New York Mets: Odrisamer Despaigne

Morning Briefing: Wright's 10th anniversary

July, 21, 2014
Jul 21
5:01
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Keith Torrie/Getty ImagesDavid Wright made his major league debut in this July 21, 2004 game against the Montreal Expos at Shea Stadium. He went 0-for-4.
SAN DIEGO

FIRST PITCH: The captain celebrates an anniversary on Monday.

David Wright made his major league debut on July 21, 2004 against the Montreal Expos at Shea Stadium, ending a revolving door at third base for the franchise.

The Mets’ lineup that day?

Jose Reyes, 2b
Kazuo Matsui, ss
Ty Wigginton, 1b
Cliff Floyd, lf
Richard Hidalgo, rf
Mike Cameron, cf
Wright, 3b
Vance Wilson, c
Jae Weong Seo, rhp

Wright had been drafted by the organization three years earlier with a compensatory pick (38th overall) for losing Mike Hampton as a free agent to the Colorado Rockies.

The Mets open an interleague series on Monday in Seattle at 10:10 p.m. ET. Jonathon Niese (5-4, 2.96 ERA) returns from the disabled list to face Cuban rookie left-hander Roenis Elias (7-8, 4.54).

The Amazin’s lone other trip to Safeco Field came in 2005.

The Mariners staff includes ex-Mets Howard Johnson, Chris Woodward and Jason Phillips.

Read the Mets-Mariners series preview here.

Monday’s news reports:

Odrisamer Despaigne held the Mets hitless until Daniel Murphy produced a two-out double in the eighth. The Mets tied the score that inning on Wright’s RBI single. However, the Amazin’s lost, 2-1, in walk-off fashion when Josh Edgin stumbled on a chopper off the bat of Seth Smith and could not complete the out at first base in time. Zack Wheeler limited his opponent to one run and logged at least six innings for the fourth straight start. The Mets dropped eight games back in the NL East.

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

• Read more on Wheeler in the Post.

• With Niese (shoulder strain) coming off the disabled list, Daisuke Matsuzaka is relocating to the bullpen and Buddy Carlyle was designated for assignment. Read more at MLB.com and in the Daily News.

• Although the Mets are receptive to trading Bartolo Colon, the buzz in San Diego was that no scouts were specifically there to see the veteran righty on Friday, signaling limited interest. Writes Mike Puma in the Post:

According to a source, as of Sunday the Mets had not yet received even a nibble on the 41-year-old right-hander, who is expendable because of the club’s starting-pitching depth. Over his last four starts, Colon is 0-3 with a 5.88 ERA. That comes after a strong June in which Colon helped carry the Mets rotation by going 4-1 with a 2.57 ERA.

• Columnist Michael Powell in the Times takes the Mets’ temperature.

Wilmer Flores extended his hitting streak to 21 games and Rafael Montero allowed one run in four innings in his return to Triple-A following a left oblique strain, but Las Vegas lost to Salt Lake, 3-0. Brian Burgamy had two homers and Dustin Lawley also went deep in Binghamton’s 5-2 win against Trenton. John Gant took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and Savannah ultimately swept Lexington in a doubleheader. Corey Oswalt tossed seven scoreless innings as Brooklyn blanked Williamsport, 6-0. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• There are no plans to promote Flores to the majors anytime soon, Terry Collins said. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.

Bobby Abreu is expected to serve as the designated hitter for the final two games in Seattle.

BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets player and manager Mike Cubbage turns 64. He currently is a scout for the Tampa Bay Rays ... Mike Bordick is 49.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Have the Mets eroded your optimism with their performance in San Diego?

Rapid Reaction: Padres 2, Mets 1

July, 20, 2014
Jul 20
7:19
PM ET
SAN DIEGO -- At least they weren’t no-hit!

The Mets, who stormed into the All-Star break by winning eight of 10 games on their homestand, got tripped up in San Diego to open the second half. In his fifth major league start, eephus-throwing Cuban defector Odrisamer Despaigne held the Mets hitless until Daniel Murphy's two-out double in the eighth and the Padres ultimately won, 2-1, in Sunday’s rubber game at Petco Park.

David Wright followed Murphy’s double with a game-tying RBI single on Despaigne’s 123rd and final pitch, snapping an 0-for-11 drought to begin the second half.

However, Seth Smith produced a walk-off win for San Diego with a two-out run-scoring infield single against Josh Edgin in the bottom of the ninth. Edgin stumbled trying to field the trickler and could not get the ball to first base in time.

Edgin had inherited the winning run on third base with two outs from Vic Black, who hurt himself. Black had issued a leadoff walk to Carlos Quentin, then had a fielding error on Alexi Amarista's sac-bunt attempt to place two on with none out.

The Mets (46-52), who fancy themselves part of the NL East race, fell eight games back of the victorious Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves.


Jack Roth/USA TODAY SportsOdrisamer Despaigne held the Mets hitless until Daniel Murphy's two-out double in the eighth.


The Padres, who have played 7,264 games in franchise history, remain the only MLB team without a no-hitter. They had a chance to win the game in the eighth after a leadoff triple by Will Venable against Jeurys Familia, but Chris Denorfia struck out and Chris Nelson followed an intentional walk by grounding into an inning-ending double play.

The Mets last were no-hit by Houston’s Darryl Kile in 1993. They have been no-hit six times in franchise history. The other pitchers to accomplish the feat against the Amazin’s: Sandy Koufax (1962), Jim Bunning (1964), Bob Moose (1969), Bill Stoneman (1972) and Ed Halicki (1975).

The Mets had loaded the bases on a hit batter and two walks in the seventh, but Ruben Tejada hit a comebacker to Despaigne as the right-hander wriggled free.

Zack Wheeler departed after Tejada’s groundout with the Mets trailing 1-0. Wheeler has now completed six innings and allowed one run in four straight starts. He has sliced his ERA to 3.78.

Yasmani Grandal reached for a low-and-away pitch and hooked it over the right-center wall to lead off the bottom of the fourth against Wheeler for the lone damage against him. It was Grandal’s second straight game with a solo shot to open the scoring.

The Mets also were held hitless two outs into the eighth inning on April 18 against the Braves. After seven no-hit innings by Aaron Harang, Wright produced a two-out single in the eighth against reliever Luis Avilan that day for the lone hit in a 6-0 loss at Citi Field.

The Mets had been held hitless into the fifth inning Saturday against Tyson Ross.

Despaigne had allowed four runs on five hits and five walks in four innings against Las Vegas in his Triple-A debut on May 27.

What’s next: The Mets visit Seattle for the first time since 2005. Jonathon Niese (5-4, 2.96 ERA) returns from the disabled list to start the series opener opposite left-hander Roenis Elias (7-8, 4.54) at 10:10 pm. ET.

Monday marks the 10-year anniversary of Wright’s July 21, 2004 major league debut -- an 0-for-4 performance against the Montreal Expos at Shea Stadium.

Pads pitcher resembles El Duque

July, 20, 2014
Jul 20
2:25
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Manu Fernandez/Associated PressOdrisamer Despaigne pitched in Cuba before defecting last year.


SAN DIEGO -- What’s in store for the Mets in Sunday’s series finale against the San Diego Padres, who are starting 27-year-old right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne?

Terry Collins said Despaigne resembles another Cuban defector: ex-Met Orlando Hernandez.

Despaigne, 27, has a 1.35 ERA in four starts since making his major league debut on June 23. His fastball averages 90.7 mph and cutter averages 87.1 mph.

He defected in June 2013 at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris while the Cuban team was en route to a tournament in the Netherlands. He received a $1 million bonus to sign with the Padres on May 2.

“I saw the tape of this guy,” Collins said. “It’s like facing El Duque -- all different angles, different pitches. He can throw hard when he needs to. He can back off when he wants to. So I can see why he’s successful.

Rapid Reaction: Padres 6, Mets 0

July, 19, 2014
Jul 19
11:24
PM ET
SAN DIEGO -- That's going to put a dent in the run differential!

The Mets had a season-high-matching four-game winning streak snapped with a 6-0 loss against the San Diego Padres on Saturday night at Petco Park.

The Atlanta Braves lost and Washington Nationals won on Saturday. So the Mets trail both teams by seven games in the NL East, as they did when the second half began. Sixty-five games now remain.


Jake Roth/USA TODAY SportsYasmani Grandal trots around the bases after a second-inning homer against Dillon Gee.


The Mets (46-51) had not been shut out since June 14, when San Diego’s Jesse Hahn, Dale Thayer, Joaquin Benoit and the now-departed Huston Street combined on a two-hitter in a 5-0 win at Citi Field.

Silent night: The Mets did not muster a hit against All-Star Tyson Ross until the fifth inning, when Travis d’Arnaud sent a leadoff trickler up the third-base line. Chase Headley elected to let the ball roll and it kicked off the base for an infield hit.

The Mets finally threatened against Ross in the seventh. Lucas Duda had a one-out single, Kirk Nieuwenhuis walked with two outs and Juan Lagares singled. However, Ruben Tejada struck out to leave the bases loaded.

Ross limited the Mets to four hits in seven scoreless innings. The Padres had scored a total of five runs with him on the mound in his previous eight starts.

Gee fizz: Dillon Gee surrendered four runs in five innings, including solo homers to Yasmani Grandal and Will Venable to lead off frames. It was Gee’s shortest start since June 22, 2013. He departed with the Mets trailing 4-0.

Grandal’s homer to right-center was estimated at 440 feet -- the longest at Petco Park this season.

Seth Smith welcomed Carlos Torres with a leadoff homer in the sixth as the lead increased to five runs.

Gee’s final line: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 2 HR. He threw 80 pitches in his second start since returning from the disabled list.

Gets a pass? D'Arnaud had two passed balls in the game, including one in the eighth inning that allowed a run to score. He has eight passed balls this season -- two shy of the MLB lead.

What’s next: The Mets and Padres play the rubber game Sunday at 4:10 p.m. ET. Zack Wheeler (5-8, 3.90 ERA) opposes right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne (2-1, 1.35). The Cuban defector Despaigne rivals Bartolo Colon in hitting prowess.

Series preview: Mets at Padres

July, 16, 2014
Jul 16
11:45
AM ET

USA TODAY SportsThe Mets open the second half facing Ian Kennedy, Tyson Ross and Odrisamer Despaigne in San Diego.
METS (45-50, third place/NL East) vs. SAN DIEGO PADRES (41-54, third place/NL West)

Friday: RHP Bartolo Colon (8-8, 3.99) vs. RHP Ian Kennedy (7-9, 3.47), 10:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Dillon Gee (4-1, 2.56) vs. RHP Tyson Ross (7-10, 2.85), 8:40 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Zack Wheeler (5-8, 3.90) vs. RHP Odrisamer Despaigne (2-1, 1.35), 4:10 p.m. ET

Padres short hops

• The Padres fired GM Josh Byrnes on June 22 and are currently being led by Omar Minaya, A.J. Hinch and Fred Uhlman Jr. in an interim capacity. The reported list of interviewees who remain under consideration to succeed Byrnes include former Marlins GM Larry Beinfest, Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler, Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen, Diamondbacks director of scouting Ray Montgomery, MLB senior VP Kim Ng, Rangers assistant GM A.J. Preller and Padres assistant GM Josh Stein.

• Padres legend Tony Gwynn died June 16. The team’s uniforms now include a patch featuring a No. 19 inside the logo of a home plate, which is being worn over the players’ hearts. The team already had a patch recognizing Hall of Fame broadcaster Jerry Coleman, who died Jan. 5 at age 89.

• Although neither pitched, right-hander Tyson Ross and closer Huston Street represented the Padres at Tuesday’s All-Star Game. Street actually was selected late to replace Ross, who started San Diego’s first-half finale and was ineligible.

Ross, 27, became the first Padres starting pitcher selected to the team since Jake Peavy in 2007. In his final five starts of the first half, Ross posted a 1.75 ERA and opponents had only a .229 OBP against him. He nonetheless went 1-4 during that stretch. Since June 6, the Padres have scored a total of eight runs in his eight starts.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Ross has induced an MLB-high 164 swings and misses with his slider this season. He throws the pitch 39.4 percent of the time, also the most in the majors among qualified pitchers.


Lenny Ignelzi/Associated PressSeth Smith signed a two-year, $13 million contract extension.


• 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. San Diego’s pitching has been stellar, though. In 24 games since June 18, the staff has produced a 2.08 ERA.

• San Diego signed outfielder Seth Smith to a two-year, $13 million extension that includes a $7 million team option for 2017. He otherwise would have been eligible for free agency this offseason and would have been traded this month. Smith, 31, was acquired from the Oakland Athletics in December for reliever Luke Gregerson. He is hitting .283 with 10 homers and 27 RBIs and has a .387 OBP this season.

• Third baseman Chase Headley, who is eligible for free agency this winter, should be on the move by the end of the month. The Toronto Blue Jays reportedly are among the teams interested. Headley is earning $10.5 million in 2014. Although he is hitting only .226 for the season, the 30-year-old Headley does have a .327 average with one homer and six RBIs in 12 starts in July. Headley told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the production uptick coincides with a grip adjustment with his bat in which the fingers overlap. Headley used that grip for most of his career before abandoning it. “It’s just an overlap,” he told the newspaper. “Not a golf grip, but similar.”

• Left fielder Carlos Quentin is hitting .145 (8-for-55) with one homer since June 17.

Ian Kennedy has 133 strikeouts, trailing only Washington’s Stephen Strasburg (149) and Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto (141) in the National League. Kennedy’s strikeout total was the second-most in franchise history before the All-Star break. Andy Benes had 138 strikeouts in the first half in 1994. The Los Angeles Angels reportedly are interested in acquiring Kennedy, who is under San Diego’s control for another season.

• Second baseman Jedd Gyorko (plantar fasciitis) and shortstop Everth Cabrera (hamstring) closed the first half on the disabled list.

• Cuban defector Odrisamer Despaigne, 27, has a 1.35 ERA in four starts since making his major league debut on June 23. His fastball averages 90.7 mph and cutter averages 87.1 mph. He defected in June 2013 at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris while the Cuban team was en route to a tournament in the Netherlands. He received a $1 million bonus to sign with the Padres on May 2.

Report: Mets watch Cuban righty

October, 22, 2013
10/22/13
4:13
PM ET
The Mets watched Cuban right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne in Barcelona, Spain, according to El Nuevo Herald (via MLB Trade Rumors).

The Giants, Mariners, Phillies and Yankees reportedly also watched the Cuban defector. Despaigne soon will have a bigger showcase in Mexico, according to the report.

Writes MLB Trade Rumors:

Despaigne, who pitched this season at 26 years of age, is a veteran of eight seasons in Cuba's Serie Nacional. He owns a lifetime 51-39 record with a 3.65 ERA but was much better in his final season, posting an ERA of just 2.58. According to a recent report from Diario De Cuba, Despaigne has yet to be cleared by the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

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TEAM LEADERS

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