New York Mets: Jedd Gyorko

Series preview: Mets at Padres

July, 16, 2014
Jul 16
11:45
AM ET

USA TODAY SportsThe Mets open the second half facing Ian Kennedy, Tyson Ross and Odrisamer Despaigne in San Diego.
METS (45-50, third place/NL East) vs. SAN DIEGO PADRES (41-54, third place/NL West)

Friday: RHP Bartolo Colon (8-8, 3.99) vs. RHP Ian Kennedy (7-9, 3.47), 10:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Dillon Gee (4-1, 2.56) vs. RHP Tyson Ross (7-10, 2.85), 8:40 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Zack Wheeler (5-8, 3.90) vs. RHP Odrisamer Despaigne (2-1, 1.35), 4:10 p.m. ET

Padres short hops

• The Padres fired GM Josh Byrnes on June 22 and are currently being led by Omar Minaya, A.J. Hinch and Fred Uhlman Jr. in an interim capacity. The reported list of interviewees who remain under consideration to succeed Byrnes include former Marlins GM Larry Beinfest, Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler, Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen, Diamondbacks director of scouting Ray Montgomery, MLB senior VP Kim Ng, Rangers assistant GM A.J. Preller and Padres assistant GM Josh Stein.

• Padres legend Tony Gwynn died June 16. The team’s uniforms now include a patch featuring a No. 19 inside the logo of a home plate, which is being worn over the players’ hearts. The team already had a patch recognizing Hall of Fame broadcaster Jerry Coleman, who died Jan. 5 at age 89.

• Although neither pitched, right-hander Tyson Ross and closer Huston Street represented the Padres at Tuesday’s All-Star Game. Street actually was selected late to replace Ross, who started San Diego’s first-half finale and was ineligible.

Ross, 27, became the first Padres starting pitcher selected to the team since Jake Peavy in 2007. In his final five starts of the first half, Ross posted a 1.75 ERA and opponents had only a .229 OBP against him. He nonetheless went 1-4 during that stretch. Since June 6, the Padres have scored a total of eight runs in his eight starts.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Ross has induced an MLB-high 164 swings and misses with his slider this season. He throws the pitch 39.4 percent of the time, also the most in the majors among qualified pitchers.


Lenny Ignelzi/Associated PressSeth Smith signed a two-year, $13 million contract extension.


• The Padres rank last in the majors in runs (279), average (.214), OBP (.273) and slugging percentage (.334). They lost consecutive 1-0 games to the Los Angeles Dodgers to close the first half. San Diego’s pitching has been stellar, though. In 24 games since June 18, the staff has produced a 2.08 ERA.

• San Diego signed outfielder Seth Smith to a two-year, $13 million extension that includes a $7 million team option for 2017. He otherwise would have been eligible for free agency this offseason and would have been traded this month. Smith, 31, was acquired from the Oakland Athletics in December for reliever Luke Gregerson. He is hitting .283 with 10 homers and 27 RBIs and has a .387 OBP this season.

• Third baseman Chase Headley, who is eligible for free agency this winter, should be on the move by the end of the month. The Toronto Blue Jays reportedly are among the teams interested. Headley is earning $10.5 million in 2014. Although he is hitting only .226 for the season, the 30-year-old Headley does have a .327 average with one homer and six RBIs in 12 starts in July. Headley told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the production uptick coincides with a grip adjustment with his bat in which the fingers overlap. Headley used that grip for most of his career before abandoning it. “It’s just an overlap,” he told the newspaper. “Not a golf grip, but similar.”

• Left fielder Carlos Quentin is hitting .145 (8-for-55) with one homer since June 17.

Ian Kennedy has 133 strikeouts, trailing only Washington’s Stephen Strasburg (149) and Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto (141) in the National League. Kennedy’s strikeout total was the second-most in franchise history before the All-Star break. Andy Benes had 138 strikeouts in the first half in 1994. The Los Angeles Angels reportedly are interested in acquiring Kennedy, who is under San Diego’s control for another season.

• Second baseman Jedd Gyorko (plantar fasciitis) and shortstop Everth Cabrera (hamstring) closed the first half on the disabled list.

• Cuban defector Odrisamer Despaigne, 27, has a 1.35 ERA in four starts since making his major league debut on June 23. His fastball averages 90.7 mph and cutter averages 87.1 mph. He defected in June 2013 at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris while the Cuban team was en route to a tournament in the Netherlands. He received a $1 million bonus to sign with the Padres on May 2.

Series preview: Mets vs. Padres

June, 13, 2014
Jun 13
10:45
AM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets are scheduled to face Andrew Cashner and Ian Kennedy this weekend at Citi Field.
METS (29-37, fourth place/NL East) vs. SAN DIEGO PADRES (28-38, fourth place/NL West)

Friday: RHP Bartolo Colon (5-5, 4.31) vs. RHP Andrew Cashner (2-5, 2.13), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Zack Wheeler (2-6, 4.19) vs. TBA, 4:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-0, 2.95) vs. RHP Ian Kennedy (5-7, 3.63), 1:10 p.m. ET

Padres short hops

• The Mets had been lined up to face left-hander Eric Stults in the series opener. He instead pitched on short rest Thursday in Philadelphia -- a better matchup for a southpaw -- after getting knocked out the previous start by the Washington Nationals after 2 1/3 innings and 48 pitches.

Andrew Cashner now draws the Friday assignment against the Mets on an extra day of rest. Cashner is a former first-round pick of the Chicago Cubs, who was traded on Jan. 6, 2012 for Anthony Rizzo.

Cashner is winless in his last six starts despite posting a 2.83 ERA during that stretch. San Diego was shut out in three straight starts by him from April 26 through May 7. Cashner’s last start -- six scoreless innings against the Nats -- marked his return from the disabled list after missing more than three weeks with a sore right elbow.

• Saturday’s San Diego starter has not yet been announced. With left-hander Robbie Erlin on the disabled list since May 22 with elbow soreness, the Padres briefly had been using Tim Stauffer in the rotation. However, Stauffer lasted a combined three innings and surrendered nine runs in consecutive starts against the Arizona Diamondbacks and Pittsburgh Pirates and has been returned to the bullpen. He then tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings in long relief his last appearance, Sunday against the Nats.

Reported candidates to make Saturday’s start include Triple-A right-hander Donn Roach and Double-A right-hander Jesse Hahn, both of whom debuted in the major leagues earlier this season. Hahn attended Fitch Senior High School in Groton, Conn.

• Second baseman Jedd Gyorko, who had 23 homers last season, has been on the disabled list since last Friday with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Rookie Jace Peterson and Alexi Amarista -- both left-handed hitters -- have handled the position in Gyorko’s absence.

• The Padres rank at or near the bottom in the major leagues in nearly every major offensive category: runs (200, last), home runs (48, 26th), average (.216, last), on-base percentage (.275, last) and slugging percentage (.344, last).

The players’ individual averages also reflect that anemic production. Thursday’s starting lineup at Philly included leadoff man Will Venable (now batting .216), shortstop Everth Cabrera (.226), cleanup hitter Chase Headley (.200), first baseman Yonder Alonso (.208), catcher Yasmani Grandal (.185) and the second baseman Amarista (.202).

One exception: Left fielder Seth Smith, acquired from the Oakland Athletics in December for right-handed reliever Luke Gregerson, is hitting .294 with six homers and 21 RBIs in 180 at-bats.

• Padres GM Josh Byrnes was a finalist for the GM job that went to Sandy Alderson with the Mets. Omar Minaya remains a deputy to Byrnes in San Diego.

Rapid Reaction: Padres 8, Mets 2

August, 18, 2013
8/18/13
12:18
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SAN DIEGO -- The debut of Travis d’Arnaud may be remembered more for the demise of Jenrry Mejia, at least for the remainder of the season.

Mejia departed with renewed elbow discomfort after delivering his 63rd pitch and the Mets went on to lose to the San Diego Padres, 8-2, Saturday night at Petco Park.


Gregory Bull/Associated PressTravis d'Arnaud and Jenrry Mejia conference at the mound, before Mejia had to depart with elbow discomfort.


Mejia previously had suggested he will need surgery after the season to remove a bone spur from his right elbow. It causes him periodic discomfort.

David Aardsma entered for Mejia in a 1-all tie in the bottom of the fourth with the bases empty and none out. Aardsma allowed four runs over two innings, including Nick Hundley’s tiebreaking two-run homer in a three-run fourth.

D’Arnaud walked on four pitches against Edinson Volquez in the catcher’s first major league plate appearance. He finished 0-for-2 with two walks. Batting with two runners in scoring position and two outs in the fifth, d’Arnaud grounded out as San Diego maintained a 4-2 lead.

Volquez, despite entering the game with the NL’s highest ERA among qualifiers, limited the Mets to two runs in five innings. The Mets left the bases loaded in the second when Volquez made a solid play to throw out Mejia at first base and prevent an infield single.

Carlos Torres, the logical rotation replacement for Mejia, surrendered a three-run homer to Jedd Gyorko in the eighth, in Torres' second inning of work.

Latest twist: Wilmer Flores went 1-for-4 and played a full game at third base in his first start since twisting his right ankle Monday at Dodger Stadium.

What’s next: The Matt Harvey-d’Arnaud battery takes center stage as the Mets complete their four-game series with the Padres. Harvey (9-4, 2.23 ERA) opposes left-hander Eric Stults (8-10, 3.68) at 4:10 p.m. ET Sunday.

Series preview: Mets at Padres

August, 15, 2013
8/15/13
1:15
PM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets face (l to r) Tyson Ross, Ian Kennedy and Edinson Volquez during the opening three games of a series at Petco Park.
METS (54-64, third place/NL East) vs. SAN DIEGO PADRES (54-66, fourth place/NL West)

Thursday: RHP Zack Wheeler (5-2, 3.63) vs. RHP Tyson Ross (3-5, 2.75), 10:10 p.m. ET

Friday: LHP Jonathon Niese (4-6, 4.45) vs. RHP Ian Kennedy (4-8, 4.97), 10:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Jenrry Mejia (1-2, 2.22) vs. RHP Edinson Volquez (8-10, 5.80), 8:40 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Matt Harvey (9-4, 2.23) vs. LHP Eric Stults (8-10, 3.68), 4:10 p.m. ET

Padres short hops

• Outfielder Will Venable has a career-high 11-game hitting streak.

• Third baseman Chase Headley is hitless in his last 13 at-bats.


Justin Edmonds/Getty ImagesEx-Met Ronny Cedeno has replaced suspended Everth Cabrera at shortstop.


• Closer Huston Street has converted eight straight save chances and has made 12 straight scoreless appearances. He is 46 for 48 in save chances as a Padre since joining the club for the beginning of the 2012 season. That is the best save percentage in the majors during that span.

Edinson Volquez’s 5.80 ERA is the highest in the NL among qualified starters, but he remains in the rotation. The Cubs’ Edwin Jackson is second-worst at 5.05. Volquez is a candidate to be designated for assignment in the not-to-distant future without an upturn in performance.

• The Diamondbacks dealt underachieving right-hander Ian Kennedy to the Padres at the trade deadline for situational left-hander Joe Thatcher, potential future closer Matt Stites and a draft pick. Kennedy, a 21-game winner two years ago, was 3-8 with a 5.23 ERA in 21 starts for Arizona this season. With San Diego, he blanked the Cincinnati Reds for seven innings in his last outing before surrendering a two-run homer to Xavier Paul in the eighth.

• Ex-Met Ronny Cedeno joined the organization on a minor league deal on Aug. 2, a week after being released by the Houston Astros. He had been in spring training with the St. Louis Cardinals. Cedeno made his Padres debut Aug. 7 and has started the past two games at shortstop. He is sharing the role with Logan Forsythe. The Padres lost Everth Cabrera to a 50-game Biogenesis-related suspension.

• Left fielder Carlos Quentin is eligible to return from the DL for the series opener against the Mets, but is experiencing continued knee soreness and will remain inactive through the weekend. Fellow outfielder Cameron Maybin also had a knee flare-up, during a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tucson, and remains on the DL. Maybin may be lost for the season.

John Buck is not the only catcher potentially departing on paternity leave this weekend. Padres catcher Nick Hundley’s wife is due -- overdue, actually -- as well. Hundley’s wife had been due Sunday. Yasmani Grandal is on the DL with a right knee sprain. Rene Rivera is the current backup. Rivera played for Triple-A Buffalo as a Mets farmhand in 2009.

• Rookie second baseman Jedd Gyorko has struggled since returning July 12 from a right groin strain that cost him 30 games. Although he is hitting only .165 since his activation from the DL, he did homer twice during this past series at Colorado.

• Right-hander Tyson Ross, who was acquired from the Oakland Athletics in November, is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA in four starts since reentering the rotation from the bullpen. Opponents are hitting .135 against him during that span.

Rapid Reaction: Padres 2, Mets 1

April, 4, 2013
4/04/13
4:28
PM ET


WHAT IT MEANS: Dillon Gee limited the Padres to one run in 6 1/3 innings and Justin Turner contributed three hits, but the Mets were held in check by left-hander Eric Stults and five relievers. After the Mets posted 19 runs in the first two games, San Diego avoided the sweep with a 2-1 victory Thursday afternoon at Citi Field.

John Buck produced the lone run with a homer against Huston Street to open the bottom of the ninth.

GEE SHARP: Gee held the Padres hitless until Mark Kotsay dropped a one-out single over retreating Ruben Tejada and into shallow left field in the fourth. Kotsay eventually scored the game’s opening run on a double by rookie Jedd Gyorko.

Gee’s final line: 6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K. He also hit one batter. Gee threw 93 pitches (50 strikes).

Mets starters Jonathon Niese, Matt Harvey and Gee combined to limit San Diego to three earned runs in 20 innings in the series, good for a 1.35 ERA.

TURNER CLASSIC: Turner, in his first action this season in place of Daniel Murphy at second base, produced three of the Mets’ five hits.

Batting with two runners aboard and two outs in the seventh, however, Turner (3-for-4) hit a comebacker to reliever Luke Gregerson as the Mets’ opportunity to pull even at 1 stalled.

Earlier in the game, Turner twice was stranded in scoring position.

Ike Davis grounded into an inning-ending double play to leave Turner at second base in the third inning against Stults. Then, after Turner singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch with one out in the sixth, Marlon Byrd struck out against right-hander Brad Brach and Lucas Duda struck out looking against left-hander Joe Thatcher.

Duda was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts before being replaced on a double-switch in the top of the seventh. He was replaced in the latter innings of all three games in the series.

The Mets’ Nos. 3-6 hitters -- David Wright, Davis, Byrd and Duda -- combined to strike out 10 times. Make it 11 times, actually, if you count Murphy striking out in the eighth against Gregerson in the slot originally occupied by Duda.

The Mets went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position, after going a combined 10-for-19 in those situations in the opening two games.

FAMILIA AFFAIR: Jeurys Familia -- a logical candidate to be demoted Sunday, when the Mets activate Aaron Laffey for the start originally intended for Shaun Marcum -- surrendered an eighth-inning run as San Diego grabbed a 2-0 lead. Familia issued a leadoff walk and surrendered a single before a wild pitch resulted in a run. Josh Edgin took over after Familia recorded one out.

BUCK SHOT: Buck now has two homers. Mets catchers produced five long balls all of last season.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets play host to the Miami Marlins, who enter Thursday night’s series finale in D.C. still without having scored a run this season. Jeremy Hefner makes his season debut Friday night against right-hander Alex Sanabia.

Series preview: Mets vs. Padres

March, 31, 2013
3/31/13
10:15
AM ET

Associated Press
The Mets face (l to r) Edinson Volquez, Clayton Richard and Eric Stults during the season-opening series.
METS (74-88, fourth place/NL East) vs. SAN DIEGO PADRES (76-86, fourth place/NL West)

Monday: LHP Jonathon Niese (13-9, 3.40) vs. RHP Edinson Volquez (11-11, 4.14), 1:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Matt Harvey (3-5, 2.73) vs. LHP Clayton Richard (14-14, 3.99), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP Dillon Gee (6-7, 4.10) vs. LHP Eric Stults (8-3, 2.92), 1:10 p.m. ET

Padres short hops

Chase Headley, who finished fifth in NL MVP balloting last season and won the NL’s Gold Glove at third base, will open the season on the DL with a fractured tip of his left thumb. Logan Forsythe, who was due to fill in, is dealing with plantar fasciitis. So Cody Ransom is the Opening Day starter.

Ransom, 37, signed a minor league contract with San Diego in December. He hit a combined .220 with 11 homers and 42 RBIs in 246 at-bats with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Milwaukee Brewers last season. In 2008, Ransom became the first player in Yankees history to homer in his first two plate appearances with the club.


Andy Hayt/San Diego Padres/Getty Images
Jedd Gyorko, who had 30 homers in the minors last season, makes his major league debut against the Mets.


• Volquez will make his third straight Opening Day start, which includes 2011 with the Cincinnati Reds. Volquez made three World Baseball Classic appearances for the victorious Dominican Republic, including notching the win against the Netherlands in the semifinals. He walked six in his final Cactus League start, but nonetheless limited the Cincinnati Reds to one run and two hits in five-plus innings.

• Rookie Jedd Gyorko, a second-round pick in 2010 from West Virginia University, will make his major league debut on Opening Day. He hit a combined .311 with 30 homers and 100 RBIs in 2012 between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tucson. The righty-hitting Gyorko will move to third base in place of Ransom, and lefty-hitting Alexi Amarista should start at second base, Wednesday against Harvey. The diminutive Amarista has picked up the nickname "Little Ninja."

Carlos Quentin, who had two surgeries on his right knee last year, missed more than two weeks of spring training because of soreness but returned to Cactus League action Tuesday. He is poised to start in left field.

• After dropping a season-worst 22 games under .500 on June 29, the Padres produced a 48-36 record to close last season.

• First baseman Yonder Alonso set a Padres rookie record with 39 doubles last season, passing Benito Santiago’s former mark (33 in 1987).

• Shortstop Everth Cabrera became the first Padre to lead the NL in steals when he produced 44 in 2012. He was 59 for 63 in steal attempts between Triple-A and the majors. His 24 straight successful steals in the majors set a franchise record to start a season. Cabrera is the reigning Nicaraguan Pro Sports Athlete of the Year.

• The Mets reportedly turned down a swap of Daniel Murphy for right-handed reliever Luke Gregerson last year.

• Right fielder Chris Denorfia twice has represented Italy in the World Baseball Classic. He hit .381 in five games in this month’s tournament for Mike Piazza’s squad.

• Center fielder Cameron Maybin hit .198 in his first 71 games and .286 over his final 76 games last season.

• Richard logged 218 2/3 innings last season, which ranked fourth in the NL. He also allowed an NL-high 31 homers.

• Closer Huston Street converted 23 of 24 save chances last season (95.8 percent). The only better conversion percentages in franchise history: Rod Beck (100 percent, 2003) and Trevor Hoffman (98.1 percent, 1998). Street signed a two-year, $14 million extension last July that includes a $7 million team option for 2015.

• A waiver claim last May from the Chicago White Sox, Stults went 7-1 with a 2.79 ERA in his final 10 starts last season.

• San Diego’s projected Opening Day lineup:

Denorfia, rf
Cabrera, ss
Quentin, lf
Alonso, 1b
Gyorko, 2b
Nick Hundley, c
Ransom, 3b
Maybin, cf
Volquez, rhp

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 9 57 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187