynolds. Box

BINGHAMTON 6, NEW BRITAIN 4 (9 innings)
BINGHAMTON at NEW BRITAIN (ppd.): Kyle Johnson belted a leadoff homer as well as a tiebreaking long ball in the ninth. Johnson deposited Tyler Duffey’s second pitch of the

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game over the left-field wall for his second leadoff homer this season. Dilson Herrera followed three pitches later with another homer, marking the first time the B-Mets have hit back-to-back shots this season. Binghamton added to its lead in the second on a run-scoring fielder’s choice from Herrera. Trailing by three, New Britain answered against Tyler Pill in the bottom half. Tony Thomas produced a sac fly. Mike Kvasnicka cut the deficit to one by flaring an RBI single. Aaron Hicks then gave New Britain the lead with one swing in the third. Following a two-out walk, Hicks launched a 3-1 pitch for a go-ahead two-run blast. Down 4-3, Binghamton found more power in the fifth. Brian Burgamy led off with his team-leading 14th homer. Pill settled down after Hicks’ blast to retire nine straight Rock Cats. In the seventh, Pill surrendered a one-out single to Stephen Wickens and handed off to Chase Huchingson, who promptly picked off the runner. Huchingson followed by retiring Eddie Rosario to force the seven-inning game into extras. Johnson struck again in the ninth. He took reliever Cole Johnson deep on a 1-2 pitch to start the inning, breaking the tie. Burgamy followed with a triple and scored when Dustin Lawley singled. Cody Satterwhite worked around a two-out single to post a scoreless ninth, securing his sixth save. Huchingson (1-0) also retired the heart of the Rock Cats order in a perfect eighth. Pill allowed four runs on nine hits over 6 1/3 innings. Binghamton is 10-0 in Pill’s last 10 appearances.

The nightcap of the doubleheader, which was due to feature Gabriel Ynoa's Double-A debut, was postponed due to inclement weather. It will be made up in Binghamton when the Rock Cats visit in August. Box

ST. LUCIE 7, CHARLOTTE 4: Gavin Cecchini broke a 1-all tie with a sixth-inning grand slam against Zach Cooper as the Mets won their sixth straight game. It marked Cecchini's

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first homer since a June 19 promotion from Savannah. Albert Cordero followed Cecchini’s shot with a double and Jeff McNeil (3-for-4) drove Cordero in with a single to make it 6-1. The Crabs got a run back against Mets starter Luis Cessa in the bottom half, but the Mets responded in the seventh. L.J. Mazzilli doubled, moved to third on Aderlin Rodriguez's single and scored on catcher Justin O’Conner’s throwing error. Mets reliever Tim Peterson ran into trouble in the seventh. He walked three, gave up a hit and threw a wild pitch with a runner on third. However, he struck out Tyler Goeddel to limit the damage to two runs. Paul Sewald worked perfect eighth and ninth innings to earn his fifth save in his last six appearances. He sliced his ERA to 0.79. The Mets got on the board first on Phillip Evans’ two-out RBI single, which plated McNeil. The Crabs tied the score at 1 in the third on an infield hit by Goeddel that plated Patrick Leonard. The Crabs loaded the bases with one out later that inning, but Cessa got two flyouts to keep the score tied. Cessa (6-5) went six innings and allowed two runs on six hits. He walked four and struck out two. Evans, who had two hits, played third base for the first time this season. He cleanly fielded all five balls hit to him and initiated two double plays. Box

SAVANNAH 10, CHARLESTON 5: Alex Panteliodis (2-1) limited the RiverDogs to one run on seven hits and two walks in seven innings as the Gnats raced to a 10-1 lead. Jonathan Johnson went 2-for-2 with two walks and four RBIs. Box

GREENEVILLE 12, KINGSPORT 6 (10 innings): Ramon Estevez and Bryce Beeler combined to surrender six runs (two earned) in the 10th. The K-Mets had forced extra innings on Ivan Wilson's one-out solo homer in the bottom of the ninth. Shortstop Luis Guillorme, who committed three of Kingsport's four errors, also went 4-for-5 with a walk and two runs scored. Box

BROOKLYN at HUDSON VALLEY (ppd.)

GCL METS 4, GCL METS 1: Milton Ramos had an RBI single and Raphael Ramirez had a run-scoring groundout in the third inning as the Mets took a 2-1 lead. Dash Winningham's ninth-inning solo homer capped the scoring. Starter Logan Taylor (2-0) allowed one run in five innings. Gabriel Feliz, Tyler Badamo and Waldo Rodriguez combined for four scoreless relief innings. Box

Compiled with team reports

Minors 6.17.14: St. Lucie stays alive

June, 18, 2014
Jun 18
12:18
AM ET
LAS VEGAS 8, NASHVILLE 7: Cesar Puello had a game-tying RBI double and Cory Vaughn plated Travis d'Arnaud with a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth. Nashville had taken a 7-6 lead in the top half on Hunter Morris' leadoff homer against Buddy Carlyle. D'Arnaud finished 2-for-5 with a double. He is hitting .395 since his demotion. Box

BINGHAMTON 5, RICHMOND 1: Reigning Eastern League Player of the Week Brian Burgamy launched a grand slam and Matt Bowman fired six scoreless innings. In his last

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six games, Burgamy has produced 13 hits, including four homers, and 13 RBIs. Burgamy kick-started the B-Mets with a one-out double in the first against Ty Blach. He moved to third on Matt Reynolds' single. Kevin Plawecki then put Binghamton on the board with a sac fly, for his 41st RBI. Bowman retired the first eight batters he faced and allowed three hits in six scoreless innings. His biggest challenge came in the sixth when Richmond loaded the bases with two outs. Bowman (5-4) escaped by inducing Devin Harris to bounce back to the mound. The B-Mets came alive in the bottom half, loading the bases against Andrew Carignan. With two outs, Burgamy greeted new reliever Josh Osich by hammering the lefty’s first pitch into the rail yard beyond the left-field wall. His team-leading 11th homer gave Binghamton a 5-0 lead. After Chase Huchingson and Ryan Fraser each tossed a scoreless inning, Jack Leathersich was touched for one run in the ninth. Burgamy’s grand slam was the first by a B-Met since Richard Lucas against Trenton on July 26, 2013. Box

ST. LUCIE 10, CHARLOTTE 5: St. Lucie kept its first-half championship alive in a must-win game. The Mets still trail Fort Myers by a half-game in the Florida State League South Division. It all comes down to the final game of the first half on Wednesday. The Mets need to beat Charlotte and have Fort Myers lose to Bradenton to win the first half and clinch a playoff spot. It looked dicey early for the Mets (40-29) on Tuesday. Charlotte scored two runs in the first and Josh Sale’s RBI double with no outs in the second gave the Stone Crabs a 3-0 lead. Mets starter Luis Cessa would be pulled with two outs in the second inning. But the Mets responded in their half of the second. Maikis De La Cruz and Yeixon Ruiz both hit groundouts that plated runs to cut the deficit to 3-2. The Mets blew the game open in the third with seven runs on five hits. The Stone Crabs helped out by committing two errors. Starter Blake Snell also walked two and threw two wild pitches in the frame. Jairo Perez tied the score at 3 with a sacrifice fly. Then, with runners at first and second, Aderlin Rodriguez grounded back to Snell for what looked like a sure out. With the sun in his eyes, first baseman Patrick Leonard ducked on Snell’s throw and it went over his head. T.J. Rivera scored to give the Mets a 4-3 lead as Brandon Nimmo and Rodriguez advanced to third and second, respectively. The wheels came off for the Crabs. De La Cruz drove in a run on a grounder that was booted by shortstop Leonardo Reginatto, Eudy Pina doubled in a run, Ruiz singled in a run and Dilson Herrera drove in Ruiz with a double. By the end of the third, the Mets led 9-3. Reliever Bruedlin Suero balked in a run in the fourth to complete the Mets' scoring. Meanwhile, Seth Lugo recorded the final out of the second and proceeded to strike out seven over 5 1/3 innings. His only blemish was surrendering a two-run homer to Justin O’Connor that made it 10-5. Julian Hilario recorded the final six outs. Ruiz finished 4-for-5. Box

SAL SOUTH 4, SAL NORTH 4 (10 innings): Gnats closer Robert Coles allowed two runs in the bottom of the 10th for the blown save as the South Atlantic League All-Star Game ended in a draw. Savannah pitchers actually surrendered all four runs scored by the North. Kevin McGowan allowed a second-inning run and Dario Alvarez was charged with a run in the eighth. Gavin Cecchini played a full game at shortstop and went 1-for-4 with a walk and run scored. Box

BROOKLYN 5, HUDSON VALLEY 1: Corey Oswalt tossed six scoreless innings in his season debut, limiting the Renegades to three hits while striking out eight. Scarlyn Reyes earned the save. He allowed one unearned run in three relief innings. Brooklyn scored three first-inning runs. After an error and single, Michael Katz had a two-run triple. Tomas Nido followed with a run-scoring groundout. Joe Tuschak added a solo homer in the fourth for a 4-0 lead. In the ninth, the first baseman Katz mishandled a groundball to his left, allowing Hudson Valley's lone run to score. Box

Compiled with team reports

Farm report: Reynolds surges with B-Mets

June, 11, 2014
Jun 11
8:05
AM ET
NEW YORK -- One year certainly has made a dramatic difference for 23-year-old middle infielder Matt Reynolds, the Mets’ second-round pick in 2012 out of the University of Arkansas.

A year ago, in his first full professional season, Reynolds hit only .226 in 433 at-bats with Class A St. Lucie.

This season, he has a .361 average in 194 at-bats with Double-A Binghamton. Add in 27 walks and Reynolds has a .437 on-base percentage. The batting average is tied for second in all of minor league baseball.

Reynolds indicated his offseason work with Rick Strickland in St. Louis paid big dividends.


Courtesy of New York MetsMatt Reynolds


Reynolds’ agent, Jason Wood, sent him to work with Strickland. Another client, the Phillies’ Cody Asche, also had success working with the part-time Mets scout and former Yankees minor leaguer.

“Luis Rivera, our [Binghamton] hitting coach, has been huge with me, too,” Reynolds added. “We’ve just been working on staying through the middle, having a confident approach at the plate, and really just getting a good pitch to drive. And if they don’t give it to me, and I get to two strikes, just battle and find a way to get on base.

“I’m trying to keep a positive attitude, even when things are going bad. So far things really haven’t gone too bad. So it’s pretty easy to keep a positive mental state. But even when things start going bad, just to stay positive and keep working.”

Reynolds missed six days last week with a back issue, but he has come back on fire. He is 11-for-24 in five games since returning.

“It was just muscle tightness,” Reynolds said. “They never really said specifically what it was, but they said if I kept having pain to take time off until I was better. I think I took four days off and felt 100 percent. I feel a lot better now.”

Reynolds “definitely” continues to aspire to be a shortstop, although deficiencies may result in him playing elsewhere. He also sees roughly two games a week at second base with the B-Mets.

“I only played a couple of games in college at second, but I worked there a lot and practiced and everything,” Reynolds said. “I actually played summer ball at second. So I have a little background at second. I just had to get used to it again after playing third and short in college and everything. It’s nothing different to me -- just another position to help my value and to get better.”

Asked what he wanted to still polish in the minors, Reynolds added: “I really want to improve on being able to pull the ball a little bit better, and my defense, obviously. I want to stay at shortstop or even at second base. And I know there are a lot of things that I need to work on, like my hands and footwork, to be able to stay at that position. I know that may not come today or tomorrow, but eventually I feel like I’ll be able to get everything I need to do to play at those positions.”

Reynolds is athletic. A point guard in high school, he indicated he had invitations to walk on to basketball programs at Iowa State, Furman and Butler.

“After my sophomore year [of high school], I was almost for sure that I was going to play basketball in college,” Reynolds said. “I was close to playing basketball in college. And then I had a good junior year. And in the summer of my junior year I was talking to some professional scouts and they said I really had a chance of being a good player in baseball. I sat down with my parents and decided that baseball was probably my best route to go -- better than basketball – because I was a 6-foot guy trying to make it in an NBA where the point guards are 6-8 now. So it would be have been tough for me.”

Organization leaders

Average: Matt Reynolds, Binghamton, .361; Jairo Perez, St. Lucie, .353; T.J. Rivera, St. Lucie, .351; Kevin Plawecki, Binghamton, .344; Jeff McNeil, Savannah, .341; Brandon Nimmo, St. Lucie, .327; Matt Clark, Binghamton, .313; L.J. Mazzilli, Savannah, .304; Dilson Herrera, St. Lucie, .302; Allan Dykstra, Vegas, .299.

Homers: Andrew Brown, Vegas, 13; Matt Clark, Binghamton, 9; Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 9; Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Vegas, 9.

RBIs: Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 46; T.J. Rivera, St. Lucie, 45; L.J. Mazzilli, Savannah, 43; Kevin Plawecki, Binghamton, 40; Aderlin Rodriguez, St. Lucie, 39.

Steals: Dilson Herrera, St. Lucie, 14; Jeff McNeil, Savannah, 14; Patrick Biondi, Savannah, 13; L.J. Mazzilli, Savannah, 11; Brandon Nimmo, St. Lucie, 9.

ERA: Steven Matz, St. Lucie, 2.13; Kevin McGowan, Savannah, 2.14; John Gant, Savannah, 2.36; Darin Gorski, Vegas, 2.81; Matt Koch, St. Lucie, 3.24; Gabriel Ynoa, St. Lucie, 3.45; Ricky Knapp, Savannah, 3.99; Luis Cessa, St. Lucie, 4.08; Matt Bowman, Binghamton, 4.44; Noah Syndergaard, Vegas, 4.47.

Wins: Matt Koch, St. Lucie, 6; John Gant, Savannah, 6; Gabriel Ynoa, St. Lucie, 6.

Saves: Chasen Bradford, Binghamton, 11; Robert Coles, Savannah, 11; Randy Fontanez, St. Lucie, 9; Vic Black, Vegas, 7; Jeff Walters, Vegas, 6; Beck Wheeler, St. Lucie, 6.

Strikeouts: Darin Gorski, Vegas, 64; Miller Diaz, Savannah, 59; Dana Eveland, Vegas, 58; Dario Alvarez, Savannah, 58; Noah Syndergaard, Vegas, 57.

Short hops

Sandy Alderson indicated the Mets are within days of signing first-round pick Michael Conforto, an outfielder from Oregon State. The GM added that third-round pick Milton Ramos, a prep shortstop from Florida, is even closer to being signed. Other picks already in or en route to Port St. Lucie include Eudor Garcia (fourth round), Josh Prevost (fifth), Dash Winningham (eighth), Erik Manoah (13th), Darryl Knight (14th), David Roseboom (17th), Tyler Badamo (24th) and Matt Blackham (29th).

• Discussing his rationale for the first time for demoting Travis d’Arnaud, Alderson said: “He needs to go down without the pressure of playing every day at the major league level, get his swing back, get his confidence back, and I would expect that he’ll be back -- hopefully -- relatively soon. It’s not unusual. Sometimes we expect that guys will come up and everything will click immediately with a young player and it’s nothing but an upward trajectory. And that doesn’t always happen. I think we have to recognize that and be a little patient. As far as we’re concerned, there’s no reason Travis can’t come back and be a very productive player for us.”

• After seven weeks mysteriously away from the organization, John Lannan threw roughly 45 pitches off a mound at the Mets’ Florida complex on Tuesday morning. In a post-throwing-session interview with the St. Lucie News Tribune’s Jon Santucci, Lannan declined to disclose his whereabouts during his absence. The Mets have labeled it a personal/family matter. Lannan will work as a starter in the minors. He will pitch in the Gulf Coast League or Florida State League to ramp up before being dispatched to Las Vegas.

“Let’s call it a mini-spring training -- just stretch out and see how it goes,” Lannan told Santucci. “I’ve been throwing, so now I’m just going to get back in the swing of things, face some batters and get my pitch count up. My arm feels good. I just have to get back on a five-day rotation and get my pitch count going.”

• Shortstop Amed Rosario, temporarily with Savannah, is expected to highlight the roster of the Brooklyn Cyclones, who open play Friday at Staten Island. The 18-year-old Rosario signed two years ago for $1.75 million, a franchise record for an international teenager. The Cyclones also will include 2013 third-round pick Casey Meisner, a right-hander out of high school in Texas, as well as infielder Jhoan Urena, catcher Tomas Nido, outfielder Joe Tuschak and right-handers Marcos Molina, Corey Oswalt and Brandon Welch.

Kingsport opens play June 19, with the Gulf Coast League season beginning the following day.

• Vegas reliever Jeff Walters, a 40-man roster member, is debating whether to proceed with Tommy John surgery or to try to rehab after being diagnosed with an ulnar collateral ligament tear in his right elbow. Walters unwittingly had been pitching through the tear this season. He produced an 8.86 ERA in 23 Pacific Coast League relief appearances. He had 38 saves last season with Binghamton.

• 2011 first-round pick Brandon Nimmo remains sidelined since getting struck with a pitch in the right wrist Friday by Dunedin’s Matt Boyd. X-rays were negative, but the wrist remains tender and Nimmo is unable to swing. Also injured with St. Lucie, reliever Beck Wheeler and shortstop Phillip Evans have landed on the DL with right-knee strains.

(Read full post)

Minors 6.9.14: 'D' falters behind Montero

June, 9, 2014
Jun 9
11:10
PM ET
COLORADO SPRINGS 11, LAS VEGAS 5: Rafael Montero allowed six runs (one earned) on seven hits and two walks in three innings in his second start since rejoining Vegas. Third baseman Zach Lutz committed two errors behind Montero. Travis d'Arnaud had a pinch-hit single in his season debut with the 51s. Chasen Bradford allowed three eighth-inning runs in his Triple-A debut. Lutz and Kirk Nieuwenhuis homered in the loss. Vegas has lost 17 of its last 22. Box

AKRON 10, BINGHAMTON 2: Hansel Robles loaded the bases in the first inning but limited the damage to one run, on a fielder’s choice by Tony Wolters. Robles settled down after his bumpy start and held the RubberDucks hitless over the next three innings. That success ended in the fifth when he walked Jordan Smith and surrendered a two-run homer to Tyler Naquin for a 3-0 lead. RubberDucks starter Duke von Schamann silenced the B-Mets through five scoreless innings. Following a walk to open his start, he retired 10 straight B-Mets until Kevin Plawecki singled. Binghamton finally got to the 6-foot-5 righty in the sixth. After Kyle Johnson was thrown out attempting to steal second, von Schamann reopened the door by walking Brian Burgamy with two outs. Plawecki followed with a run-scoring double. Dustin Lawley cut Akron’s lead to 3-2 in the seventh by launching his fifth homer of the season. Akron answered in the bottom half against Chase Huchingson, who was making his first Double-A appearance since before last season's 50-game suspension for a drug of abuse. Jordan Smith reached on an error. Ollie Linton followed with a single. Smith raced from first to third and dashed home when Travis Taijeron’s throw from right bounced off his back and rolled away. Francisco Lindor capped the inning with an RBI single. The RubberDucks then produced a five-run eighth. Wolters launched a two-run homer against Huchingson and Linton tacked on a two-run double against Adam Kolarek. Robles (3-4) was tagged for three runs on three hits over six innings. B-Mets manager Pedro Lopez was ejected in the sixth by home plate umpire Alex Tosi for arguing a foul-ball call. Plawecki notched his team-leading 20th multi-hit game. Box

PALM BEACH 9, ST. LUCIE 5: Domingo Tapia and Hunter Carnevale each surrendered three-run homers. Tapia (2-6) allowed four runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. All four runs he gave up came with two outs in the third. Breyvic Valera drove in a run on a comebacker that deflected off Tapia . Two batters later, Alex Mejia clubbed a three-run homer to put the Cardinals up 4-3. That score held until the seventh. Carnevale gave up a hit and walked two to load the bases with no outs. Mejia drove in a run with a groundout. Bruce Caldwell then launched his three-run homer for an 8-3 lead. Mejia added his fifth RBI in the eighth on a single against Alex Panteliodis. The Mets got a couple of runs back against Kyle Barraclough in their half of the eighth. Aderlin Rodriguez drove in T.J. Rivera with a double. Cole Frenzel made it a perfect 4-for-4 night when his single brought in Rodriguez. However, Barraclough got Eudy Pina to pop out to end the threat. In the ninth, Danny Miranda induced a game-ending double-play ball off the bat of Rivera. The Mets scored the first three runs in the second on RBI doubles by Frenzel and Maikis De La Cruz and a run-scoring single by Yeixon Ruiz. However, Ruiz was caught in a rundown and tagged out and Gilbert Gomez grounded out to put the brakes on the inning. Rehabbing Gonzalez Germen entered with two outs and two runners on in the sixth and retired the lone batter he faced. Box

KANNAPOLIS 4, SAVANNAH 2: Starter Kevin McGowan allowed four runs on seven hits and five walks in 4 2/3 innings. He surrendered a pair of home runs. Dominic Smith went 3-for-5 with an RBI in the loss. Tim Peterson tossed 3 1/3 no-hit relief innings, striking out six. Box

Compiled with team reports

Minors 6.5.14: Vaughn debuts with Vegas

June, 6, 2014
Jun 6
1:00
AM ET
FRESNO 9, LAS VEGAS 4: Noah Syndergaard left the game in the first inning after injuring his left shoulder in a plate collision. Cory Vaughn started in right field in his Triple-A debut and went 0-for-3 with a walk and strikeout. Giancarlo Alvarado allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings after entering for Syndergaard. Trailing 8-0, Danny Muno and Josh Satin homered in a three-run eighth for the 51s. Kirk Nieuwenhuis added a solo homer in the ninth. Box

ALTOONA 8, BINGHAMTON 5: The B-Mets brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but came up empty. Binghamton stranded six runners over the final three innings. Altoona roughed up B-Mets starter Angel Cuan in the first inning. Alen Hanson and Kevin Broxton consecutively doubled and Elias Diaz followed with an RBI single. Trailing 3-0, Binghamton used a two-out rally to get on the board in the third. Kyle Johnson doubled and Matt Reynolds plated him with a single. Kevin Plawecki added an RBI double. The Curve answered with four runs in the bottom half against Cuan to take a 7-2 lead. Drew Maggi produced a two-out, two-run double. A throwing error by third baseman Dustin Lawley on Hanson’s roller allowed two more runs to score. Binghamton got rolling against reliever Joan Montero in a three-run eighth to pull within 8-5. With Reynolds on first, the shortstop Hanson booted a chopper. Matt Clark followed with a roller to third. The grounder eluded Jarek Cunningham for an error, allowing a run to score. Darrell Ceciliani laced an RBI single and Rylan Sandoval topped the three-run inning with an RBI groundout.

The B-Mets threatened again in the ninth thanks to another error by Hanson. The shortstop bobbled Johnson’s groundball and Plawecki reached on a walk by Ryan Beckman. With the tying run at the plate, however, the right-hander retired Clark on a fly out and struck out Lawley looking to notch his third save. Cuan (1-3) was tagged for seven runs (four earned) on eight hits over three innings in his shortest outing of the season. Jon Velasquez allowed a run during his two relief innings for Binghamton. Reynolds went 10-for-16 in the series and raised his batting average to .371, the highest mark in Double-A. T.J. Chism returned from the DL and threw a scoreless inning. Box

DUNEDIN 7, ST. LUCIE 4: St. Lucie's Jairo Perez broke a 2-all tie in the top of the sixth with a two-run homer, but the Blue Jays roared back in their half of the inning. Marcus Knecht belted a leadoff double against Matt Koch and K.C. Hobson followed with a homer to tie the score. Christian Lopes then doubled. Kevin Patterson chased Koch from the game with another double, the sixth of the game against Koch. It plated Lopes and put the Blue Jays ahead, 5-4. Emilio Guerrero added a two-run homer against Chase Huchingson in the eighth. The Mets pounded out 12 hits, but hit into five double plays. Koch was tagged for five earned runs and nine hits in five innings. After winning five straight starts, he has lost his last two. Perez’s homer was his team-leading seventh. Eudy Pina put the Mets on the board first with an RBI single in the second. Gustavo Pierre put the Blue Jays ahead in the bottom of the second with a two-run double. Pina tied the score when he blasted a solo homer against starter Ben White in the fifth. Pina went 2-for-3 with a walk. T.J. Rivera had a 3-for-4 night. Paul Sewald pitched two scoreless relief innings and lowered his ERA to 1.08. Box

CHARLESTON 5, SAVANNAH 1: Starter Miller Diaz allowed five runs (four earned) on four hits and three walks in 6 2/3 innings. Savannah's lone run came in the first inning on L.J. Mazzilli's RBI single. Amed Rosario started at shortstop and went 0-for-4. He is 1-for-13 with seven strikeouts with the Gnats in a temporary assignment before reporting to Brooklyn. Gavin Cecchini served as the DH to free shortstop for the 18-year-old Rosario. Mazzilli finished 3-for-4 with a double. Box

Compiled with team reports

Minors 6.3.14: McGowan tames Tourists

June, 4, 2014
Jun 4
12:55
AM ET
RENO 6 LAS VEGAS 5: Rafael Montero allowed three runs on six hits and four walks while striking out five in 5 1/3 innings in his return to Vegas. He threw 99 pitches (63 strikes). Kai Gronauer's sac fly in the bottom of the ninth pulled Vegas within a run, but the tying run was stranded on first base when Zach Lutz flied out. Box

BINGHAMTON 15, ALTOONA 6: Matt Clark and Kevin Plawecki had four hits apiece as the B-Mets hammered out a season-high 19 hits and snapped an eight-game road losing

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streak. Plawecki launched his sixth homer and collected four RBIs. The Curve did tag Tyler Pill for three first-inning runs. Meanwhile, Altoona starter Zack Dodson kept the B-Mets in check before unraveling in the fifth. A throwing error by third baseman Jarek Cunningham started the frame. Darrell Ceciliani followed by launching his second homer of the season, cutting Altoona’s lead to 3-2. Two batters later, Matt Reynolds -- returning from a five-game absence for a back issue -- started a hit barrage. Reynolds singled and Plawecki, Dustin Lawley and Cory Vaughn followed with consecutive run-producing hits. Vaughn’s RBI single ended Dodson’s night. Joan Montero took over and allowed both inherited runners to score. Pill put his rocky first inning in the rearview mirror and cruised through his final five innings. Following his two-out walk in the opening frame, he retired 15 of the final 17 batters he faced, including 11 straight at one point. Clark and Plawecki collected RBI singles against Montero in the sixth. Brian Burgamy added a run-scoring single in the seventh against Matt Benedict. Vaughn had an RBI double in the eighth. After Pill departed, Hamilton Bennett tossed a scoreless seventh. The lefty surrendered a three-run homer in the eighth following an inning-extending error by Reynolds at shortstop. The B-Mets teed off against outfielder Andy Vasquez in the ninth after the he was summoned to pitch. Plawecki launched a two-run homer and Vaughn crushed his third homer of the season. Pill (3-5) allowed three runs on four hits over six innings. It was the most runs the B-Mets have scored since they plated 15 against New Hampshire on April 21, 2013. Lawley had been activated from the DL before the game. Box

DAYTONA 6, ST. LUCIE 5: Domingo Tapia walked five while lasting 2 1/3 innings and the Mets issued 10 walks as a staff. Four of the walks issued by Tapia scored. The Mets churned out 11 hits but could never come up with a big inning. In the fourth, the Mets stranded the bases loaded when Brandon Nimmo and T.J. Rivera both popped out. In the eighth, Rivera popped out to the pitcher with the Mets trailing 6-5, two outs and the tying run on second. Tapia walked Pin-Chieh Chen to start the game. Chen came in to score on Dan Vogelbach’s two-out single. The Mets responded in their half when Nimmo doubled and Jairo Perez singled to plate him. All seven batters Tapia faced in the third reached -- four on walks and three on singles. Tapia was lifted for Julian Hilario, who walked Rock Shoulders with the bases loaded to force home Vogelbach. Hilario settled down to get a fly out and a strikeout and get out of the inning down 5-1. Perez drove in Dilson Herrera in the bottom of the third to cut the deficit to 5-2. In the fourth, Herrera made it 5-3 when he singled against Austin Kirk to drive in Phillip Evans. Vogelbach led off the fifth with a double against Hilario. After a groundout moved him to third, he scored on Jeimer Candelario’s grounder to put the Cubs in front 6-3. Eudy Pina belted a solo homer against Starling Peralta in sixth to make it 6-4. Nimmo drove in Pina in the eighth with a two-out single for the final margin. Hunter Carnevale and Chase Huchingson each pitched two innings of scoreless, no-hit relief. Nimmo went 3-for-5. Perez went 2-for-5 with two RBIs. Box

SAVANNAH 3, ASHEVILLE 2: On the day he was selected to the South Atlantic League All-Star Game, Savannah right-hander Kevin McGowan baffled Asheville over 8 1/3 innings.

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McGowan
The victory pushed the Gnats’ lead over the Tourists for first place to six games with 14 games to play for the Gnats and 13 for Asheville. McGowan retired the first 14 batters, until Jordan Patterson doubled. McGowan held the Tourists scoreless until the sixth, when a single run cut the Gnats’ advantage to 2-1. He struck out three and walked one. The Gnats (38-17) scored their first two runs in the first inning. Gavin Cecchini walked and Jeff McNeil doubled to put two in scoring position. L.J. Mazzilli then sent a chopper to third base that Ryan McMahon threw away, allowing Cecchini and McNeil to score. The Gnats extended their lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the eighth, again with the help of an error. This time Mazzilli reached when first baseman Corelle Prime kicked a grounder. Mazzilli came around to score on Jorge Rivero’s single. McGowan began the ninth by giving up a single to Cesar Galvez. He then struck out Ramiel Tapia. At that point, with Galvez at second, McGowan reached his pitch limit and gave way to Akeel Morris. The right-hander induced a pair of groundouts, the first of which scored Galvez, who had gone to third on defensive indifference. Morris picked up his second save. Mazzilli went 0-for-4 to lose a 12-game hitting streak. Box

Compiled with team reports

Minors 5.31.14: Stuart lifts Gnats to win

May, 31, 2014
May 31
11:30
PM ET
RENO 4, LAS VEGAS 3: The 51s opened a 3-0 lead after two innings on an RBI double by Andrew Brown and two-run double from Omar Quintanilla. However, starter Darin Gorski and John Church combined to surrender four seventh-inning runs, capped by Alfredo Marte's go-ahead two-run homer against Church. Box

NEW BRITAIN 3, BINGHAMTON 2: Despite a career-high 12-strikeout performance from Matt Bowman and 11 hits by the offense, the B-Mets fell to the Rock Cats. The B-Mets

lastname
Bowman
stranded 13 baserunners. For the first time in four games, the B-Mets cracked the scoreboard first. Kyle Johnson and Brian Burgamy started the game with back-to-back singles against starter Virgil Vasquez. With runners on the corners, Kevin Plawecki ripped a sacrifice fly for his 28th RBI in May. The Rock Cats answered in the third against Bowman. Corey Wimberly started the inning with an infield single and Nate Hanson followed by getting plunked by an 0-1 pitch. Kennys Vargas tied the score with a bloop single. Brad Boyer pushed New Britain ahead by rolling a two-out, RBI single up the middle. Binghamton countered with a two-out rally in the fifth. Matt Clark started the charge with a bloop single. Jayce Boyd followed with an infield single. Darrell Ceciliani tied the score at 2 with an RBI single. New Britain struck right back in the bottom half. Daniel Ortiz ripped a one-out double, took third on a single and scampered home when Bowman bounced an 0-2 pitch in the dirt with Reynaldo Rodriguez at the plate. Given a one-run lead, Vasquez capped his night with a scoreless sixth. Bowman (3-3) allowed three runs on 10 hits over seven innings. He struck out six of the final nine batters he faced in his sixth straight winless start. Johnson and Clark each had three-hit games. Box

ST. LUCIE 4, DAYTONA 3: Jairo Perez broke a 1-all tie in the sixth when he unloaded on a 2-0 pitch from Jose Rosario for a three-run homer to put the Mets up for good. Earlier in

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the inning, T.J. Rivera singled home Maikis De La Cruz to even the score. Daytona staged a comeback in the ninth, but Chase Huchingson ended the ballgame by striking out Pin-Chieh Chen with the tying run at second base. Marco Hernandez plated two runs one batter earlier with a single against Randy Fontanez. Mets starter Gabriel Ynoa allowed an RBI double to Albert Almora in the first but was nearly lights out afterward. He improved to 5-2 by limiting the Cubs to five hits and one run over six innings. He threw 99 pitches. Felix Pena was equal to Ynoa, if not better. The Cubs starter blanked the Mets over five innings. The only hit he allowed came on Cam Maron's double. Pena was replaced by Rosario to open the sixth, despite having thrown only 58 pitches. Rosario surrendered four runs on three hits and two walks in the sixth, the only inning in which he pitched. The Mets entered the game having lost four of five and having scored one run in each of the four losses. They only had five hits against the Cubs on Saturday. Perez also had a triple. Hunter Carnevale pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth. He induced an inning-ending double-play ball off the bat of Almora to finish his outing. Fontanez could not complete the ninth to earn the save, but both runs he allowed were unearned. Box

SAVANNAH 6, ROME 2: Sparked by Champ Stuart’s speed and power, the Gnats scored

lastname
Stuart
five runs in their final two turns at bat for a come-from-behind victory. Trailing 2-1 heading to the bottom of the seventh, the Gnats needed two batters to take a 3-2 lead. Stefan Sabol led off with a triple. And when the Braves committed an error on the relay throw to third, Sabol hopped up and sprinted home with the tying run. Stuart followed with a homer over the left-field wall for his first long ball as a Gnat and his second as a professional. The Gnats (36-16) added three runs in the eighth. Stuart drove in two with a bases-loaded single up the middle. The final run scored on Patrick Biondi’s bases-loaded walk. Stuart finished 2-for-4 with a run scored and three RBIs. Savannah starter Robert Gsellman (3-3) held the Braves to two runs (one earned) through seven innings. He walked two and struck out four while lowering his ERA to 2.27. The Braves (16-39) had taken a short-lived 2-1 lead on Connor Lien’s RBI double in the top of the seventh. Savannah reliever Akeel Morris struck out all three batters he faced in the eighth. L.J. Mazzilli went 2-for-4 with a double to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Box

Compiled with team reports
NEW YORK -- Jeff McNeil grew up on a par-three golf course. As a high-school-age golfer, he qualified for the United States Junior Amateur -- “which is kind of like the U.S. Open for anyone under 18,” he noted. He remains a scratch golfer.

So McNeil was looking forward to golfing in college, until his athletic trajectory changed the summer before his senior year of high school in California. In fact, before ever playing in a high school game, McNeil received an offer to play Division I baseball.

McNeil had decided to play scout baseball during the summer before his senior year of high school on a team with his younger brother Ryan, who was entering his sophomore year.


Courtesy of New York MetsJeff McNeil


“Just the way it worked out, I ended up getting seen by a scout from Cal State Northridge,” McNeil said.

McNeil chose to play baseball over golf during his senior year. He graduated and began playing baseball at Long Beach State, because the Northridge coach was dismissed and he was let out of his commitment. McNeil hit .271 as a freshman and .258 as a sophomore in utility roles. He then hit .348 with a .398 on-base percentage his junior season with Long Beach State and was selected by the Mets in the 12th round last year.

Through 42 games with low-A Savannah this season, the 22-year-old McNeil is hitting .329 with two homers and 23 RBIs in 164 at-bats. He has a .403 on-base percentage. He regularly has played third base, after manning second base last year at short-season Kingsport following the draft.

“I was playing national golf tournaments and all that stuff,” McNeil said. “I didn’t really think anything of baseball. It’s just funny how things work out like that and I started playing baseball again and ended up doing extremely well.”

McNeil went homerless through three seasons in college and his first season as a pro. His Savannah teammates were aware. So they razzed him when he finally went deep for the first time since high school with two outs in the ninth inning on April 13 at Rome, Ga.

“I was a little bit in shock -- ‘Hey, it went out,’” McNeil said. “I was pretty excited. My teammates gave me a hard time. They were aware. Two games earlier I hit one off the top of the wall.

“It’s been a while. We play at one of the biggest fields in the nation in Long Beach, so I’ve hit some balls that should have gone out some places. It’s real difficult to hit it out at Long Beach.”

At Long Beach State, McNeil played a lot of second base and left field his first two seasons. His junior year he mostly played center field and right field. He also filled in at shortstop for an injured starter.

“At Long Beach, every game I didn’t know where I was going to play,” McNeil said.

Although two years younger, brother Ryan beat McNeil to professional baseball by a year. Ryan, a right-handed pitcher, was drafted in the third round by the Cubs in 2012. Ryan just passed the one-year anniversary of his May 17, 2013 Tommy John surgery. He is in the Cubs’ extended-spring-training program right now and should break camp with a short-season team within weeks.

As for McNeil’s golf game, he still has occasion to play, including with teammates during spring training. As a scratch golfer, he puts on a show.

“I’ve had some good rounds in spring training,” he said.

Organization leaders

Average: T.J. Rivera, St. Lucie, .361; Andrew Brown, Vegas, .355; Eric Campbell, Vegas, .355; Matt Reynolds, Binghamton, .351; Brandon Nimmo, St. Lucie, .340; Kevin Plawecki, Binghamton, .336; Jeff McNeil, Savannah, .329; Dilson Herrera, St. Lucie, .323; Zach Lutz, Vegas, .317; Wilfredo Tovar, Binghamton, .313.

Homers: Andrew Brown, Vegas, 10; Taylor Teagarden, Vegas, 8; Matt Clark, Binghamton, 8; Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 8.

RBIs: Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 42; T.J. Rivera, St. Lucie, 42.

Steals: Jeff McNeil, Savannah, 12; Patrick Biondi, Savannah, 11; Dilson Herrera, St. Lucie, 11; Brandon Nimmo, St. Lucie, 8; Stefan Sabol, Savannah, 7.

ERA: Kevin McGowan, Savannah, 1.57; Steven Matz, St. Lucie, 1.95; Darin Gorski, Binghamton, 2.22; John Gant, Savannah, 2.49; Matt Koch, St. Lucie, 2.83; Ricky Knapp, Savannah, 3.12; Rafael Montero, Vegas, 3.67; Dana Eveland, Vegas, 3.91; Noah Syndergaard, Vegas, 4.02.

Wins: Matt Koch, St. Lucie, 6; Miller Diaz, Savannah, 5; John Gant, Savannah, 5; Noah Syndergaard, Vegas, 5.

Saves: Chasen Bradford, Binghamton, 10; Robert Coles, Savannah, 9; Vic Black, Vegas, 7; Jeff Walters, Vegas, 6; Randy Fontanez, St. Lucie, 6; Beck Wheeler, St. Lucie, 6.

Strikeouts: Dana Eveland, Vegas, 58; Noah Syndergaard, Vegas, 57; Darin Gorski, Binghamton, 54; Dario Alvarez, Savannah, 47; Steven Matz, St. Lucie, 47.

Short hops

• Shortstop Amed Rosario was slated to make his Savannah debut on Tuesday, but the game was washed away. The 18-year-old Rosario, who tore up extended spring training, is ticketed for Brooklyn, but is making a cameo in the South Atlantic League en route. He signed for $1.75 million out of the Dominican Republic, a franchise record for an international teenager.

• 2011 first-round pick Brandon Nimmo (.340, 4 HR, 23 RBIs, .468 OBP) departed Tuesday’s St. Lucie game in the third inning with what the team labeled a sprained left ankle.

• With Jacob deGrom and Rafael Montero in the majors, Noah Syndergaard now sidelined at least briefly with a forearm issue that requires shoulder strengthening and Cory Mazzoni out since spring training with a lat-muscle issue, the Las Vegas rotation is in flux. After tossing a nine-inning shutout with Binghamton, left-hander Darin Gorski has been promoted to the 51s, swapping spots with Greg Peavey. Also in the rotation at the moment: Logan Verrett, Giancarlo Alvarado, Joel Carreno and Dana Eveland. Las Vegas (33-19) snapped a season-high six-game losing streak Tuesday.

• St. Lucie’s Dilson Herrera, acquired from the Pirates last August with Vic Black, leads all of the minors with 71 hits. Teammate T.J. Rivera, a Bronx native, is runner-up with 70.

• Triple-A catcher Taylor Teagarden (.295, 8 HR, 19 RBIs, .411 OBP) has a June 15 out in his contract if he is not promoted to the majors by that date. The Padres recruited Teagarden heavily last offseason, so that may be an option if he declares free agency.

• Las Vegas outfielder Cesar Puello started Tuesday for the first time in five days. He has dealt with a little soreness, but was healthy enough to play. The decision to hold him out was made by manager Wally Backman, who preferred other outfield options. Although Puello is hitting .264 with one homer and 10 RBIs in 125 at-bats, a team insider said in explaining the playing time: “Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Matt den Dekker and Andrew Brown are better. Brandon Allen and Allan Dykstra are better. Puello stats don’t even do justice to how bad he has been. Lots of broken bats. Lots of infield hits. His hits have been against bad pitchers. He is overmatched.”

• Binghamton catcher Kevin Plawecki has been unstoppable this month. If you include his still-unofficial stats from Tuesday’s 2-for-2, five-RBI performance in a game that was suspended in the second inning, the Purdue product is hitting .407 (35-for-86) with 10 doubles, five homers and 27 RBIs in May. A workhorse, he has played without a day off for 14 straight days (12 days of catching and two days at DH with Travis d’Arnaud rehabbing with the B-Mets -- albeit with two games off in the nightcap of doubleheaders).

• Left-hander Alex Panteliodis, a ninth-round pick from the University of Florida in 2011, was activated off the St. Lucie DL and earned a win over Clearwater in his first start of the season. He went 6 1/3 innings and allowed two runs.

• Before going hitless in three at-bats Tuesday, St. Lucie catcher Cam Maron had been hitting .429 in a seven-game span to lift his average to .281. The Hicksville, Long Island, native went 4-for-5 with four RBIs and was a home run short of the cycle Saturday.

• Left-handed reliever Chase Huchingson has looked rusty in two appearances since returning from a 50-game suspension for violations involving a drug of abuse. He surrendered three hits and two runs in an inning Thursday, then allowed a run in one inning Saturday.

• Right-hander Kevin McGowan, a 13th-round pick last year from Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire, has tossed 33 2/3 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run with Savannah. Another lengthy streak ended this week with the Gnats. Virgin Islands native Akeel Morris allowed his first run Saturday after opening the season with 24 1/3 scoreless innings.

Morning Briefing: West doormats arrive

May, 23, 2014
May 23
5:34
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The Mets swept the Arizona Diamondbacks April 14-16 in Phoenix.

Now, they look to continue their success against the National League West cellar dwellers this weekend at Citi Field.

Arizona arrives in Queens with an 18-31 record and on a three-game losing streak after getting swept in St. Louis. The D-backs already have endured six losing streaks of at least three games this season, ESPN Stats & Information notes.

Bartolo Colon (3-5, 5.34 ERA) opposes rookie right-hander Chase Anderson (2-0, 5.06) in Friday’s 7:10 p.m. series opener.

Friday’s news reports:

Juan Lagares delivered a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh and the Mets salvaged the finale of their series with the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 5-3 win Thursday at Citi Field. Albeit benefiting from a pair of unearned runs, the Mets snapped Zack Greinke’s streak of allowing two or fewer runs in 21 straight starts -- the longest such streak in MLB history. Jenrry Mejia pitched for a second straight day for the first time since 2010 to earn his second save.


Adam Hunger/USA TODAY SportsYasiel Puig had the catch of the day, racing into right-center and diving to rob Wilmer Flores.


Eric Campbell, starting in the majors for the first time in left field, contributed a sacrifice fly and also made a dazzling eighth-inning catch to initiate a double play.

Jonathon Niese had surrendered a game-tying two-run homer to ex-Met Justin Turner in the top of the seventh. Pitching coach Dan Warthen had noticed Niese elevating his pitches that inning and had planned to go to the mound if Turner had reached base.

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

Curtis Granderson doesn’t understand why fans boo. “I’ve always wanted to know why someone would boo, because in the next second they’ll cheer,” Granderson told Jim Baumbach in Newsday. “So which one is it? You like your team or dislike your team? You call yourself a fan and then you’ll boo? …

“I understand you’re a fan, but at the same time, you aren’t playing. I can see you getting that intense as a player or [if you] have played. But if you’re just a fan and watching, enjoy the excitement of the game that is in front of you win, lose or draw, whatever the case is.”

• Columnist John Harper in the Daily News says play the kids. Writes Harper:

It makes sense, since this team can’t be considered a contender, even at a time when parity throughout MLB has lowered the bar for such status.

Of course, it also speaks to a failure by the Mets’ brass to do more in the offseason, specifically in terms of upgrading the offense, which is why the season is careening in the wrong direction.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal notes two members of the bullpen, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Mejia, view themselves as starters in exile. “Looking in from the outside, it may seem that I have become more comfortable,” Matsuzaka told Diamond through an interpreter. “But, for me, it’s still a daily struggle.”

• Read more on Mejia in the Star-Ledger and Daily News.

Travis d’Arnaud has been cleared for baseball activities as he rebounds from a concussion. Terry Collins expects d’Arnaud to have a rehab assignment before being activated from the concussion DL. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Journal, Record, Newsday and at MLB.com.

• Collins has resolved to use Campbell in the middle infield, at least on occasion.

• Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has no problems with the dimensions of Citi Field.

Dillon Gee (lat) will need to pitch in a rehab game as soon as Sunday to ensure he only misses three turns in the rotation.

• Jesse Spector in the Sporting News ranks Sandy Alderson the 23rd-best GM in baseball.

• Howard Megdal at Capital New York suggests Mets brass did not like a tweet read on-air on WOR regarding team ownership.

• TV critic Bob Raissman in the Daily News wonders which SNY analyst will lose it on-air watching the Mets.

• Alex Panteliodis earned the win in his season debut and left-handed reliever Chase Huchingson returned from a 50-game suspension in St. Lucie’s 6-4 win against Clearwater. Savannah’s Miller Diaz, Akeel Morris and Tyler Vanderheiden combined to shut out Lexington, 4-0. Read the full minor-league recap here.

David Wright met with a 12-year-old afflicted with a rare skin disorder before Thursday’s game, Eli Rosenberg writes in the Daily News.

From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear can't help but notice Yasiel Puig.

BIRTHDAYS: Vic Black, who has a 1.45 ERA and seven saves in eight chances with Las Vegas, turns 26. Black has allowed 12 hits and 17 walks (one intentional) in 18 2/3 innings.

TWEETS OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Will the Mets beat up on the Diamondbacks this weekend?

Minors 5.22.14: Diaz, Gnats toss shutout

May, 23, 2014
May 23
12:30
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FRESNO 6, LAS VEGAS 3: Jeff Walters and Ryan Reid combined to allow four seventh-inning runs as Fresno overcame a 3-2 deficit. Starter Dana Eveland allowed two runs in six innings. Box

PORTLAND 6, BINGHAMTON 5: Mookie Betts produced a walk-off, two-run triple in the ninth to send Binghamton to its fifth straight defeat. With the B-Mets clinging to a 5-4 lead,

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Cody Satterwhite walked Peter Hissey on four pitches. Shannon Wilkerson then had a bunt single. Satterwhite got ahead of Betts, 0-2, before the Eastern League's batting-average leader delivered the game-winning hit. B-Mets starter Rainy Lara allowed three runs on two hits and four walks in three innings. It marked his shortest outing as a starter since he pitched in the Dominican Summer League in 2010. Jack Leathersich took over in the fourth and fanned four Sea Dogs in two scoreless innings. Portland starter Mickey Pena silenced the B-Mets through five innings, allowing one single and one walk. Following a one-out double by Matt Reynolds in the first, Pena retired 15 of the next 16 batters. Kevin Plawecki ended Pena’s roll in the sixth. Following Kyle Johnson’s one-out single, Plawecki blasted a first-pitch fastball over the “Maine Monster." His blast cut Portland’s lead to 3-2. Binghamton took the lead in the seventh. Pena walked Travis Taijeron to load the bases. Miguel Celestino entered and Wilfredo Tovar greeted the righty with a two-run single for a 4-3 lead. Portland answered in the bottom half with a run against John Church. The B-Mets retook the lead against Celestino in the eighth. Jayce Boyd doubled and Dustin Lawley followed by singling into right. Rylan Sandoval, pinch-running for Boyd, scored. Box

ST. LUCIE 6, CLEARWATER 4: Alex Panteliodis earned the victory in his season debut. The former Florida Gator limited the Threshers to two runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out five and did not walk a batter while throwing 87 pitches. With the score tied at 2 in the sixth, Cam Maron, Jairo Perez and Cole Frenzel hit consecutive RBI singles. T.J. Rivera doubled home Dilson Herrera in the seventh to make it 6-2. The Threshers scored two runs against Chase Huchingson in the eighth, but Huchingson struck out Brian Pointer as the tying run to end the threat. Huchingson, returning from a 50-game suspension, was making his first appearance this season. Beck Wheeler worked a perfect ninth with two strikeouts to earn his sixth save. The Threshers are an MiLB-worst 9-35. Brandon Nimmo produced a solo homer in the third. Rivera went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. He leads the Florida State League with 40 RBIs. Box

SAVANNAH 4, LEXINGTON 0: Miller Diaz tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings and combined

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with Akeel Morris and Tyler Vanderheiden on a five-hit shutout. Diaz (5-0) allowed five hits and three walks while striking out eight. Morris upped his scoreless streak to 24 1/3 innings. Vanderheiden lowered his ERA to 0.79. Lexington starter Matt Tenuta surrendered six hits and three earned runs, including Victor Cruzado's sacrifice fly in the second inning that gave the Gnats a 1-0 lead. Tenuta ran into trouble again in the sixth when Jeff McNeil singled home Patrick Biondi. McNeil then scored on Dominic Smith's double to extend the lead to 3-0. L.J. Mazzilli’s eighth-inning homer, his fourth long ball of the season and second in three games, capped the scoring. Mazzilli went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. McNeil (2-for-4) extended his hitting streak to added to 14 games. He upped his average to .347. Box

Compiled with team reports

Farm report: Koch excels after liner scare

May, 21, 2014
May 21
10:09
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NEW YORK -- Right-hander Matt Koch is off to a blazing start with Class A St. Lucie. He owns a 5-0 record, 2.81 ERA and 1.104 WHIP in seven Florida State League starts.

The 23-year-old Koch, a third-round pick in 2012 from the University of Louisville, can appreciate the success even more given how last season ended.

Pitching for low-A Savannah last Aug. 2, Koch (pronounced “Cook”) was struck in the head with a line drive off the bat of Greenville’s Mario Martinez and spent three nights in the hospital with internal bleeding and swelling on the brain.


Courtesy of New York MetsMatt Koch


“That put into perspective a little bit how quick the game could be taken away from you and how you can’t take it for granted,” Koch said. “You have to go out every day and give it everything you can to get better and help the team win.”

Koch resumed facing batters during spring training. He now can even laugh off again getting struck with a line drive during an intrasquad game two months ago while in minor-league camp.

“Actually, my first game in spring training, T.J. Rivera hit me with a line drive. I got hit right in the backside,” Koch said with a chuckle. “It was fine. I actually got the out this time. So that was good. There have been a couple of line drives up the middle, but nothing too scary or too close.

“Honestly, the first couple of the times going out to the pitcher’s mound on the field -- right before I’d go out -- I’d think about it and I’d be a little bit scared. But then, as soon as I got on the mound, I wouldn’t think about it at all. I honestly haven’t thought about it since spring training.”

Koch never required surgery during last year’s hospitalization.

“They were just monitoring it, getting CT scans and MRIs to keep track of what it was doing,” Koch said. “And it kept getting better.”

Koch, a native Iowan, had been the closer during his junior year at Louisville. He had excelled in an eighth- and ninth-inning role for the Chatham Anglers in the Cape Cod League the previous summer, and the college staff installed him in that role, too. Louisville had lost Tony Zych, its closer of the previous season, to the 2011 draft (fourth round/Red Sox). The Cardinals also had been fairly deep in starting pitching. The Mets, though, drafted Koch with an eye toward starting.

“I know in our pre-draft meetings, and when I was talking to the Mets scout, he kept asking if I thought I could start,” Koch said. “I kept telling him, yeah, I’ve been a starter pretty much my whole life until then. So I kind of assumed that they would want me to be a starter.”

Koch’s fastball sits at 90-92 mph this season, which is down slightly from previous years. The modest velocity drop can be explained away, though, because Koch has increased the frequency of throwing two-seam fastballs, “trying to be on the edges of the plate.” He also throws a slider, curveball and changeup.

What jumps out most is his low career walk rate. He has walked only 16 batters in 147 1/3 professional innings -- or 0.98 per nine innings.

“That’s always how I’ve really been. I hate walking people,” Koch said. “I know sometimes you’ve got to nibble and be smart. But I hate just giving people the free base. I want them to earn it.”

Organization leaders

Average: T.J. Rivera, St. Lucie, .376; Eric Campbell, Vegas, .355; Jeff McNeil, Savannah, .342; Brandon Nimmo, St. Lucie, .335; Zach Lutz, Vegas, .333; Matt Reynolds, Binghamton, .333; Kevin Plawecki, Binghamton, .325; Dilson Herrera, St. Lucie, .320; Matt Clark, Binghamton, .314; Wilfredo Tovar, Binghamton, .309.

Homers: Andrew Brown, Vegas, 9; Taylor Teagarden, Vegas, 8; Matt Clark, Binghamton, 8; Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 7.

RBIs: Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 39; T.J. Rivera, St. Lucie, 37; Zach Lutz, Vegas, 33; Aderlin Rodriguez, St. Lucie, 33; Stefan Sabol, Savannah, 31.

Steals: Patrick Biondi, Savannah, 11; Jeff McNeil, Savannah, 11; Dilson Herrera, St. Lucie, 10; Brandon Nimmo, St. Lucie, 8.

ERA: Kevin McGowan, Savannah, 1.85; Steven Matz, St. Lucie, 2.22; Jacob deGrom, Vegas, 2.58; Darin Gorski, Binghamton, 2.68; Matt Koch, St. Lucie, 2.81; John Gant, Savannah, 2.93; Ricky Knapp, Savannah, 3.12; Luis Cessa, St. Lucie, 3.40; Matt Bowman, Binghamton, 3.48; Rafael Montero, Vegas, 3.67.

Wins: Noah Syndergaard, Vegas, 5; Matt Koch, St. Lucie, 5.

Saves: Robert Coles, Savannah, 9; Chasen Bradford, Binghamton, 8; Vic Black, Vegas, 7; Jeff Walters, Vegas, 6; Randy Fontanez, St. Lucie, 5; Beck Wheeler, St. Lucie, 5.

Strikeouts: Noah Syndergaard, Vegas, 51; Darin Gorski, Binghamton, 48; Steven Matz, St. Lucie, 44; Dario Alvarez, Savannah, 42; Dana Eveland, Vegas, 42.

Short hops

• Left-handed reliever Chase Huchingson, who received a 50-game suspension last Aug. 26 for a second violation involving a drug of abuse, has nearly completed the ban. Huchingson, 25, will be eligible to pitch in official games after Binghamton plays its 43rd game of the season in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday. Huchingson has been pitching in extended spring training in Port St. Lucie, Fla., to ramp up. The 6-foot-5 southpaw went 3-2 with a 1.61 ERA in 45 relief appearances with the B-Mets last season and held lefty batters to a .125 average (9-for-72).

Dario Alvarez was named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week. No youngster, the 25-year-old left-hander spent 2007 through ’09 playing in the Dominican Summer League with the Phillies. After tossing two scoreless innings Tuesday for Savannah, Alvarez is 3-0 with a 0.33 ERA in eight appearances (three starts) spanning 27 innings. He has allowed three runs (one earned) on 17 hits while striking out 42, walking eight and hitting one batter.

• Second baseman Dilson Herrera, who was acquired last August with Vic Black from the Pittsburgh Pirates for Marlon Byrd and John Buck, has nine multi-hit performances in his past 11 games with St. Lucie. He is hitting .431 (22-for-51) during that stretch.

• Binghamton outfielder Kyle Johnson, acquired last summer from the Angels for Collin Cowgill, hit safely in 10 straight games until going 0-for-4 Monday at Portland. Johnson, a 25th-round pick in 2012 out of Washington State University, is hitting .303 with a .366 on-base percentage and is leading off for the B-Mets.

• The 40-round draft will be held June 5-7 in Secaucus, N.J. The Mets will pick 10th overall, then do not select again until 84th overall, in the third round. The Mets forfeited their second-round selection for signing Curtis Granderson, although the Yankees eventually forfeited that pick as well because they signed Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury. Under the new CBA, the Mets will have a draft-spending allotment of $5,308,300. The Mets also have an international spending allotment of $2,697,800. The total spending allotment of $8,006,100 ranks 20th in MLB.

• Right-hander Cory Mazzoni, who started and was forced to leave the final Grapefruit League game with a lat-muscle injury, began throwing off the slope of a mound last weekend in Port St. Lucie.

(Read full post)

Farm report: Nimmo finds St. Lucie

April, 2, 2014
Apr 2
9:00
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2011 first-round pick Brandon Nimmo had no shortage of role models while training at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., this winter. His workout partners included National League MVP Andrew McCutchen, All-Star Pedro Alvarez and Red Sox left-hander Felix Doubront.

NFL prospects trained alongside too, including Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier and Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

“Cutch doesn’t act like an NL MVP at all,” Nimmo said. “He’s a very down-to-earth guy. He’s very much like [Curtis] Granderson, where any questions that I had he would answer them, and anything that I needed he would come right to me and be honest with me. It was just awesome to be around that kind of guy and understand what kind of work ethic will get you there.”

The 21-year-old Nimmo arrived at IMG weighing 187 pounds. He departed at 207, which he believed translated into success while in big-league camp during spring training. Albeit in a small sample size, Nimmo hit .429 (3-for-7) with an RBI and two walks in Grapefruit League play.


Eliot J. Schechter/MLB PhotosBrandon Nimmo


“They put 20 pounds on me,” said Nimmo, a 6-foot-3 outfielder from Wyoming. “And it was really good muscle. None of it was bad weight. I had a nutritionist watching what I was eating. We just did it the right way. And I felt like that was what I needed. I felt like I needed to move on and train a little bit more like a professional. Obviously now you see the results of that physically.”

Nimmo hit .273 with two homers, 40 RBIs and 10 steals and had a .397 on-base percentage in 480 plate appearances with low-A Savannah in 2013. Yet it was an uneven, complicated season.

Nimmo was hitting .444 two weeks into last season, but all of a sudden went into a nosedive, including going hitless in 20 at-bats over five games before disappearing from the Gnats lineup for a month.

Nimmo suffered a hand injury that resulted in a dislocated joint and partial tear of a couple of ligaments. The problem: The injury went undetected by an MRI taken in Savannah. So Nimmo resumed playing in late May and the issue lingered the whole season. He eventually was checked out by Mets doctors in New York and the full extent of the injury was discovered.

“It was a situation where we got the MRI done in Savannah, and it happens where nothing showed up, so I played the rest of the season with it,” Nimmo said. “I let the people know afterward it still wasn’t all the way there. I went to New York and that’s when we found out everything that happened. And we went to Cleveland, too, and saw a pretty good hand doctor there, Dr. Thomas Graham. He said, ‘It isn’t going to change things. You don’t need surgery. They’ve already repaired themselves. You’re just going to have to get it stronger.’ And, actually, we took a couple of months off.”

Nimmo insisted he did not want to use the hand injury as an excuse for his season.

“I came back because I wanted to play,” he insisted. “And we felt like nothing was really wrong there. The one thing I noticed was I never fouled so many balls straight back. I didn’t quite have my top hand on top of it. It happens. You’ve got to learn how to play with injuries sometimes. It just was a learning experience for me.”

The Gnats won the South Atlantic League title, so Nimmo did participate in a championship. But his first-half teammates and friends, including Kevin Plawecki and Jayce Boyd, had received midseason promotions to high-A St. Lucie while Nimmo was snubbed.

“With how I started I felt like I should have left earlier,” said Nimmo, who opens this season in the Florida State League. “But I didn’t play the way that I was supposed to after that point. After April, I didn’t deserve a promotion. So it’s nothing against the Mets. I was mad at myself for not playing better. I feel like if I would have played at my best, maybe I could have got to St. Lucie. But I didn’t. I didn’t play my best. And so I needed to learn more in Savannah. And then I got to win a championship with them. It ended up working out well.

“Kevin is one of my best friends. Me and him compete. And Jayce is one of my best friends out here, too. We really thrived off of each other and really got a lot of information from each other. So obviously those two leaving, yeah, I was upset with myself about not being there. I just took it as I needed to get better. And I felt like I finished the season well.”

What’s on Nimmo’s agenda to learn? He spent spring training working on covering more ground in the outfield, including putting his head down when a ball is clearly over his head and taking the first three strides full throttle before trying to locate the baseball. Offensively, being able to hit the curveball with two strikes is one thing to hone.

Nimmo, by the way, is fully aware of who was taken with the pick immediately after him in 2011. After the Mets selected Nimmo 13th overall, the Marlins used the next pick on now-reigning NL Rookie of the Year Jose Fernandez out of high school in Tampa.

Nimmo said there was not extra pressure on him because of Fernandez’s achievements. He noted he has been facing Bryce Harper since the Nat was on a travel team for 9-year-olds out of Denver called the Rocky Mountain Steel.

“He was 6-2, 185 when we were 12 years old. I mean, he was a beast,” Nimmo said about Harper.

As for the Mets picking him over Fernandez, Nimmo opined: “If everybody knew how it was going to turn out, I think he probably would have went No. 1 overall. There were 12 other teams that passed on him, too. But I can’t put any pressure on me. I played against Harper since I was 9 years old. I played those guys. There’s nothing that I can do. I’m myself. I just have to control what I can control and just go out there and have fun.

“It’s the way it is. They’re very talented. Very talented. And they learned the game a little bit quicker than I did. I don’t feel like I’m going to be anywhere behind them. I think I’m going to be playing against them one day and on the same playing field, but it just took me a little bit longer. I hope to face [Fernandez] 1,000 more times, hopefully in the big leagues. We’ll see how it goes. But no more pressure. I’ll just be myself and play.”

2013 organization leaders

Average: Jayce Boyd, St. Lucie, .330; Jeff McNeil, Kingsport, .329; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, .321; Eric Campbell, Vegas, .314; Kevin Plawecki, St. Lucie, .305; Yeixon Ruiz, Kingsport, .304; Dominic Smith, Kingsport, .301; Jhoan Urena, GCL Mets, .299; Jeyckol De Leon, Kingsport, .298; Zach Lutz, Vegas, .293.

Homers: Dustin Lawley, Vegas, 26; Travis Taijeron, Binghamton, 23; Allan Dykstra, Binghamton, 21; Cesar Puello, Binghamton, 16; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, 15.

RBIs: Dustin Lawley, Vegas, 96; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, 86; Jayce Boyd, St. Lucie, 83; Allan Dykstra, Binghamton, 82.

Steals: Darrell Ceciliani, Binghamton, 31; Alonzo Harris, Binghamton, 25; Cesar Puello, Binghamton, 24; Eudy Pina, Savannah, 21.

ERA: Rob Whalen, Kingsport, 1.87; Miller Diaz, Brooklyn, 2.03; Chris Flexen, Kingsport, 2.09; Robert Gsellman, Brooklyn, 2.58; Gabriel Ynoa, Savannah, 2.72; Rafael Montero, Vegas, 2.78; Rainy Lara, St. Lucie, 2.85; John Gant, Brooklyn, 2.89; Matt Bowman, St. Lucie, 3.05; Noah Syndergaard, Binghamton, 3.06.

Wins: Gabriel Ynoa, Savannah, 15; Rafael Montero, Vegas, 12; Logan Verrett, Binghamton, 12; Matt Bowman, St. Lucie, 10.

Saves: Jeff Walters, Vegas, 38; T.J. Chism, St. Lucie, 20; Beck Wheeler, Savannah, 19; Robert Carson, Vegas, 11; Bret Mitchell, St. Lucie, 10.

Strikeouts: Rafael Montero, Vegas, 150; Noah Syndergaaard, Binghamton, 133; Logan Verrett, Binghamton, 132; Erik Goeddel, Binghamton, 125; Luis Cessa, Savannah, 124.

Short hops

• Right-hander Cory Mazzoni, who strained his right triceps in the Grapefruit League finale, remained in Port St. Lucie when Triple-A Las Vegas players broke camp. The injury is considered “nothing significant” and Mazzoni is unlikely to miss much time, a Mets official suggested. Still, Mazzoni is due for a follow-up appointment with team doctors in New York.

(Read full post)

Mets still debating final 40-man add

November, 19, 2013
11/19/13
3:36
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lastname
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NEW YORK -- Sandy Alderson said the Mets will add three or four prospects to the 40-man roster before Wednesday's deadline to protect them from December's Rule 5 draft. The GM added that there still was debate about which final prospects to add.

The Mets' 40-man roster currently is at 36.

A team insider acknowledged that right-handers Jacob deGrom and Jeff Walters are near-locks to add to the roster.

The debate centers on which one or two players to add from outfielder Cory Vaughn and left-handers Chase Huchingson and Steven Matz.

Huchingson is currently serving a 50-game suspension for a second violation involving a drug of abuse, but that would be tabled if he is added to the 40-man roster, since he would then be governed by a different set of guidelines and punishments.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
9 4.03 100 134
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .293
HRL. Duda 18
RBIL. Duda 56
RD. Murphy 59
OPSL. Duda .856
ERAJ. Niese 3.23
SOZ. Wheeler 121