New York Mets: Dock Doyle

Farm report II: Leaders, player notes

June, 6, 2012
Organization leaders

Average: T.J. Rivera, Savannah, .327; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, .314; Matt den Dekker, Binghamton, .310; Eric Campbell, Binghamton, .304; Wilfredo Tovar, St. Lucie, .294; Jefry Marte, Binghamton, .293; Matt Tuiasosopo, Buffalo, .284; Travis Taijeron, Savannah, .284; Danny Muno, St. Luice, .283; Omar Quintanilla, Buffalo, .282.

Homers: Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 12; Travis Taijeron, Savannah, 11; Cory Vaughn, St. Lucie, 10; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 10; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 10.

RBI: Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 40; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 40; Travis Taijeron, Savannah, 37; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 35; Matt Tuiasosopo, Buffalo, 31.

Steals: Alonzo Harris Jr., St. Lucie, 12; Luis Nieves, Savannah, 11; Wilfredo Tovar, St. Lucie, 11; Fred Lewis, Buffalo, 10; Cesar Puello, St. Lucie, 10.

ERA: Zack Wheeler, Binghamton, 1.88; Collin McHugh, Binghamton, 2.17; Angel Cuan, St. Lucie, 2.40; Rafael Montero, Savannah, 2.43; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 2.59; Tyler Pill, St. Lucie, 2.68; Chase Huchingson, St. Lucie, 3.02; Cory Mazzoni, St. Lucie, 3.09; Matt Harvey, Buffalo, 3.69; Mark Cohoon, Binghamton, 3.92.

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

Saves: Adrian Rosario, Binghamton, 12; Fernando Cabrera, Buffalo, 12; T.J. Chism, Savannah, 9; Adam Kolarek, St. Lucie, 8.

Strikeouts: Matt Harvey, Buffalo, 61; Zack Wheeler, Binghamton, 60; Garrett Olson, Buffalo, 57; Tyler Pill, Savannah, 56; Jack Leathersich, St. Lucie, 54.

Short hops

Zack Wheeler has won five straight starts with Double-A Binghamton. In his past two outings, the ex-Giants farmhand combined to limit New Britain and Reading to two runs and five hits while striking out 15 and walking two in 15 innings. “That’s probably the best-pitched game against us this year,” Reading manager Dusty Wathan told Mike Drago in the Reading Eagle. “Obviously he’s got an overpowering fastball, and he can command the ball to both sides of the plate. Tonight he threw the ball where he wanted to, and he did what he was supposed to do against us. You’ve gotta give him a lot of credit. … He looks like a big leaguer to me. For sure.”

• Right-hander Rob Whalen, drafted by the Mets in the 12th round Tuesday out of high school in Haines City, Fla., actually has serious Mets ties. His entire family hails from Queens and are big Mets fans. Whalen lived in Pennsylvania until moving south for high school to maximize his chance of becoming a professional ballplayer. Whalen won The Tom Seaver Most Outstanding Pitcher award as an 8-year-old at a Mets-sponsored camp at Long Neck, N.Y., and recalled playing catch with then-Mets reliever Scott Strickland during the event. (View visual proof here.)

Paul DePodesta offered high praise for Princeton right-hander Matt Bowman, the organization’s 13th-round pick, who had wowed team officials at a pre-draft Mets workout. “He has a Tim Lincecum delivery,” DePodesta said. “He’s also a position player for Princeton. He’s very athletic, a very good strike thrower. At our workout he actually was up to 95 mph, but pitching mainly 93-94 with plus life on his fastball. We like the athletic package and think he has some upside there when he concentrates on pitching full time. … He was a guy ever since he came to our workout that we’ve targeted. We were just trying to figure out the best time to call his name. He’s a guy we were pretty intent on taking somewhere.”

• Amateur scouting director Tommy Tanous watched Hawaii prep shortstop Branden Kaupe (fourth round) hit an inside-the-park homer while scouting one game. Tanous praised Kaupe’s speed and said he can play anywhere in the infield, including the left side because of a strong arm.

• The Mets have raided the University of Arkansas for four high-round selections the past two drafts. The Mets’ top two picks last year, Brandon Nimmo and Michael Fulmer, were Arkansas commitments. Tuesday the Mets drafted Razorbacks third baseman Matt Reynolds in the second round and grabbed Hogs commitment Teddy Stankiewicz, a high school right-hander from Fort Worth, with their other pick in that round. “We’re thinking about hiring their recruiting coordinator. We love their players,” DePodesta quipped, before adding: “Purely coincidence.”

• Reliever Jack Egbert officially was designated for assignment Tuesday by the Mets to clear a 40-man roster spot for Chris Young, forcing the Rutgers product to be exposed to waivers. Still, Terry Collins believes the organization has a valuable piece provided Egbert clears and is able to return to Triple-A Buffalo’s bullpen. “Two years ago, this guy, he almost made this team,” Collins said about Egbert, who hails from Rutherford, N.J. “Then he hurt his elbow. I’m very impressed with his sinker. His arm strength is continuing to get better [post 2009 Tommy John surgery]. And Wally [Backman] told me, he said, ‘Look, this guy can get groundballs.’ I know we didn’t use him very much, but there’s a good chance he’s going to be back.”

• Right-hander Brandon Moore, who returned from a 50-game suspension resulting from being flagged for a “drug of abuse,” has settled into Binghamton’s bullpen after working as a starter pre-ban. Likely rusty, Moore has walked five, hit a batter and thrown a wild pitch while being charged with four runs in two appearances spanning 1 1/3 innings. He has a sharp slider and quality sinker when on. There is no room for Moore at this point in the B-Mets’ rotation, which already has six members. Fellow right-hander Scott Moviel, who also returned from a 50-game suspension, remains in extended spring training. Catcher Dock Doyle, the third player to receive that ban late last year, has been released, a team official said. Doyle was a fifth-round pick in 2008 from Coastal Carolina.

(Read full post)

Farm report II: Leaders, player notes

May, 30, 2012
Organization leaders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Short hops

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adam Rubin’s farm report appears Wednesdays during the regular season
Adam Kolarek’s numbers speak for themselves: In 16 2/3 relief innings with Class A St. Lucie, the southpaw has yet to allow a run. He has struck out 25 and walked two. He has four saves. And lefty batters are hitting only .130 against the 11th-round pick in 2010 out of the University of Maryland.

He’s one of many reasons why St. Lucie is off to a 25-7 start this season.

Courtesy of New York Mets
Adam Kolarek

“I think we’re a very fundamentally sound team -- moving runners, getting the runner in, playing strong defense -- and then both our starters and relievers have really put together a strong start to the season,” Kolarek said.

As for his striking-throwing ability, which starts with fastball command, Kolarek added: “I wouldn’t say I’ve always had the best control, but it’s definitely something I’ve been working on. I really started seeing a lot better control last year. And I worked on it again in the offseason. And so far this season I’ve had pretty good results. It’s right where I want to be.”

Kolarek, 23, had solid tutoring from a young age. His father Frank, who also played at the University of Maryland, caught in the minors for the Oakland Athletics in the late 1970s. He reached as high as Triple-A Ogden in ’79, and played alongside Rickey Henderson at multiple levels of the minors.

“He was a catcher, so he taught a lot to me about how to pitch batters,” Kolarek said. “I talk to him after every outing and we go over the hitters. … He’s definitely my go-to guy. I did it in college too. It’s nothing new. We just go over the outing. He can only hear so much when he’s listening on the radio or following online, so I fill in the story and go over things.”

Kolarek and Adrian Rosario both have accumulated saves for St. Lucie this season. Five of Kolarek’s 14 appearances have been two innings. Kolarek primarily worked as a reliever in college as well. This season, the slider has been a good out pitch, particularly against lefties, in inducing groundballs. His fastball sits at 90-92 mph. He also has a changeup, which he uses more against righty batters.

“We’ve all kind of been in different situations, whether it’s coming in for that certain matchup, or coming in for an inning or two at a time,” Kolarek said. “Being able to be versatile in any kind of relieving role is important.”

Kolarek’s college highlight actually came at the plate, not on the mound. After entering as a defensive replacement at first base against a ranked North Carolina team on April 2, 2010, Kolarek launched a two-out, walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th. Matt Harvey had tossed the first six innings of that game for the Tar Heels.

“I had some good moments on the mound, but the overall college moment, definitely that home run was something I’ll always remember,” he said.

Organization leaders

Average: T.J. Rivera, Savannah, .358; Bobby Scales, Buffalo, .350; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, .330; Vinny Rottino, Buffalo, .317; Jefry Marte, Binghamton, .315; Zach Lutz, Buffalo, .315; Travis Taijeron, Savannah, .314; Omar Quintanilla, Buffalo, .301; Oswaldo Navarro, Buffalo, .293; Eric Campbell, Binghamton, .286.

Homers: Cory Vaughn, St. Lucie, 8; Travis Taijeron, Savannah, 7; Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 6; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 5; Omar Quintanilla, Buffalo, 5.

RBI: Travis Taijeron, Savannah, 23; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 22; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 21; Cory Vaughn, St. Lucie, 19; Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 18.

Steals: Luis Nieves, Savannah, 9; Cesar Puello, St. Lucie, 7.

ERA: Alex Panteliodis, Savannah, 0.89; Jeremy Hefner, Buffalo, 1.64; Tyler Pill, Savannah, 1.65; Zack Wheeler, Binghamton, 1.75; Mark Cohoon, Binghamton, 2.06; Darin Gorski, Binghamton, 2.27; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 2.33; Chase Huchingson, St. Lucie, 2.51; Collin McHugh, Binghamton, 2.62; Dylan Owen, Buffalo, 2.96.

Wins: Chase Huchingson, St. Lucie, 4; Collin McHugh, Binghamton, 4.

Saves: Adrian Rosario, St. Lucie, 8; Fernando Cabrera, Buffalo, 8; Adam Kolarek, St. Lucie, 4.

Strikeouts: Matt Harvey, Buffalo, 32; Collin McHugh, Binghamton, 31; Gonzalez Germen, Binghamton, 30; Zack Wheeler, Binghamton, 30; Jeurys Familia, Buffalo, 29.

Short hops

• After tossing six scoreless innings against Gwinnett (Atlanta Braves) on Tuesday night, Harvey is 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA in his past four starts. Three of the outings have been scoreless. The lone non-win came against Syracuse last Wednesday, when a 23-minute rain delay forced Harvey to depart after four innings. A new organization policy mandates starting pitchers be pulled following a rain delay of any length if they already have logged two innings.

Jack Voigt, the Mets’ highly regarded minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator, will serve as hitting coach for Magallanes in Venezuela during the next winter league season. Carlos Garcia, who manages Class A Bradenton in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, will serve as that winter league club’s 2012-13 manager. Ex-Yankee Luis Sojo is the bench coach.

Zack Wheeler (1-2, 1.75 ERA) should reenter the rotation later this week with Binghamton after landing on the seven-day DL with a partially torn fingernail. Wheeler threw a bullpen session Monday and reported no difficulty. He had the issue on the middle finger of his pitching hand with San Francisco in May 2010 as well -- with a growth underneath the nail pushing it off. That time, with the Giants officials being cautious, Wheeler was out of action for seven weeks.

With Wheeler temporarily inactive, 24-year-old right-hander Gonzalez Germen was promoted to Binghamton from Class A St. Lucie, where he had been 3-0 with a 3.04 ERA in five appearances (four starts). Germen, signed in October 2007 out of the Dominican Republic, made a deceptively solid Double-A debut Friday against Harrisburg. Although he was charged with five runs in six innings, he struck out nine and walked none and the damage was limited to a five-run second inning. Germen is likely to remain with Binghamton even with Wheeler’s return, although Mets brass was sorting out how to juggle the rotation given a rainout Monday and the extra starter. Germen’s fastball sits in the low 90s. He has a solid, deceptive changeup in which the bottom falls out.

Jacob deGrom’s first official minor league game since July 26, 2010 nearly was perfect. The 23-year-old right-hander returned from Tommy John surgery to retire 20 of the 21 batters he faced with Savannah on Monday. DeGrom suffered the elbow injury and subsequent surgery shortly after signing with the Mets as their ninth-round pick in 2010 out of Stetson University. He primarily played shortstop in college, but was drafted as a pitcher because scout Steve Nichols saw potential in his arm.

Andy Pettitte’s convenience became an inconvenience for Triple-A Buffalo.

(Read full post)

MLB: 2 farmhands banned for drug use

February, 9, 2012
Mets minor leaguer catcher Dock Doyle and right-hander Scott Moviel have been suspended 50 games apiece after testing positive for a second time for a "drug of abuse," Major League Baseball announced.

Another Mets right-hander, Brandon Moore, was suspended by MLB in September for a "drug of abuse" -- which is not performance-enhancing drug use.

Doyle, 25, hit .296 with two homers and 11 RBIs in 71 at-bats with Class A St. Lucie last season.

Moviel, who stands 6-foot-11, went 5-10 with a 5.10 ERA in 26 appearances (23 starts) for the same Florida State League team.

Farm report: Familia's fast start

May, 25, 2011
Jeurys Familia’s fastball has been electric for a while. The development of his curveball and changeup has been the most striking difference in the past two to three years, since Binghamton’s Kai Gronauer also caught Familia in the Gulf Coast League and with Savannah.

“He’s become more of a pitcher,” Gronauer said Monday, before a rained-out B-Mets game in New Britain, Conn. “At Savannah he was just a hard thrower. I caught him in the GCL as well my first year. He was just a hard-throwing kid. Now he’s become a pitcher. He knows what he’s doing. He throws the pitches that he wants to throw. He’s not just throwing anything. He’s gotten more comfortable.”

Courtesy of New York Mets
Jeurys Familia

After posting a 1.49 ERA ERA in six starts with Class A St. Lucie this season, during which he held opponents to 21 hits, eight walks and one homer in 36 1/3 innings, Familia was promoted to Double-A Binghamton. With the B-Mets, the 6-foot-3 right-hander limited opponents to one unearned run in 14 innings over his first two starts while maintaining mid-90s velocity deep into the outings. He was not quite as effective in his third outing, allowing three runs (two earned) in five innings on Sunday against Harrisburg. Familia was tagged with his first Eastern League loss.

“What’s standing out here, he’s almost got the total package going for him,” B-Mets pitching coach Marc Valdes. “He’s throwing that well. Whatever [St. Lucie pitching coach] Phil Regan and [pitching coordinator] Rick Tomlin told him in the Florida State League, he’s done that. His last game wasn’t his best stuff. He didn’t have much. But he still went five innings and only gave up two runs.”

It still starts with the fastball.

“No question, he’s got an electric fastball -- 95, to 97 mph at times,” Valdes said. “And his changeup and curveball have come a long way the last couple of years as far as development.”

Said Gronauer: “A lot of guys throw 96 mph. I think what makes him hard to hit is his deception when he throws the ball. It’s hard to find a rhythm off of him. You see it very late. It has some kind of run where it’s very heavy. It’s hard to time it out of his hand. Catching it is easier. Thankfully I’ve never hit against him.”

Familia, with catcher Salomon Manriquez interpreting, said he was particularly fond of Josh Beckett’s pitching style. “He makes it look easy to pitch -- the way he commands his pitches,” Familia said.

Familia signed with the Mets in 2007 after trying out at the organization’s complex in the Dominican Republic.

“The first day I got to the complex, I threw like two innings in a game,” Familia recalled. “I threw like 88-90 mph. They said they want to keep watching me. And then they kept me in the complex for like three weeks. And then they signed me.”

As for the rise in velocity to its current level, Familia added: “I made some adjustments on my mechanics and I’ve been working hard.”

Organization leaders

Average: Cory Vaughn, Savannah, .331; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, .328; Matt den Dekker, St. Lucie, .304; Josh Satin, Binghamton, .303; Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Buffalo, .302; Jefry Marte, St. Lucie, .296; Mike Fisher, Buffalo, .295; Juan Lagares, St. Lucie, .294; Robbie Shields, Savannah, .289; Allan Dykstra, Binghamton, .272.

Homers: Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 9; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 9; Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Buffalo, 6.

RBI: Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 34; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 31; Matt den Dekker, St. Lucie, 25; Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 25.

Steals: Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, 11; Jordany Valdespin, Binghamton, 10; Matt den Dekker, St. Lucie, 7; Cesar Puello, St. Lucie, 7; Robbie Shields, Savannah, 7.

ERA: Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 1.46; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 2.22; Chase Huchingson, Savannah, 2.48; Erik Goeddel, Savannah, 2.72; Matt Harvey, St. Lucie, 2.87; Ryan Fraser, Savannah, 3.21; Scott Moviel, St. Lucie, 3.38; Greg Peavey, Savannah, 3.64; Gonzalez Germen, Savannah, 3.68; Mark Cohoon, Binghamton, 3.69.

Wins: Matt Harvey, St. Lucie, 5; Scott Moviel, St. Lucie, 4.

Saves: Jeffrey Kaplan, St. Lucie, 8; Josh Edgin, Savannah, 6; John Lujan, Buffalo, 4; Ronny Morla, St. Lucie, 4; Dale Thayer, Buffalo, 4.

Strikeouts: Matt Harvey, St. Lucie, 52; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 50; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 50.

Short hops

Reese Havens, a 2008 first-round pick whose career has been slowed by oblique issues that limited him to 32 games last season, is making what may be his final start for St. Lucie on Wednesday before traveling to Double-A Binghamton. A gifted hitter and potentially the second baseman of the future if he can stay healthy, Havens has played two games this week with St. Lucie, going 3-for-7 with two doubles, two RBIs and two walks. Havens had undergone surgery in December to remove an inch of a rib, but was shut down in spring training with continued soreness in the area. The procedure shaved an inch off a rib that was rubbing against another rib on his left side and also irritating the oblique. It was performed at Dr. James Andrews' clinic in Birmingham, Ala., by colleague Dr. William Clancy. Havens labeled the issue "rib tip syndrome."

Chin-lung Hu may have a case of the throwing yips. After two games at shortstop with Triple-A Buffalo following a demotion, Hu has been stationed at second base the past two games, and continues to have issues throwing wide -- although he has yet to be charged with an error. Farm director Adam Wogan minimized the erratic throws, suggesting infielders who shuttle between the middle-infield positions sometimes get into bad habits while varying their arm slots for the different throws.

• 2010 first-round pick Matt Harvey is expected to move to Double-A Binghamton within a week, although he will have at least one more start with St. Lucie, on Friday. Harvey is coming off an outing against the Tampa Yankees in which he allowed three runs, including a pair of homers, in 5 2/3 innings. He received a no-decision and is 5-2 with a 2.87 ERA in 47 innings spanning nine starts with St. Lucie.

• Savannah’s Robbie Shields lost a 12-game hitting streak Monday. Shields lifted his average to .297 as a result of the stretch. Shields moved from shortstop to second base the past two games with the Sand Gnats. That exposure had been planned for some time, but the Mets were restrained in allowing Shields to see time at the other middle-infield position too early because they did not want to put different stress on his surgically repaired elbow. A third-round pick in 2009 out of Florida Southern, Shields has been considered the baseball equivalent of a gym rat. He played with an elbow injury his first pro season and eventually underwent Tommy John surgery after completing that year with the Brooklyn Cyclones. Wilfredo Tovar, also with the Gnats, is playing both middle-infield positions. The plan is now to expose Shields to second base a couple of times a week, with shortstop remaining the primary position.

• Perhaps in anticipation of Havens’ arrival with the B-Mets as well as to increase his versatility with a number of second basemen in the upper levels of the system, Josh Satin’s two most-recent games have been at third base with Binghamton. Satin is hitting .303 with four homers and 22 RBIs and is working on his fielding, particularly throwing.

Ryan Coultas, a sixth-round pick in 2004 out of UC-Davis, who was drafted as a shortstop and converted to pitching three years later because of offensive struggles, has retired. Coultas, 29, missed all of last season due to injury.

Lucas Duda remains sidelined with Buffalo because of continuing effects of a back injury. He has not appeared since May 8.

Bobby Parnell is technically still a rehabbing major leaguer at Buffalo, but it is widely expected his lack of success with the Bisons will result in him eventually being officially optioned to Triple-A. The last seven runners inherited by Parnell have scored. Parnell can stay on the rehab assignment for up to 30 days from his first appearance, which was May 9 with St. Lucie.

• Savannah outfielder Cory Vaughn is the only South Atlantic League player to have appeared in every one of his team’s games (44). The son of former major leaguer Greg Vaughn is hitting .331 with three homers and 24 RBIs, and has a .469 on-base percentage with the Gnats.

• After opening the season with seven starts, former UCLA reliever Erik Goeddel has made consecutive relief appearances with Savannah -- three innings apiece piggybacking Chase Huchingson starts. The lightened workload is safeguarding against Goeddel logging too many innings this season as he transitions from reliever as an amateur to starting as a professional. Wogan said Goeddel was having so much success as a starting pitcher, and going seven innings deep into games, that if the Mets did not slow him down, he would reach 120 or 125 innings for the season -- which would have been too much, too soon.

• Buffalo catcher Mike Nickeas, who suffered a bruised left wrist getting struck with a pitch, returned to the starting lineup Tuesday after a four-day absence and went 2-for-4 to lift his average to .225. Third-catcher Dock Doyle had been added to Buffalo’s roster in the interim, with infielder Jonathan Malo moving to Binghamton.

• Binghamton catcher Kai Gronauer, who landed on the DL with a left hamstring strain, is due to return soon.

• Outfielder Jason Botts, who debuted Saturday with Buffalo after being signed out of the independent Atlantic League, is 3-for-13 with three walks through four games. Three of Botts’ appearances have come at DH. Botts, 30, appeared in 93 games for the Texas Rangers between 2005 and ’08.

• Binghamton left-handed reliever Eric Niesen has gotten into a groove, although it mostly has come in non-pressure situations. The southpaw has tossed 7 1/3 straight scoreless relief innings, spanning five appearances.

J.B. Brown, a 14th-round pick out of the University of the Pacific last June, is hitting .313 in four games at second base with St. Lucie after joining the Florida State League club 10 days ago following an Injury to Matt Bouchard. Brown likely will return to a lower level once some injuries mend with St. Lucie.

• At 22-22, Savannah nonetheless occupies first place in the South Atlantic League’s Southern Division with 25 games remaining in the first half. The Gnats have the league’s best ERA at 3.46, but rank last in hitting with a .238 average and 170 runs scored.

Adam Rubin’s farm report appears Wednesdays during the season



Daniel Murphy
.289 9 57 79
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187