New York Mets: Jack Voigt

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)

Minor league appointments

February, 21, 2011
2/21/11
1:59
PM ET
Here's the press release on the Mets' minor league appointments:

The New York Mets today announced the appointments of six instructors to the minor league and player development staff: Dave Jauss to the newly created role of Coordinator of Staff Development, Brian Chicklo as Medical Coordinator, Rick Tomlin as Roving Pitching Instructor, Mark Brewer as Short Season Roving Pitching Instructor, Jack Voigt as Outfield/Baserunning Coordinator and Randy Niemann as Rehabilitation Pitching Coordinator.

Jauss, 54, will oversee the development of staff and player preparation in his new position. Last season, Jauss served as the bench coach on the Mets’ major league staff.

Chicklo, 39, served as the Triple-A trainer for the past nine seasons. This year will his 12th in the Mets’ organization.

Tomlin begins his third season with the Mets. He spent his previous two seasons as the pitching coach for Brooklyn (A) of the New-York Penn League.

Brewer also will act as the pitching coach for the GCL Mets (R) of the Gulf Coast League. Last season, Brewer served as the pitching coach for Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League.

Voigt, 44, moves to his new role from Buffalo (AAA) of the International League where he was the Bisons hitting coach.

Niemann, 55, enters his 24th season with the Mets’ organization. Last season, the Scotia, CA native was the big league club’s bullpen coach.

The Mets previously announced the appointment of Dick Scott as the Minor League Field Coordinator. Scott spent last season in the same role with the Houston Astros.

Kevin Morgan (Coordinator of Instruction/Infield Coordinator), Lamar Johnson (hitting coordinator), Bob Natal (catching coordinator), David Pearson (Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy Coordinator), Jason Craig (Strength & Conditioning Coordinator), Ken Coward (Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coordinator) and Rafael Landestoy (International Field Coordinator) all return to their positions from last season.

Sources: Wally B-Mets bound

December, 29, 2010
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Wally Backman, a finalist for the Mets' managerial position that went to Terry Collins, is expected to be named manager of Double-A Binghamton, according to organization sources.

Backman, who skippered Class A Brooklyn last season, last managed at the Double-A level with Birmingham in the Chicago White Sox organization in 2002 and '03.

Tim Teufel, who managed Binghamton last season, is expected to succeed Ken Oberkfell as Triple-A Buffalo manager.

The Triple-A staff also is expected to include Ricky Bones returning as pitching coach and Luis Natera serving as hitting coach. Natera was the Bisons' hitting coach during the first half of the 2009 season, before being sent to Binghamton for the remainder of that season.

Jack Voigt, who was Buffalo's hitting coach last season, is expected to assume Mookie Wilson's former role as minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator.

Oberkfell is joining the major league staff as bench coach, with Wilson returning to the Mets as first base coach.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
13 4.14 136 182
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .296
HRL. Duda 27
RBIL. Duda 81
RD. Murphy 74
OPSL. Duda .817
ERAJ. Niese 3.55
SOZ. Wheeler 173