New York Mets: Michael Choice

Series preview: Mets vs. Rangers

July, 3, 2014
Jul 3
11:49
PM ET

Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty ImagesRain in Baltimore on Thursday means Yu Darvish now faces the Mets in Friday's series opener at Citi Field.
METS (37-48, fourth place/NL East) vs. TEXAS RANGERS (37-48, fourth place/AL West)

Friday: LHP Jonathon Niese (5-4, 2.88) vs. RHP Yu Darvish (8-4, 2.42), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Bartolo Colon (8-6, 3.88) vs. RHP Colby Lewis (5-5, 5.71), 7:15 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Zack Wheeler (3-8, 4.25) vs. RHP Nick Tepesch* (3-3, 3.65), 1:10 p.m. ET

* officially TBA

Rangers short hops

• With rain delaying the start by 56 minutes and threatening to interrupt Thursday’s Rangers series finale in Baltimore, manager Ron Washington decided to delay Yu Darvish’s scheduled start until Friday, pushing him into the Mets series. There never was a stoppage once the game began at Camden Yards.

Darvish, 27, has an MLB-best 11.04 strikeouts per nine innings. He ranks third in the American League in ERA at 2.42, trailing only the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez (2.10) and Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka (2.27). Darvish snapped a two-start losing streak by tossing eight scoreless innings against the Minnesota Twins on Saturday.

• Texas leads the majors in uses of the DL (20) and current players on the DL (14). The absences include Prince Fielder (herniated disk), Mitch Moreland (ankle), Derek Holland (knee surgery), Jurickson Profar (shoulder), Geovany Soto (knee), Alexi Ogando (elbow), Tanner Scheppers (elbow) and Engel Beltre (fractured tibia).

Fielder, who had season-ending surgery for the neck issue on May 27, had been acquired during the offseason from the Detroit Tigers with $30 million for Ian Kinsler. Texas reportedly will recoup 50 percent of Fielder’s salary via an insurance policy that carried over from the Tigers, after a 90-day deductible period.

Soto, who underwent surgery, is due to begin a rehab assignment shortly. Beltre, an outfielder, has started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Round Rock.

• With Fielder and Moreland out, Carlos Pena has taken over at first base. He is hitless in his last 18 at-bats and 3-for-33 since joining the club. Pena, 36, originally signed a minor-league contract on June 17. He had been idle since being released by the Los Angeles Angels from spring training on March 23.

• The Rangers have lost five straight and 14 of 17. They have lost nine straight road games, their longest skid away from Arlington since 2005, when Buck Showalter managed the club during a nine-game road skid. They are 11 games under .500 for the first time since finishing the 2007 season at 75-87.


Cooper Neill/Getty ImagesAdrian Beltre is the one lethal weapon in Texas' decimated lineup.


Adrian Beltre hit .392 in June, the highest figure in any month of his career. The average trailed only Houston’s Jose Altuve (.411) in the American League for the month. Overall, he is hitting .335 this season, second to Altuve in the league.

Shin-Soo Choo signed a seven-year, $130 million deal with Texas on Dec. 13. He is hitting .254 with eight homers and 30 RBIs and has a .374 on-base percentage. Choo returned to the leadoff spot last Friday after two weeks in the No. 3 hole.

• The Rangers designated left-hander Joe Saunders (0-5, 6.13 ERA) for assignment on Tuesday. Miles Mikolas, who had been acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in December, stepped into the rotation.

• Mikolas’ promotion and insertion into the rotation pushed scheduled Wednesday starter Nick Tepesch into the Mets series … at least originally. Tepesch was due to start Friday, but has been dropped in place of Darvish. He now is the most likely candidate to start Sunday, in what is currently listed as TBA, unless he is needed in long relief before then. Tepesch has a 1.93 ERA over his past three starts. The Rangers will keep Colby Lewis on Saturday, as originally planned.

• The Rangers’ 4.62 ERA is the highest in the American League. They nonetheless have an AL-best 14 shutouts. They became the first AL team to reach that shutout total within 80 games since the 1968 Cleveland Indians, five years before the designated hitter came into effect.

• Closer Joakim Soria has allowed runs in consecutive appearances for the first time this season. He still has 17 strikeouts and one walk in his past 10 appearances. Former All-Star closer Neftali Feliz is currently pitching in Triple-A as he enters the final stages of a return from Tommy John surgery.

• Before a 3-for-4 performance Thursday at Baltimore, shortstop Elvis Andrus has been hitless in his last 10 at-bats and 5-for-his-last-30.

• Left fielder Michael Choice is hitless in his last 14 at-bats and 5-for-his-last-66.

• Catcher Robinson Chirinos has caught an MLB-high 19 would-be base stealers.

• Rangers assistant GM A.J. Preller is due interview with the San Diego Padres regarding their vacant GM position.

Minors 4.16.12: Lawley slam paces St. Lucie

April, 16, 2013
4/16/13
11:15
PM ET
SACRAMENTO 2, LAS VEGAS 1: Gonzalez Germen surrendered a tiebreaking RBI single to Michael Choice in the seventh for the decisive run. Collin McHugh had limited Sacramento to one run (unearned) on seven hits and three walks while striking out three in a 102-pitch effort spanning 5 2/3 innings. The run against McHugh came after a first-inning error by Wilmer Flores. Flores' single in the fourth plated Juan Lagares (3-for-4) to even the score at 1. Box

BINGHAMTON 7, PORTLAND 3: Portland took an early lead against B-Mets starter Logan Verrett. An RBI double from Tony Thomas in the first and an inside-the-park homer by Heiker Meneses in the second put the Sea Dogs up 2-0. Verrett settled down, though, and allowed one additional hit over his next four innings. He began the seventh inning, but was relieved by Jack Leathersich after surrendering a two-out walk to Peter Hissey. Binghamton's comeback began in the fourth against Portland starter Drake Britton. With two outs, Cory Vaughn singled. Cesar Puello then tripled to put Binghamton on the board. After Danny Muno walked, Britton threw a wild pitch, allowing Puello to score and tie the game. Francisco Pena gave the B-Mets the lead with an RBI double. The game moved quickly until the bottom of the seventh, where it was halted for 37 minutes due to a rain delay. After the break, the B-Mets tacked on four more runs in the eighth to boost their lead to 7-2. Jeff Walters gave up one run in the ninth, but finished the game to earn his third save. Walters recorded his second save of the season that lasted more than one inning (also two innings at Akron on April 4). Right-hander Jacob DeGrom will make his Double-A on Wednesday. Box

lastname
Lawley
ST. LUCIE 13, CHARLOTTE 3: Dustin Lawley belted a grand slam and Aderlin Rodriguez had a solo homer. Cam Maron went 3-for-5 with a triple and three RBIs. Hansel Robles (1-1) allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks while striking out three in six innings. Estarlin Morel and Wanel Mesa combined for three scoreless relief innings. St. Lucie improved to 9-3. Box

GREENSBORO 9, SAVANNAH 8: Julian Hilario suffered the blown save and the loss after surrendering three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Viosergy Rosa delivered the walk-off three-run homer against Hilario. The Gnats had taken the lead with a three-run top of the inning that included Jayce Boyd's sacrifice fly and a tiebreaking two-run homer by Kevin Plawecki. Brandon Nimmo finished 3-for-5 to up his South Atlantic League average to .447. Gnats starter Luis Cessa allowed four runs (one earned) in five innings. The Gnats committed three errors, including a pair by third baseman Cole Frenzel. Box

Compiled from team reports

Minors 4.7.13: Cam, Noah key 4-0 St. Lucie

April, 7, 2013
4/07/13
7:35
PM ET
SACRAMENTO 8, LAS VEGAS 4: Sacramento handed the 51s their first loss as a Mets affiliate by posting six runs in the seventh against Dylan Owen and Armando Rodriguez to break a 2-all tie. Michael Choice belted a grand slam and Michael Taylor followed with a homer to chase Owen, who was charged with five runs while recording only two outs. Former Rockie Carlos Torres, who worked as a reliever in spring training with the Mets, started and allowed two runs on five hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings. Las Vegas had pulled even at 2 in the top of the seventh as Andrew Brown walked, Josh Satin doubled, Zach Lutz had a sacrifice fly and Brian Bixler had an RBI single. The 51s (3-1) added two runs in the eighth against Hideki Okajima, on Reese Havens' sacrifice fly and Wilmer Flores' RBI single. Box

AKRON 13, BINGHAMTON 3: The Aeros scored 12 runs on 13 hits over the final three innings to hand Binghamton its worst loss since a 10-0 defeat against Bowie on July 20, 2012. The B-Mets (3-1) had built a 2-0 lead in the third. Following a hit batsman and balk by

lastname
Pill
Akron starter Paolo Espino, Darrell Ceciliani and Blake Forsythe contributed RBI doubles. The Aeros touched B-Mets starter Tyler Pill for one run over his first five innings. Pill walked Tyler Holt to start his Double-A debut, but settled down to retire nine straight, five via strikeout. Pill’s strong outing unraveled in the sixth. He failed to retire any of the four batters he faced. Jesus Aguilar’s RBI single with the bases loaded tied the score at 2 and chased Pill. Mark Cohoon inherited the bases loaded and allowed all three to score. Carlos Moncrief gave Akron the lead on a sac fly. Roberto Perez and Giovanny Urshela added RBI singles. After Binghamton cut the deficit to two on Ceciliani’s RBI single in the seventh, the Aeros posted another big inning. The first five batters in the bottom half reached against Cohoon as the Aeros took a 10-3 lead. Akron tacked on three more runs on one hit and two errors in the eighth, against Adrian Rosario and Chase Huchingson. Pill (0-1) was charged with five runs (four earned) on five hits and two walks. The bullpen combined to allow seven inherited runners to score. The B-Mets had five errors, including two by third baseman Richard Lucas. Binghamton’s last five-error game came against the Erie SeaWolves on Aug. 31, 2011. Erik Goeddel makes his B-Mets debut on Monday at Erie. Box

lastname
Syndergaard
ST. LUCIE 1, JUPITER 0: Catcher Cam Maron held onto a throw from left fielder Dustin Lawley during a plate collision with Austin Barnes for the game's final out. Maron's second-inning double plated Aderlin Rodriguez with the lone run. St. Lucie is off to a 4-0 start. Noah Syndergaard, obtained from the Blue Jays in the R.A. Dickey deal, tossed four scoreless innings in his debut with the organization. Syndergaard limited Jupiter to three hits and a walk while striking out five. He has yet to fully stretch out after being idle for part of spring training with a lat injury. Angel Cuan (1-0) and Chasen Bradford (first save) combined on the nine-hit shutout. Box

SAVANNAH 4, ROME 0: Rainy Lara, Bret Mitchell and Hunter Carnevale combined on a three-hit shutout. Brandon Nimmo, Phillip Evans and Jayce Boyd had three hits apiece and combined to score all four runs. Nimmo, the organization's 2011 first-round pick, is hitting .471 through four games. Boyd, a Florida State product, is hitting .571. The Gnats posted three runs in the third. Nimmo and Evans singled and Boyd walked to load the bases with none out. Kevin Plawecki followed with an RBI single and Stefan Sabol contributed a two-run single. An inning later, Savannah took a 4-0 lead as Nimmo doubled and Boyd plated him with a single. Box

Compiled from team reports

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TEAM LEADERS

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