New York Mets: Ezequiel Carrera

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Matt Clark delivered a two-run double against Justin Miller in the top of the ninth and Gonzalez Germen produced a save in the bottom half as the Mets rallied to beat the Detroit Tigers, 3-2, Saturday at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Noah Syndergaard had surrendered two runs over the first three innings, but Jacob deGrom, Adam Kolarek, Joel Carreño, Jeff Walters and Germen combined to limit the Tigers to three hits and two walks over six scoreless innings.

Trailing 2-0, the Mets loaded the bases with none out in the sixth against ex-Yankees left-hander Phil Coke -- on Juan Lagares’ single to center, Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ walk and Josh Satin’s trickler down the third-base line for an infield single.

But the Mets came away with only one run that inning. Andrew Brown grounded into a run-scoring double play. And Eric Campbell, who had driven in the game-tying run in the ninth inning Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals was robbed of a potential extra-base hit by diving left fielder Ezequiel Carrera, a former Mets farmhand traded away in the J.J. Putz deal on Dec. 11, 2008.

DeGrom, who is expected to be ticketed for the Triple-A rotation with Syndergaard and Rafael Montero, walked Nick Castellanos in a scoreless fourth. He allowed a one-out double to Ian Kinsler in the fifth, but Kinsler was doubled off second base on Carrera’s ensuing lineout.

“I’m happy with where I’m at right now,” deGrom said. “I’ve just got to work on commanding the ball a little better because today I didn’t really. Luckily, it didn’t cost me."

Eric Young Jr., manning second base for the first time in a 2014 Grapefruit League game, went 1-for-3 with two groundouts to the pitcher. He did have a game-opening bunt single. Terry Collins has asked EY Jr. to bunt more frequently in an attempt to utilize his speed and lift his on-base percentage (.318 with the Mets last season).

“I came into the camp wanting to put the ball on the ground more, use my speed to my advantage,” Young said. “The only way you’re going to get that done is by trying it in the game -- whether you’re successful or not.”

Clark, by the way, signed with the Mets on a minor-league contract Jan. 31. Although the Mets already had three lefty-hitting first basemen coming to camp -- Ike Davis, Lucas Duda and Brandon Allen -- Clark was still a free agent as spring training approached and the Mets decided to ink him. They were enticed by the 25 homers he hit last season for Chunichi in Japan.

What’s next: Zack Wheeler Day! Wheeler opposes Atlanta Braves right-hander Kris Medlen at 1:10 p.m. Sunday at Tradition Field. Carlos Torres, Kyle Farnsworth, Jose Valverde, Jack Leathersich, Jeurys Familia and Ryan Reid also are scheduled to pitch. Evan Gattis, Andrelton Simmons and B.J. Upton are due to make the trip with the Braves to Port St. Lucie.

Series preview: Mets vs. Phillies

April, 25, 2013

Associated Press/USA TODAY Sports
The Mets face (l to r) Kyle Kendrick, Jonathon Pettibone and Cole Hamels this weekend at Citi Field.
METS (10-10, second place/NL East) vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (9-14, fourth place/NL East)

Friday: RHP Dillon Gee (1-3, 5.95) vs. RHP Kyle Kendrick (1-1, 3.28), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Shaun Marcum (0-0, -.--) vs. RHP Jonathan Pettibone (0-0, 3.38), 1:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: LHP Jonathon Niese (2-1, 3.81) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (0-3, 5.40), 1:10 p.m. ET

Phillies short hops

Jonathan Pettibone is making his second major league start Saturday. He is the son of right-hander Jay Pettibone, who started four games -- all losses -- for the Minnesota Twins in 1983, on a team that included Tim Teufel and Frank Viola. The younger Pettibone debuted Monday against the Pittsburgh Pirates and accomplished something his father failed to do: participate in a win. Pettibone, 22, limited the Pirates to a pair of solo homers and four other hits in 5 1/3 innings while striking out six and walking none. The Phillies won, 3-2.

Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports
Carlos Ruiz is due to be activated Sunday after serving a season-opening 25-game suspension.

Carlos Ruiz is eligible to be activated Sunday after completing a 25-game suspension for testing positive for a banned amphetamine. Ruiz’s tune-up for activation was slowed because he was hit on his left wrist with a pitch in an extended spring training game last Friday. X-rays were negative. Erik Kratz and Humberto Quintero have handled the catching in Ruiz’s absence.

Delmon Young, who signed for a guaranteed $750,000 and incentives on Jan. 22, has started a rehab assignment and is due to join the Phillies within weeks -- although not for this Mets series. He underwent right ankle surgery during the offseason. Young is the projected right fielder, although he must get acclimated. He had not played in a game there since 2007 until rehab games this week. John Mayberry Jr. has produced with Young out.

• The Phillies, who are struggling on offense, went four full games without a walk until Chase Utley got a free pass on April 19. How rare is that? In the NL, the last teams to have gone four straight games without a walk were the 2009 Arizona Diamondbacks, 1976 Montreal Expos, 1952 New York Giants and 1935 Chicago Cubs.

• Utley already has four errors.

Ryan Howard homered for only the second time this season on Wednesday, against Wandy Rodriguez. In that game, Charlie Manuel split up Utley and Howard in the lineup so opposing managers could not insert one lefty specialist to face both without seeing a righty batter in between.

• This is the deepest Cole Hamels has gone into a season without a win since 2009, when it took the southpaw until his fifth start on May 8 for a victory.

• Manuel is in the final year of a contract. He told ESPN’s Jayson Stark: "I plan to keep managing -- unless I decide all of a sudden I don't want to do it."

Said GM Ruben Amaro about the subject: “Honestly, I don't think about his situation at all. I don't think the players give two craps about it. I don't think it's even a factor, not with our guys … I don't know if a contract for the manager should be a motivating factor for any player. They should be motivated by winning. That's it."

• Center fielder Ben Revere is battling a nagging quadriceps injury. After Revere started every previous game this season, ex-Mets farmhand Ezequiel Carrera instead was inserted in the lineup Thursday afternoon.

• The Phillies have lost three in a row (with Hamels, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee pitching) and eight of 11.

• Since surrendering seven runs in four innings against the Mets on April 8, Halladay is 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA in three starts. He has allowed eight hits in 21 innings over that span.

• At 9-14, the Phillies are in the midst of their worst start since 2006.

Series preview: Mets at Phillies

April, 7, 2013

Getty Images/USA TODAY Sports
The Mets face (l to r) Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Kyle Kendrick this week in Philly.
METS (4-2, second place/NL East) at PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (2-4, fourth place/NL East)

Monday: RHP Matt Harvey (1-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Roy Halladay (0-1, 13.50), 7:05 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Dillon Gee (0-1, 1.42) vs. LHP Cliff Lee (1-0, 0.00), 7:05 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (0-1, 1.50) vs. RHP Kyle Kendrick (0-1, 7.94), 7:05 p.m. ET

Phillies short hops

• Roy Halladay’s fastball averaged 89.6 mph and he used it far less often than is customary while surrendering five runs in 3 1/3 innings in his season opener at Atlanta. The fastball velocity is down from an average of 90.6 mph last season, 92.0 mph in 2011 and 92.6 mph in 2010. Halladay dealt with shoulder issues last season. He is seeking his 200th career win Monday. He is 7-0 with a 1.78 ERA against the Mets since 2010.

• Phillies pitchers have surrendered an NL-leading 32 runs. The relief corps has allowed 10 of 11 inherited runners to score.

Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports
Former Cubs great Ryne Sandberg is Philadelphia's new third-base coach.

Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley have started 962 games as a middle-infield combo, second to the Yankees’ Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano (1,036 games) among active double-play partners. Rollins passed Richie Ashburn on Thursday for the second-most games played in Phillies history, with No. 1,795. Mike Schmidt is the franchise leader with 2,404 games played as a Phillie.

• Third baseman Michael Young was acquired from the Texas Rangers in December for right-handers Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla.

• Center fielder Ben Revere was acquired from the Minnesota Twins in December for right-handers Vance Worley and Trevor May. Revere has played 166 straight error-free games. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Revere has 1,092 career plate appearances without a homer -- the most among active players. The next 35 on that list are pitchers.

• Opening Day starter Cole Hamels, whom the Mets do not face, is 0-2 with a 10.97 ERA.

• First baseman Ryan Howard is hitting .167 with no homers and eight strikeouts in 24 at-bats. He has yet to produce an extra-base hit through six games.

• Backup outfielder Ezequiel Carrera, who was claimed off waivers from the Cleveland Indians last Tuesday, originally was signed by the Mets out of Venezuela. He was part of the three-team trade on Dec. 11, 2008 that landed J.J. Putz and Sean Green in Flushing.

Cliff Lee -- who was winless until a July 4 victory at Citi Field last season, and who went 6-9 overall in 2012 despite a 3.16 ERA -- is off to a more favorable start this season. Lee tossed eight scoreless innings at Atlanta on Thursday, limiting the Braves to two hits and no walks while striking out eight. Lee’s victory snapped Atlanta’s streak of winning 23 straight games started by Kris Medlen. Lee has made 18 straight starts of six-plus innings with one or fewer walks. That is a modern-era record, topping the 14 straight by Christy Mathewson (1908) and Greg Maddux (1997).

• Catcher Carlos Ruiz is serving a 25-game MLB suspension to open the season after testing positive for the stimulant Adderall. Fill-in Erik Kratz caught 40 percent of would-be base stealers last season.

• The Phillies overhauled Charlie Manuel’s coaching staff. The newcomers: third base coach Ryne Sandberg, hitting coach Steve Henderson, assistant hitting coach Wally Joyner and bullpen coach Rod Nichols.

Delmon Young, who signed with the Phillies in January, is playing in extended spring training games. He underwent ankle surgery in November.

• The Phillies’ primary batting order is:

Revere, cf
Rollins, ss
Utley, 2b
Howard, 1b
Young, 3b
Domonic Brown, lf
John Mayberry Jr. (RH)/Laynce Nix (LH), rf
Kratz, c

Farm report II: Leaders, player notes

June, 13, 2012
Organization leaders

Average: Matt den Dekker, Buffalo, .339; T.J. Rivera, Savannah, .323; Eric Campbell, Binghamton, .321; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, .304; Jefry Marte, Binghamton, .296; Josh Rodriguez, Buffalo, .291; Travis Taijeron, Savannah, .289; Wilfredo Tovar, St. Luice, .286; Brian Harrison, Savannah, .282; Josh Satin, Buffalo, .279.

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

RBI: Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 41; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 40; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 40; Travis Taijeron, Savannah, 39; Jefry Marte, Binghamton, 33.

Steals: Alonzo Harris Jr., St. Lucie, 12; Wilfredo Tovar, St. Lucie, 12; Fred Lewis, Buffalo, 11; Luis Nieves, St. Lucie, 11; Pedro Zapata, Binghamton, 11.

ERA: Zack Wheeler, Binghamton, 1.66; Collin McHugh, Binghamton, 2.48; Rafael Montero, Savannah, 2.48; Angel Cuan, St. Lucie, 2.50; Chase Huchingson, St. Lucie, 2.83; Tyler Pill, St. Lucie, 3.03; Cory Mazzoni, St. Lucie, 3.25; Yohan Almonte, St. Lucie, 3.69; Gonzalez Germen, Binghamton, 3.86; Matt Harvey, Buffalo, 3.88.

Wins: Zack Wheeler, Binghamton, 6; Hamilton Bennett, St. Lucie, 6; Yohan Almonte, St. Lucie, 6.

Saves: Fernando Cabrera, Buffalo, 15; Adrian Rosario, Binghamton, 13; T.J. Chism, Savannah, 10; Adam Kolarek, St. Lucie, 10.

Strikeouts: Zack Wheeler, Binghamton, 67; Matt Harvey, Buffalo, 64; Garrett Olson, Buffalo, 63; Jeurys Familia, Buffalo, 60.

Short hops

• The Brooklyn Cyclones open play Monday against Staten Island, with Kingsport beginning its schedule the following day. Farmhands generally will break camp from Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Friday -- with high school prospects more likely to head to the Appalachian League and the college players to Coney Island.

First-round pick Gavin Cecchini, a prep shortstop from Louisiana, will play for manager Jose Leger with the K-Mets. 2011 first-round pick Brandon Nimmo has been expected to be sent to Brooklyn, while 2009 top pick Steven Matz was expected to end up in Kingsport.

• The Mets on Tuesday confirmed the signing of their second overall selection, Purdue catcher Kevin Plawecki (35th overall).

Other draftees already signed and working out in Port St. Lucie: right-hander Matt Koch (third round, Louisville), right-hander Brandon Welch (fifth, Palm Beach State), second baseman Richie Rodriguez (ninth, Eastern Kentucky), right-hander Paul Sewald (10th, San Diego), right-hander Matt Bowman (13th, Princeton), catcher Stefan Sabol (17th, Orange Coast Community College) and right-hander Tyler Vanderheiden (19th, Samford).

• After making seven starts across three levels of the minors, Jenrry Mejia is scheduled to make his bullpen debut with Triple-A Buffalo on Thursday or Friday. The script calls for Mejia to face different types of situations -- mid-inning, back-to-back days -- over a two-week span. After that, Mejia could find himself in the major league bullpen.

• Observers continue to express concern about the lack of development of a changeup with 2010 first-round pick Matt Harvey. In his most recent outing, Friday at Columbus with a bevy of scouts on hand, Harvey opened the first inning by throwing a changeup. He then served up a homer to former Mets farmhand Ezequiel Carrera later in the at-bat on that pitch. Afterward, Harvey threw the changeup only once or twice more the remainder of his 90-pitch, four-inning outing.

Pedro Beato, who entered Tuesday having retired 17 straight batters in Triple-A, saw that streak end but nonetheless continued his dominance at Buffalo. Beato surrendered a hit but faced the minimum while recording five outs, three via strikeout. He has not allowed a run in his past 12 1/3 innings spanning seven games. Beato did not appear in a major league game during a cameo with the Mets last week. He was demoted to clear room for the return of Chris Young from paternity leave.

• Shortstop Sean Kazmar, who drew rave reviews for his glove while at Binghamton, has struggled significantly both in the field and at the plate since a promotion to Buffalo that coincided with Omar Quintanilla’s rise to the majors. Kazmar, who appeared in 19 games for the San Diego Padres in 2008, opened his stint with Buffalo hitless in his first 13 at-bats. He picked up his first two RBIs with the Bisons on Tuesday, but is hitting 4-for-29 (.138) with 10 strikeouts in Triple-A. Kazmar also has committed five errors in 11 games.

• Binghamton third baseman Jefry Marte left Saturday’s game with a bruised hand, below the pinkie, after a scorching groundball hit the lip of the infield and bounced toward his face. Joe Bonfe manned the hot corner Sunday. The B-Mets had Monday off and were rained out Tuesday. Marte should be back in the lineup when Binghamton resumes play.

• Perhaps with an eye toward moving St. Lucie’s Wilmer Flores to Double-A, where Marte has occupied third base, Flores has started at second base the past three games in the Florida State League. Originally a shortstop, Flores has played second and third base in winter ball in his native Venezuela.

• A scout who recently watched Binghamton said there were three definite major leaguers on the Double-A team -- prized pitching prospect Zack Wheeler, Matt den Dekker (who just was promoted to Buffalo) and right-hander Collin McHugh. McHugh (5-4, 2.48 ERA) was described as a “Dillon Gee type.” Said the scout: “He’s going to pitch in the big leagues. For sure.”

Wheeler took advantage of free-swinging Reading and Harrisburg teams to continue his Double-A dominance this week. Wheeler has won his past six starts and has not allowed more than two runs in any of his 10 Eastern League outings. Next up for Wheeler: A Thursday morning matchup with Phillies top prospect Travis May.

Josh Satin, Manny Acosta and Jack Egbert -- all of whom cleared waivers after being removed from the 40-man roster -- have rejoined Buffalo.

• Sure-handed St. Lucie shortstop Wilfredo Tovar remains in the Florida State League, although Terry Collins recently indicated a promotion to Binghamton is imminent. Perhaps Tovar will move after Saturday’s Florida State League All-Star Game at Charlotte Sports Park. Tovar was one of seven St. Lucie selections. The others: right-hander Cory Mazzoni, left-handers Adam Kolarek and Chase Huchingson, catcher Blake Forsythe, Flores and outfielder Cory Vaughn.

• Bisons manager Wally Backman indicated on the team’s postgame show Monday that Jeurys Familia was tipping pitches in a five-run fifth inning against a veteran Norfolk team.

• Savannah right-hander Logan Verrett, a third-round pick out of Baylor last June, carried a no-hit bid through 5 1/3 innings in his first game since April 17. Verrett had been on the disabled list with a shoulder impingement.

• South Atlantic League All-Star selection Travis Taijeron will represent Savannah in the Home Run Derby. The first round will be held Monday morning on the flight deck of the USS Yorktown. The carrier is stationed in Charleston, S.C. Savannah’s T.J. Rivera and T.J. Chism also will play in the All-Star Game.

• 2008 eighth-round pick Eric Campbell, whose career looked on the ropes early last season, is enjoying a revival in his third season with Binghamton. Campbell, a Boston College product, had a two-homer, five-RBI game Saturday. He is hitting .321 with four homers and 21 RBIs in 137 at-bats while primarily manning first base in Allan Dykstra’s absence. Campbell’s .437 on-base percentage leads the Eastern League.

• Ex-Mets outfielder Jeff Duncan, who has not been in pro baseball since 2008, is eyeing a comeback in the Atlantic League, but has yet to sign with a club. Duncan, now 33, appeared with the Mets in '03 and '04.

• RIP Warner Fusselle, who served as Brooklyn’s radio broadcaster since the team’s inception in 2001. Fusselle, 68, died Sunday of an apparent heart attack.

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

Debby Wong/US Presswire
Johan Santana wasn't sharp in his first game after the no-hitter. Terry Collins blamed himself, saying two extra days of rest deprived Santana of his sharpness.
In his first start since last Friday's no-hitter, Johan Santana matched a career high by serving up four homers -- including back-to-back-to-back blasts by Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher and Andruw Jones in the third inning -- as the Yankees routed the Mets in the Subway Series opener, 9-1, Friday in the Bronx.

Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda held the Mets hitless until Omar Quintanilla's two-out double in the sixth.

Santana, who entered the outing having tossed consecutive shutouts, had never allowed homers to three straight batters. The last Met to surrender three straight homers: John Maine at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2007. Santana had only surrendered four total long balls total in his first 11 starts of the season. His line in an 86-pitch effort: 5 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 4 HR.

Afterward, Terry Collins blamed himself for Santana's performance, suggesting the two extra days of rest upset the ace's sharpness.

Collins originally wanted Santana to pitch on one extra day of rest Thursday, with R.A. Dickey pitching a day early and Jeremy Hefner unneeded for a spot start. Santana replied that he did not want to disrupt Dickey's groove. So Santana requested to go on normal rest Wednesday, albeit with a low pitch count. Instead, Collins opted for the two extra days following Santana's 134-pitch no-hitter.

"He's rusty," Collins said. "It's my doing, not his. ... We erred on the side of caution and it cost us the game tonight."

Tonight at 7:15 p.m. on Fox, Dillon Gee (4-3, 4.48) opposes Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes (5-5, 4.96) in the Bronx.

Saturday's news reports:

• Rookie Elvin Ramirez could not limit the damage after Santana departed. Ramirez, making his third major league appearance, walked four and was charged with three runs in 1 2/3 innings. The Mets' lone run came with two outs in the ninth inning against ex-teammate Ryota Igarashi. Read game recaps in the Post, Journal, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Newsday and Record.

Jon Rauch rejoined the Mets bullpen after skipping the series in D.C. to allow the inflammation in his "debris"-littered right elbow to calm. He entered with the Mets trailing by nine runs in the eighth and tossed a scoreless frame that included one bloop hit. Rauch said he took anti-inflammatory medication while remaining behind in New York. He assigned the root of the issue to bones grating with each other and irritating a nerve. He told reporters surgery will not be necessary. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Record.

Jason Bay, scratched from Thursday's lineup because of nausea he blamed on antibiotics being taken for a sinus infection, made his first appearance with the Mets since April 23 in the series opener. Bay started in left field and batted seventh. He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Lucas Duda served as the DH.

Scott Hairston, who entered Wednesday's starting lineup after Bay was scratched, started a second straight game against a right-hander over odd-man-out Andres Torres. The current outfield crunch is not as severe as it will be next Friday, when the Mets return to National League play at home against Cincinnati and lose the DH. At that point, Duda could shift to first base and Ike Davis could be vulnerable. Davis went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in the opener against the Yankees. Former hitting coach Howard Johnson (@20Hojo) tweeted about Davis: "Ike's reputation of questioning umpires on every strike is coming back to haunt him...anything close goes against him..." Read more on Bay's return and the outfield in the Post, Record and Newsday.

• The Mets could have kept Chris Young on paternity leave Friday and activated him today. But team officials opted to activate him a day early, so that he could be at the ballpark and prepare for Tuesday's start in Tampa. The other, and perhaps bigger surprise related to that roster move? Pedro Beato, not Hefner was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo. Collins reasoned that the Mets needed a long man/spot starter, so presumably Miguel Batista is going to take on more bullpen responsibility than mop up. The problem about Friday's game is that Hefner had thrown 99 pitches Wednesday and undoubtedly needed recuperation time, so Ramirez and Batista relieved Santana. Beato did not appear in a game with the Mets during a two-game cameo after coming off the 60-day DL.

Josh Satin cleared waivers and will return to Buffalo. Jack Egbert, who cleared waivers the previous day, rejoined the Bisons on Friday. The Mets needed their 40-man roster spots for the addition of Young and activation of Beato. Beato didn't count against the 40-man roster while on the 60-day DL.

• A second X-ray of Quintanilla's left index finger, which was taken in New York after returning from the Nats series, revealed the shortstop had a fracture at the tip. Still, Quintanilla resolved to gut through any pain without missing time. Ruben Tejada, who was examined in New York, now will proceed to the Mets' complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla. He is due to next test his balky right quadriceps Monday by running -- six days after pulling himself from a rehab game in Buffalo. Meanwhile, Ronny Cedeño (calf) should run this weekend and may be in a rehab game within days. Read more in Newsday.

• Did Collins do the right thing giving Santana two extra days of rest? The manager questioned himself after Friday's game. Writes columnist Bob Klapsich in the Record:

The best-case scenario is that Santana was a victim of nothing more than the law of averages: He was due for a stinker after the no-hitter, which was preceded by a complete-game shutout of the Padres. With a streak of 18 consecutive scoreless innings, it figured that Santana would finally return to the race of men. But the darker possibility is that Santana’s surgically repaired arm was at least drained and maybe injured after back-to-back complete games. If it’s a health-related issue, the real concern is how long it’ll take to Santana to bounce back and whether he’ll regain the magic in his change-up.

Writes columnist John Harper in the Daily News:

So while taking a beat-down from the crosstown Yankees obviously stings, the Mets can at least take some consolation in the fact that Santana apparently survived the 134 pitches without any long-term effect. At least that’s what he was insisting afterward, noting that his fastball velocity was normal (88 to 90 on the radar gun), while saying that he felt strong on the mound. “I just left some pitches up,” he said. “My changeup wasn’t as sharp as I wanted it to be. You can call that rust or what you want. I just didn’t execute some of my pitches, and the rest is history.’’

Wrote columnist Mike Vaccaro in the Post:

(Read full post)

Around the minors 6.5.12

June, 6, 2012
COLUMBUS 21, BUFFALO 3: The 21 runs scored were one shy of the modern-era record for a Bisons opponent. Oklahoma City defeated the Herd 22-6 on April 21, 1987. The last time an opponent reached the 20-run plateau against Buffalo was a 20-7 loss to Louisville on May 3, 2010. Bisons pitchers had allowed just 20 combined runs in the nine previous games. All three of Buffalo's runs were driven in by Valentino Pascucci, giving him a team-high 40 RBIs. The loss went to Dylan Owen, who was charged with 13 runs as his ERA swelled from 2.95 to 5.32. Catcher Jean Luc Blaquiere allowed three runs in the ninth and became the first position player to pitch for the Herd since infielder Trent Durrington in 2007. Ruben Tejada removed himself from the game after two innings with right quadriceps tightness. Columbus touched Buffalo pitching for five homers. The 21 runs were a record for the Clippers' ballpark, which debuted in 2009. Jared Goedert had two homers and drove in nine runs -- two more RBIs than any opponent had ever produced against the Bisons in a single game. Clipper Ezequiel Carrera, a former Mets farmhand, became the first opponent to score five times in a game in the modern era. The outfielder, who was shipped out by the Mets in the J.J. Putz deal, went 4-for-5 with a homer. Box

HARRISBURG 9, BINGHAMTON 6: The B-Mets took a one-run lead into the seventh inning, but relievers Brandon Moore and Brad Holt combined to allow two runs on two walks, one hit and a hit batter in the decisive inning. Manny Mayorson delivered the big hit -- a two-run single against Holt. The B-Mets jumped on Harrisburg starter Paul Demny in the first inning. Josh Rodriguez laced a one-out double. Jefry Marte followed by blasting a two-run homer -- his fourth long ball of the season. Matt den Dekker added to the lead with an RBI single in the second. The Senators countered against B-Mets starter Mark Cohoon in the third. Chris McConnell singled and scored on a hit by Eury Perez. After Perez was picked off and Mayorson singled, Jesus Valdez ripped a two-run homer to knot the score at 3. After Devin Ivany scored on a wild pitch to give the Senators their first lead in the fourth, the B-Mets answered in the fifth. Den Dekker scored from first on Reese Havens’ double. Valdez broke the tie by bouncing a solo homer off the left-field foul pole to lead off the sixth. It was the final frame for Cohoon. The lefty allowed five runs on seven hits over six innings in a no-decision. Trailing 5-4, the B-Mets refused to go quietly in the seventh. Harrisburg reliever Cameron Selik recorded one out in his Double-A debut, but left due to injury with a 3-2 count on pinch hitter Rylan Sandoval. Pat McCoy came on in emergency relief and completed the walk to Sandoval. After consecutive singles loaded the bases, Jefry Marte ripped a two-run double to give Binghamton a 6-5 lead. It did not stand for long. Moore took the mound in the seventh and issued two walks and hit a batter before being lifted for Holt. Mayorson greeted the righty by smashing a two-run single. Harrisburg tacked on two more runs against Holt in the eighth. The B-Mets failed to muster any threats against the back end of the Harrisburg bullpen. Moore (0-1) was dealt his first loss, while Holt experienced his second blown save. The B-Mets (26-28) continue their series against the Senators on Wednesday, with Collin McHugh getting the start. Box

ST. LUCIE 3, CLEARWATER 2: Right fielder Jonathan Clark ripped a walk-off single to center to score ZeErika McQueen in the bottom of the ninth. Clark, playing in his first Florida State League game, went 2-for-4 with a steal. Tyler Pill also made his St. Lucie debut and allowed two runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings with one walk and two strikeouts. Jason Bay went 0-for-3 with a walk in his third and final game on a major league rehab assignment. Alonzo Harris Jr. launched his first homer of the season, a leadoff shot over the left-field fence in the first inning. Wilfredo Tovar hit a leadoff double in the third inning and came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Wilmer Flores. Hamilton Bennett pitched 1 1/3 innings and gave up one hit while walking two and striking out a pair of batters. John Church tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings with four strikeouts. Ryan Fraser picked up the victory in relief with a scoreless ninth. Box

ASHEVILLE at SAVANNAH (ppd.): The teams are now scheduled to play a doubleheader on Thursday, beginning at 5:45 p.m.

Compiled from team reports

Farm report: Havens back on path to Mets

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

Courtesy of New York Mets
Reese Havens

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Organization leaders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Short hops

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• When will a flurry of roster movement occur? Wogan said he never had been a big fan of tying promotions to the midpoints of seasons, after Class A leagues have determined first-half winners. But Wogan said he has now come around to the idea. After all, players get to experience extra incentive and pressure while trying to secure postseason berths for their teams -- even if they will be at a higher level when the playoff games occur in September. As a result, movement among top Mets prospects such as den Dekker and Vaughn may occur in just less than two weeks, after Savannah and St. Lucie complete their first halves. Savannah leads Greenville by 3½ games in that South Atlantic League division, with the Gnats having 11 games remaining in the half. St. Lucie, after a torrid April, is one game over .500 and clinging to a one-game lead over Fort Myers with 12 games to go.

Adam Rubin’s farm report appears Wednesdays during the season



Bartolo Colon
15 4.09 151 202
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187