New York Mets: Jose De La Torre

Minors 5.30.14: Nimmo idle with pinkeye

May, 30, 2014
5/30/14
11:40
PM ET
EL PASO 4, LAS VEGAS 3: Josh Satin had a two-out RBI triple in the top of the ninth to pull Las Vegas within a run, but was stranded there when Zach Lutz ultimately grounded into a game-ending fielder's choice. Starter Giancarlo Alvarado (1-2) allowed three runs in five innings. Box

NEW BRITAIN 4, BINGHAMTON 0: The B-Mets struck out 14 times, went hitless after the fourth inning and went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position in their fourth shutout loss of the season. Over the first four innings, Rock Cats starter Sean Gilmartin allowed five hits, walked one and hit a batter, but prevented Binghamton from cracking the scoreboard. He stranded two runners in three straight innings and racked up seven strikeouts along the way. The Rock Cats struck in the fourth against Angel Cuan. Nate Hanson broke a scoreless tie with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly. After a walk reloaded the bases, Mike Kvasnicka produced a three-run double. Gilmartin capped his night with two less-taxing frames, retiring seven of the final eight B-Mets he faced. In six scoreless innings, the southpaw allowed five hits, matched a season high with nine strikeouts and held the B-Mets hitless in seven at-bats with runners in scoring position. Reliever D.J. Baxendale retired all five batters he faced. Ryan O’Rourke fanned Matt Clark to end the eighth inning. Matt Summers allowed the first two to reach in the ninth before closing out the game with two strikeouts. Cuan (1-2) allowed four runs on five hits over five innings in the loss. He struck out a season-high five and issued three walks. Ryan Fraser closed Binghamton’s pitching tab with two scoreless innings. Box

BREVARD COUNTY 3, ST. LUCIE 1: The Mets had no answer for Austin Ross en route to their fourth loss in five games. The Manatees starter surrendered four hits and one run in seven innings. The lone run came on Eudy Pina's sac fly in Ross' final frame and was set up by Gilbert Gomez’s walk and Cole Frenzel's double. The Manatees scored all the runs they needed in the fifth. With two outs, Cameron Garfield belted a two-run double against Matt Koch. Both runs were unearned. Third baseman Jairo Perez had committed an error to open the frame. After throwing 88 pitches through five innings, Koch returned to start the sixth. He surrendered consecutive singles to Yadiel Rivera and Mike Garza to put runners on the corners. Koch got Jose Sermo to ground into a double play, but Rivera scored to make it 3-0. Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Jose De La Torre struck out the side in the eighth for Brevard County. Mark Williams pitched around a two-out error in the ninth by striking out Pina to end the ballgame. 2011 first-round pick Brandon Nimmo will miss three days after developing pinkeye. Box

ROME 7, SAVANNAH 6: Blake Brown had a tiebreaking two-run triple in the top of the ninth to help the Braves complete a comeback win. The loss snapped the Gnats’ four-game winning streak. In a 5-all game in the ninth with two outs and nobody aboard, Savannah reliever Tyler Vanderheiden walked two batters in front of Brown, who made him pay with a sharp triple into the right-center gap. The Gnats (35-16) got a run back in the bottom of the ninth when Stefan Sabol doubled home L.J. Mazzilli. However, the game ended with the tying run stranded at second as Matt Oberste grounded out. Savannah had taken a 5-3 lead with three runs in a busy bottom of the fifth. Colton Plaia singled to start the inning and scored on a wild play in which the Braves committed two errors and Gavin Cecchini finished at second. Cecchini then scored the go-ahead run on Jeff McNeil’s double. Dominic Smith singled to score McNeil and gave the Gnats a 5-3 lead. The Braves (16-38) cut the Gnats’ lead to 5-4 on Jake Schrader's solo homer in the seventh against reliever Dawrin Frias. An RBI groundout in the eighth evened the score at 5. McNeil was 2-for-5 to lift his season average to .345. Box

Compiled with team reports

Around the minors 5.3.12

May, 3, 2012
5/03/12
10:54
PM ET
BUFFALO 6, SYRACUSE 5: Buffalo (16-11) scored two runs in the sixth inning and two more in the eighth for its sixth win in the last seven games. Eleven of the Herd's wins have come in games in which it has trailed. On Thursday, Syracuse took a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth before the Herd rallied. Rob Johnson homered to lead off the frame and pinch hitter Michael Fisher scored all the way from first on Dustin Martin's double to tie the score. In the eighth, Bisons manager Wally Backman went to the bench three times to scratch across a pair of runs. A single from Brad Emaus and a double from Johnson had the Herd set up at second and third with no outs. Pinch hitter No. 1 Valentino Pascucci struck out and pinch hitter No. 2 Bobby Scales was intentionally walked. Pinch hitter No. 3 Lucas May then beat out a potential inning-ending double play to allow a run to score. Vinny Rottino added much-needed insurance with an RBI single. It proved to be the game-deciding run. Rottino had two hits, extending his hitting streak to a Bisons season-high 14 games. The win for Buffalo went to reliever Jack Egbert, who got the Herd out of a jam in the seventh. Fernando Cabrera pitched the ninth for his sixth save. Jeurys Familia started for the Bisons and allowed three runs (two earned) in five innings. He also had an RBI double in the second inning -- the sixth RBI by a Bisons pitcher this season, matching last year's total. In two games since being activated from the DL, Johnson is 5-for-7 with double, triple, homer and two RBIs. Mets right-hander D.J. Carrasco joined the Bisons on his rehab assignment and allowed a sixth-inning homer to Carlos Maldonado. He also picked up a strikeout in one inning. Box

BINGHAMTON 7, AKRON 3: Collin McHugh tossed 7 1/3 strong innings and Raul Reyes ripped a three-run homer as the B-Mets avoided getting swept in the four-game series. Facing spot starter Mason Radeke, the B-Mets took advantage of a rare Akron error in the first. A two-out walk to Reese Havens started the rally and shortstop Juan Diaz’s fielding error on Jefry Marte’s groundball set the table for Reyes. It was Akron’s 14th error as team, fewest in the Eastern League. Reyes cashed in by ripping his first long ball of the season. Binghamton doubled its lead in the fourth against former B-Met Jose De La Torre. Juan Lagares greeted the reliever by doubling. Travis Ozga brought him home by banging a double. Juan Centeno pushed Ozga to third my dribbling a single to the pitcher’s mound. Matt den Dekker plated Ozga with a sac fly. Josh Rodriguez gave Binghamton a six-run edge my lacing a double. Pedro Zapata and den Dekker laced back-to-back doubles to tack on another run in the sixth. It was all McHugh needed to rack up his team-leading fourth win. After side-stepping trouble in the first two innings, the righty cruised from the third onward. He retired 18 of 19 Aeros before Michel Hernandez doubled in the eighth. McHugh’s night was done after allowing run-scoring hits to Tim Fedroff and Juan Diaz. McHugh’s 7 1/3 innings were the most by any B-Met starter this year. He allowed three runs on six hits and struck out five while walking one. Erik Turgeon took over and allowed an RBI single to Jared Goedert before getting two outs to end the frame. Robert Carson tossed a perfect ninth to cap the victory. Box

JUPITER 6, ST. LUCIE 1: St. Lucie's seven-game winning streak was snapped despite Cory Vaughn delivering his team-leading seventh homer in the fourth inning. Vaughn drilled Matt Neil's offering over the left-center fence to cut the deficit to 3-1. Mets left-hander Angel Cuan (2-1) was dealt the loss, despite tossing six innings and allowing three runs on six hits with five strikeouts. Ryan Fraser allowed one run on three hits in two relief innings. John Church pitched the ninth and gave up two runs on one hit. Jupiter took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning on home runs by Marcell Ozuna and J.T. Realmuto. The Hammerheads picked up a run in the fifth after a balk was issued to Cuan to allow Yeison Hernandez to score from third. Hernandez delivered an RBI single in the seventh off Fraser to extend the lead to 4-1. Jupiter loaded the bases with one out in the ninth. Third baseman Wilmer Flores' throw toward second base on a potential double-play chance sailed into right field. The error allowed two runs to score. Box

SAVANNAH 3, DELMARVA 1: Domingo Tapia was dominant over 7 1/3 innings, in the longest start this season by a Gnats pitcher. The Gnats (16-11) won their fourth straight. Tapia gave up a pair of singles in the first inning, but escaped trouble with the help of third baseman Aderlin Rodriguez, who threw out a runner at the plate for the inning’s second out. That began a stretch during which Tapia (2-1) set down 14 batters in a row through the end of the fifth. The Gnats opened the scoring in the bottom of the first. Brandon Brown led off with a double and scored on DH Travis Taijeron’s single. Albert Cordero gave the Gnats a 2-0 advantage with a solo homer in the second. It was his first longball this season. Savannah made it 3-0 in the sixth. Taijeron reached on an infield single and scored on Charley Thurber’s triple. The Shorebirds (13-13) scored their only run in the eighth. After Tapia recorded the first out of the frame, a single and walk chased him. Reliever Estarlin Morel walked No. 9 hitter Mychal Givens to load the bases. He then gave up a sacrifice fly to Glynn Davis. With the tying run at first base, Gnats left fielder Gregory Pron made a diving catch to take a base hit away from the subsequent batter, Sammie Starr, to end the frame and preserve a two-run lead. Morel worked an uneventful ninth to wrap up his second save. The Gnats look for the sweep Friday when right-hander Tyler Pill (2-1, 2.11) opposes right-hander Tyler Wilson (3-1, 2.45). Box

Compiled from team reports

Around the minors 4.5.12

April, 5, 2012
4/05/12
11:07
PM ET
PAWTUCKET 4, BUFFALO 2: In hit Triple-A debut, 2010 first-round pick Matt Harvey (0-1) allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings . He threw 54 of his 95 pitches for strikes, walking four, striking out three and tossing two wild pitches. Both Bisons homers came in the fourth inning, as Josh Satin and Valentino Pascucci drove shots out to left field. While the Bisons left the yard, the Red Sox didn't need to leave the infield to deal the Herd their its loss of the season. Pawtucket collected five infield hits and benefited from a pair of Bisons errors to hand Buffalo a 4-2 Opening Night defeat from McCoy Stadium. All three times Pawtucket dented the scoreboard they benefited by a play in the infield. Pawtucket second baseman Pedro Ciriaco blooped a soft liner over the mound in the third inning and scored on Mauro Gomez's RBI single to give the PawSox a 1-0 lead. After the Bisons took a 2-1 lead in the fourth, the PawSox put two on in bottom of the inning and escaped a potential inning-ending double play, when Jordany Valdespin couldn't handle Alex Hassan's grounder. Ciriaco took advantage with a single to center field to plate two more runs. An insurance run for the PawSox came in the fifth after a pair of walks drove Harvey from the game. Infield singles from Will Middlebrooks and Jason Repko off reliever Jeff Stevens produced a fourth Pawtucket run. Justin Germano (1-0) was credited with the win for Pawtucket, allowing two runs in five innings. This is the fourth consecutive year the Bisons have begun the season with a loss. Their last Opening Day victory was a 9-4 win in Norfolk on April 3, 2008. Pascucci's home run was his 39th as a Bison. Buffalo went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position while Pawtucket was 4-for-16 in the same situation. Box

AKRON 4, BINGHAMTON 0: The B-Mets could only muster three hits, all singles, against four Akron Aeros pitchers in their season opener, at NYSEG Stadium. Binghamton only pushed one runner to second base and failed to reach third during the game. The Binghamton lineup was held hitless over the final four innings. Binghamton bounced into two double plays and had a pair of runners gunned down on steal attempts by Akron catcher Roberto Perez. Collin McHugh, last year’s B-Mets Pitcher of the Year, made the start and tossed two scoreless innings before running into trouble in the third. Leadoff hitter Ben Copeland walked on four pitches and scored two batters later on Tim Fedroff’s double to right-center. After a Juan Diaz single, Jared Goedert ripped an RBI single to left to give the Aeros a 2-0 lead. Akron starter Paolo Espino fired two scoreless innings before running into trouble of his own in the third. After allowing a leadoff single to Juan Centeno and working the count to 1-1 against Sean Kazmar, the Panamanian left the game with an injury. He was replaced by Kyle Landis, who induced Kazmar to bounce into a double play on his first pitch. Landis then struck out Pedro Zapata to end the inning. Landis’ frame started the bullpen dominance by the Aeros. Landis tossed a scoreless fourth and handed off to Jose De La Torre. A former B-Met, De La Torre worked around a two-out single to put up a scoreless fifth. McHugh’s night ended after five innings. The right-hander allowed two runs on four hits and struck out four while walking three. Kevin Mulvey, in his return to the organization entered in the sixth and allowed a leadoff double to Ryan Rohlinger. With two runners aboard following a Chun Chen walk, Nick Weglarz bounced a potential double-play ball to second baseman Josh Rodriguez. The new B-Met flipped to second, but shortstop Kazmar at shortstop muffed the throw, allowing Rohlinger to score. Owning a 3-0 lead, De La Torre cruised through the sixth and worked around a one-out walk to toss a scoreless seventh. Matt Langwell took over in the eighth and struck out the side in order. The Aeros tacked on an run against Armando Rodriguez in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Juan Diaz. The B-Mets went in order in the ninth against Langwell, who secured his first save of the season. De La Torre earned the win, while McHugh was saddled with the loss. The Aeros bullpen combined for seven shutout innings. The B-Mets (0-1) continue their series against the Akron Aeros on Friday night at 7:05. Right-hander Zack Wheeler makes his Double-A debut for Binghamton against left-hander T.J. McFarland. Box

BRADENTON 3, ST. LUCIE 2 (11 innings): After allowing a leadoff single in the 11th and sacrifice bunt, Ryan Fraser walked two and had a throwing error to load the bases. Fraser then hit former Mets farmhand Stefan Welch with a pitch to force in the winning run. 2011 second-round pick Cory Mazzoni allowed two unearned runs in five innings in his first St. Lucie start. Hamilton Bennett, Adrian Rosario and Jeffrey Kaplan combined for five scoreless relief innings. Box

SAVANNAH 3, AUGUSTA 2: Charley Thurber's bases-loaded single scored Luis Nieves for the walk-off win. Starter Logan Verrett limited Augusta to one unearned run in five innings. Carlos Vazquez had 2 1/3 scoreless, no-hit relief innings with five strikeouts. Box

Compiled from team reports

Farm report: Whitenton a Star with Gnats

July, 27, 2011
7/27/11
10:45
AM ET
Right-hander Taylor Whitenton’s second full professional season resulted in his first appearance in an All-Star Game. Whitenton was a starting pitcher in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game, and is currently 4-2 with a 2.71 ERA and one save in 18 appearances (four starts) for Savannah. Four of Whitenton’s first five appearances came in relief, piggybacking starts by teammate Ryan Fraser, before he entered the rotation.


Courtesy of New York Mets
Taylor Whitenton


“I’m just trying to stay more in the zone this year, throw more strikes and force more contact with all of my pitches,” said Whitenton, who went 8-9 with a 4.57 ERA in 26 starts (18 appearances) with Savannah in 2010. “I’m working on commanding all of them. I don’t have complete command of them all yet. That’s what I work on -- throwing all of them for strikes. That’s probably the difference from last year to this year.”

Whitenton, 23, was drafted by the Mets in the 39th round in 2009 out of Darton College, a two-year school in Albany, Ga. He is from Conyers, Ga. -- “maybe a four-hour drive” from his current home with the Gnats.

Whitenton’s fastball sits at 90-92 mph. He also throws a curveball and changeup. He has missed two starts with a right-forearm strain, but is due to reenter the rotation Saturday at Greensboro.

He was drafted by the hometown Atlanta Braves out of high school in the 40th round, but instead signed with the junior college.

“I’m not sure if they were going to make me a shortstop, but I loved playing shortstop and they did draft me as a shortstop,” Whitenton said.

Those days in the infield are over. Whitenton became a full-time pitcher during his second college season, after playing shortstop and third base as a freshman at Darton.

“I thought that was the position where I would get the furthest in baseball,” he said.

Organization leaders

Average: Danny Muno, Brooklyn, .375; Richard Lucas, Brooklyn, .350; Juan Lagares, Binghamton, .349; Josh Satin, Buffalo, .322; Julio Concepcion, Kingsport, .320; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, .314; Brandon Brown, Brooklyn, .308; Cam Maron, Kingsport, .307; Jordany Valdespin, Binghamton, .306; Greg Pron, Kingsport, .305.

Homers: Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 19; Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 15; Jordany Valdespin, Binghamton, 15; Allan Dykstra, Binghamton, 13.

RBI: Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 70; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 64; Josh Satin, Buffalo, 63; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 61; Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 54.

Steals: Jordany Valdespin, Binghamton, 31; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, 28; Matt den Dekker, Binghamton, 18; Darrell Ceciliani, Savannah, 14; Rafael Fernandez, Savannah, 14.

ERA: Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 2.15; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 2.63; Erik Goeddel, GCL Mets, 2.86; Todd Weldon, Brooklyn, 2.88; Angel Cuan, Savannah, 3.02; Eduardo Aldama, Brooklyn, 3.16; Gabriel Ynoa, GCL Mets, 3.19; Brett Mitchell, Kingsport, 3.41; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 3.42; Jeffrey Walters, Brooklyn, 3.45.

Wins: Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 10; Greg Peavey, St. Lucie, 9; Angel Cuan, Savannah, 9; Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 8; Brandon Moore, Binghamton, 8.

Saves: Josh Edgin, St. Lucie, 21; Dale Thayer, Buffalo, 11; Jeffrey Kaplan, St. Lucie, 10; Hamilton Bennett, Savannah, 9.

Strikeouts: Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 120; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 111; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 100; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 100.

Short hops

• Infielder Josh Satin made his Triple-A debut Friday, registering an infield single in four at-bats against Pawtucket. A sixth-round pick in 2008 from Cal, Satin hit .325 with 11 homers and 60 RBIs in 338 at-bats with Double-A Binghamton. He had a .423 on-base percentage, which still ranks second in the Eastern League, one point behind Portland’s Alex Hassan (.424). Satin has alternated between first base and third base with the Bisons. His natural position is second base.

Juan Lagares made his Double-A debut Saturday in left field for the B-Mets after hitting a Florida State League-best .339 with seven homers and 49 RBIs in 307 at-bats with St. Lucie. Lagares, 22, produced a five-hit game Sunday for Binghamton, relying on his compact swing. He should see the bulk of his outfield action in left field, with Matt den Dekker in center and Raul Reyes in right. That could diminish the playing time of Brahiam Maldonado, despite his long ball production (19 homers), since the B-Mets primarily play National League affiliates and will not have many DHing opportunities in the next several weeks.

• Maldonado was named Eastern League Player of the Week. He hit .450 with three homers and nine RBIs last week.

• Den Dekker -- known for speed, not power -- had four homers in a three-game stretch. The wind was blowing out, but the University of Florida product squared up the shots.

• In four professional innings with Brooklyn, fifth-round pick Jack Leathersich has struck out 10 of the 13 New York-Penn League batters he has faced. He has allowed one hit and no walks in four scoreless innings.

Ruben Tejada opened his latest Triple-A stint in an 0-for-13 rut while exclusively playing shortstop. He is hitting .125 (3-for-24) with one double and two walks in six games since rejoining the Bisons.

• After racing to a 10-0 start in the Florida State League, left-hander Darin Gorski suffered his first loss of the season Sunday in a 3-2, seven-inning defeat against Brevard County. Gorski allowed a one-out tiebreaking solo homer to Juan Sanchez in the top of the final frame. Gorski still leads the Florida State League with a 2.15 ERA. Dunedin’s Nestor Molina (9-3) ranks second at 2.56.

Nick Evans is expected to clear waivers on Wednesday and again accept assignment to Triple-A Buffalo rather than declare free agency.

• 2008 first-round pick Reese Havens returned last Wednesday after a month-long absence for a back injury. He is playing every other day at second base.

• 2011 first-round pick Matt Harvey is 0-3 with a 7.15 ERA in five Double-A starts. He has now logged 98 2/3 innings between the B-Mets and St. Lucie this season. He may be capped at 120-130 innings.

• Newly signed center fielder Fernando Perez made his organization debut last week with Buffalo and is hitting .259 with two RBIs in nine games. The speedy Perez, a Columbia University product who has major league experience with the Tampa Bay Rays, tripled Monday and scored on Mike Nickeas’ RBI to break a 7-all tie. He took over center field from Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who underwent season-ending surgery on his non-throwing shoulder.

• Outfielder Mike Baxter, a waiver claim from the San Diego Padres, a pick fueled by Paul DePodesta’s former association with that club, homered on the first pitch he saw as a Buffalo Bison on Tuesday night. Baxter, now on the 40-man roster, has multiple option years remaining, so he does not need to be on the major league roster next season. After hitting .301 with 18 homers, 72 RBIs and 22 steals in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League last season, Baxter was 1-for-8 with the Padres as a September call-up. He replaced right-handed reliever Jose De La Torre on the Bisons roster. De La Rosa was diagnosed with a shoulder impingement.

• Boston College product Eric Campbell lost a 10-game hitting streak Tuesday. It was the longest streak by a Binghamton player this season. Campbell nonetheless has struggled in 2011. He is hitting .227 with two homers in 299 at-bats.

• Former UCLA right-hander Erik Goeddel, who had been out since May 23 with Savannah because of a shoulder strain, returned to pitch an inning in the Gulf Coast League on Friday.

• Buffalo DH/first baseman Valentino Pascucci is hitting .360 with five homers and 20 RBIs and has a .406 on-base percentage in 22 games since the Triple-A All-Star break.

• Brooklyn’s Danny Muno leads the New York-Penn League with a .375 average. Teammate Travis Taijeron has 13 RBIs in his past five games, including a ninth-inning grand slam to lift the Cyclones to a victory. Brooklyn’s Richard Lucas ranks third in the league with a .350 average. He is hitting .500 (19-for-38) in his past 11 games.

• Catcher Kai Gronauer rejoined Binghamton after missing more than two months with a hamstring strain. He and Dusty Ryan will share the B-Mets’ duties behind the plate.

Miguel Batista’s fastball sat between 92-94 mph in his latest start for Buffalo. Gustavo Chacin, after a spot start in a doubleheader, has returned to bullpen duty with the Bisons.

• B-Mets left-hander Robert Carson earned his first win since June 17 on Monday. He had been 0-1 with five no-decisions in his previous six starts.

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

Farm report: Frenzel first for Cyclones

July, 20, 2011
7/20/11
11:30
AM ET
Amateur scouting director Chad MacDonald predicts the best has yet to come from seventh-round pick Cole Frenzel, a first baseman from the University of Arizona.

Several factors, MacDonald suggests, point to that conclusion.

The 21-year-old Frenzel hails from Dickinson, N.D., a climate that limited his ability to play year-round. Frenzel also missed much of his freshman season in college after breaking the hamate bone at the base of his right hand while fouling off a fastball against Long Beach State in his second collegiate game, limiting his development time.


Courtesy of Brooklyn Cyclones
Cole Frenzel


Of course, it also was attractive to the organization that Frenzel had a .461 on-base percentage in the Pacific-10 Conference this season -- 35 points better than No. 2-ranked Danny Pulfer of Oregon, who became a 19th-round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“We thought he was trending upward,” MacDonald said.

Frenzel, who bats left-handed and throws right-handed, is hitting .297 (11-for-37) with seven RBIs through 10 professional games as a Brooklyn Cyclone.

As is the case with still-unsigned first-round pick Brandon Nimmo, who hails from Wyoming, climate certainly restricted Frenzel from playing baseball year-round in North Dakota.

“Obviously you couldn’t go outside pretty much from the fall all the way until the spring,” Frenzel said. “I would hit indoors. We had a college baseball team there (NAIA Dickinson State), and they would have cages in the gymnasium. I’d go hit there with my dad all the time -- twice a week in my off-time -- play catch, take groundballs. I didn’t do much baseball throughout the winter and fall because I played football and hockey. But I’d still make time to hit just to stay in shape a little bit. We used wood bats in high school, too. So that helped out.

“The weather, I mean, winters get cold up there. You get 30-below-zero like nothing.”

Frenzel played inside linebacker and fullback/tailback in football and forward in hockey during high school. He had opportunities to play junior hockey and was also recruited by Division II college programs, but his father Doug and brother Tyler played college baseball -- Tyler at the University of North Dakota. Baseball seemed like the most promising path.

“Once I got into eighth grade, freshman year of high school, that’s when I realized I’m going to do hockey all summer or I’m going to play baseball,” Frenzel said. “Hockey would have turned into year-round. My dad played college baseball. My brother did too. I still loved baseball. And I was a little better at baseball. It was my best chance in athletics.”

Frenzel, because of his date of birth, actually was eligible for the draft this year, after his sophomore season at Arizona. Typically, a player at a four-year program is not eligible until after his junior season. Armed with the leverage of being able to be drafted for two more years, Frenzel received a $200,000 signing bonus, according to Baseball America -- the highest for that round this year.

MacDonald said he believes Frenzel will grow into power, too.

“I try to keep it simple and put the barrel on the ball,” Frenzel said. “I try to hit for average. Power usually comes.”

Organization leaders

Average: Juan Lagares, St. Lucie, .337; Julio Concepcion, Kingsport, .333; Josh Satin, Binghamton, .322; Richard Lucas, Brooklyn, .317; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, .316; Brandon Brown, Brooklyn, .310; Cam Maron, Kingsport, .304; Jordany Valdespin, Binghamton, .299; Cory Vaughn, St. Lucie, .292; Jeff Glenn, Kingsport, .292.

Homers: Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 15; Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 13.

RBI: Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 61; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 60; Josh Satin, Binghamton, 59; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 58; Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 47.

Steals: Jordany Valdespin, Binghamton, 29; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, 27; Matt den Dekker, Binghamton, 16; Rafael Fernandez, Savannah, 14.

ERA: Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 2.03; Carlos Vazquez, Brooklyn, 2.43; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 2.63; Taylor Whitenton, Savannah, 2.71; Eduardo Aldama, Brooklyn, 2.81; Gabriel Ynoa, GCL Mets, 3.00; Todd Weldon, Brooklyn, 3.09; Greg Peavey, St. Lucie, 3.18; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 3.21; Ryan Fraser, Savannah, 3.26.

Wins: Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 10; Greg Peavey, St. Lucie, 9; Angel Cuan, Savannah, 8; Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 8; Brandon Moore, Binghamton, 7.

Saves: Josh Edgin, St. Lucie, 20; Jeffrey Kaplan, St. Lucie, 10; Dale Thayer, Buffalo, 9.

Strikeouts: Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 115; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 107; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 100; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 93; Taylor Whitenton, Savannah, 87.

Short hops

• Right-hander Chris Schwinden tossed a perfect inning at Salt Lake City, requiring only seven pitches, in the Triple-A All-Star Game as Buffalo’s lone representative last Wednesday. Schwinden retired Albuquerque’s Trayvon Robinson, Reno’s Collin Cowgill and Sacramento’s Anthony Recker on groundouts. It marked the fourth straight year a Bison has tossed a scoreless relief inning in the All-Star Game, with Schwinden joining Rich Rundles (2008), Nelson Figueroa (2009) and Pat Misch (2010) in continuing that streak. Schwinden (6-4, 3.31 ERA) then opened the second half by suffering his first loss in eight starts. He allowed four runs while lasting a season-low 4 1/3 innings at Rochester.

• St. Lucie left-hander Darin Gorski improved to 10-0 on Monday against Clearwater. That win total is more impressive because Gorski did not enter the Florida State League team’s rotation until April 27, after making five relief appearances. Gorski’s 10 wins are tied for third in minor league baseball, trailing only the 11 victories by Julio Rodriguez (Class A Clearwater/Phillies) and Craig Westcott (Class A San Jose/Giants).

• Buffalo center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis underwent season-ending shoulder surgery on his left, non-throwing shoulder to repair the labrum.

• Third-base prospect Zach Lutz’s hard-luck season injury-wise continued Tuesday when he was hit with a fastball in the head by Syracuse’s Chien-Ming Wang in the first inning and later experienced concussion symptoms that sent him to the hospital. Lutz remained in the game until Michael Fisher replaced him in the bottom of the third. Lutz already has suffered a concussion this season after getting hit with a curveball in the head on June 24 against Norfolk.

• Left-hander Gustavo Chacin is scheduled to make his Buffalo debut Wednesday, with fellow newcomer Miguel Batista starting the other game of a doubleheader at Syracuse. Chacin, 30, was released by the Houston Astros after going 3-6 with a 5.13 ERA in 18 relief appearances at Triple-A Oklahoma City. He allowed 81 hits and 24 walks in 66 2/3 innings. The right-handed Batista, 40, was released by the St. Louis Cardinals after a June 21 appearance against Philadelphia in which he walked consecutive batters with the bases loaded to force in runs. After two relief appearances with the Bisons, Batista made his first minor league start in 11 years on Thursday, tossing 3 2/3 scoreless innings while building his pitch count to 64. Jack Egbert, returning from Tommy John surgery this season, will move to the Double-A rotation to clear room with the Bisons.

• The Mets signed a pair of position players for the upper levels of the organization. Outfielder Fernando Perez, a Columbia University product and published poet, was assigned to Buffalo. Infielder Niuman Romero joined Binghamton. Perez, 28, hit .238 with three homers and 20 RBIs and had 17 steals in 19 attempts in 76 games with Triple-A Iowa in the Chicago Cubs organization. Perez once scored the game-winning run by tagging up on a shallow fly ball in Game 2 in the 2008 American League Championship Series for Tampa Bay against Boston. Romero, 26, hit .239 in 34 games in the Eastern League with Reading in the Phillies organization. He also appeared briefly in the Blue Jays minor league system this season.

• Romero has started his first three games at shortstop with the B-Mets, prompting middle infielder Jordany Valdespin to man second base. Valdespin, who has 27 errors this season, should return to shortstop, however, with 2008 first-round pick Reese Havens activated from the disabled list following a back injury that has sidelined the second baseman since June 23.

• A pair of the Mets’ more highly regarded prospects found themselves on the disabled list. Outfielder Fernando Martinez was placed on the Buffalo DL with a left hip flexor injury, while right-hander Jeurys Familia had been shut down with the B-Mets with a shoulder impingement, but has resumed throwing. Familia had been given more than two weeks off between starts before returning to the rotation July 4. Familia is 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA in Double-A this season. B-Mets left-hander Roy Merritt also landed on the DL with a bruised shin.

• Familia had been one of three B-Mets selections to last Wednesday’s Eastern League All-Star Game in Manchester, N.H., but was unable to attend. Josh Satin (0-for-1, walk) and Valdespin (0-for-2) started for the East, which lost, 8-3.

• Satin has now reached base in 43 straight games with the B-Mets. His .322 average ranks fifth in the Eastern League, while his .421 on-base percentage trails only Portland’s Alex Hassan (.430).

• Buffalo designated hitter/first baseman Valentino Pascucci was named the International League hitter of the week. In five games since the All-Star break, Pascucci is hitting .381 with three homers and 11 RBIs.

Jose De La Torre made his first Buffalo appearance since May 3 on Tuesday, recording four outs but issuing three walks. The right-handed reliever had been out with a shoulder strain.

• St. Lucie, and rehabbing David Wright, faced Tim Teufel’s son Shawn on Saturday. The 25-year-old southpaw, a 25th-round pick last year out of Liberty University by the Detroit Tigers, suffered his first career Florida State League loss. He allowed three runs on five hits and a walk in five innings and now sports a 2.50 ERA in the league in 36 innings (14 appearances/two starts).

• Right-hander Brad Holt, the 33rd overall pick in 2008, who was bounced from the rotation to bullpen because of wildness, had a recent run of success out of the B-Mets pen. Holt retired 16 straight batters until the streak ended Monday when he allowed three runs in an inning. Still, Holt has not allowed a walk in his past four appearances spanning six innings. He had walked 50 through 67 innings this season.

• 2010 first-round pick Matt Harvey allowed two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out nine in five innings Monday at Portland. He is 0-2 with a 7.64 ERA through four Double-A starts.

• Thirteenth-round pick Robert Gsellman, a high school right-hander from California, made his professional debut Monday with a scoreless inning, with two strikeouts and two walks, in the Gulf Coast League. The Mets also signed ninth-round pick from Alex Panteliodis, a left-hander from the University of Florida. Panteliodis arrived with a hip injury the organization was aware of and will not pitch until next season.

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

Farm report: For Mazzoni, one and done

July, 13, 2011
7/13/11
2:42
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Right-hander Cory Mazzoni logged 114 2/3 innings for NC State during his junior season, nearly double any other member of the Wolfpack staff. So the Mets are being guarded with their second-round pick. While Mazzoni is pitching every fifth day with the Brooklyn Cyclones, he is being limited to one inning in relief of starter Carlos Vazquez.


Courtesy of Brooklyn Cyclones
Cory Mazzoni


Through two professional appearances, Mazzoni has limited opponents to one hit and two walks while striking out two in two innings.

“It’s been tough. I’m used to throwing six or seven or eight innings every week,” Mazzoni said. “And now I’m throwing one. I understand what their thinking is. It’s really not that bad. I’m getting used to it. I’m just looking forward to next year throwing a little bit more.”

The 21-year-old Mazzoni signed quickly, well ahead of the Aug. 15 deadline, receiving a reported $437,500. The reason for the swiftness?

“I got more money than I guess I could ever imagine,” Mazzoni said. “I just really wanted to play baseball. That’s something I’ve really been looking forward to for a long time. There was no reason for me to hold out. I just wanted to get started and get my feet wet and get situated.”

Mazzoni’s fastball touched 97 mph a few times in college, but he generally works in the 91-94 mph range. He also throws a curveball, slider and split-finger fastball.

Mazzoni had been a 26th-round pick of the Washington Nationals out of high school. The native of Evans City, Pa. -- near Pittsburgh -- had worked at Yankee Stadium and Nationals Park before that draft, but did not sign.

“The Yankees actually called me pretty early on the second day (of that draft). It just wasn’t something I was interested in,” Mazzoni said. “Washington then just drafted me to see if they could work something out.”

In retrospect, Mazzoni would not have traded the college experience.

As a sophomore, NC State reached the ACC tournament championship game. In an NCAA regional this year, with the Wolfpack facing elimination, Mazzoni earned the win, striking out 12 while limiting Georgia State to two runs and four hits in eight innings. He struck out 137 in 114 2/3 innings during his junior year -- the third-highest single-season total in school history. He walked only 29. Fifteen of his 16 starts lasted six or more innings.

“I really improved in college,” Mazzoni said. “I got a lot bigger, a lot stronger. I think I’m definitely more prepared for what I’m doing now than when I came out of high school. I don’t think it would have worked out as good as it is working out right now.”

It was assured entering this year’s regional that Mazzoni would pitch the second game. A year earlier, as a sophomore, with NC State facing elimination after dropping its regional opener against College of Charleston, the coaching staff took the calculated risk. The staff held back the ace Mazzoni for a potential third game against a more challenging opponent. Long Island’s Stony Brook University ended up beating NC State, which was ousted from the double-elimination tournament without its ace ever taking the mound. It was the first baseball regional win in Stony Brook history.

“They figured we could throw some freshmen and we’d be able to beat them, and that was our best chance to win the regional, which made sense,” Mazzoni said. “It didn’t happen to work out. And this year they pretty much told me, ‘No matter what, we’re pitching you the second game.’”

That’s ancient history now for Mazzoni, who was prepared for his New York-Penn League experience by quizzing former NC State teammate Jake Buchanan, an eighth-round pick of the Houston Astros last year, who made 14 starts for Tri-City in 2010.

“He told me what it was all about,” Mazzoni said. “I had a good idea what I was getting into.”

Organization leaders

Average: Juan Lagares, St. Lucie, .339; Cam Maron, Kingsport, .339; Julio Concepcion, Kingsport, .329; Nick Evans, Buffalo, .329; Greg Pron, Kingsport, .328; Josh Satin, Binghamton, .326; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, .319; Brandon Brown, Brooklyn, .319; Jeff Glenn, Kingsport, .315; Gilbert Gomez, GCL Mets, .302.

Homers: Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 15.

RBI: Josh Satin, Binghamton, 56; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 53; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 51; Val Pascucci, Buffalo, 50; Matt den Dekker, Binghamton, 45.

Steals: Jordany Valdespin, Binghamton, 29; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, 25; Matt den Dekker, Binghamton, 15.

ERA: Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 1.56; Marcos Camarena, Brooklyn, 1.86; Eduardo Aldama, Brooklyn, 2.35; Carlos Vazquez, Brooklyn, 2.55; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 2.63; Taylor Whitenton, Savannah, 2.69; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 2.98; Jeff Walters, Brooklyn, 3.04; Ryan Fraser, Savannah, 3.06; Todd Weldon, Brooklyn, 3.33.

Wins: Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 8; Greg Peavey, St. Lucie, 8; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 8; Angel Cuan, Savannah, 7.

Saves: Josh Edgin, St. Lucie, 18; Jeffrey Kaplan, St. Lucie, 10; Nick Carr, St. Lucie, 8; Hamilton Bennett, Savannah, 8.

Strikeouts: Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 106; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 100; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 96; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 86; Taylor Whitenton, Savannah, 81.

Short hops

• Right-hander Chris Schwinden (6-3, 3.07 ERA) is due to represent Buffalo in the Triple-A All-Star Game at Salt Lake City on Wednesday. Infielders Josh Satin (.326, 10 HR, 56 RBI) and Jordany Valdespin (.299, 10 HR, 39 RBI, 29 SB) and right-hander Jeurys Familia (2-2, 3.38 ERA) were selected to represent Binghamton in the Eastern League All-Star Game the same day in Manchester, N.H.

• 2010 first-round pick Matt Harvey recorded the final out of Sunday’s Futures Game in Phoenix to earn the save for the Mike Piazza-managed U.S. team. St. Lucie third baseman Jefry Marte struck out in his lone at-bat for the World team.

Miguel Batista, 40, is due to make his first start with the Mets organization on Thursday for Triple-A Buffalo against Rochester in an SNY-televised game, unless he is scratched to get a call-up to replace Francisco Rodriguez. Batista made one start apiece for the St. Louis Cardinals this season and the Washington Nationals last year, but had not regularly started since 2008 with the Seattle Mariners. His last minor league start came 11 years ago with Triple-A Omaha in the Kansas City Royals organization.

• Fifth-round pick Jack Leathersich had a resoundingly successful professional debut. Working in relief every fifth day for the Brooklyn Cyclones -- the same plan as for Mazzoni, to limit their innings -- Leathersich struck out the side Thursday against Vermont. The southpaw went 6-2 with a 1.62 ERA in 13 appearances (12 starts) for UMass Lowell his junior season before signing. He struck out 126 and walked 27 in 89 college innings this year. Seventh-round pick Cole Frenzel made his professional debut with the Cyclones two days later. Frenzel, a first baseman from the University of Arizona, had a two-hit debut Saturday. He went 3-for-12 in the weekend series against Connecticut.

• Fellow 2011 draft pick Danny Muno (eighth round, Fresno State) returned to shortstop for Brooklyn Thursday after missing 12 days with a right ring finger injury suffered doing pregame infield drills.

Edgar Ramirez returned to action with Binghamton Saturday after completing a 50-game suspension for testing positive for Methylhexaneamine. The 27-year-old right-hander is 0-2 with a 4.95 ERA in 10 appearances (two starts) spanning 20 innings for the B-Mets this season.

• Binghamton center fielder Matt den Dekker has lifted his average 56 points since July 4, to .235. Den Dekker has a five-game hitting streak and is hitting .345 (10-for-29) with six walks in his past eight games. He scored four times Sunday.

• Buffalo center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis may seek a second opinion during the All-Star break on his strained left shoulder before proceeding with surgery.

• Savannah catcher Albert Cordero is hitting .327 in 14 games since the South Atlantic League All-Star break. Add three walks and he has a .386 on-base percentage. Cordero hit .219 with a .248 on-base percentage and walked only three times in 45 games before the break.

Jose De La Torre continues to log innings as he returns from a shoulder strain. After five appearances in the Gulf Coast League, De La Torre surfaced with Brooklyn on Monday and tossed a scoreless inning, allowing one hit while striking out two. The 25-year-old right-hander had been 2-1 with a 1.42 ERA in nine early season appearances with Buffalo before being shut down following a May 3 appearance at Lehigh Valley.

• Brooklyn outfielder Javier Rodriguez lost an 11-game hitting streak Monday. After opening the season with Savannah, the 2008 second-round pick from Puerto Rico has hit .287 with three homers and 18 RBIs in 94 at-bats with the Cyclones.

• Catcher Blake Forsythe’s homer on July 5 was only Savannah’s sixth at home this season, and first since April 23. The Gnats, who play at Historic Grayson Stadium, which has spacious gaps, have 32 road homers this season.

• Catcher Dusty Ryan, who returned from surgery for a meniscus tear, is hitting .261 with a homer and three RBIs in seven games with Binghamton. He has caught five games and served as DH twice.

• First baseman Sam Honeck landed on the Savannah disabled list with a concussion.

• Right-hander Eric Beaulac, who had been out since a May 2 game with St. Lucie, was charged with five runs on one hit and four walks while recording only two outs in his return to action, in the Gulf Coast League on Tuesday. Kai Gronauer, who has been out at Binghamton since May 12 with a hamstring injury, started at catcher in the GCL game.

Adam Rubin's farm report appears Wednesday's during the regular season

Farm report: Gorski still perfect in FSL

June, 29, 2011
6/29/11
10:36
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Left-hander Darin Gorski’s 1.55 ERA not only is the best in the Florida State League, it leads by a wide margin. Former St. Lucie teammate Matt Harvey, already promoted to Double-A Binghamton, still qualifies innings-wise to rank No. 2 in the league, at 2.37. Palm Beach’s Joe Kelly ranks third at 2.59.


Courtesy of New York Mets
Darin Gorski


Gorski also is unbeaten at 6-0, while his 87 strikeouts rank third in the league, trailing only Clearwater’s Trevor May (108) and Harvey’s 92. The St. Lucie southpaw started the Florida State League’s All-Star game in Clearwater.

“It was a great honor,” Gorski said.

Not bad, especially considering the 23-year-old Gorski went 6-8 with a 4.58 ERA in 25 games (18 starts) at low-A Savannah in 2010.

“It’s great when you pitch with a little bit of confidence,” said Gorski, a seventh-round pick in 2009 out of Division II Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. “You get some good results and a little bit of confidence, it feels great. I’m very happy.”

As for the uptick in performance from last season in the South Atlantic League, Gorski said: “Consistency is the biggest thing. I’ve been working with the pitching coach here, Phil Regan, a lot. He helped me with some mechanical changes and just getting me more consistent with my off-speed pitches. It’s just translated into a lot of success from there.”

Gorski calls his slider “a work in progress.” As for the rest of his repertoire, he also likes to throw a changeup.

“The combination of those two have been progressing pretty well together,” said Gorski, whose fastball averages about 89 mph. “As far as the fastball goes, for me it was never really a big velocity thing. I’m not like one of those mid-90s guys. It’s more location when I’m throwing it. I’m not too worried about what the radar gun is reading, because it’s nowhere close to 95 mph. I just try to hit my spots and keep the ball down and pitch to contact basically.”

And yet, despite pitching to contact, Gorski does have the 87 strikeouts in 75 2/3 innings.

“Last year I had quite a few walks (43 in 114 innings), so one of the biggest things coming into this season for me was trying to not walk a lot of guys -- trying to induce contact and get ahead in the count,” said Gorski, who has walked 15 in 75 2/3 innings this season. “It’s a lot easier to pitch when you’re ahead in the count.”

Farm director Adam Wogan said Gorski has added some fastball velocity since he joined the organization. And although averaging 89 mph is not eye-popping, it is now at a level to work well in contrast to his other pitches.

Organization leaders

Average: Gregory Pron, Kingsport, .423; Juan Carlos Gamboa, GCL Mets, .407; Julio Concepcion, Kingsport, .382; Juan Lagares, St. Lucie, .344; Carlos Leyva, GCL Mets, .333; Nestor Moreno, Kingsport, .320; Cam Maron, Kingsport, .316; Josh Satin, Binghamton, .314; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, .309; Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Buffalo, .298.

Homers: Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 14; Lucas Duda, Buffalo, 10; Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 10.

RBI: Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 49; Josh Satin, Binghamton, 48; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 47; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 42; Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 40.

Steals: Jordany Valdespin, Binghamton, 22; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, 21; Matt den Dekker, Binghamton, 14; Darrell Ceciliani, Savannah, 12; Cesar Puello, St. Lucie, 12.

ERA: Miller Diaz, GCL Mets, 0.00; Ernesto Yanez, GCL Mets, 0.00; Hunter Carnevale, Brooklyn, 0.93; Jose De La Torre, GCL Mets, 1.42; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 1.55; Alberto Baldonado, GCL Mets, 1.80; Marcos Camarena, Brooklyn, 1.80; Edioglis Villasmil, GCL Mets, 1.80; Carlos Vazquez, Brooklyn, 1.88; Eduardo Aldama, Brooklyn, 2.45.

Wins: Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 8; Greg Peavey, St. Lucie, 7; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 6.

Saves: Josh Edgin, St. Lucie, 17; Jeffrey Kaplan, St. Lucie, 10; Nick Carr, St. Lucie, 8; Hamilton Bennett, Savannah, 6.

Strikeouts: Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 96; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 87; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 87; Taylor Whitenton, Savannah, 73.

Short hops

Nick Evans extended his hitting streak with Buffalo to 18 games Tuesday night. That is the longest active streak in the minors, matching Tony Abreu’s streak with Reno in the Pacific Coast League. Evans caught Abreu because Reno’s game was postponed Tuesday. In 13 games since returning to Triple-A after being designated for assignment, Evans has nine multi-hit games and is hitting .490 (24-for-49) with eight doubles, 12 RBIs and eight walks. In Bisons modern history, Evans’ 18-game hitting streak matches Brandon Phillips (2004), Jeromy Burnitz (1995) and Les Norman (1997) for eighth longest. The record is 28 straight games by Alex Ramirez in 1998.

• Right-hander Matt Harvey and third baseman Jefry Marte will represent the Mets at the Futures Game on July 10 at 6 p.m. ET at Chase Field in Arizona, two days before the All-Star Game. The event will be televised on ESPN2. Harvey, the organization’s 2010 first-round pick, struggled with his fastball command and was charged with four runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out four in 4 2/3 innings in his Double-A debut Sunday at Bowie. The 22-year-old UNC product went 8-2 with a 2.37 ERA in 14 Florida State League starts before the promotion. Marte, who turned 20 on June 21, is hitting .286 with five homers and 37 RBIs in 73 games with St. Lucie.

• Infielder Josh Satin became the first player in the Binghamton Mets’ 20-year history to hit for the cycle when he did so Friday at Bowie. Satin ranks seventh in the Eastern League with a .314 average and third in on-base percentage at .412.

• Buffalo outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis (.298, 6 HR) has been sidelined since June 9 because of an injury to his left, non-throwing shoulder. He was due to attempt dry swinging and may progress to light cage work.

Zach Lutz’s rough Triple-A season injury-wise continued when the corner infielder landed on the disabled list Tuesday with a concussion, four days after being struck in the head with a curveball. Lutz had returned to the Bisons on June 10 after missing seven weeks with a hamstring injury and then a broken left index finger. The fractured occurred when Lutz was struck with a foul ball in the dugout while already on the disabled list. Lutz’s concussion triggered the promotion of Jon Malo to the Bisons from Binghamton, and Travis Ozga from St. Lucie to Binghamton.

Ryota Igarashi has put together a stellar stretch of relief appearances for the Bisons. Since surrendering a walk-off homer at Gwinett on June 6, Igarashi has limited opponents to four hits and three walks while tossing 13 1/3 straight scoreless innings. He has struck out 11 during that span. The key for Igarashi has been fastball command. Igarashi has a tendency to get in trouble when the pitch drifts up in the zone.

• Buffalo middle infielder Luis Hernandez, whose average was sitting at .196 on June 5, is hitting .310 (22-for-71) with 15 RBIs in his past 19 games.

Rhiner Cruz has more or less settled into the closer’s role with Binghamton, succeeding Erik Turgeon. The B-Mets’ bullpen had struggled, particularly at the back end, since John Lujan had been promoted to Buffalo in early May. It has now somewhat stabilized with Cruz closing, and with Josh Stinson assigned to the pen from the Triple-A rotation and Brad Holt from the Double-A rotation. The B-Mets, in fact, have won three straight series for the first time this season. Roy Merritt, the lone lefty in the pen, had a spot start with Jeurys Familia missing a turn. Merritt allowed one run in five innings. Familia threw a side session and is scheduled to be reinserted into the rotation by early next week.

• B-Mets second baseman Reese Havens, who has been tormented by oblique problems, has been out since last Thursday with an unrelated injury that the organization has not disclosed, but which has been described as short term.

• Center fielder Matt den Dekker is hitting .212, with 14 strikeouts in 33 at-bats, in eight games since a promotion from St. Lucie to Binghamton. The defensively solid den Dekker’s promotion has allowed Raul Reyes to move to right field from center. That has diminished Eric Campbell’s playing time, with Brahiam Maldonado getting the majority of the starts in left field.

Joe Bonfe, a 21st-round pick in 2009, who has an advocate in Savannah hitting coach Benny Distefano, went 4-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored Monday as the Gnats put up a season-high 13 runs. Bonfe had only 77 at-bats in the first half, but is now seeing regular playing time in right field with teammates’ promotions to St. Lucie. A natural third baseman, he is boxed out there by the presence of Aderlin Rodriguez. Bonfe hit .326 with four homers and 28 RBIs in 270 at-bats with Brooklyn last season, also with Distefano as his hitting coach. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Bonfe can “run a little bit for is size,” according to Wogan.

Darrell Ceciliani returned from a three-day absence for an illness Tuesday in style with a ninth-inning two-run double in Savannah’s 5-3 win at Rome.

Rafael Fernandez, pushed off the St. Lucie roster because of outfield crowding, is seeing regular playing time with the Gnats and has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games. Fernandez is hitting .337 in June.

• Brooklyn left-hander T.J. Chism, a 32nd-round pick in 2009 out of La Salle, is 1-0 and 3-for-3 in save conversions in 6 2/3 scoreless innings for the Cyclones. Born in Phillies country, Chism has been particularly tough on lefty hitters, despite an average fastball. He combined to allow three runs (two earned) in 25 2/3 innings last season between Kingsport and Brooklyn.

• Right-hander Jose De La Torre pitched an inning in the Gulf Coast League on Tuesday as he works back from shoulder discomfort that dates to winter-ball activity in Puerto Rico. He went 3-2 with a 2.98 ERA in 36 relief appearances for Buffalo last season.

• N.C. State right-hander Cory Mazzoni, the Mets’ second-round pick earlier this month, should appear in a game with Brooklyn within a week, although his innings counts will be severely restricted.

• UCLA product Erik Goeddel, a right-hander, is on a throwing program in Port St. Lucie. He was shut down after a May 23 appearance with Savannah with a shoulder strain.

Adam Rubin's farm report appears Wednesdays during the season

Farm report: Muno gets Cyclone ride

June, 15, 2011
6/15/11
11:37
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Danny Muno crossed paths with Ike Davis back in 2008, on the home turf of Davis’ Arizona State Sun Devils in an NCAA Regional.

“He was an awesome player,” Muno recalled. “Just to be on the field with all of those No. 1 draft picks, it was pretty intimidating. Then we beat them. It was a big thrill just to beat them in their own park.”


Icon SMI
Danny Muno, who will be Brooklyn's shortstop, scores against Nebraska while playing for Fresno State on March 11.


The thrill did not end there. Fresno State, with Muno as its true freshman shortstop and leadoff hitter, won that regional, despite being the lowest-seeded team of the four programs assigned to that site. Fresno State eventually won the entire College World Series, too, and became national champs.

“That was the experience of a lifetime, definitely something I’m going to remember for the rest of my life,” said Munno, who was drafted in the eighth round by the Mets last week. “We were the lowest seed ever to win the College World Series.”

Now, Muno and Davis are on the same team -- or, at least they have the same employer. Muno will open the season Friday as the shortstop for Brooklyn, which opens the 2011 campaign at Staten Island, the New York-Penn League affiliate of the Yankees.

Muno, 22, also played second base, third base and in the outfield during college, but the Mets will let him try to prove himself as a shortstop before having him dabble elsewhere.

Muno -- a natural left-handed hitter -- picked up switch-hitting his sophomore year of college, after facing a ton of tough southpaws as a freshman when the program reached the College World Series.

“I faced [current Oriole] Brian Matusz and a couple of top draft picks my freshman year that were throwing lefty, and left-on-left,” Muno said. “It was a pretty tough battle. So I just decided to hit right-handed.”

One facet of Muno’s game certainly is compatible with the Mets’ new front office. By his junior season, Muno already had broken Fresno State’s career walk record. Muno was drafted in the 26th round by the Chicago Cubs after that junior season but decided to return to Fresno State for his senior year.

“Getting on base is a big part of my game, and scoring runs,” Muno said.

As for the College World Series, Muno and Fresno State never did return to Omaha his following three years. His sophomore year he ended up in a regional at Irvine, which was Baseball America’s No. 1 team. San Diego State, with Stephen Strasburg, also was assigned there.

“It was an upset,” Muno said about his freshman-year CWS title. “Going there as a freshman, you can’t really top that the next couple of years. Anything less than that is considered a disappointment, I guess, because you won it your first year and you want to win it all the rest of the years.”

Organization leaders

Average: Juan Lagares, St. Lucie, .326; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, .319; Matt den Dekker, St. Lucie, .304; Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Buffalo, .298; Cory Vaughn, Savannah, .297; Josh Satin, Binghamton, .292; Jesus Feliciano, Buffalo, .281; Jefry Marte, St. Lucie, .277; Michael Fisher, Buffalo, .275; Robbie Shields, Savannah, .274.

Homers: Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 12; Lucas Duda, Buffalo, 10; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 9; Josh Satin, Binghamton, 8; Stefan Welch, St. Lucie, 8.

RBI: Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 42; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 41; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 38; Josh Satin, Binghamton, 37; Matt den Dekker, St. Lucie, 36.

Steals: Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, 17; Jordany Valdespin, Binghamton, 15; Matt den Dekker, St. Lucie, 12; Darrell Ceciliani, Savannah, 11; Cesar Puello, St. Lucie, 11.

ERA: Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 1.72; Matt Harvey, St. Lucie, 2.44; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 2.49; Ryan Fraser, Savannah, 2.96; Greg Peavey, Savannah, 3.13; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 3.18; Gonzalez Germen, Savannah, 3.34; Brandon Moore, Binghamton, 3.92; Robert Carson, Binghamton, 4.08; Brad Holt, Binghamton, 4.26.

Wins: Matt Harvey, St. Lucie, 8; Greg Peavey, Savannah, 6; Angel Cuan, Savannah, 5; Gonzalez Germen, Savannah, 5; Brandon Moore, Binghamton, 5.

Saves: Josh Edgin, Savannah, 16; Jeffrey Kaplan, St. Lucie, 10; Nick Carr, St. Lucie, 6; John Lujan, Buffalo, 5; Erik Turgeon, Binghamton, 5.

Strikeouts: Matt Harvey, St. Lucie, 88; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 77; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 76; Gonzalez Germen, Savannah, 67; Taylor Whitenton, Savannah, 65.

Short hops

• The Mets’ two Class A full-season affiliates may both be headed to the postseason. Savannah clinched its first-half division title in the South Atlantic League on Tuesday night, freeing the organization to start making some promotions from that squad to St. Lucie within the next 24 hours -- even before Tuesday’s SAL All-Star game in Salisbury, Md. The All-Star Game had been scheduled to include right-handers Taylor Whitenton and Greg Peavey, left-handers Chase Huchingson and Josh Edgin, infielder Robbie Shields and right fielder Cory Vaughn, but is now expected to take at least a modest hit in terms of Mets representation. St. Lucie leads its Florida State League division by two games over Fort Myers and three over Jupiter with five to play in the half.

St. Lucie is not expected to make promotions to Double-A Binghamton before the completion of the half. As a result, 2010 first-round pick Matt Harvey is expected to make one more Florida State League start before joining the B-Mets. Center fielder Matt den Dekker’s promotion should wait a week, too. Harvey is 8-2 with a 2.44 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 70 innings with St. Lucie. The Florida State League has its All-Star game Saturday, before officially completing the first half with three more games next week. It is unlikely the Mets will allow Harvey to pitch in Saturday’s FSL All-Star Game and compromise his final St. Lucie start. Also selected with Harvey to represent the Mets in Clearwater, Fla., are fellow right-handers Scott Moviel and Jeffrey Kaplan, left-hander Darin Gorski and outfielders Pedro Zapata and den Dekker.

Savannah, which is a league-best 38-26 despite a slow start, has the SAL’s top ERA at 3.09. The Gnats clinched the division despite a .241 batting average, which is one point ahead of Augusta for worst in the 14-team league.

• The SAL All-Star Edgin, Savannah’s closer, has the league’s second-lowest batting average against among relievers at .135, trailing only Hagerstown’s Chris Manno (.117). Edgin, who is 16-for-17 in save opportunities, has converted 12 straight chances since his lone blemish April 26 at Delmarva. A 30th-round pick last year out of Francis Marion University by one of the Mets’ most accomplished scouts, Marlin McPhail, Edgin has not allowed an earned run since that blown save. In 16 straight scoreless appearances, he has tossed 20 2/3 run-free innings. Edgin began his college career at Ohio State before transferring to Francis Marion. He had fastball command and walk issues as a starter in college, but his control and velocity have improved as a professional while working exclusively in relief.

• Gorski, a seventh-round pick in 2009 out of Kutztown University, leads the Florida State League with a 1.72 ERA. Harvey ranks fifth.

• Brooklyn, managed by organization newcomer Rich Donnelly, opens its season Friday at Staten Island. Frank Viola is the pitching coach and ex-Mets farmhand Bobby Malek is the hitting coach. Donnelly coached third base for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006 and 2007, and had the same role with the Milwaukee Brewers the previous three seasons.

Four 2011 draftees will open with Brooklyn: outfielders Jonathan Clark (17th round, Lee University), Travis Taijeron (18th, Cal Poly Pomona) and Charley Thurber (39th, Tennessee) as well as Munno. Farm director Adam Wogan and then-minor league field coordinator Terry Collins a year ago resolved to now have most of the draftees begin in the Gulf Coast League rather than Brooklyn. That way, they could be monitored more closely at the team’s complex after having erratic workouts since their college seasons ended. Aside from the four Brooklyn assignments, Wogan said 21 draftees already are at the Florida complex and available for GCL duty when that season opens Monday, including second-round pick Cory Mazzoni, a right-hander from N.C. State.

• 2009 top pick Steve Matz, a left-hander from Long Island, will open his professional career in the Gulf Coast League but is not going to be ready for Monday’s Opening Day. Matz backed off throwing off a mound recently because of discomfort, possibly related to scar tissue, in his surgically repaired elbow. Matz underwent Tommy John surgery on May 18, 2010.

Eduardo Aldama, 21, is scheduled to start Friday’s Brooklyn opener against the Yankees. The Venezuelan right-hander went 2-3 with a 4.95 ERA in eight starts last season at rookie-level Kingsport. Other players assigned to the Cyclones include outfielder Javier Rodriguez, infielders Brian Harrison and Luke Stewart, right-handers Marco Camarena and Jeff Walters and left-handers Chris Hilliard and Carlos Vazquez.

• Buffalo right-hander Jose De La Torre, who had not appeared in a game since May 3 because of a shoulder strain, is scheduled to work in a rehab game on Monday for the first time since the injury.

• Savannah middle infielder Wilfredo Tovar lost a 12-game hitting streak in Tuesday’s clincher. It matched Shields’ streak from May 10-22 for the longest by a Gnat this season.

• Buffalo center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who had missed 10 days with a right shoulder injury suffered in a diving catch, returned for six games but is now out with a left shoulder strain. Nieuwenhuis (.298 BA, .403 OBP, 6 HR, 5 SB, 188 at-bats) suffered the more-recent injury on a swing. He also had an issue with the same shoulder last season, although this may be rotator-cuff related. Still, the Mets are hopeful Nieuwenhuis will return to the lineup soon.

• Buffalo’s Zach Lutz, a member of the 40-man roster, returned to the Bisons on Friday after missing seven weeks -- first with a hamstring injury, then because he was struck with a foul ball and broke the ring finger on his non-throwing hand while watching a game from the dugout while on the DL. Lutz primarily is playing third base, but also will DH and get some first-base time.

• St. Lucie third baseman Jefry Marte (.277, 5 HR, 30 RBI) was pulled from Tuesday’s game after getting hit in the hand by a pitch, but preliminary indications are the injury is not serious.

Nick Evans, who could have opted for free agency, instead will rejoin Buffalo on Thursday in Norfolk after a team off-day. Evans will get regular playing time between first base and corner outfield spots, and occasionally at third base.

• Binghamton manager Wally Backman was ejected from consecutive games Friday and Saturday, although he appeared to have legitimate beefs with the umpiring crew. In the latter instance, Trenton took the lead on what was ruled a double, although the shot appeared to be a foot foul. The same crew has tossed pitching coach Marc Valdes, slugger Brahiam Maldonado and infielder Jordany Valdespin this season.

• Second baseman Reese Havens is hitting .259 with two homers in 15 games since joining the B-Mets. Observers say his swing looks smoother than last season, which may make it easier on his previously troublesome oblique.

• Binghamton left-hander Robert Carson had experienced forearm stiffness, but has been throwing on the side and shoulder reenter the rotation this weekend at home against Trenton. That may bump Collin McHugh to the B-Mets’ bullpen. Carson (1-7, 4.08 ERA) last appeared May 31. Also on the injury front, Savannah hard-throwing reliever Luis Rojas, who has been out since May 25, is nearing a return from a shoulder strain.

Adam Rubin’s farm report appears Wednesdays during the season

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187