New York Mets: Michael Fulmer

d'Arnaud to be examined in NY, too

September, 25, 2014
9/25/14
11:38
AM ET
WASHINGTON -- Travis d'Arnaud, who was examined by a Nationals doctor on Wednesday, will be seen by Mets doctors on Friday in New York, Terry Collins said.

The Mets continued not to specify the precise injury, other than to say d'Arnaud is beat up.

Collins was unsure whether d'Arnaud would appear again this season.

Winter plans: Gonzalez Germen will pitch for Toros del Oeste in the Dominican Republic this winter. ... Juan Centeno will catch for San Juan in Puerto Rico.

Cleanout: Right-handed prospect Michael Fulmer, the 44th overall pick in 2011, underwent surgery to remove a bone spur from his pitching elbow.

Farm report: Taylor tuned out speculation

August, 27, 2014
8/27/14
9:44
AM ET
NEW YORK -- The Mets shipped Ike Davis to the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 18 for right-hander Zack Thornton. It took another two months, until the one-year anniversary of Blake Taylor’s signing after the draft, to learn that the southpaw was the player to be named heading to the Mets in the deal.

“There were rumors online and all that stuff. Everyone was saying it was between me or [Neil] Kozikowski or Cody Dickson. There were just a bunch of rumors,” Taylor said. “I was like, ‘I’m not going to believe everything I hear on the internet.’ Once I hear it from the Mets or Pirates organization, I’d believe. … I was just going to keep playing and keep going.


Courtesy of Allen Greene/Kingsport MetsBlake Taylor


“The day I found out, I was shocked. But I was like, ‘All right, I’ve got to pack my things. This is baseball. You’re going to play for a different team.’”

Taylor, who turned 19 on Aug. 17, was drafted by the Pirates in the second round in 2013 out of high school in Dana Point, Calif.

After joining the Mets organization in mid-June, Taylor made three appearances in the Gulf Coast League. He allowed two runs, neither earned, on one hit, seven walks and a hit batter while striking out 10 in 10 2/3 innings. He since has moved to the Appalachian League. In seven starts with Kingsport, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Taylor is 2-1 with a 5.16 ERA. He has allowed 39 hits and 22 walks in 29 2/3 innings.

Taylor’s fastball sits at 86-90 mph. He also possesses a changeup and curveball.

“I’m still getting better. I still have a lot more to learn with command and all that stuff,” Taylor said. “But I’ve been progressing this year and throwing my changeup for a strike more than I have been normally. It’s been a very, very educational year for me just to learn. This is my first full season.”

Said Mets VP Paul DePodesta: “We liked Blake a lot leading up to the 2013 draft. We felt he was an athletic left-hander with size and the makings of a plus breaking ball.”

Taylor had signed with the University of Hawaii out of high school, but being taken in the second round (along with a reported $750,000 signing bonus) prompted him to turn pro.

“Going into the draft, I didn’t really want to have high expectations,” Taylor said. “I wasn’t really known, so I kind of accepted the fact that I probably might go to college. It was a big surprise to go in the second round. So I was like, ‘Well, baseball has been my dream. Let me go do it.’”

He arrived with the Mets not knowing anyone beyond having played against Dominic Smith and Andrew Church in the Area Code Games. Still, Taylor said, his new teammates have been “welcoming me with open arms.”

Said Taylor: “Everyone has been really nice and cool and showing me the ropes. Baseball is a fraternity. You go anywhere and it’s the same group of guys, basically.”

Organization leaders

Average: T.J. Rivera, Binghamton, .352; Matt Reynolds, Vegas, .347; Matt den Dekker, Vegas, .334; Dilson Herrera, Binghamton, .320; John Mora, Brooklyn, .319; Kevin Plawecki, Vegas, .310; Jean Rodriguez, Kingsport, .303; L.J. Mazzilli, St. Lucie, .297; Jeff McNeil, St. Lucie, .295; Wuilmer Becerra, Kingsport, .294.

Homers: Brian Burgamy, Binghamton, 23; Dustin Lawley, Binghamton, 20; Andrew Brown, Vegas, 19; Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 16; Travis Taijeron, Binghamton, 15.

RBIs: L.J. Mazzilli, St. Lucie, 76; Brian Burgamy, Binghamton, 75; Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 74; T.J. Rivera, Binghamton, 72; Dilson Herrera, Binghamton, 70.

Steals: Champ Stuart, Savannah, 27; Patrick Biondi, Savannah, 23; Dilson Herrera, Binghamton, 23; Matt Reynolds, Vegas, 19.

ERA: Marcos Molina, Brooklyn, 1.56; Corey Oswalt, Brooklyn, 2.04; Steven Matz, Binghamton, 2.19; John Gant, Savannah, 2.59; Robert Gsellman, Savannah, 2.67; Matt Bowman, Vegas, 2.88; Kevin McGowan, St. Lucie, 3.63; Tyler Pill, Binghamton, 3.98; Casey Meisner, Brooklyn, 4.08; Ricky Knapp, Savannah, 4.19.

Wins: Greg Peavey, Binghamton, 12; Gabriel Ynoa, Binghamton, 11; Logan Verrett, Vegas, 11.

Saves: Chasen Bradford, Vegas, 16; Akeel Morris, Savannah, 15; Cody Satterwhite, Binghamton, 15; Shane Bay, Brooklyn, 14.

Strikeouts: Noah Syndergaard, Vegas, 135; Matt Bowman, Vegas, 124; Steven Matz, Binghamton, 121; Greg Peavey, Binghamton, 118; Tyler Pill, Binghamton, 117.

Short hops

Manuel Hilario, who was unconscious and suffered a seizure in a second-base collision Friday with the Gulf Coast League Mets, was released from the hospital and is “recovering well,” according to the organization. Hilario, 22, is done for the season with the GCL season ending Thursday.

• The organization placed multiple players on year-end all-star teams. Already announced: Las Vegas’ Matt den Dekker in the Pacific Coast League, St. Lucie’s Cam Maron in the Florida State League and Kingsport’s Wuilmer Becerra in the Appalachian League.

• Several Mets affiliates are playoff-bound as minor-league regular seasons wrap up by Monday:

Triple-A Las Vegas (79-60) has won the PCL Pacific Southern Division.

Double-A Binghamton (83-53) has clinched no worse than a wild-card spot. The B-Mets trail Portland by two games for the division crown with five games remaining.

Low-A Savannah (82-48 overall) won its division in the first half in the South Atlantic League.

Meanwhile, Brooklyn (39-31) has a two-game lead on Connecticut for the New York-Penn League’s wild-card berth with six games remaining. And Kingsport is on the outside looking in right now. The K-Mets trail Johnson City by two games for the second wild-card spot with three games remaining.

• Outfielder Brandon Nimmo, middle infielder Matt Reynolds, right-handers Julian Hilario, Cory Mazzoni, Paul Sewald and Rob Whalen and one position player to be determined will represent the Mets in the Arizona Fall League. Valentino Pascucci, who received rave reviews in his first season as an instructor, will serve as a hitting coach.

Sewald received a promotion to Double-A on the eve of the Eastern League playoffs. The 24-year-old University of San Diego product had posted a 1.73 ERA and 1.038 WHIP in 40 relief appearances with St. Lucie.

• Right-hander Michael Fulmer, who was selected with the 44th overall pick in the 2011 draft out of high school in Oklahoma, went on Binghamton’s DL after making his Double-A debut. Fulmer has a bone spur in his pitching elbow. He needs to be evaluated by doctors to determine if the spur needs to be surgically removed.

• Left-handed reliever Paul Paez, a 38th-round pick in 2013 out of Rio Hondo College in California, was named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week. Paez allowed one hit and one walk and struck out nine batters in 6 1/3 innings with Savannah.

• Right-hander Johnny Magliozzi, a 17th-round pick in 2013 out of the University of Florida, underwent Tommy John surgery.

Farm report: L.I.'s Matz lengthening starts

August, 20, 2014
8/20/14
10:03
AM ET
NEW YORK -- Steven Matz is averaging six innings a start this season, a full inning more than in 2013. And if there is one accomplishment that has pleased the 23-year-old left-hander beyond any other, it is the improvement in the length of his outings.

“If you’re going deeper into games, you’re more efficient with your pitches,” said Matz, a native of Stony Brook, Long Island. “And a lot of stuff comes along with going deeper into games. It will get you more wins and you’re keeping your team in the game longer.”

Matz is a combined 9-8 with a 2.27 ERA in 22 starts between Class A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton. He has struck out 115 and walked 35 in 130 2/3 innings. Since joining the B-Mets, he has a 3.79-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. That is the best of his career at any level.


Courtesy of New York MetsSteven Matz


“I’m throwing my two-seamer a lot more this year, and also my curveball has gotten a lot better,” Matz said. “I’m able to throw it for some strikes and am able to locate it down when I’m ahead of hitters.”

At first glance, it looks like Matz is a candidate for an early shutdown because of an innings cap. His regular-season innings total already exceeds last season by 24 1/3. However, Paul DePodesta offered a reminder that Matz started a pair of postseason games with low-A Savannah last season. Therefore, he should have enough innings left to participate through the B-Mets’ playoff run.

Binghamton’s magic number to clinch is down to two entering Wednesday’s series finale at Erie.

“We are managing him, but we don't expect to shut him down,” DePodesta said.

Said Matz: “I’m feeling good. I’ve got really no complaints.”

Matz was the Mets’ top pick (second round) in 2009 out of Ward Melville High School. He lost nearly two full years at the start of his career because of a lengthy recovery from Tommy John surgery. Not until 2012 did he pitch in his first official minor-league game.

So Matz can empathize with Jeremy Hefner’s recent major setback in an attempted return from the procedure as well as Matt Harvey’s eagerness to get into games.

“I had so many complications with mine, and I was actually told I needed a second Tommy John at one point. It turned out my elbow wasn’t really matured yet and the new ligament wasn’t really matured yet and it looked like maybe a tear or whatever. So I do understand what he’s going through,” Matz said about Hefner. “I feel for him.”

One positive byproduct of the promotion to Double-A is Matz’s family and friends on Long Island now can watch his games more frequently than when he pitched in the South. Matz has lived in past offseasons with his family in Stony Brook, although he is not sure about his living arrangements for this upcoming offseason.

In past offseasons, he has trained at a Garden City, Long Island, facility with a group that includes Jose Reyes, Pedro Beato, Adam Ottavino and Mets farmhand Cam Maron, who is from Hicksville.

“Usually that’s my go-to place,” Matz said.

Organization leaders

Average: Jairo Perez, GCL Mets, .358; Matt Reynolds, Vegas, .348; T.J. Rivera, Binghamton, .338; Matt den Dekker, Vegas, .334; John Mora, Brooklyn, .318; Jean Rodriguez, Kingsport, .317; Dilson Herrera, Binghamton, .316; Enmanuel Zabala, GCL Mets, .308; Kevin Plawecki, Vegas, .307; Jeff McNeil, St. Lucie, .300.

Homers: Brian Burgamy, Binghamton, 23; Dustin Lawley, Binghamton, 20; Andrew Brown, Vegas, 19; Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 16; Travis Taijeron, Binghamton, 15.

RBIs: Brian Burgamy, Binghamton, 75; L.J. Mazzilli, St. Lucie, 74; Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 73; T.J. Rivera, Binghamton, 69; Dilson Herrera, Binghamton, 64.

Steals: Champ Stuart, Savannah, 24; Patrick Biondi, Savannah, 23; Dilson Herrera, Binghamton, 22; Jeff McNeil, St. Lucie, 17; Darrell Ceciliani, Binghamton, 16.

ERA: Marcos Molina, Brooklyn, 1.58; Corey Oswalt, Brooklyn, 2.26; Steven Matz, Binghamton, 2.27; Robert Gsellman, Savannah, 2.34; John Gant, Savannah, 2.59; Matt Bowman, Binghamton, 2.87; Kevin McGowan, St. Lucie, 3.76; Tyler Pill, Binghamton, 4.00; Ricky Knapp, Savannah, 4.02; Andrew Church, Kingsport, 4.17.

Wins: Greg Peavey, Binghamton, 11; Dario Alvarez, Binghamton, 10; Gabriel Ynoa, Binghamton, 10; John Gant, Savannah, 10; Logan Verrett, Vegas, 10.

Saves: Chasen Bradford, Vegas, 15; Akeel Morris, Savannah, 15; Cody Satterwhite, Binghamton, 14; Shane Bay, Brooklyn, 13.

Strikeouts: Noah Syndergaard, Vegas, 127; Steven Matz, Binghamton, 115; John Gant, Savannah, 111; Tyler Pill, Binghamton, 110.

Short hops

• With Brooklyn in a playoff position if its season ended today, the Mets now plan to keep first-round pick Michael Conforto as well as shortstop prospect Amed Rosario with the Cyclones through the postseason. If Brooklyn fades, promotions to Savannah would appear likely. Conforto is hitting .311 with two homers, 14 RBIs and three steals and has a .405 on-base percentage in 29 New York-Penn League games. Rosario, 18, is hitting .286/.335/.377 and has seven steals in 60 games.

Kevin Plawecki made his first appearance of the season at first base last weekend with Las Vegas. DePodesta said Plawecki will only see “very limited” time at the position this season, in order to get him at-bats when fellow catcher Taylor Teagarden also plays. Plawecki manned first base in 17 games last season with St. Lucie, but that mostly was designed to get him through his first full professional season without the rigors of catching every day down the stretch.

Plawecki has lifted his Pacific Coast League average 34 points in the past week -- to .271, thanks to five multi-hit games in his past seven games.

• Right-hander Michael Fulmer, he 44th overall pick in the 2011 draft out of high school in Oklahoma, was charged with six runs in 3 1/3 innings in his Double-A debut on Tuesday. Slowed by injuries early in his career, Fulmer had gone 6-10 with a 3.97 ERA and had a 1.50 WHIP in 19 starts with St. Lucie. Depending on the trickle-down from the major league club, beginning with Rafael Montero’s potential demotion, Fulmer may or may not remain at Double-A for the rest of the season.

• A pair of June draft picks playing with Brooklyn are done for the season because of knee injuries. Ninth-round pick Michael Katz, a first baseman/outfielder out of William & Mary, is expected to require surgery. Versatile position player Will Fulmer, a 22nd-round pick out of the University of Montevallo, also is not expected to return in 2014.

Morning Briefing: Seven hits!

August, 20, 2014
8/20/14
7:17
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: Seven hits!

The Mets’ string of games producing four hits or fewer ended at five straight on Tuesday -- tied for the longest streak in the majors since 1900.

The Amazin’s streak of facing aces will continue.

Zack Wheeler (8-8, 3.49 ERA) opposes former Chicago Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija (5-9, 2.96) in the finale of an abbreviated series in Oakland at 3:35 p.m. ET Wednesday.

Wheeler is 5-0 with a 2.02 ERA in his past nine starts.

Wednesday’s news reports:

Dillon Gee walked light-hitting No. 9 batter Eric Sogard with two outs in the fourth ahead of a three-run triple by Coco Crisp and Scott Kazmir and the A’s went on to beat the Mets, 6-2, Tuesday. Gee is now 0-5 with a 5.71 ERA in seven starts since the All-Star break.


Ben Margot/Associated PressDillon Gee had a costly walk to Eric Sogard in a four-run fourth by the A's.


“I lost command of my breaking ball there for a couple of innings and it really hurt me,” Gee told reporters postgame.

Josh Reddick added a two-run homer in the eighth against Gonzalez Germen, who was called up while Bartolo Colon is on bereavement leave.

Travis d'Arnaud homered, but it was another quiet hitting day by the Mets, who had Daniel Murphy resting and Curtis Granderson in the No. 2 hole as part of Terry Collins’ lineup shakeup.

Oakland snapped a five-game losing streak.

The Mets (59-68) are nine games under .500 for the first time since July 7.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Newsday and at MLB.com.

Jacob deGrom faced batters during a throwing session Tuesday in Oakland and has been declared ready to return from the disabled list on Saturday at Dodger Stadium. With deGrom poised to be activated, Rafael Montero could get bullpen action Wednesday against the A’s. The Mets won’t need to make a roster move until Saturday to clear space for deGrom. And if Colon isn’t activated until Sunday, Germen could go first. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

Jenrry Mejia “has expressed dismay to confidants in recent days about the fact he has been used lately in several non-save situations, but before the Mets faced the Athletics on Tuesday said he’s on the same wavelength with manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen,” Mike Puma writes in the Post.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis was unavailable Tuesday because of a stiff neck.

• Danny Muno had a three-run homer as part of a three-hit night as Las Vegas beat Omaha, 10-4. Michael Fulmer allowed six runs in 3 1/3 innings in his Double-A debut as Binghamton was shut out at Erie, 7-0. Victor Cruzado homered and drove in four runs in Savannah’s 11-3 win against Rome. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal contrasts the Mets and A’s, who have similar payrolls and disparate success. Writes Diamond:

As previously reported by the Journal, teams throughout history with a $100 million player taking up more than 20% of the payroll have a cumulative winning percentage of .455.

The A's don't have that problem. Their highest-paid player on opening day, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, was due $10.5 million this year, which represented around 12.8% of the payroll. Their three highest-paid players -- Cespedes, reliever Jim Johnson and starter Scott Kazmir -- made up 35.8% of the payroll. (Cespedes was traded to Boston for [Jon] Lester last month.)

• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger chronicles Kazimr’s path from prominence to independent ball and back to prominence.

• Marc Carig in Newsday speaks with Lucas Duda about his success at the plate.

From the bloggers …Blogging Mets wonders when and why run differential became so important.

BIRTHDAYS: St. Lucie reliever Robby Coles turns 23. ... Cory Sullivan is 35. ... Lance Broadway is 31.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: What lineup change would you most like to see to inject some life in the offense?

Minors 8.19.14: Muno homer paces Vegas

August, 19, 2014
8/19/14
11:14
PM ET
LAS VEGAS 10, OMAHA 4: Danny Muno had a three-run homer in a six-run second inning as the 51s took a commanding early lead. Josh Satin went 3-for-4 with a double, walk, RBI and run scored. Matt Reynolds and Muno also had three hits apiece. Vegas starter Cory Mazzoni allowed four runs in seven innings. Box

ERIE 7, BINGHAMTON 0: Michael Fulmer was charged with six runs on six hits in his Double-A debut. Fulmer (0-1) struck out one and walked three. The SeaWolves plated six

lastname
Fulmer
runs in the fourth and Wilsen Palacios tossed seven scoreless innings. Binghamton’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot sits at two. Erie jumped on Fulmer in the first. With Jason Krizan on second, Dean Green ripped an RBI double. Fulmer surrendered a single before retiring Corey Jones to limit the damage to one run. Steven Moya started Erie’s fourth inning with his league-leading 32nd homer. Fulmer followed by surrendering back-to-back singles. He then issued walks to Marcus Lemon and Jamie Johnson. The latter forced in a run and ended his night after 3 1/3 innings. Adam Kolarek entered and struggled to put out the fire. Jason Krizan greeted the lefty with a run-producing fielder’s choice. Devon Travis walked to reload the bases and Dean Green delivered a two-run single. Moya capped the six-run inning in which Erie batted around by lacing an RBI single. Binghamton’s only threat came in the third when Brian Burgamy singled. Brandon Nimmo attempted to score from second, but was gunned down by Johnson in center field. Hansel Robles contributed three scoreless relief innings. Box

CHARLOTTE 11, ST. LUCIE 8: Trailing 8-2, the Mets scored six eighth-inning runs to pull even. However, the Stone Crabs answered with three runs in the bottom half to retake the lead. Johnny Field scored the go-ahead run when St. Lucie reliever Beck Wheeler threw a wild pitch with the bases loaded. After Wheeler departed, Granden Goetzman hit a two-out, two-run single against Ryan Fraser. In the top of the eighth, L.J. Mazzilli and Cam Maron singled against Nick Sawyer. Gavin Cecchini and Jared King then drew consecutive four-pitch walks to force in Mazzilli and make it 8-3. Jose Molina entered and walked Phillip Evans, also on four pitches, to plate Maron. Gilbert Gomez followed with a two-run double and the Mets trailed 8-6. Eudy Pina delivered an RBI single to pull St. Lucie within a run. Molina then walked Jeff McNeil to load the bases. Ryan Garton was summoned to face Maikis De La Cruz with no outs and the bases loaded. He induced a 4-6-3 double play as Gomez scored the tying run. Garton got the Crabs out of further trouble when Mazzilli flied out to leave Pina on third base. Colton Reavis shut down the Mets in order in the ninth. Angel Cuan, who was demoted to St. Lucie from Binghamton, started for the Mets. He allowed three runs in four innings. Mazzilli and Pina had two-hit games. Maron extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Box

SAVANNAH 11, ROME 3: Victor Cruzado went 3-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs. Yeixon Ruiz had a three-run homer in the second as the Gnats took a 5-0 lead. Rob Whalen allowed three runs (two earned) in 5 2/3 innings to improve to 8-1. Paul Paez followed with 3 1/3 no-hit relief innings to earn his first save. Box

GREENEVILLE 7, KINGSPORT 4: Starter Andrew Church allowed six runs (four earned) on eight hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings. Zach Mathieu went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs in the loss. Box

NYPL NORTH 1, NYPL SOUTH 1: The New York-Penn League All-Star Game ended in a 1-all draw after nine innings at MCU Park in Coney Island. Among Cyclones representatives, Marcos Molina and Corey Oswalt tossed scoreless frames and Shane Bay recorded the final out of the top of the ninth. Amed Rosario, Jhoan Urena and Michael Bernal went a combined 0-for-5. Box

GCL METS 3, GCL CARDINALS 2: Jairo Perez had a run-scoring single and Dash Winningham followed with an RBI groundout in a two-run first. Perez also singled in the third to plate Raphael Ramirez and give the Mets a 3-1 lead. Kurtis Horne, the Mets' 31st-round pick in June out of British Columbia, tossed a scoreless relief inning to pick up his first professional win. Nabil Crismatt notched his first Gulf Coast League save. Box

Compiled with team reports

Morning Briefing: Nats own the place

August, 14, 2014
8/14/14
5:30
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The Washington Nationals could make history Thursday at Citi Field.

In the 53-season existence of the New York Mets, no visiting team has ever won 11 straight games.

The 1991-92 Atlanta Braves, who won 10 straight at Shea Stadium, and the 2013-14 Nats currently are tied for the longest road winning streak in Queens.

The Nats have won 24 of their last 28 games at Citi Field.

Dillon Gee (4-4, 3.54 ERA) opposes right-hander Stephen Strasburg (8-10, 3.68) in the 7:10 p.m. series finale.

Gee is coming off a weekend start in Philly in which he allowed a seventh-inning solo homer to Carlos Ruiz and no other damage in what became a 2-1 win in 11 innings.

Strasburg is 1-8 with a 5.25 ERA in 12 road starts this season. His lone start against the Mets this season came on Opening Day, when Andrew Brown produced a three-run homer in the first inning and Strasburg ultimately allowed four runs in six innings.

For those still keeping track, the Mets (57-64) trail the first-place Nats by 9 games. They are seven games out of the second wild-card position with 41 games remaining.

They Amazin’s will need to go 24-17 the rest of the way to reach .500 and snap a five-season streak of losing seasons, which is tied with the Houston Astros for the longest active streak in the majors. The Mets need to go 33-8 to reach Sandy Alderson’s 90-win goal.

Thursday’s news reports:

• The Mets are not headed for a managerial change for the 2015 season, ESPNNewYork.com correspondent Danny Knobler reports. Jon Heyman first reported at CBSSports.com that Terry Collins, who is under contract for 2015, is “likely” to return, barring a Mets collapse. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• A defiant but respectful Matt Harvey still wants to pitch this season, he told ESPN New York 98.7 on Wednesday. The adamancy came after Harvey threw a 27-pitch session off a mound in Port St. Lucie, Fla. It also came amid the Mets saying the ace will be further slow-tracked in light of Jeremy Hefner's major setback returning from Tommy John surgery. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.

Asdrubal Cabrera had an eighth-inning solo homer against Jeurys Familia and a comeback bid fell short as the Mets lost to Washington, 3-2, Wednesday. Travis d'Arnaud homered against Rafael Soriano in the bottom of the ninth to pull the Mets within a run, but Matt den Dekker was thrown out at the plate in a play upheld on replay. The Mets are now 0-for-14 with runners in scoring position in the series.

Read game recaps in the Washington Post, Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday, Times and at MLB.com.

• Read more about Bartolo Colon's effort in the loss in Newsday.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, who originally was expected to make a rehab start for Brooklyn, instead will make that appearance Saturday with Double-A Binghamton during a doubleheader at Reading.

Jacob deGrom is expected to resume throwing Thursday. DeGrom should miss only one more start -- Sunday against the Chicago Cubs. He then would bump Rafael Montero the following turn. DeGrom is on the DL with rotator-cuff tendinitis.

• Matt Reynolds had a pair of triples and three RBIs and John Lannan allowed three runs in six innings as Las Vegas beat Iowa, 6-4. Michael Fulmer allowed one run in six innings in the opener as St. Lucie split a doubleheader at Fort Myers. Octavio Acosta allowed one run in eight innings as Savannah beat Asheville, 4-1. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Mets minor-league right-hander Derrick Bernard received a 62-game suspension for testing positive for a metabolite of Nandrolone, a performance-enhancing drug, MLB announced. Bernard, 22, had made six relief appearances in the Gulf Coast League this season.

• Nats right fielder Jayson Werth received a cortisone shot in his right shoulder and will be active but unavailable for Thursday’s series finale. Read more at NatsInsider.com.

Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has a torn labrum in his left hip and will undergo season-ending surgery Friday in Vail, Colo.

• Mr. Met did the Ice Bucket Challenge on Wednesday. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Daily News.

From the bloggers … Blogging Mets urges Mets fans to sign a petition to help Gil Hodges get into the Hall of Fame.

BIRTHDAYS: Mets PR czar Jay Horwitz turns 69. ... Former outfielder McKay Christensen is 39.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Will the Mets finish .500?

Minors 8.7.14: Boyd sinks Squirrels

August, 7, 2014
8/07/14
10:31
PM ET
ALBUQUERQUE 6, LAS VEGAS 2: Noah Syndergaard allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits and four walks while striking out four in five innings. He threw 102 pitches (64 strikes). Syndergaard had limited opponents to one earned run in 17 1/3 innings in his previous three starts. Jack Leathersich allowed one run on two hits and recorded one out in his return to Triple-A. Matt den Dekker went 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk. Box

BINGHAMTON 3, RICHMOND 0: Jayce Boyd's two-run double in the eighth broke a scoreless tie and lifted the B-Mets to their second series sweep of Richmond this season.

lastname
Boyd
Matt Bowman tossed six innings and combined with Hansel Robles and Cody Satterwhite on the shutout. Against Jose Casilla in the eighth, Brian Burgamy smacked a one-out double and Darrell Ceciliani was intentionally walked. Boyd then doubled to left-center to plate both. In the ninth, Wilfredo Tovar produced a one-out double against Phil McCormick. T.J. Rivera then singled to cap the scoring. Bowman allowed five hits and struck out six. Richmond starter Ty Blach tossed seven scoreless innings. Robles (7-6) tossed two no-hit innings and struck out four of the six batters he faced to pick up the win. Satterwhite worked a perfect ninth for his 12th save. At 70-47, Binghamton achieved its high-water mark for the season. Ceciliani and Burgamy each extended season-long hitting streaks. Ceciliani has reached nine games. Burgamy has hit safely in 11 straight. Box

FORT MYERS 6, ST. LUCIE 2: The Miracle stole six bases and catcher Cam Maron committed three errors on stolen-base attempts. Miracle starter Ethan Mildren limited the

lastname
Maron
Mets to solo homers from Gavin Cecchini and Jared King in six innings. The Miracle scored two runs in the first against Michael Fulmer. Levi Michael walked and stole second and Byron Buxton followed with an infield hit. Buxton then stole second. Maron’s throw skipped away from L.J. Mazzilli and into center field, allowing Michael to score. Later in the inning, Dalton Hicks had an RBI double for a 2-0 lead. In the third, Aderling Mejia led off with a single and stole second. This time Maron’s throw sailed high and Mejia advanced to third. He came home on a two-out infield single by Michael to make it 3-0. The Miracle took a four-run lead an inning later. Niko Goodrum singled with two outs and stole second. It was the fifth steal of the night for the Miracle. Michael then had an RBI single. Cecchini’s solo homer in the fifth cut St. Lucie's deficit to 4-1. King made it a two-run game in the sixth with a solo shot. However, the Miracle answered with an ugly seventh-inning run. Goodrum stole second on Buxton's strikeout and went to third on another throw from Maron that sailed into center. Center fielder Gilbert Gomez bobbled the ball. The lapse allowed Goodrum to score. Adam Brett Walker’s homer against Robert Coles made it 6-2 in the eighth. Fulmer was charged with four runs (three earned) on seven hits in five innings. He struck out seven and walked one. Maron went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles. Box

AUGUSTA 10, SAVANNAH 9 (10 innings): Augusta scored six runs in the eighth to force extra innings. Reliever Akeel Morris then suffered a walk-off loss in the 10th as catcher Colton Plaia was charged with interference on Randy Ortiz's game-ending single. Box

KINGSPORT 8, BRISTOL 7
KINGSPORT 3, BRISTOL 2: Luis Arrizurieta singled and Leon Canelon scored the tiebreaking run from second base in the ninth after a throwing error by third baseman Edgardo Munoz as the K-Mets won, 8-7, in the completion of a game suspended on July 14. Long Islander Jimmy Duff (2-0) retired all nine batters he faced, four via strikeout, with the game having resumed in the seventh inning. In the regularly scheduled game, Kingsport overcame a 1-0 deficit with a three-run eighth. Luis Ortega had a game-tying leadoff homer. Branden Kaupe had a two-out, two-run double. After Bristol pulled within a run and loaded the bases in the top of the ninth, Ismael Tijerina replaced Bryce Beeler with one out and got a game-ending double-play grounder. Starter Andrew Church allowed one run in six innings. Box 1, Box 2

BROOKLYN 4, MAHONING VALLEY 0: Martires Arias limited the Scrappers to two hits and three walks in six scoreless innings. Relievers Brad Wieck and Mike Hepple combined for three no-hit relief innings. Michael Conforto went 2-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Conforto doubled and scored the opening run on Jhoan Urena's single in the fourth. Brooklyn added three eighth-inning runs. Conforto had an RBI single, Urena contributed a sacrifice fly and Tomas Nido also had an RBI single. Box

GCL METS 5, GCL CARDINALS 3: Starter Tyler Badamo, a 24th-round pick out of Dowling College on Long Island, allowed one run on three hits in five innings and earned his first professional win. Alex Palsha produced a scoreless ninth for his eighth save. The Mets took a 4-0 lead on Arnaldo Berrios' two-out RBI double and Enmanuel Zabala's ensuing RBI single in the second. Box

Compiled with team reports

Morning Briefing: Deadline day!

July, 31, 2014
7/31/14
5:48
AM ET
FIRST PITCH: It’s a day of rest for the Mets, aside from early wakeup calls for those participating in third-base coach Tim Teufel’s charity golf tournament in Greenwich, Conn.

So the focus turns to GM Sandy Alderson. The non-waiver trade deadline is 4 p.m. Thursday.

Mets insiders have suggested the very likely scenario is the team stands pat, but stay tuned.

The Mets return to Citi Field on Friday to open a four-game series against the San Francisco Giants. Jonathon Niese (5-6, 3.23 ERA) opposes right-hander Ryan Vogelsong (5-8, 4.45) in the opener.

Thursday’s news reports:

Zack Wheeler limited Philadelphia to two runs in 6 2/3 innings and Daniel Murphy launched a tiebreaking three-run homer en route to an 11-2 victory against the reeling Phillies on Wednesday at Citi Field. Lucas Duda produced three RBIs and has now driven in a run in a career-best six straight games.


Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY SportsThe Mets celebrate after Wednesday's 11-2 win against the Phillies.


Murphy’s opposite-field shot against Kyle Kendrick in the fifth made it 5-1. “I hit the ball that way,” Murphy quipped about the frequency he goes to left field. “It just doesn’t ever go that far.”

On Duda, David Wright said: “It’s just amazing the transformation in such a short time period where he’s become one of the more dangerous hitters in the National League. It’s been fun to watch, because every time he picks up the bat you think he’s going to hit the ball hard. And most of the time he does.”

Terry Collins complimented Wheeler, who has a 1.63 ERA over his past six starts. “You saw a guy battle really without his best command,” the manager said.

Even Jeurys Familia had an RBI single.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Times, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.

Matt Harvey told ESPNNewYork.com he expects to get on a mound next week for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery on Oct. 22, 2013.

Harvey told Mike Puma in the Post he still would like to make a cameo in the majors before the season ends, even though it is clear that’s highly unlikely. “Even if it was one inning out of the bullpen, I would be happy,” Harvey said.

The expectation is Harvey will pitch in the fall instructional league in Port St. Lucie, Fla., which spans late September and early October. He told Puma a brief appearance in the Arizona Fall League is likely, too.

Marc Carig in Newsday reports the initial Harvey mound session actually could occur as soon as Friday.

• Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post advocates the Mets acquiring outfielder Matt Kemp from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Writes Kernan:

Matt Kemp would be moved by the Dodgers if the price were right, and, yes, the price is always an issue with the Mets. Kemp is owed $107 million over the next five years. Kemp would be a great fit for the Yankees, too, if they wanted to go there.

• Jon Heyman at CBSSports.com notes any Mets pursuit of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez would have to wait until the winter. Heyman portrays CarGo as more realistic for the Mets. Writes Heyman:

Ultimately, the Mets don't see themselves as likely to land Tulowitzki -- "he wants to be a Yankee" one Mets person said, stating what has becoming obvious -- so Gonzalez will presumably be the main focus of talks once they hook up.

• A Mets insider told ESPNNewYork.com there was one scenario, although it seemed unlikely to materialize, in which the Mets could acquire an “intriguing” outfielder before 4 p.m. It’s not clear who that is, though.

Nick Piecoro in The Arizona Republic reports there’s buzz the Diamondbacks’ Gerardo Parra is available. Parra, earning $4.85 million this season, has one more year of arbitration eligibility before becoming a free agent following the 2015 season.

• Mets chief operating Jeff Wilpon served on a three-member arbitration panel trying to determine how much the Washington Nationals should be paid for their TV rights by the regional sports network MASN. The principal owner of that network is the Baltimore Orioles.

As a concession for entering O’s territory when the Nats relocated from Montreal for the 2005 season, the Nats agreed to discounted rights fees through 2011. Since then, however, there has been a squabble about how much the Nats should receive from MASN.

Despite a reported favorable ruling for the Nats by the arbitration panel that included Wilpon, the issue apparently still could be headed to court, irking commissioner Bud Selig. Read the full story in The Hollywood Reporter.

• Michael Fulmer tossed six scoreless innings and St. Lucie beat Dunedin, 4-3. Wuilmer Becerra had a two-run triple as Kingsport beat Danville, 8-3. 2014 first-round pick Michael Conforto went 3-for-3 with two RBIs in Brooklyn’s 9-4 win against Auburn. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Read more on Wheeler in the Post and Newsday.

• Read more on Duda in the Record and Daily News.

• Read more on Familia in the Star-Ledger.

• The Giants recently signed Dan Uggla after he was released by the Atlanta Braves. There are conflicting reports about Uggla’s status, but it appears he will not be a Giant when the club arrives at Citi Field on Friday. Uggla is 0-for-11 with a walk and has committed three errors since joining San Francisco. Writes Henry Schulman in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Dan Uggla is still a Giant, but probably won’t be when the team gets to New York. I got indications earlier today that Uggla was going to be cut loose. MLB.com reported that he and (incorrectly, [Tyler] Colvin) were released, but Giants officials say there was no roster move with Uggla.

In any event, it seems Uggla’s tenure with the Giants might conclude with three errors, no hits and a few more days of service time applied to his big-league pension.

One spot likely will go to Brandon Belt, who is expected to be activated in New York. Another could foretell a trade, but none was imminent when I left the ballpark around 6 p.m.

• Read a review of Sharknado 2 in Rolling Stone. One line from Wednesday's premiere pleased Mets fans: "You don't mess with a Mets fan on the 7 train." (See clip on Vine here.)

From the bloggers …NY Mets Life gives Alderson some pointers on what the Mets should do at the deadline.

BIRTHDAYS: Billy Wynne, who made his major league debut with the Mets in 1967 and was traded the following offseason in a deal that returned Tommie Agee, was born on this date in 1943.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Who should be the ideal (but realistic) acquisition target for the Mets before the trade deadline?

Minors 7.30.14: Conforto 3-for-3, 2 RBIs

July, 31, 2014
7/31/14
12:30
AM ET
EL PASO 8, LAS VEGAS 5: Starter Logan Verrett surrendered four runs in six innings, including homers to Tyler Greene, Cody Decker and Taylor Lindsey. Trailing 7-1, the 51s posted a four-run eighth that included a three-run double by Allan Dykstra. Box

NEW HAMPSHIRE 7, BINGHAMTON 2: Starter Greg Peavey allowed four first-inning runs, including a two-run homer to Matt Newman, en route to his first Eastern League loss since April 14. Peavey (8-2) followed with five straight scoreless innings. The B-Mets clawed within 4-1 in the second against Casey Lawrence. T.J. Rivera doubled, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Jayce Boyd's sacrifice fly. In the sixth, Brian Burgamy walked and stole second base. After a pair of strikeouts, Darrell Ceciliani produced an RBI double as Binghamton moved within two runs. The Fisher Cats pulled away from there, though. Hansel Robles and Jack Leathersich combined to handle the final three innings. They surrendered a total of three runs -- all unearned -- on a four-error night for the B-Mets. Box

ST. LUCIE 4, DUNEDIN 3: Michael Fulmer tossed six scoreless innings and Eudy Pina went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs. Pina's two-run double in the sixth staked St. Lucie to a 4-0 lead. Dunedin pulled within a run with a three-run eighth against Beck Wheeler. T.J. Chism inherited the tying run on second base and, after issuing a walk, coaxed an inning-ending groundout. Chism then tossed a perfect ninth for his fourth save. The intended second game was canceled because rules prohibit three doubleheaders in a seven-day span. Box

KINGSPORT 8, DANVILLE 3: Wuilmer Becerra had a two-run triple and Eudor Garcia followed with an RBI double in a five-run first inning. Box

BROOKLYN 9, AUBURN 4: 2014 first-round pick Michael Conforto finished 3-for-3 with a pair of runs scored and two RBIs and the Cyclones jumped on Auburn with a seven-run second inning. Tyler Moore began that outburst with a walk and advanced on a wild pitch. Auburn starter James Bourque then plunked Will Fulmer. Joe Tuschak followed with an RBI double. Anthony Chavez had a run-scoring infield single. Chavez ultimately scored on a successful double steal as Amed Rosario swiped second. Conforto's RBI single made it 5-0. A balk during Moore’s second at-bat of the inning plated another run. Moore's RBI double made it 7-0. Box

GCL CARDINALS 10, GCL METS 1: Dash Winningham's ninth-inning solo homer accounted for the lone Mets run. Starter Jose Celas surrendered five runs on seven hits and a walk in 1 2/3 innings. Box

Compiled with team reports

Minors 7.23.14: Whalen wins in return

July, 24, 2014
7/24/14
12:14
AM ET
TACOMA 6, LAS VEGAS 4: Cory Mazzoni allowed six runs (four earned) on five hits and five walks in 3 2/3 innings. Wilmer Flores and Allan Dykstra homered in a three-run third as the 51s took a 3-1 lead. Flores finished with three RBIs. With Vegas trailing by two runs, Danny Muno doubled with one out in the ninth and Juan Centeno singled. After Cesar Puello flied out, Matt den Dekker then walked to load the bases. However, Josh Satin flied out for the final out. Box

BINGHAMTON 4, PORTLAND 2: Steven Matz (4-1) limited the Sea Dogs to two runs on

lastname
Matz
seven hits and a walk in seven innings and the B-Mets avoided a three-game sweep. Sean Coyle had a solo homer against Matz in the second inning, but the B-Mets responded a half-inning later against Binghamton University product Mike Augliera as Rylan Sandoval had a leadoff homer. It was Sandoval’s first long ball of the season. Binghamton took the lead in the fourth as T.J. Rivera doubled and eventually scored on Jayce Boyd's single. That advantage swelled to 4-1 in the fifth. Dilson Herrera singled and stole second. Brian Burgamy then singled to place runners on the corners. Travis Taijeron followed with a run-scoring double. Rivera skied a sacrifice fly to center to plate Burgamy. Portland cut the deficit to two runs in the sixth as rehabbing Ryan Lavarnway, Michael Almanzar and Dave Chester all singled. Randy Fontanez and Cody Satterwhite each contributed a scoreless frame in relief. Satterwhite notched his ninth save. Burgamy finished 4-for-5 with two doubles and a run scored. Portland won the season series over the B-Mets, 11-9. Box

TAMPA 13, ST. LUCIE 6: Gavin Cecchini blasted a three-run homer in a five-run first inning, but the Yankees overcame the deficit to complete a four-game sweep. Mets starter Michael Fulmer cruised through the first three innings, allowing one hit and striking out five. His outing unraveled in the fourth. Greg Bird singled, Dante Bichette Jr. reached on L.J. Mazzilli’s error and Fulmer hit Eric Jagielo on the foot with an 0-2 pitch to load the bases. Fulmer threw a wild pitch that allowed Bird to score and walked Aaron Judge to reload the bases. Angelo Gumbs then singled to make it 5-2. With the bases again loaded, Trent Garrison had a two-run single. Jose Rosario followed with an RBI single to even the score. After Danny Oh struck out and Cito Culver walked, Fulmer was replaced by Jake Kuebler. Bird came up for the second time in the inning and produced a sac fly to put the Yankees ahead. Bichette followed with an RBI single to make it 7-5. Judge finally grounded out to end the fourth. Kuebler stayed in to pitch the fifth, but the Yankees got to him. Kuebler fielded Rosario’s bunt attempt with two runners on but threw the ball over the head of Mazzilli covering first base to allow a run to score. Later in the frame, Gilbert Gomez dropped a fly ball hit to center that allowed two more runs to score as the Yankees took a 12-5 lead. The Mets committed five errors in the game. Fulmer was charged with seven runs (four earned) in 3 1/3 innings. Box

lastname
Whalen
SAVANNAH 7, AUGUSTA 2: Rob Whalen (5-0) limited Augusta to two runs in 5 2/3 innings in his first South Atlantic League start since May 1. He missed more than two months recovering from an infection in his pitching hand that needed to be surgically cleaned. Miller Diaz tossed three scoreless innings and was credited with his second save. Matt Oberste extended his hitting streak to 21 games with a ninth-inning solo homer. Jonathan Johnson had two RBIs. Victor Cruzado went 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored. Box

GREENEVILLE 6, KINGSPORT 3 (10 innings): Jimmy Duff was charged with three runs (two earned) in the top of the 10th. Third baseman Eudor Garcia had a fielding error in the frame. Box

ABERDEEN 5, BROOKLYN 2: Starter Casey Meisner allowed three runs (two earned) in one inning. Amed Rosario went 3-for-4 with a triple and Michael Conforto went 2-for-4 with a double in the loss. Jhoan Urena drove in two runs. Box

GCL METS 9, GCL NATIONALS 6: Dale Burdick's eighth-inning sacrifice fly broke a 6-all tie. Hengelbert Rojas added a two-run single in the ninth. John Mora, Arnaldo Berrios, Rojas and Burdick had two RBIs apiece. Box

Compiled with team reports

Morning Briefing: Back to work!

July, 18, 2014
7/18/14
5:04
AM ET
SAN DIEGO

FIRST PITCH: Play ball!

After a four-day All-Star break, the Mets get back to business, trying to build on their 8-2 homestand that closed the first half.

The Amazin’s resume play against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park at 10:10 p.m. ET Friday. Bartolo Colon (8-8, 3.99 ERA) opposes right-hander Ian Kennedy (7-9, 3.47).


USA TODAY SportsThe Mets open the second half facing Ian Kennedy, Tyson Ross and Odrisamer Despaigne in San Diego.


That kicks off a 10-game trip that also includes stops in Seattle and Milwaukee.

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

Read the Mets-Padres series preview here.

Friday’s news reports:

Daniel Murphy tells Marc Carig in Newsday that his agents have not had any extension talks with the Mets. Murphy, making $5.7 million this season, is eligible for arbitration a final time this winter. He is eligible for free agency after the 2015 season.

"I think that anybody would be willing to listen to an extension," Murphy told the newspaper. "They're not just passing out at-bats in this league. I don't know what the years or anything would look like. But at the point you come and say, 'Hey, we trust you with 600 at-bats [in each] of the next three to five years,' you're like, 'Yeah, I would like that.'”

• Former Mets GM Omar Minaya tells Mike Puma in the Post that the contribution of holdovers from his regime -- including Juan Lagares, Jacob deGrom, Murphy, Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia -- does not feel like vindication.

“I don’t think that way,” said Minaya, who is currently helping oversee the Padres in an interim capacity after the firing of Josh Byrnes as general manager. “You do your job. And when teams don’t win in [New York], people’s opinions are a product of it. We felt very comfortable and believed we had a plan in place to get athletes, to get good players to the major leagues. And it’s an organization, not just one person. Part of it has been Paul DePodesta and Sandy Alderson. They are part of bringing these guys along. It’s not an individual thing.”

• In a lengthy ESPNNewYork.com article by Andrew Marchand on Mets fandom, Jonathon Niese said: “We are not filling the stadium. Where are the Mets fans when we are down-and-out? They were here in '06 and '07 when we were really good, but we have struggled and they are not coming to the stadium."

• Puma in the Post chats with Terry Collins on the eve of the second half.

On the Mets’ postseason potential, Collins said: “We’ve got 67 games to go and we’ve got 39 in our division. If we end up having a good record against our division, I think we’re going to be in the mix at the end.”

On whether key bullpen pieces are overworked, the manager said: “Hell, I won’t know that until the end of August. That last month of the season is when those guys who are in the big leagues for that first full season, some of that stuff starts to show up. The fatigue, the pressure of 145 games at that time, and you can start to see it … because their minor-league seasons would have been over and they’re still playing. So how they handle that situation will determine how that last month will go.”

Carlos Torres leads all major league relievers with 59 1/3 innings. Familia’s 45 relief appearances trail MLB co-leaders Brad Ziegler (Arizona) and Will Smith (Milwaukee) by four.

• Back from the Futures Game, Noah Syndergaard allowed seven runs in five innings as Las Vegas lost to Salt Lake, 7-6. Dustin Lawley had a three-run homer and finished with four RBIs as Binghamton beat Trenton, 8-4. Michael Fulmer tossed six scoreless innings in the nightcap as St. Lucie split a doubleheader with Brevard County. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Ron Darling is “extremely optimistic” about the Mets, he tells Bob Raissman in the Daily News.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal asks three questions: Can the Mets continue to produce at the plate? Will the Mets wheel and deal before July 31? And will Syndergaard debut this season?

• Diamond in the Journal also revisits signing Chris Young over Nelson Cruz.

• Justin Terranova in the Post writes that the Mets can become deadline buyers.

• Matt Ehalt in the Record lists five people under scrutiny in the second half: Collins, Alderson, Travis d'Arnaud, Ruben Tejada and deGrom.

• Tim Healey at MLB.com revisits last August’s trade of Marlon Byrd, which yielded Vic Black and Dilson Herrera.

Jeremy Hefner tossed two innings in the Gulf Coast League on Thursday, in his second game since returning from Tommy John surgery.

Zack Wheeler is one of nine candidates in MLB who could demonstrate significant second-half improvement, Baseball Prospectus suggests. The site writes:

Wheeler has walked more than two batters just twice in past 11 starts (after cracking that threshold five times in his first eight games), and he entered the All-Star break with a string of three consecutive starts in which he pitched six or more innings and surrendered just a single run. He has also honed his stuff since last season, adding 0.5 mph to his fastball (which is now averaging 95.9 mph) and diversifying his pitch mix. He has doubled the frequency of his changeup, and though it is still the weakest offering in a repertoire that features a pair of plus breaking pitches, Wheeler has the potential to be dominant if he can refine el cambio. He has also kept the ball on the ground this season, upping his ground-ball rate by 10 percentage points while surrendering just seven bombs across 108.3 innings (only two homers have come since he turned 24 on May 30th), while his component stats have all trended in positive directions.

• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger looks at the value of catchers framing pitches.

• Mets first-round pick Michael Conforto was in L.A. on Thursday as a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award as the nation’s top collegiate player. The honor went to the University of Kentucky product A.J. Reed. Conforto is due to rejoin Brooklyn on Friday and make his professional debut shortly thereafter.

• Keith Law placed four Mets prospects in his top 50 in MLB: Syndergaard at No. 16, Conforto at No. 32, Brandon Nimmo at No. 34 and Dominic Smith at No. 49. ESPN Insiders can read the commentary here.

• Friday is the MLB deadline to sign players from June’s draft. The Mets do not plan to sign any more of their remaining picks, DePodesta told ESPNNewYork.com. Eleven college-bound prep players went unsigned: Luke Bonfield (21st round), Richard Moesker (23rd), Tommy Pincin (26th), Keaton McKinney (28th), Chris Glover (32nd), Brady Puckett (33rd), Jordan Hand (34th), Jonathan Teaney (35th), Garett King (36th), Tristan Gray (37th) and Kyle Dunster (38th). Bonfield and McKinney are headed to the University of Arkansas.

• The Padres have narrowed their GM search to four finalists, Scott Miller tweets: Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler, Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen, MLB senior VP Kim Ng and Rangers assistant GM A.J. Preller.

BIRTHDAYS: Hall of Famer Joe Torre, who finished his playing career with the Mets, turns 74. ... Minor-league pitcher Robert Gsellman is 21.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Which Mets player will take the biggest leap forward in the second half?

Minors 7.17.14: Syndergaard stumbles

July, 18, 2014
7/18/14
12:27
AM ET
SALT LAKE 7, LAS VEGAS 6: Noah Syndergaard, who picked up the save in Tuesday's

lastname
Syndergaard
Futures Game with a scoreless ninth, allowed seven earned runs in five innings in his return to the 51s. Syndergaard surrendered seven hits, including a two-run homer by Tommy Field, and issued three walks. Vegas stormed back with a five-run eighth that began with triple by Matt den Dekker and also included den Dekker getting hit by a pitch to force in a run. Vegas left the tying run at second base in the ninth when Brandon Allen grounded out. Since returning to Triple-A in mid-June, den Dekker is hitting .411 (35-for-85). Right-handers Cory Mazzoni and Rafael Montero both have joined Las Vegas after recovering from side-muscle injuries. Box

BINGHAMTON 8, TRENTON 4: Dustin Lawley launched a three-run homer in the first inning against Manny Banuelos to highlight a four-RBI game as Binghamton won its fourth

lastname
Lawley
straight. Lawley’s blast was his team-leading 17th -- and 13th since June 10. Steven Matz (3-1) allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks while striking out four in five innings. Trenton pulled within 3-2 in the third. Mason Williams and Rob Segedin had consecutive one-out singles. Brandon Nimmo bobbled the ball on the latter hit, allowing Williams to score an unearned run. The B-Mets took control with a three-run fifth. Nimmo walked and moved to second on Dilson Herrera's single. Both runners advanced on Brian Burgamy's groundout. Lawley then singled to plate Nimmo. T.J. Rivera added a sacrifice fly. The ball eluded catcher Gary Sanchez on the play, allowing Lawley to take second base. Darrell Ceciliani then singled to plate Lawley for a 6-2 lead. The lead swelled to six runs the following inning against Jairo Heredia. Xorge Carrillo doubled and moved to third on Kyle Johnson's single. Consecutive wild pitches allowed Carrillo to score and moved Johnson to third base. Johnson scored on Herrera's ensuing sacrifice fly. Trenton produced two runs in the seventh against Ryan Fraser. Randy Fontanez and Jack Leathersich each contributed a scoreless frame. Leathersich struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth. Box

BREVARD COUNTY 6, ST. LUCIE 1
ST. LUCIE 3, BREVARD COUNTY 2: After a two-hour, 32-minute delay at the start, the teams split a doubleheader. In the nightcap, Michael Fulmer tossed six scoreless innings

lastname
Fulmer
and struck out a season-high nine. He scattered four singles and walked one. The Mets got to reliever Martin Viramontes in the fifth. He walked Gilbert Gomez and Maikis De La Cruz to start the frame. He ten threw Eudy Pina’s sac bunt over the head of first baseman Alfredo Rodriguez to allow Gomez to score. Later in the inning, Jared King beat out an infield hit with the bases loaded to plate De La Cruz and make it 2-0. Pina’s sac fly in the sixth plated Gavin Cecchini to put the Mets up 3-0. Paul Sewald allowed a two-out, two-run double in the seventh to Jose Sermo. Sewald recovered to get Tyrone Taylor to fly out to end the game with the tying run on third and go-ahead run on second. In Game 1, the Manatees battered John Lannan for four runs on nine hits in four innings. That was plenty of offense for starter Tyler Wagner, who went the distance. Wagner allowed four hits. The lone run he surrendered came on a solo homer by Pina. The Manatees plated two more runs later in the game against reliever Seth Lugo. Box 1, Box 2

lastname
Oberste
ASHEVILLE 8, SAVANANH 7 (14 innings): The Gnats got a two-run homer in the top of the 14th from Matt Oberste, but Hunter Carnevale and Paul Paez combined to allow three runs in the bottom half for the walk-off loss. Oberste finished 3-for-7 with two homers, three RBIs and three runs scored. He has a 17-game hitting streak, which has lifted his season average to .321. Bret Mitchell, Dario Alvarez and Akeel Morris had combined for seven scoreless relief innings. Box

KINGSPORT 5, BURLINGTON 2: K-Mets starter Martires Arias allowed two runs (one earned) in the first inning, then contributed four scoreless frames. Relievers Bryce Beeler and Ty Williams added two scoreless innings apiece. Williams, a 35th-round pick in 2013, notched his first professional save. Oswald Caraballo and Pedro Perez had third-inning sacrifice flies as Kingsport took a 4-2 lead. Wuilmer Becerra added an eighth-inning solo homer. Box

JAMESTOWN 8, BROOKLYN 6 (10 innings): Cyclones reliever Shane Bay (0-1) allowed two runs in the top of the 10th. Amed Rosario went 4-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs in the loss. Jhoan Urena also drove in two runs. Box

GCL METS 9, GCL CARDINALS 7: Jeremy Hefner allowed one run on two hits and struck out a batter in two innings in his second start since returning from Tommy John surgery. John Mora went 5-for-5 with a double, two triples, three RBIs and two runs scored. The Mets broke a 7-all tie in the bottom of the seventh when Mora tripled and scored on Enmanuel Zabala's single. They opened a two-run lead the following inning on Mora's RBI double. Jose Medina had allowed five runs in 1 1/3 innings in relief of Hefner. Alex Palsha earned his second save. Box

Compiled with team reports

Minors 7.8.14: Vaughn goes deep for Vegas

July, 9, 2014
7/09/14
1:46
AM ET
LAS VEGAS 6, RENO 2: Cory Vaughn hit a pinch-hit three-run homer in the seventh inning to propel the 51s to victory. Matt den Dekker, Josh Satin, Matt Reynolds and Anthony Seratelli had two hits apiece. Logan Verrett improved to 7-2, giving up two runs on six hits in six innings. Box

BINGHAMTON VS. PORTLAND (ppd.): The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Wednesday, starting at 5:35 p.m.

BRADENTON 11, ST. LUCIE 5: Starter Michael Fulmer took the loss, giving up six runs (three earned) on 10 hits in six innings of work. Center fielder Gilbert Gomez and right fielder Eudy Pina had two hits apiece. Box

AUGUSTA 6, SAVANNAH 4: The GreenJackets broke a 4-4 tie with two runs in the top of the ninth to win it, snapping the Sand Gnats' 11-game winning streak. Savannah starter Alex Panteliodis went 7 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits, with five strikeouts and no walks. Designated hitter Dominic Smith, first baseman Matt Oberste and third baseman Nelfi Zapata had two hits apiece. Box

HUDSON VALLEY 3, BROOKLYN 0: In the 1,000th game in team history, the Cyclones managed just two hits -- singles by first baseman Michael Katz and second baseman Will Fulmer. Starter Brandon Welch took the loss, giving up three runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings. Box

KINGSPORT 6, PULASKI 4: Left fielder Oswald Caraballo went 3-for-4 with a home run, as did first baseman Luis Ortega, and third baseman Pedro Perez went deep as well on his lone hit of the night. Starter Christian Montgomery went 4 2/3, giving up four runs on five hits, with five strikeouts and four walks, and got a no-decision. Matt Blackham earned a win with 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Box

GCL METS 7, GCL CARDINALS 0: Starter Eucebio Arias pitched five shutout innings, giving up just three hits, to earn a win. Third baseman Alvin Maracaro went 3-for-3 with two runs scored, and first baseman Dash Winningham went 1-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. Box

Morning Briefing: Wheels up in Atlanta

June, 30, 2014
6/30/14
5:39
AM ET
PITTSBURGH

FIRST PITCH: Season on the brink.

The Mets open a three-game series against the first-place Atlanta Braves on Monday at Turner Field now trailing the division leaders by a season-high seven games.

Zack Wheeler (3-8, 4.45 ERA) faces left-hander Alex Wood (6-6, 3.07) in the 7:10 p.m. series opener.

Wheeler is 3-1 with a 3.94 ERA in five career starts against the Braves. He is coming off a career-low two-inning start against the Oakland Athletics. Wheeler had his first career shutout in his previous start, against the Miami Marlins.

David Wright is due for a morning exam on his bruised left rotator cuff at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. Terry Collins hopes the captain then will fly to Atlanta and be fit to enter the lineup, especially since the Mets face southpaws the first two games of the series -- Wood and Mike Minor.

“The guy hits .480 against left-handed pitching. I’d like to get him back in the lineup,” Collins said. “There’s a chance he won’t play. And I realize that. And that’s OK. We’ll get through it.”

The Braves are coming off their first four-game sweep in Philly in a half-century. Read the Mets-Braves series preview here.

Monday’s news reports:

Dillon Gee allowed one run on four hits and a walk in 2 2/3 innings against the Staten Island Yankees on Sunday at Coney Island. He threw 55 pitches, which was the target. The Mets have estimated that Gee will make one additional rehab start before being activated from the disabled list. “I was definitely a little erratic at first,” Gee told reporters. “I’m not going to lie, I had a little adrenaline going in this game because it was my first time out in a couple of months in front of a crowd.” Gee’s first rehab appearance had come in the Gulf Coast League, which is played on back fields at the spring-training complex. Read more in the Post, Daily News and Newsday.

Bartolo Colon’s seven-start unbeaten streak ended in a 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday. Colon surrendered five runs in six innings, including an Ike Davis two-run single in a three-run first.

“Obviously when you put those kinds of swings on it, he was getting balls in the middle of the plate,” Collins said. “He hasn’t been hit that hard in a long time.”

The Mets went 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base. They were held scoreless until the ninth inning.

They lost three of four against the Pirates.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and at MLB.com.

• Read more on Wright in the Post, Newsday and at MLB.com.

• Darrell Ceciliani scored three times and Jayce Boyd had three hits as Binghamton beat Altoona, 7-4. Michael Fulmer tossed seven scoreless innings as St. Lucie blanked Bradenton, 1-0. Matt Oberste went 4-for-4 with a grand slam and six RBIs and Champ Stuart went 4-for-4 with four runs scored as Savannah beat Rome, 15-12. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• X-rays of backup catcher Anthony Recker’s right hand were negative.

• Tim Rohan in the Times revisits the Mets trading Davis to the Pirates, which secured playing time for Lucas Duda.

From the bloggers … NY Mets Life discusses the importance of team chemistry and the Mets new towel-waving celebration.

BIRTHDAYS: Ron Swoboda turns 70. ... Chan Ho Park is 41. ... Tony Fernandez is 52.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you believe David Wright will be in the lineup on Monday night?

Minors 6.29.14: Fulmer blanks Fort Myers

June, 29, 2014
6/29/14
10:15
PM ET
SACRAMENTO 2, LAS VEGAS 1: Nick Buss broke a 1-all tie with a solo homer in the fifth against 51s starter Darin Gorski. Las Vegas' lone run came when Matt Reynolds singled and ultimately scored on a wild pitch in the first inning. Matt den Dekker had a leadoff double in the ninth, but was stranded at second base. Box

BINGHAMTON 7, ALTOONA 4: Darrell Ceciliani scored three runs and Jayce Boyd went 3-for-4 as the B-Mets won for the 16th time in 19 games. After Ceciliani and Boyd began a

lastname
Ceciliani
second-inning rally with one-out singles, Travis Taijeron ripped an RBI double. Kai Gronauer followed with a run-producing groundout and Matt Bowman helped his own cause by blooping an RBI single. Dilson Herrera capped the four-run frame with an RBI single. An inning later, Ceciliani walked and swiped second and Boyd plated him with a single. Taijeron followed with an RBI double, kicking Binghamton’s lead to six runs. Altoona cashed in on a B-Mets fielding mistake to get on the board in the bottom half. Alen Hanson’s one-out chopper to first base eluded Boyd for an error. Two batters later, Matt Curry had an RBI double. Against reliever Yao-Hsun Yang in the fifth, Ceciliani and Boyd started another rally with singles. Gronauer made it 7-1 with an RBI single. The Curve scratched out one last run against Bowman in the sixth. Following a leadoff single by Willy Garcia, Stetson Allie produced an RBI double. Bowman bounced back by retiring six of the next seven batters, capping his night with a scoreless seventh. Jack Leathersich struck out the side in the eighth. In the ninth, Ryan Fraser allowed two runs before fanning Curry to secure the victory. Bowman (6-5) struck out nine while holding the Curve hitless in nine at-bats with runners in scoring position. Box

ST. LUCIE 1, BRADENTON 0: Michael Fulmer tossed seven shutout innings -- allowing three hits while striking out a season-high eight -- in his first action since being struck with

lastname
Fulmer
a line drive in the left forearm in the first inning of his previous start and being forced from that game. In three starts against Bradenton this season, Fulmer is 2-0 and hasn’t allowed a run in 18 innings. Sunday's lone run scored in the second as the Mets opened the frame with four consecutive singles against Jason Creasy. The fourth came off the bat of Albert Cordero and deflected off third baseman Walker Gourley's glove and into left field. Aderlin Rodriguez scored. Gavin Cecchini was thrown out at the plate on the play. Fulmer had struck out Jordan Steranka to end the top of the first with runners on second and third after two errors by the Mets extended the inning. Fulmer only allowed three Marauders to reach between the second and sixth innings -- Jin-De Jhang on a walk, Jonathan Schwind on a throwing error by Jeff McNeil, and via a hit batter. Raul Fortunato led off the seventh with a double, but Fulmer struck out two and got Adam Frazier to line out. Fulmer threw 101 pitches. T.J. Chism got Taylor Lewis to fly out to left to strand the bases loaded in the eighth. Chism recorded the first two outs in the ninth and Paul Sewald struck out Gourley to end the game with the tying run on second. Phillip Evans went 2-for-3 and was the only Met to record a multi-hit game. Box

SAVANNAH 15, ROME 12: The Gnats took control with an eight-run fifth inning, turning a 6-all game into a rout. Matt Oberste's grand slam capped the inning's scoring. It marked

lastname
Oberste
his first homer of the season and his first professional slam. Oberste finished 4-for-4 with six RBIs and three runs scored. The Braves had scored five times on just one hit in the first inning against Savannah starter Ricky Knapp. Knapp walked three and hit two batters in the frame. Knapp remained in the ballgame and kept the Braves off the scoreboard in the second and third innings before surrendering a run in the fourth. Savannah started chipping away at the Braves' 5-0 lead with two runs in the first, one in the second and one in the third. The Gnats tied the score at 6 with two runs in the fourth. Champ Stuart reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances, going 4-for-4 with two doubles, a walk, an RBI and four runs scored. Reliever John Mincone earned the win, his first of the year, for his four scoreless innings of relief behind Knapp. The Braves scored six runs in the ninth against reliever Paul Paez. Dawrin Frias recorded the final three outs for his second save. Box

JOHNSON CITY 12, KINGSPORT 6
KINGSPORT at JOHNSON CITY (ppd.): Johnson City won the continuation of Saturday's suspended game. Sunday's regularly scheduled game then was rained out. Leading 8-1 when play resumed, the Cardinals ultimately built a 10-1 lead. The K-Mets answered with five runs over the sixth and seventh innings, highlighted by a three-run homer by Jean Rodriguez. Box

STATEN ISLAND 5, BROOKLYN 4: After Dillon Gee allowed one run in 2 2/3 innings in a rehab start, the teams entered the sixth with the score 1-0. Then, the Baby Bombers posted four runs in the top half against Corey Oswalt. Brooklyn immediately answered with four runs in the bottom half, capped by Jeff Diehl's RBI single, to pull within 5-4. The Cyclones placed two runners in scoring position with two outs in the ninth after a double steal by Amed Rosario and Adrian Abreu, but Tomas Nido struck out to end the game. Box

Compiled with team reports

SPONSORED HEADLINES

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