New York Mets: Kevin Towers

Series preview: Mets vs. D-backs

May, 23, 2014
5/23/14
9:41
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Getty ImagesThe Mets are due to face Chase Anderson, Josh Collmenter and Bronson Arroyo this weekend.
METS (21-25, fourth place/NL East) vs. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (18-31, fifth place/NL West)

Friday: RHP Bartolo Colon (3-5, 5.34) vs. RHP Chase Anderson (2-0, 5.06), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Zack Wheeler (1-4, 4.53) vs. RHP Josh Collmenter (2-2, 4.02), 4:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Rafael Montero (0-2, 6.97) vs. RHP Bronson Arroyo (4-3, 4.45), 1:10 p.m. ET

Diamondbacks short hops

• Tony La Russa, who is due to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 27, was hired as the team’s chief baseball officer last Saturday. He last was affiliated with a team in 2011, when he managed the St. Louis Cardinals to a World Series title. La Russa more recently worked with commissioner Bud Selig, including on implementing the new instant-replay and plate-collision guidelines. La Russa has final say on all baseball matters, which means longtime GM Kevin Towers has been stripped of considerable power.


Rick Scuteri/USA TODAY SportsTony La Russa has taken over as D-backs chief baseball officer.


“Until I really get more time to sit down with Tony to really find out structure, process, reporting and job responsibilities, I’m taking the high road and looking at this as hopefully a good thing for the organization,” Towers told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “I certainly don’t want to be a pseudo-GM. The front office role will be new to him, and I’m hoping I can help him in ways too, like with the daily calendar and what’s important come June and July.”

• Right-hander Chase Anderson’s third major-league start comes against the Mets. He debuted May 11, limiting the Chicago White Sox to one run on two hits and a walk while striking out six in 5 1/3 innings. Bullpen coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. told the Arizona Republic that Anderson has the best changeup in their system. The 26-year-old Anderson, a ninth-round pick in 2009 from the University of Oklahoma, had been 4-2 with a 0.69 ERA and 0.718 WHIP in six starts at Double-A Mobile. He logged only 205 1/3 innings from 2011 through ’13 because of elbow troubles, which also prompted the organization to convert him to a reliever to close last season in Triple-A. Anderson had a 6.52 ERA in 13 relief appearances and reverted to starting this year.

• The Mets are seeing the reigning co-NL Players of the Week in consecutive series. Yasiel Puig has departed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but fellow winner A.J. Pollock now arrives at Citi Field with the D-backs. Pollock, a center fielder, hit .500 (11-for-22) with two homers last week.

• Left fielder Mark Trumbo, who was acquired during the offseason from the Los Angeles Angels, has been sidelined since April 21 with a stress fracture in his left foot. Trumbo had been hitting .210 with seven homers and 19 RBIs in 81 at-bats. Righty-hitting Cody Ross primarily has played the position in Trumbo’s absence, with lefty-hitting rookie Ender Inciarte also seeing some action in left field.

Didi Gregorius, the expendable shortstop for the D-backs, is hitting .296 with three homers, 20 RBIs and a .386 on-base percentage in 186 at-bats with Triple-A Reno. Chris Owings, who beat out Gregorius for the D-backs’ shortstop job, is hitting .275 with two homers and seven RBIs in 142 at-bats. Gregorius has appeared in 30 games at second base and 18 games at shortstop in the Pacific Coast League this season as the D-backs try to increase his versatility in case they retain him.

• Ex-Met Oliver Perez has a 1.26 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings over his past 15 appearances.

• First baseman Paul Goldschmidt’s 33 RBIs rank fifth in the National League. His .315 average is 10th. Goldschmidt hit a 437-foot homer against Shaun Marcum last season at Citi Field.

• After opening the season in the bullpen, Josh Collmenter entered the rotation April 14 to face the Mets in Phoenix. He allowed three runs in four innings. Collmenter swapped roles with Randall Delgado, who had allowed nine runs in 7 1/3 innings over a pair of early season starts.

Bronson Arroyo signed a two-year, $23.5 million contract with the D-backs on Feb. 7. The deal includes an $11 million team option for 2016 or $4.5 million buyout. Arroyo, 37, has reached the 200-inning plateau eight of the past nine years. The exception: 2011 with the Cincinnati Reds, when he was one inning shy. The Mets battered Arroyo for nine runs in 3 1/3 innings on April 15 at Chase Field. Kirk Nieuwenhuis delivered a two-run homer.

• Second baseman Aaron Hill returned Wednesday after missing three games with a sore shoulder.

• Third baseman Martin Prado departed Sunday’s game with a blurry left eye, but was prescribed medicine and did not miss a start.

D-backs covet young catcher for extra SS

February, 26, 2014
2/26/14
8:58
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Getty ImagesLike the Mariners, the Diamondbacks have two MLB-ready shortstops: Chris Owings and Didi Gregorius.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- While the trade attention has been on a potential match for the Mets in Seattle middle infielder Nick Franklin, the Arizona Diamondbacks also have an extra shortstop.

Will Arizona trade either Chris Owings or Didi Gregorius during spring training?

"It's been pretty quiet of late," Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers told Nick Piecoro in the Arizona Republic. "With Stephen Drew still out there right now, I haven't had much trade discussions."

The industry scuttlebutt is that Towers would drive a hard bargain with the Mets because of a less-than-harmonious experience working for Sandy Alderson with the San Diego Padres.

"For us, it would have to be the right deal," Towers told Piecoro about the possibility of trading a shortstop. "Our biggest needs in our system are catching -- if it's the right, top-notch catching prospect, someone we could have right behind Miggy [Miguel Montero]. More of an upper-level guy. Maybe a top, upper-end starter. We have a lot of bullpen depth, infielders. Maybe an outfielder, but probably more catching and Double-A, Triple-A type starter."

Owings, 22, hit .291 with five RBIs in 55 at-bats last season after making his major league debut Sept. 3.

Gregorius, 24, hit .252 with seven homers and 28 RBIs in 357 at-bats in 2013. He was acquired by the D-backs from the Cincinnati Reds on Dec. 11, 2012 in a three-team deal that included the Cleveland Indians sending Shin-Soo Choo to Cincy.

Series preview: Mets vs. Diamondbacks

May, 3, 2012
5/03/12
11:50
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Getty Images
The Mets face three starters for the first time this weekend: (l to r) Wade Miley, Patrick Corbin and Trevor Cahill.
METS (13-12, third place/NL East) vs. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (13-13, second place/NL West)

Friday: RHP Dillon Gee (2-2, 4.85) vs. LHP Wade Miley (3-0, 1.29), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: LHP Johan Santana (0-2, 2.25) vs. LHP Patrick Corbin (1-1, 4.76), 4:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP R.A. Dickey (3-1, 4.45) vs. RHP Trevor Cahill (2-2, 3.13), 1:05 p.m. ET

Diamondbacks short hops

• Left-hander Wade Miley topped the Mets’ Kirk Nieuwenhuis for the NL Rookie of the Month honor for April, which was announced Wednesday. Miley, 25, limited opponents to a .133 average with seven walks and 15 strikeouts in 21 innings spanning five appearances (two starts). He became the third Diamondbacks player to be recognized since the monthly award’s inception in 2001, joining Gerardo Parra (May 2009) and Daniel Hudson (August 2010). Miley originally pitched in relief of shaky Josh Collmenter’s starts, logging as much as four innings an appearance. The southpaw entered the rotation when Hudson landed on the DL with a shoulder impingement. Hudson is due to throw a bullpen session for the first time early next week at Chase Field.

• Center fielder Chris Young has been on the DL since April 18 with a right shoulder injury. An MRI revealed a small tear of the ligament in the AC joint as well as a severe bruise. He has started swinging in a cage. GM Kevin Towers reportedly watched Vladimir Guerrero work out in the Dominican Republic on Monday, but there is no firm resolve to sign the veteran with Young’s absence not expected to be prolonged. Righty-hitting rookie A.J. Pollock (.120) and lefty-hitting Parra (.256) have been sharing center-field duty in Young’s absence. Pollock is a native of Hebron, Conn. He attended Notre Dame, where he was the Irish’s first MVP in consecutive seasons since Aaron Heilman in 2000 and ’01.


Lynne Sladky/Associated Press
Ex-Met J.J. Putz blew his second save of the season Wednesday, at D.C.


• Shortstop Stephen Drew began game action Monday in a minor league intrasquad game as he works back from surgery to repair a right ankle fracture he suffered last July 20 sliding on a play at the plate. John McDonald and Willie Bloomquist have shared the shortstop role minus Drew. Collectively, they have committed only two errors. McDonald’s homer on April 17 against the Pittsburgh Pirates was his first since last May 11 against the Boston Red Sox. He had been acquired with Aaron Hill from the Toronto Blue Jays last Aug. 23 for Kelly Johnson.

• Left fielder Jason Kubel signed a two-year, $16 million contract as a free agent on Dec. 12 that includes a team option for 2014. Thursday’s 0-for-4 night at Washington interrupted a streak in which the ex-Twin had hit safely in 13 of 14 games (.393, 22-for-56). Kubel leads major league outfielders in assists with six. During his Twins tenure, he had split time nearly evenly between the outfield and DH.

• Third baseman Ryan Roberts’ struggles at the plate and in field have opened the door for Cody Ransom to chip away at his playing time at the hot corner. Despite singling in three at-bats Thursday, Roberts is in a 3-for-34 rut and is hitting .167 this season. Ransom has started seven of the Diamondbacks’ past 11 games at third base.

• Syracuse-area native Patrick Corbin makes his second major league start Saturday. He won his major league debut, 9-5, at Miami on April 30, allowing three earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. Corbin was selected for the call-up over top-rated prospects Tyler Skaggs (No. 3 Baseball America) and Trevor Bauer (No. 1). Corbin supplanted the ineffective Collmenter (0-2, 9.82 ERA in four starts) in the rotation. Collmenter has moved to the bullpen, but has yet to appear in that role. Corbin had been 2-0 with a 1.67 ERA at Double-A Mobile before the promotion. He was acquired with left-hander Joe Saunders and Skaggs from the Los Angeles Angels in the July 25, 2010 trade for right-hander Dan Haren.

• Right-hander Trevor Cahill arrived from Oakland during the offseason along with left-hander Craig Breslow and cash for right-handers Jarrod Parker and Ryan Cook and outfielder Collin Cowgill.

• Hill has reached base safely in 20 straight games. His 74 homers trail only Dan Uggla and Robinson Cano for the most long balls by a second baseman since 2009.

• Ex-Met J.J. Putz had a 28-game save streak snapped April 14 at Colorado. He blew his second save chance of the season Wednesday at Washington. Putz surrendered a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth to Ian Desmond.

• Catcher Miguel Montero has thrown out seven of 14 would-be base stealers. He is backed up behind the plate by ex-Met Henry Blanco.

Matchups

Gee vs. Diamondbacks (career: 1-1, 4.91 ERA)
Paul Goldschmidt 1.000, 1 PA
Cody Ransom .500, 2 RBI, 2 PA
Justin Upton .400, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 6 PA
Miguel Montero .200, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K, 5 PA
Gerardo Parra .200, 1 RBI, 1 K, 5 PA
Lyle Overbay .167, 6 PA
Ryan Roberts .167, 1 RBI, 6 PA

Santana vs. Diamondbacks (career: 2-0, 0.62 ERA)
Miguel Montero .333, 1 K, 3 PA
Jason Kubel .333, 1 RBI, 3 PA
Justin Upton .250, 2 BB, 3 K, 6 PA
Willie Bloomquist .214, 1 RBI, 1 K, 14 PA
Henry Blanco .125, 1 BB, 3 K, 9 PA
Aaron Hill .111, 1 RBI, 1 K, 9 PA
Lyle Overbay .091, 2 BB, 8 K, 13 PA
John McDonald .077, 1 BB, 2 K, 14 PA

Dickey vs. Diamondbacks (career: 0-1, 3.86 ERA)
John McDonald 1.000, 2 PA
Jason Kubel .600, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 5 PA
Willie Bloomquist .571, 2 RBI, 7 PA
Gerardo Parra .500, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 3 PA
Aaron Hill .500, 1 RBI, 2 PA
Justin Upton .250, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K, 4 PA
Lyle Overbay .071, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 16 PA
Henry Blanco .000, 1 K, 2 PA
Cody Ransom .000, 1 K, 2 PA

Miley vs. Mets (career: never faced)

Corbin vs. Mets (career: never faced)

Cahill vs. Mets (career: never faced)
Andres Torres .222, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 10 PA

Last series results

Arizona won, 3-0, at Chase Field, Aug. 12-14, 2011 (AP game recaps)

Diamondbacks 4, Mets 3: Ian Kennedy won his seventh straight start to become the National League's second 15-game winner. Kennedy (15-3) allowed a run on six hits in seven innings to tie Philadelphia's Roy Halladay for the most wins in the NL. Justin Upton homered, Cody Ransom doubled in two runs and Kennedy helped himself with an RBI double as Arizona pulled two games ahead of second-place San Francisco. Jason Bay went 3-for-4 with a double and RBI single in the Mets' third straight loss and ninth in 12 games. Arizona first baseman/outfielder Xavier Nady's left hand was broken when he was hit by a pitch from Dillon Gee in the second inning.

Diamondbacks 6, Mets 4: Ryan Roberts hit a three-run homer and the Diamondbacks came from behind to win for the 33rd time this season. Daniel Hudson (12-8) allowed four runs (two earned) on eight hits in eight innings. Hudson also had a run-scoring single, his 13th RBI of the year. J.J. Putz pitched a scoreless ninth for his 29th save in 33 attempts. Mike Pelfrey was hit by a line drive off the bat of Gerardo Parra leading off the fifth inning and had to leave the game with a bruised right elbow. His team led 4-2 at the time. Reliever D.J. Carrasco (1-3) came on to hit Willie Bloomquist, then Roberts followed with his 16th home run of the season on the first pitch he saw.

Diamondbacks 5, Mets 3: Justin Upton homered, Paul Goldschmidt doubled twice and Arizona earned its sixth consecutive win. Diamondbacks starter Jason Marquis, acquired in a July 30 trade from Washington, was hit on the right shin by a line drive in the third and left the game one inning later with a broken shinbone. Goldschmidt doubled and scored on Henry Blanco's double to give Arizona a 4-3 lead in the sixth inning. Zach Duke (3-4), who came on in relief of Marquis, allowed two runs and four hits over 2 2/3 innings and David Hernandez pitched the ninth for his 11th save. Chris Capuano (9-11) allowed four runs and nine hits over six innings.

Omar to Arizona?

November, 19, 2010
11/19/10
2:41
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The Arizona Diamondbacks have offered Omar Minaya a position as a special assistant to GM Kevin Towers, although Minaya has not yet decided, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The former Mets GM is due to be paid roughly $1.1 million a year through 2012 by the Mets.

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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