New York Mets: Kirk Nieuwenhuis
Here are some recent tweets:
Off to Los Gatos for the wedding weekend! Excited to finally be Mr and Mrs w/ @KellyShepardson I guess she's gonna have to change her handle— Anthony Recker (@Anthony_Recker) October 31, 2013
Excited to go see my boys @JoshSatin and Kirk Nieuwenhuis get married next week.— Ike Davis (@Iked29) October 29, 2013
• LaTroy Hawkins, right-handed reliever. Hawkins appears the most likely to be re-signed, even though he will be 41 years old next season. He was productive stepping into the closer’s role after Bobby Parnell's injury, while dialing his fastball up to 95 mph.
• Daisuke Matsuzaka and Aaron Harang, right-handed starters. Terry Collins liked Dice-K, so perhaps it is not out of the realm of possibility to re-sign him as a fifth-starter competitor who would allow Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom to open the season in the minors. For that matter, Harang fits that profile, too.
• Tim Byrdak and Pedro Feliciano, left-handed relievers. Both returned from shoulder injuries after missing substantial time. It likely is time for the Mets to move on from both, but their careers do not appear over yet.
• David Aardsma, right-handed reliever. Productive, although he wilted with too much use. Aardsma could be useful to re-sign if the price is right.
• Frank Francisco, right-handed reliever. The ex-closer collected $6.5 million this season while mostly nursing a sore elbow and irking Mets officials. No chance he returns.
• Johan Santana, left-handed starter. The one-time ace wants to pitch again after undergoing a second surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder. If he is capable, he very likely would sign elsewhere. The best news: Santana's $31 million owed in 2013, including a buyout of next season, comes off the books.
Signed to contracts
• Jonathon Niese, left-handed starter. After missing nearly two months with a rotator cuff strain, Niese finished strongly and should help anchor the 2014 rotation. His salary jumps to $5 million next season, up from $3 million this year.
• David Wright, third baseman. The captain sees a major salary bump. Wright will earn $20 million in 2014 -- a raise of $9 million.
• Ike Davis and Lucas Duda, first basemen. It is likely one gets traded, although there is a slim chance Duda opens the season at Triple-A with Davis at Citi Field. Davis made $3.125 million this year and could receive an ever-so-slight pay cut. The Mets insist he will not be non-tendered. Duda, first-time eligible for arbitration, likely only makes $700,000 or $800,000 in 2014.
• Parnell, closer. Doctors assure Collins that Parnell will be fine for spring training after undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck, but the manager is concerned. Vic Black would be the alternative. Parnell’s salary should creep upward after he earned $1.7 million while converting 22 of 26 save chances.
• Dillon Gee, right-handed starter. Gee missed 200 innings by one frame. He will be first-time eligible for arbitration.
• Daniel Murphy, second baseman. ESPNNewYork.com hears the Mets will listen on offers for Murphy, but the best bet is he is the Opening Day second baseman. Murphy is due to get another raise after earning $2.925 million this season.
• Ruben Tejada, shortstop. After the broken leg mends, Tejada needs to seriously demonstrate his work ethic to the organization. Still, that may not be enough if the Mets can find the right external shortstop addition.
• Justin Turner, infielder. The best bet is that he serves as a backup infielder again next season.
• Eric Young Jr., outfielder/second baseman. The Mets recognize they need his speed in the lineup. So Young should be in the starting lineup somewhere next season, whether that’s in the outfield or at second base.
• Scott Atchison, right-handed reliever. Believe it or not, while Atchison is 37 years old, he does not have enough MLB service time to be eligible for free agency. He is a definite non-tender candidate in December.
• Mike Baxter, outfielder. Baxter should be arbitration eligible as a Super 2. Regardless, his 40-man roster spot appears in jeopardy. That does not preclude Baxter from being re-signed to a minor league deal. The 2013 Baxter, who hit .189, did not resemble the 2012 Baxter. The Mets believe the shoulder injury suffered in Santana's no-hitter may have hurt Baxter's swing.
• Omar Quintanilla, shortstop. The Mets view Q as a backup, not a full-time player.
• Matt Harvey, right-handed starter. The question remains: Tommy John surgery or no Tommy John surgery? Harvey should be airing it out in about six weeks, perhaps in the Arizona Fall League, to see whether the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow will hold up.
• Zack Wheeler, right-handed starter. Wheeler should be good for 200 innings in 2014.
• Black, right-handed reliever. If Parnell is not ready to close because of a slow recovery from surgery, the hard-throwing Black is the primary alternative. Otherwise, Black projects as handling the eighth inning next season.
• Travis d’Arnaud, catcher. He’s the guy behind the plate, but needs to shorten his swing after hitting .202 in his first major league season.
• Juan Lagares and Matt den Dekker, center fielders. Lagares had a franchise-rookie-record 15 outfield assists and is very likely the full-time center fielder in 2014, even with some offensive difficulties. Den Dekker is just as likely to open next season in Triple-A. The Mets do not plan to platoon Lagares and den Dekker in the majors -- not in April, anyway.
• Josh Edgin and Scott Rice, left-handed relievers. Both are coming off surgeries. The Mets need to find a lefty from outside the organization they can trust, but Rice and Edgin could be useful complements.
• Jeurys Familia and Gonzalez Germen, right-handed relievers. Both should vie for a bullpen role in 2014.
• Jeremy Hefner, right-handed starter. Hefner will miss most, if not all, of 2014 recovering from Tommy John surgery.
• Anthony Recker, catcher. After a nearly full season in the majors, Recker could find himself in Triple-A in 2014. Sandy Alderson has suggested he needs to find a veteran catcher in case d’Arnaud’s injury propensity continues.
• Josh Satin, infielder. A year after being taken off the 40-man roster and clearing waivers, Satin is now viewed as a valuable righty bat for the bench who can get on base. Look for him to have a backup role in 2014.
• Carlos Torres, right-handed starter/reliever. Torres would appear to have a legitimate shot as the long reliever/spot starter.
• Jordany Valdespin, infielder. The Biogenesis suspension is his latest baggage. It would be surprising if he makes it to spring training as a Met.
• Greg Burke, Robert Carson and Sean Henn, relievers. If they survive the winter on the 40-man roster, they look Triple-A bound.
• Andrew Brown, Juan Centeno, Wilmer Flores, Zach Lutz and Wilfredo Tovar, 51s. Centeno and Recker could be the Triple-A catchers. Flores likely is ticketed for Las Vegas, according to Collins, if the infielder is not going to be a starter at the major league level. Lutz and Tovar probably open next season in the minors, too. Brown’s 40-man roster spot is an open question.
• Jenrry Mejia, right-handed starter. Mejia showed flashes as a starting pitcher before surgery to clean out his right elbow. He is a logical fifth-starter competitor in spring training.
• Kirk Nieuwenhuis, outfielder. Getting snubbed for a September call-up does not bode well for Nieuwenhuis’ future with the organization.
Harang, the ex-Seattle Mariners right-hander, just pitched six innings in Saturday's Pacific Coast League playoff game. The Mets likely are eyeing next Saturday's doubleheader at Citi Field for a Harang start.
The initial plan, according to team insiders, also was to promote Ruben Tejada, third catcher Juan Centeno and Mike Baxter. Team sources believed those largely may be off the table now, for whatever reason.
Mets officials already planned to snub Robert Carson and Kirk Nieuwenhuis, a source told ESPNNewYork.com.
Tejada may be promoted later, but there was conflicting information. Waiting until Tuesday does delay his free agency by a year because of MLB service time calculations.
Passing over Tejada would be particularly surprising and a major snub. Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson recently had mentioned him as an intended September call-up. Mets officials also had mentioned calling up a third catcher during the final month. Baxter would have qualified for Super 2 status with a call-up.
The Mets confirmed Burke's call-up postgame Saturday. Harang presumably will wait to be added until his start is required.
TRENTON 2, BINGHAMTON 1: The B-Mets mustered only two hits and head back to Binghamton trailing two games to none in the best-of-five series. The B-Mets repeatedly
Josh Rodriguez put an end to Binghamton’s frustrations in the fifth. After working the count full against O’Brien, Rodriguez homered to even the score at 1. It was Rodriguez’s first homer since July 6. B-Mets starter Darin Gorski preserved the 1-all tie into the seventh. Mason Williams then singled. With two outs and a full count, Ali Castillo doubled as Trenton took a 2-1 lead. Rodriguez’s homer proved to be Binghamton’s final hit. Gorski (0-1) allowed two runs on seven hits over seven innings. Adam Kolarek contributed a perfect eighth in the loss. Facing elimination, the B-Mets continue the Eastern Division Championship Series against the Thunder on Friday at NYSEG Stadium. Right-hander Logan Verrett opposes Trenton right-hander Shane Greene. The two hits were the second fewest ever for the B-Mets in a postseason game. They had one on Sept. 8, 2004 at New Hampshire. Binghamton has left 21 runners on base in the opening two games of this series. Box
Compiled from team reports
BINGHAMTON 7, BOWIE 4: Starter Mark Cohoon's outing ended after two scoreless innings because of a rain delay. Box
ST. LUCIE 2, CHARLOTTE 1 (10 innings): Rylan Sandoval's sacrifice fly scored Cam Maron in the bottom of the 10th for the walk-off win. Starter Hansel Robles allowed one run on three hits and three walks in eight innings. Randy Fontanez (9-7) earned the win with two no-hit relief innings. St. Lucie remains mathematically alive for a postseason berth with four games remaining, but faces near-impossible odds because the two teams ahead of the Mets in the division finish the season playing head-to-head. Box
ROME 4, SAVANNAH 1: Starter Julian Hilario (7-7) allowed three runs on nine hits and and three walks in five innings. Box
KINGSPORT 7, BLUEFIELD 6 (10 innings): Jeyckol De Leon delivered his third walk-off hit of the season, this time scoring Yeixon Ruiz in the 10th. Combined Johnson City's loss
Bluefield jumped to a 4-1 lead by having more success against Rob Whalen than arguably any Appy League team to date. A wild bottom of the seventh then got the K-Mets back into the game. Kingsport scored five runs on three hits in that inning, and benefited from three consecutive errors by the Jays. Bluefield forced extra innings thanks to Franklin Barreto's two-out, two-run double in the ninth against Ricardo Jacquez. Kingsport broke through in the 10th. After Ruiz's infield single, Jeff McNeil's line single advanced him to third. An intentional walk to the newest K-Met position player, 2013 first-round draft pick Dominic Smith, loaded the bases for De Leon, whose flare single to right scored Ruiz with the decisive run. McNeil went 4-for-6. Ruiz, the only K-Met to make the Appalachian League All-Star team, had two hits and scored twice. Smith walked twice off the bench in his K-Mets debut. Box
BROOKLYN 1, TRI-CITY 0: John Gant tossed a one-hit shutout and faced the minimum 27 batters as Brooklyn moved into first place. It marked only the fourth time in Cyclones history that a starting pitcher went nine innings. The last to do so was Hansel Robles against Hudson Valley on Sept. 7, 2012, in Game 1 of the NYPL semifinals. Gant needed 91 pitches to complete his gem. The lone run came in the fifth. Anthony Chavez singled to lead off and moved to second on Kyle Westwood's errant pickoff throw. Eris Peguero then squared to sacrifice Chavez to third, but his bunt went directly down the third-base line for a hit. With men on the corners and nobody out, Gavin Cecchini grounded into a fielder's choice, scoring Chavez and giving the Cyclones a 1-0 lead. With Aberdeen's loss to Lowell, Brooklyn has a half-game division lead with seven games remaining in the regular season. Box
GCL MARLINS 3, GCL METS 2: Starter Craig Missigman (0-4) allowed three runs in five innings. Christian Montgomery tossed three scoreless relief innings. Box
Compiled from team reports
BINGHAMTON 3, BOWIE 2: The B-Mets packed their runs into the second inning and held on for a franchise-record 83rd win. Jeff Walters notched his 37th save, displacing Tim Lavigne for the B-Mets' career record. The Baysox opened the scoring in the first inning.
ST. LUCIE 4, CHARLOTTE 2: Rylan Sandoval had an RBI double in the first inning and T.J. Rivera and Kevin Plawecki had run-scoring singles in the second as St. Lucie built a 4-1 lead. Starter Angel Cuan (8-3) allowed two runs in six innings. Cody Satterwhite and T.J. Chism combined for three scoreless relief innings. Chism earned his 19th save. Box
ROME 14, SAVANNAH 1: Starter Marco Camarena was charged with eight runs in four innings. Reliever Wanel Mesa allowed six runs in two innings. Box
KINGSPORT 5, PULASKI 3: The K-Mets overcame a three-run deficit, evening the score in the fifth on Victor Cruzado's RBI single and taking the lead an inning later on Pedro Perez's run-scoring triple. Alberto Baldonado and Robert Coles combined for three no-hit relief innings. Box
TRI-CITY 5, BROOKLYN 3 (16 innings): L.J. Mazzilli's eighth-inning homer evened the score at 3 and forced extra innings, but the Cyclones ultimately lost the marathon. Cristian Chivilli surrendered two runs in the top of the 16th, after walking and hitting with a pitch the first two batters of the inning. Gavin Cecchini, Mazzilli and Jared King consecutively struck out in the bottom half. Box
GCL CARDINALS 11, GCL METS 6: Frank Francisco tossed a scoreless inning, albeit allowing two hits, in his third Gulf Coast League game in six days. Reliever Ramon Estevez was charged with four runs without recording an out as the Mets failed to hold a two-run lead in the eighth. Gaither Bumgardner was charged with another four runs in the ninth. Dominic Smith drove in two runs in the loss. Box
Compiled from team reports
Rich Schultz/Getty ImagesMatt Harvey may be lost for the 2014 season with a torn UCL in his right elbow.
FIRST PITCH: The Mets had waited for three years for contracts to expire, and presumably now are poised to reenter free agency in a meaningful way at a time when the young nucleus of starting pitching is ready to contribute.
But the optimism about 2014 being the year the Mets announce their return to contention has been tempered by this sobering news: An MRI on Monday revealed Matt Harvey has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
Harvey will wait two to three weeks for inflammation to subside before making a decision, but there is a distinct possibility the ace will require Tommy John surgery that would prompt him to miss most, if not all, of next season as well.
Harvey acknowledged he had been seeking treatment for forearm tightness for a month or two. Sandy Alderson indicated the organization had been satisfied the elbow ligaments were structurally sound. The GM described the injury as somewhat inevitable, suggesting even with innings caps and prudence “there’s no safe harbor” to prevent ligament tears.
Terry Collins had expressed concern throughout the season that Harvey’s full-throttle, upper-90s fastball from wire-to-wire during outings might end up costly. The manager had implored the ace to dial it back at points during games and be content with coaxing groundouts with low-90s fastballs.
So now what? Certainly resources that could have gone to bats during the offseason might need to be diverted to signing another starting pitcher. Or, perhaps, a young pitcher the Mets might have entertained trading for a bat now must be retained because of the potential loss of Harvey for the entire 2014 season.
According to J.B. Kurtz of ESPN Stats & Information, four pitchers since 2010 have landed on the disabled list with some type of UCL tear: Jose Contreras, Danny Duffy, Jorge De La Rosa and Stephen Strasburg. The quickest to return to major league action was Contreras. His absence: 11 months, 3 days.
Harvey's 0.93 WHIP would rank second in major history for an age 24 or younger season in the live-ball era (since 1920), according to ESPN Stats & Information. The only better: Denny McLain, who had a 0.91 WHIP while winning the Cy Young in 1968. Nos. 3, 4 and 5 also won Cy Youngs: Vida Blue (0.95, 1971), Roger Clemens (0.97, 1986) and Dwight Gooden (0.97, 1985). McLain, Blue and Clemens also were named league MVP.
Harvey's 95.8 mph average fastball velocity ranks first in the majors, as does his 89.7 mph slider.
For now, Carlos Torres steps into the rotation, beginning with Harvey’s next turn, in Thursday’s matinee series finale against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Tonight, Jonathon Niese (5-6, 4.03 ERA) opposes right-hander Kyle Kendrick (10-10, 4.51) at 7:10 in Game 2 of the four-game series.
Stayed tuned for more news, too. Sources said the Mets plan to promote Robert Carson, Matt den Dekker and possibly Anthony Recker today. Since only Harvey is known headed to the DL, a trade appears looming.
Tuesday’s news reports:
• Columnist Ian O’Connor at ESPNNewYork.com writes about his wife’s reaction to the Harvey news.
Writes columnist Bob Klapisch in the Record:
There are a million questions trailing in his wake, starting with the Mets’ passive response to the lingering forearm tightness Harvey had been experiencing since July. Warrior that he is, Harvey downplayed the discomfort, telling his bosses it was nothing unusual, nothing more than the cost of doing business with nuclear heat.
But given the Mets’ abysmal record of managing injuries, why weren’t they proactive when it was clear Harvey wasn’t improving? There’s nothing normal about forearm tenderness that doesn’t heal. Again, Harvey ignored every warning sign, noting, “There was no shooting pain down my arm and in my hand.” But what would’ve been the downside to slipping that arm into an MRI tube?
Writes columnist David Lennon in Newsday:
We've witnessed the frustration, the failed signings, the collapses. Always the punch line for David Letterman. But Harvey was changing all that. In toting that microphone around Bryant Park for Fallon, the winking Harvey was in on the joke, and the Mets could laugh along with him.
So imagine how Fred and Jeff Wilpon and Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins felt Monday when Harvey was cruelly snatched away for this season and possibly next year.
Actually, you probably felt that way, too. All along, we've been led to believe that 2014 was the goal, the return to respectability, the start of a new era -- and a big reason for that was Harvey.
Read a Harvey column from Tyler Kepner in the Times and news stories in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Times, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record and MLB.com.
• Zack Wheeler surrendered a two-out, two-run triple to Cody Asche in the fourth and the Phillies beat the Mets, 2-1, Monday at Citi Field. Philadelphia took over sole possession of third place from the Mets. The Mets have lost five straight. They have scored only six runs during that span.
Wheeler’s line: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. He was pulled at precisely 105 pitches, his team-imposed pitch ceiling, even though opposing pitcher Cliff Lee was due up. Lee limited the Mets to one run in eight innings. Josh Satin’s streak of reaching base ended at 29 straight starts, tied with Steve Henderson (1977) for the franchise rookie record.
Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record and MLB.com.
• Las Vegas swept a doubleheader at Colorado Springs to move closer to clinching a postseason berth. The 51s have a 3.5-game division lead with eight games remaining. Kirk Nieuwenhuis doubled and scored the tiebreaking run on an error in the 10th in Game 1. Nieuwenhuis then drove in the tiebreaking run with a groundout in the nightcap victory. Recker had a two-run homer against ex-Met Hisanori Takahashi. Noah Syndergaard, who had been 6-0 with a 1.59 ERA through 10 Double-A starts, was roughed up in Binghamton’s 11-0 loss at Bowie on Monday. Syndergaard, pitching for the first time in 10 days because he was skipped a turn to limit his innings, surrendered 11 runs (nine earned), including three homers, in three innings. 2013 first-round pick Dominic Smith went 4-for-5 with a triple, walk, two RBIs and five runs scored as the GCL Mets routed the Cardinals, 18-3. Read the minor league recap here.
• Binghamton left-handed reliever Chase Huchingson has been suspended for 50 games for a second violation involving a drug of abuse, MLB announced.
• Left-hander Darin Gorski has been named Eastern League Pitcher of the Week. Gorski went 1-0 and allowed three earned runs in 14 2/3 innings in two starts with the B-Mets.
• From the bloggers: Faith and Fear in Flushing cannot definitively say we should have seen Harvey's injury coming. … John Delcos at Mets Report asks if there is a scapegoat.
BIRTHDAYS: Outfielder Brian McRae turns 46. … Mike Maddux, who pitched for two seasons for the Mets in the mid-’90s, and the brother of Greg Maddux, is 52.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: How does Matt Harvey’s injury affect the complexion of the 2014 season in your view?
On the bright side, this should give Harvey enough time to be Batman in the next Batman / Superman movie! #betterbatmanthanbenaffleck— David Aardsma (@TheDA53) August 26, 2013
LAS VEGAS 10, COLORADO SPRINGS 9: The 51s opened a 3.5-game division lead with eight games remaining. Kirk Nieuwenhuis doubled and scored the tiebreaking run on an error in the 10th in the opener. Box 1, Box 2
BOWIE 11, BINGHAMTON 0: Binghamton had just two hits in the shutout loss, courtesy of Josh Rodriguez and Xorge Carrillo. Starter Noah Syndergaard suffered his first Double-A loss, allowing 11 runs and nine hits in three innings. The B-Mets suffered their worst shutout loss since 2008. Box
ST. LUCIE 5, CHARLOTTE 2: St. Lucie scored three in the eighth to break open a tied game. T.J. Rivera and Dustin Lawley each drove in a pair. Starter Domingo Tapia gave up three hits and two runs in seven innings. Box
KINGSPORT 3, PULASKI 2: Kingsport held off a late Pulaski rally to pick up the win. Joe Tuschak went 2-for-4 with an RBI, while starter Chris Flexen gave up one run over six innings while striking out six. Box
BROOKLYN 8, TRI-CITY 1: Brooklyn led 7-0 after two innings and won in a blowout. Six different Brooklyn players drove in runs, led by James Roche, who went 3-for-4 and drove in a pair. Starter Dario Alvarez gave up one run and four hits over five innings. Box
GCL METS 18, GCL 3: The GCL Mets pounded the Cardinals as they had a 17-1 lead going to the bottom of the fifth inning. Eight different Mets drove in runs, led by Wuilmer Becerra. Starter Andrew Church gave up three runs over seven innings to record the win. Box
BINGHAMTON 10, AKRON 2: Darin Gorski faced one over the minimum through seven innings and Cory Vaughn and Xorge Carrillo each drove in three runs as the B-Mets
Binghamton blew the game open with a six-run sixth, highlighted by two-run singles from Vaughn and Carrillo. Gorski walked Holt to open the eighth. After a single and a two-out walk, Ramirez ended Gorski’s night with a two-run single. Hamilton Bennett took over and fanned Ronny Rodriguez to end the inning. Bennett tossed a perfect ninth. Gorksi (5-1) allowed two runs on three hits and two walks in 7 2/3 innings. Myers (1-2) was charged with three runs (one earned). He threw only 16 pitches to six batters in the loss. Gorski has gone seven innings or more in five of his last six starts. Dykstra notched his 100th walk, reaching triple-digits for the second time in his career (also 104, Fort Wayne Tin Caps, 2009). Muno scored three times, upping his league-leading total to 84. Box
ST. LUCIE at FORT MYERS (ppd.)
WEST VIRGINIA 6, SAVANNAH 3 (9 innings)
SAVANNAH 6, WEST VIRGINIA 1: In Game 1, the Power scored three runs in the top of the ninth against Beck Wheeler (1-6). Jake Kuebler had tossed 4 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Tim Peterson. Catcher Albert Cordero threw out four baserunners -- two on stolen-base attempts and two on pickoffs at first base. In Game 2, Steven Matz took a scoreless effort into the sixth. He ultimately was charged with one run on four hits and two walks while striking out seven in 5 1/3 innings. Brandon Nimmo had a two-run double in the sixth. Box 1, Box 2
BLUEFIELD 6, KINGSPORT 1: Starter Persio Reyes allowed six runs in 4 2/3 innings. Box
BROOKLYN 2, VERMONT 0: Robert Gsellman struck out a career-high 13 over eight
GCL NATIONALS 2, GCL METS 0: Starter Yoryi Nuez (2-2) allowed two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out nine in six innings. The Mets mustered only four hits. Box
Compiled from team reports
BINGHAMTON 5, BOWIE 3: Allan Dykstra and Travis Taijeron each homered had two RBIs in the win as Binghamton clinched its first division title since 2000. Logan Verrett gave up two runs over five innings. Box
ST. LUCIE 6, PALM BEACH 4
PALM BEACH 7, ST. LUCIE 0: Robbie Shields had a tiebreaking two-run double in the seventh in the resumption of Tuesday's suspended game. Palm Beach shut out St. Lucie on Wednesday. Starter Domingo Tapia gave up six runs in 3 1/3 innings. St. Lucie had four hits. Box 1, Box 2
KANNAPOLIS 4, SAVANNAH 3: Kannapolis tied the game in the seventh and won in a walk-off. Albert Cordero and Cole Frenzel each drove in a run. Starter Marco Camarena gave up two runs over six innings. Box
STATEN ISLAND 5, BROOKLYN 3: Staten Island scored three in the sixth to take the lead for good. James Roche went 3-for-4 with an RBI. Dawrin Frias suffered the loss after giving up five runs over five innings. Box
GCL MARLINS 10, GCL METS 3: Injured reliever Frank Francisco gave up one homer and struck out two in one inning. Box
Chism’s father Tom hit .314 and won the FSL batting title in 1975. The elder Chism, a first baseman, went on to appear in six games for the Orioles four year later.
“We have a lot of team pictures and stuff like that of him and Cal Ripken right next to each other,” Chism said. “It’s kind of cool. I was born after he was done playing, but I still feel like I was alive, because there’s all that stuff around the house. He won a Florida State League batting title, which is crazy now that I’m playing in the same league. He always tells me this is a pitchers’ league.”
“She’ll take all the credit, if you ask her,” Chism quipped. “She played high school basketball and stuff like that. She was a little bit smaller, which is why I think I got a little bit slighted on the height side. But her athletic ability was tremendous. She always tells me stories about how she scored 50 points in basketball games, which is weird because I can’t shoot a basketball to save my life. I played every other sport but basketball.”
Chism is a 32nd-round pick in 2009 by the Mets out of La Salle University. He grew up a 40-minute drive from the Philadelphia campus. He led the Explorers in homers his junior year with 11 and averaged nearly a run and RBI per game.
“I was a hitter. That was my passion,” said Chism, who noted that he pitched to get seen by scouts and because there were not clear alternatives on the team.
Added Chism: “I would start on Sundays and I’d still hit for myself. I got into the sixth inning one time, I think. That was against Temple. I was good for two or three innings and then the wheels fell off.”
Chism, who turned 25 on Aug. 9, does not have eye-popping velocity, but results are results.
In 54 innings over 42 appearances, Chism has limited opponents to 46 hits and 13 walks (three intentional) while striking out 50. His 16 saves have come in 19 chances. He has a 2.33 ERA. Lefty batters are hitting .194 with one homer in 62 at-bats against him.
Chism began closing as part of a revolving set of back-end pitchers in 2011 with Brooklyn. He then became established in the role last season with Savannah.
He primarily throws a four-seam fastball (86-87 mph) as well as a slider and changeup. He dropped to a three-quarters arm slot in 2010 with the encouragement of Jonathan Hurst, his Kingsport pitching coach.
“We were playing catch one day, and I couldn’t throw a strike to save my life,” Chism said. “So I dropped down a little bit on my own, and he goes, ‘Chiz, what’s going on? You doing something different?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I dropped down a little bit just to get a consistent release point.’ He’s like, ‘Dude, the ball is jumping out of your hand. Let’s roll with it.’ I was like, ‘All right, let’s do it.’ That saved my career.”
Average: Jayce Boyd, St. Lucie, .328; Cesar Puello, Binghamton, .326; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, .321; Jhoan Urena, GCL Mets, .319; Yeixon Ruiz, Kingsport, .316; Jeff McNeil, Kingsport, .314; Kevin Plawecki, St. Lucie, .308; LJ Mazzilli, Brooklyn, .299; T.J. Rivera, St. Lucie, .296; Eric Campbell, Vegas, .295.
Homers: Dustin Lawley, St. Lucie, 25; Travis Taijeron, Binghamton, 21; Allan Dykstra, Binghamton, 19; Cesar Puello, Binghamton, 16; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, 15.
RBIs: Dustin Lawley, St. Lucie, 90; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, 86; Allan Dykstra, Binghamton, 77; Jayce Boyd, St. Lucie, 76; Kevin Plawecki, St. Lucie, 76.
Steals: Darrell Ceciliani, Binghamton, 29; Cesar Puello, Binghamton, 24; Alonzo Harris, Binghamton, 23; Eudy Pina, Savannah, 18; Patrick Biondi, Brooklyn, 17.
ERA: Rob Whalen, Kingsport, 1.67; Chris Flexen, Kingsport, 2.14; Noah Syndergaard, Binghamton, 2.43; Robert Gsellman, Brooklyn, 2.50; Miller Diaz, Brooklyn, 2.54; Rainy Lara, St. Lucie, 2.55; John Gant, Brooklyn, 2.59; Gabriel Ynoa, Savannah, 2.71; Rafael Montero, Vegas, 2.88; Matt Bowman, St. Lucie, 3.05.
Wins: Gabriel Ynoa, Savannah, 14; Rafael Montero, Vegas, 12; Matt Bowman, St. Lucie, 10; Logan Verrett, Binghamton, 10.
Saves: Jeff Walters, Binghamton, 35; Beck Wheeler, Savannah, 17; T.J. Chism, St. Lucie, 16; Robert Carson, Vegas, 11; Bret Mitchell, St. Lucie, 10.
Strikeouts: Rafael Montero, Vegas, 137; Noah Syndergaaard, Binghamton, 128; Logan Verrett, Binghamton, 117; Matt Bowman, St. Lucie, 116; Erik Goeddel, Binghamton, 116.
• Despite innings caps, right-handers Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom should be permitted to pitch with Las Vegas through the playoffs, provided the 51s qualify. The exception: If Las Vegas became eliminated from postseason contention early, the pitching prospects likely would skip their final regular-season starts. Montero and deGrom are expected to be on 90-pitch limits for the remainder of the season.
Innings limits are hitting the entire system. Double-A phenom Noah Syndergaard, who regularly has been capped at five innings of late, is skipping a start. He is due to reenter the rotation Monday. With St. Lucie, Matt Bowman is at least temporarily shut down.
• The Mets added a pair of starting-pitching arms for Las Vegas -- right-handers Mitch Talbot and Daryl Thompson.
Talbot, 29, made one appearance for Triple-A New Orleans in April before experiencing elbow tendinitis and getting shut down. He was released by the Marlins organization at his request after appearing in two Gulf Coast League games -- the latter a five-inning effort on Aug. 1 against the Mets in Port St. Lucie -- because New Orleans did not have any roster room. Talbot is a career 12-19 with a 5.30 ERA in 43 major league appearances (41 starts) from 2008 through 2011 with the Rays and Indians.
Thompson, 27, is 0-3 with an 8.31 ERA in four career appearances (three starts) with the Reds in 2008 and ’11. He was 10-5 with a 3.17 ERA in 124 2/3 innings for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in the independent Atlantic League this season.
Las Vegas needs the extra arms, particularly because of an upcoming six-game series over four days at Colorado Springs.
The bullpen is so taxed, especially with Greg Burke getting a call-up, that starter Matt Fox had to log 107 pitches Monday despite getting drilled for eight runs in four innings.
• An observer clocked Tim Byrdak’s fastball velocity at 88-89 mph during an appearance Monday and suggested he should be no-brainer to be up with the Mets after rosters expand. Byrdak currently is on a minor league contract as he returns from Sept. 6, 2012 surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder.
The Mets should have 40-man roster room for call-ups, including Byrdak. Since Cesar Puello and Jordany Valdespin are on the restricted list and do not count, the Mets’ 40-man roster is at 38. Players on the 60-day DL do not count against the 40-man roster, either. The Mets already have Frank Francisco, Jeurys Familia and Johan Santana on the 60-day DL. Team officials potentially can open two 40-man roster more spots by shifting Jenrry Mejia and Jeremy Hefner to the 60-day DL.
While it is premature for any commitments, logical September call-ups include Anthony Recker on Sept. 1 and then Lucas Duda, Ruben Tejada, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Robert Carson and Matt den Dekker once the 51s’ season ends. (Zach Lutz, on the 40-man roster, is far more iffy.)
Den Dekker is not on the 40-man roster, but needs to be added this offseason anyway for Rule 5 protection.
The Mets often reward an unheralded player for performance, too. That could wind up being 26-year-old Eric Campbell, an eighth-round pick in 2008 from Boston College, who has more walks (55) than strikeouts (52) and a .419 on-base percentage. He can play corner infield and outfield positions.
• Binghamton’s magic number for its first division title since 2000 technically remains at one, but the B-Mets already have clinched because they own the tiebreaker with Trenton by virtue of winning the season series. The 2000 squad included Ty Wigginton, Alex Escobar, Tyler Walker, Dicky Gonzalez and Pat Strange, as well as top prospect Brian Cole, who died the following spring training.
• The B-Mets dodged a pair of injury bullets. Outfielder Cory Vaughn, struck in the back of the helmet with a pitch Monday, passed concussion tests and returned to the lineup a day later as DH. Shortstop Wilfredo Tovar, hurt in the same game, underwent X-rays on his left wrist that were negative.
Vaughn, incidentally will be part of the Mets’ Arizona Fall League contingent, his agents at Northwest Sports Management Group announced. Also AFL-bound: B-Mets right-hander Cory Mazzoni, assuming he heals from season-ending surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Mazzoni faces a five- to six-week rehab timetable.
• Savannah’s Gabriel Ynoa earned his 14th win Tuesday. That is the most wins by a Mets farmhand since Jason Scobie had 15 with Triple-A Norfolk in 2005.
• B-Mets first baseman Allan Dykstra’s 97 walks are the most in the Eastern League since Brian Myrow had 107 walks with the Trenton Thunder in 2003.
• Michael Fulmer preliminarily has been diagnosed with biceps tendinitis after leaving his last start. He is due to see team doctors in New York on Thursday.
• With 14 games remaining in St. Lucie’s season, Dustin Lawley is chasing several of the Florida State League club’s single-season records. Lawley sits at 25 homers, 90 RBIs and 31 doubles. The St. Lucie records belong to Robert Stratton with 29 homers in 2000, Nikco Riesgo with 94 RBIs in 1990 and David Wright with 39 doubles in 2003.
• T.J. Rivera leads the Florida State League with 137 hits (including one in Tuesday's suspended game). The St. Lucie record is 156 hits, jointly held by Omar Garcia (1993) and Corey Coles (2006).
• Gavin Cecchini’s hit streak with Brooklyn ended at 16 games Monday, one shy of matching the Cyclones’ record set by Lucas Duda in 2007. Cecchini isn’t the only former first-round pick heating up. Brandon Nimmo is batting .393 (24-for-61) with one homer, 12 RBIs and a .543 on-base percentage in August with Savannah.
• Kyle Johnson, acquired from the Angels for Collin Cowgill, has a 15-game hitting streak with St. Lucie -- including a hit in Tuesday’s suspended game that will resume Wednesday.
• Omar Minaya, now a special assistant for the Padres, is predicting big things for one of his former Mets signings. Minaya last weekend praised Mexican right-hander Luis Cessa, who is 7-3 with a 3.08 ERA in 19 starts with Savannah. Cessa, as noted by Minaya, originally was signed as a third baseman and dabbled in the infield in 2009 and ’10 before moving full time to pitching.
FIRST PITCH: Time to regroup.
The Mets failed to hold a two-run lead in the ninth inning Wednesday at Dodger Stadium and lost, 5-4, to Los Angeles in 12 innings.
The Dodgers completed a sweep and are now 40-8 since June 22 -- the best 48-game stretch in the majors since the Cardinals went 41-7 from Aug. 11 to Oct. 1, 1942.
The Mets bused to San Diego after the defeat.
Zack Wheeler (5-2, 3.63 ERA) opposes right-hander Tyson Ross (3-5, 2.75) in the 10:10 p.m. ET series opener at Petco Park today.
Thursday’s news reports:
• The Mets are targeting 210 to 215 innings for Matt Harvey’s cap this season, notes Jared Diamond in the Journal. Writes Diamond:
The Mets have tentatively outlined a road map that would allow Harvey to make eight more starts, with about half of them coming on an extra day of rest. Using off-days to their advantage and occasionally using a spot starter, they think they can finagle Harvey to the end.
• LaTroy Hawkins was struck in the groin with a comebacker, then served up a game-tying two-run homer to the next batter, pinch hitter Andre Ethier. Pedro Feliciano suffered the loss in the 12th when Adrian Gonzalez plated Yasiel Puig with a double.
Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Times and MLB.com.
• Jeremy Hefner’s demotion to Las Vegas has been rescinded. Instead, Hefner has been placed on the major league disabled list with a partially torn MCL in his right elbow. Hefner will not need surgery and is expected to return this season. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger and Newsday.
• Travis d’Arnaud spoke with ESPNNewYork.com about waiting for the baby Buck to be born. D’Arnaud is expected to make his major league debut once Buck goes on three-day paternity leave. Buck’s wife had complications with her last pregnancy with twins five years ago and required a C-section, so the preference is for a natural childbirth this time. Read more in the Post.
• Wilmer Flores’ twisted right ankle felt “marginally better” Wednesday. The rookie pinch hit in the ninth inning, but departed for a pinch runner after singling.
• Dave Caldwell in the Journal profiles Noah Syndergaard, the Double-A pitching phenom acquired in the R.A. Dickey deal with d’Arnaud. Syndergaard is on a severe pitch limit the rest of the season in order to keep him from hitting an innings cap before the Eastern League playoffs. Writes Caldwell:
The plan, at least as far as Syndergaard understands it, is to finish the season at Binghamton. He is likely to pitch about five innings per start, and [pitching coach Glenn] Abbott said Syndergaard will skip a start after Friday's game at home against New Britain.
This is all fine to Syndergaard, who said, "I just throw until they tell me not to." He achieved both of the goals he set for himself this season -- pitch in Class AA and in the Futures Game -- and he hopes to make his first big push for the Mets next spring.
Still, Pedro Lopez, the Binghamton manager, said, "Every time I take him out after five innings, he says, `Is that it?'"
• Jorge Castillo in the Star-Ledger looks at Mets pitchers’ lack of success bunting this season.
• Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit an inside-the-park homer and Las Vegas pulled into a first-place tie with an 8-1 win against New Orleans. Read the full minor league recap here.
• From the bloggers … John Delcos at Mets Report examines whether the Mets mishandled Flores’ injury.
BIRTHDAYS: Oliver Perez turns 32. … Duffy Dyer is 68. … Nino Espinosa was born on this date in 1953. He died at age 34 on Christmas Eve.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
BINGHAMTON 4, READING 3: The B-Mets broke a tie score in the eighth and hung on for the victory. One night removed from blowing a one-run lead in the ninth, B-Mets closer Jeff Walters stranded two in the final frame. After Hector Nerris blanked Binghamton for three
ST. LUCIE 4, FORT MYERS 3: Robbie Shields produced a walk-off RBI single in the bottom
ROME 3, SAVANNAH 2: Marco Camarena allowed three runs in 7 1/3 innings, including a tiebreaking RBI single to Felix Marte in the fourth. Box
KINGSPORT 7, PRINCETON 6: Jeff Diehl's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth plated Yeixon Ruiz with the winning run in a walk-off victory. Ruiz had opened the inning with a single and advanced to third base on sacrifice bunts from Jeff McNeil and Joe Tuschak. Ruiz had stolen home in a five-run sixth. Box
BROOKLYN 3, HUDSON VALLEY 1: The Cyclones scored the go-ahead run in a three-run
GCL METS 9, GCL CARDINALS 8: The Mets overcame a late four-run deficit, taking the lead with a two-run eighth that included an RBI single by Oswald Caraballo. Wuilmer Becerra drove in three runs. Starter Marcos Molina allowed six runs in 4 2/3 innings. Cameron Griffin tossed two scoreless innings for his fifth save. Box
Compiled from team reports
ERIE 6, BINGHAMTON 4: Noah Syndergaard tossed five scoreless innings before being pulled to conserve his innings, and the B-Mets squandered a four-run lead. After being held
SAVANNAH 2, HICKORY 0: Behind seven shutout innings from Seth Lugo in his second South Atlantic League start, the Gnats blanked Hickory. In his first two starts for Savannah, Lugo has struck out 21 batters without issuing a walk in 13 innings. Saturday, the 23-year-old Lugo struck out 11 batters. He retired 10 in a row early on before running into his only trouble in the fifth. That frame, a pair of singles and a sacrifice bunt put runners at second and third with one out. However, Lugo struck out the Nos. 8 and 9 batters, Taylor Wrenn and Luis Marte, to keep the game scoreless. Lugo finished strongly, fanning five batters over the sixth and seventh innings. The Gnats (25-20/68-46) scored the game’s opening run in the seventh. Jeff Reynolds doubled and Dimas Ponce walked. Jorge Rivero then lined a single into center field to score Reynolds. Savannah added a run in the eighth for a 2-0 lead. With two outs and the bases empty, Eudy Pina doubled and scored on Greg Pron’s single . The Crawdads (27-22/66-53) struck out 15 times and did not draw a walk against the combination of Lugo and reliever Paul Sewald. Sewald worked the eighth and ninth innings for his fifth save of the year, while Lugo won his first game as a Gnat. Box
GREENEVILLE 5, KINGSPORT 2: Edioglis Villasmil suffered the loss in relief after allowing three runs in 2 1/3 innings. Jeyckol De Leon went 3-for-4 and drove in both runs for the K-Mets (28-20). Box
BROOKLYN 2, STATE COLLEGE 1: John Gant did not allow a hit through 5 1/3 innings. He ultimately tossed six innings and allowed one run on two hits while striking out seven. The Cyclones got on the board right away. Leadoff batter Patrick Biondi hustled for a double on what looked like a routine single to center field. Gavin Cecchini then moved Biondi to third with a line-drive single. The single extended Cecchini’s hitting streak to 10 games. LJ Mazzilli followed with a sacrifice fly. The Cyclones struck again in the fourth. Ismael Tijerina reached base on a hit-by-pitch and Anthony Chavez walked. Cecchini's second hit of the night was an RBI single. Over his hitting streak, Cecchini is batting .381 (16-for-42). Leading 2-1 with the tying run on second base in the bottom of the sixth and two outs, Gant struck out Mason Katz to get out of the inning. John Mincone added two scoreless relief innings. Johnny Magliozzi then recorded his fourth save. Box
GCL NATIONALS 10, GCL METS 2: First-round pick Dominic Smith had a two-out solo homer in the first inning in the defeat. Starter Andrew Church took a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth, but ultimately was charged with seven runs (six earned) in 5 1/3 innings. Box
Compiled from team reports
7:00 PM ET Montreal NY Islanders 7:00 PM ET Tampa Bay New Jersey
12:00 PM ET 2 Syracuse St. John's 1:00 PM ET Cent Conn St Hofstra 2:00 PM ET Manhattan UNC-Wilmington 1:00 PM ET Stony Brook New Hampshire