New York Mets: Omar Quintanilla
The 6-foot-4 Oswalt, now 20, is 4-1 with a 2.68 ERA in eight appearances (seven starts) for the Brooklyn Cyclones this season. He has a solid 1.008 WHIP, with eight walks and no homers surrendered in 43 2/3 innings.
“I just feel healthy now,” said Oswalt, who lost much of last summer because of surgery to repair a torn meniscus. “Last year I was battling some injuries. It’s everything I expected so far.
Oswalt actually committed to UC Santa Barbara primarily as a shortstop and third baseman, positions he played in high school the other two games a week when he wasn’t pitching. He hit over .500 as a sophomore and junior, although he noted he was not much of a power hitter.
“I just hit for average,” he said.
His senior year of high school, the team had quite a pitching tandem. Left-handed pitcher Ian Clarkin was selected last year by the Yankees with the 33rd overall pick in the draft.
“When the Mets called me, it was kind of a no-brainer,” Oswalt said. “Paul DePodesta was kind of the guy who drafted me. He came to my house and met with me and stuff. I just felt like it was a good fit.”
DePodesta wasn’t the only high-profile San Diegan visiting Oswalt in high school. Although Oswalt eventually committed to UC Santa Barbara, San Diego State coach Tony Gwynn had visited practices trying to recruit him. Oswalt, a Padres fan, was stung like many by his recent death.
Oswalt trains in the offseason at a facility with Tony Gwynn Jr. as well as ex-Met Aaron Harang and a handful of Padres players, so he had a personal relationship with the family.
“When you grow up in San Diego, he’s the guy you look up to,” Oswalt said. “He’s like Mr. San Diego.”
Oswalt’s uncle Jeff Oswalt, a left-handed pitcher, once was selected by the Montreal Expos in the first round (15th overall) in 1986. He did not end up signing that time, played college ball, and ultimately never rose about rookie-level ball with the St. Louis Cardinals because of an injury.
With Brooklyn, Oswalt throws a four-seam and two-seam fastball. He also has a slider and what he refers to as a circle or two-seam change. His four-seamer sits at 90-92 mph and tops out at 93 mph, although he throws the two-seamer 75 to 80 percent of the time. That pitch sits at 88-91 mph.
Average: T.J. Rivera, Binghamton, .346; Matt Reynolds, Vegas, .344; Matt den Dekker, Vegas, .331; Dilson Herrera, Binghamton, .321; Enmanuel Zabala, GCL Mets, .315; John Mora, Brooklyn, .312; Wuilmer Becerra, Kingsport, .312; Jeff McNeil, St. Lucie, .305; Kevin Plawecki, Vegas, .304; Josh Satin, Vegas, .289.
Homers: Brian Burgamy, Binghamton, 20; Dustin Lawley, Binghamton, 19; Andrew Brown, Vegas, 18; Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 15.
RBIs: Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 67; Brian Burgamy, Binghamton, 66; L.J. Mazzilli, St. Lucie, 65; T.J. Rivera, Binghamton, 63; Dilson Herrera, Binghamton, 59.
Steals: Patrick Biondi, Savannah, 23; Dilson Herrera, Binghamton, 22; Champ Stuart, Savannah, 21; Jeff McNeil, St. Lucie, 16; Darrell Ceciliani, Binghamton, 15.
ERA: Marcos Molina, Brooklyn, 1.27; Robert Gsellman, Savannah, 2.45; Steven Matz, Binghamton, 2.47; John Gant, Savannah, 2.68; Corey Oswalt, Brooklyn, 2.68; Kevin McGowan, St. Lucie, 2.97; Darin Gorski, Vegas, 3.33; Tyler Pill, Binghamton, 3.94; Ricky Knapp, Savannah, 4.08.
Wins: Gabriel Ynoa, Binghamton, 10; John Gant, Savannah, 10; Robert Gsellman, Savannah, 9; Greg Peavey, Binghamton, 9; Logan Verrett, Vegas, 9.
Saves: Chasen Bradford, Vegas, 14; Robert Coles, St. Lucie, 12; Akeel Morris, Savannah, 12; Cody Satterwhite, Binghamton, 11.
Strikeouts: Noah Syndergaard, Vegas, 107; Steven Matz, Binghamton, 106; Darin Gorski, Vegas, 105; Tyler Pill, Binghamton, 104; John Gant, Savannah, 102.
• In his last 10 games with Las Vegas, Matt den Dekker is hitting .436 (17-for-39) with eight walks and only five strikeouts. Den Dekker isn’t the only 51s player on fire at the plate. Infielder Matt Reynolds, a former second-round pick from the University of Arkansas, is the reigning Pacific Coast League Player of the Week. In 43 games with Vegas, Reynolds is hitting .329 with three homers and 22 RBIs and has a .390 on-base percentage. He has multi-hit performances in seven of his past 10 games, including going 4-for-5 Sunday at Sacramento.
• Right-hander Hansel Robles has been reassigned to the bullpen with Binghamton. Mets officials have witnessed an uptick in velocity since the conversion began with a July 19 relief appearance. In one recent game, Robles’ fastball sat at 93-95 mph. Robles, 23, had a 4.97 ERA in 17 starts with the B-Mets this season.
• Omar Quintanilla, who last played with Vegas on July 11, is done for the season. Quintanilla has a meniscus tear.
• The Mets do not plan to name their Arizona Fall League contingent until late this month, but former first-round picks Brandon Nimmo and Gavin Cecchini are candidates to participate. Recently drafted Michael Conforto is not a consideration.
• Left-handed reliever Jack Leathersich finally earned a promotion from Binghamton to Las Vegas on Monday after going 3-3 with a 2.93 ERA in 37 relief appearances with the B-Mets. Leathersich struck out 79 and walked 21 in 46 innings in the Eastern League. Lefties actually hit .254 against him, while righties hit .200. Leathersich had control issues late last season after a promotion to Triple-A. The former fifth-round pick out of UMass-Lowell walked 29 in 29 Pacific Coast League innings in 2013.
• Right-hander John Gant has earned his second South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week Award. Gant, who turned 22 on Wednesday, had a perfect-game bid through 6 2/3 innings on Sunday to improve to 10-5 with a 2.55 ERA in 19 starts for Savannah this season.
• Like Matt Clark a few weeks earlier, 26-year-old infielder Rylan Sandoval requested and was granted his release. Sandoval would not have played much with Binghamton after Wilfredo Tovar rejoined the club following thumb ligament surgery. Sandoval, a 30th-round pick by the Mets in 2007, was hitting .262 with one homer and 12 RBIs in 107 at-bats with the B-Mets.
• Left-hander Darin Gorski, who was quietly putting up a solid season, has a fractured foot that will end his season.
• Ismael Tijerina looks like he is making a successful transition from light-hitting infielder to right-handed reliever. Tijerina, 24, is 4-for-4 in save chances and has a 2.03 ERA in 11 appearances with Kingsport this season. Tijerina hit .214 in 84 at-bats last season in Brooklyn. He twice was used out of the bullpen in Cyclones games in 2013 when the team ran out of pitchers and exceeded 90 mph with his fastball.
ALTOONA 3, BINGHAMTON 1: The B-Mets mustered three hits or fewer for the third time in four games. Altoona cracked the scoreboard without the aid of a hit in the first against Hansel Robles. A hit batter, walk and fielder’s choice put runners at the corners. Elias Diaz then sent a grounder to second baseman Brian Burgamy’s left. His spinning throw to second was off target, allowing Drew Maggi to scamper home with the opening run. The B-Mets evened the score at 1 in the second against Joely Rodriguez. Dustin Lawley walked, moved to third on consecutive groundouts and scored when Darrell Ceciliani beat out an infield single. Robles held Altoona hitless in its first nine at-bats with runners in scoring position. The streak came to an end with two outs in the fifth. With two aboard, Keon Broxton threaded an 0-2 pitch into right field to break the tie score and end Robles’ night. Reliever Ryan Fraser inherited runners at second and third and induced Willy Garcia to send a weak bouncer to third. Lawley hesitated before charging the grounder and fired late to first, allowing Diaz to score and giving the Curve a 3-1 lead. Ceciliani’s single proved to be the only blemish for Rodriguez. The southpaw closed his night by posting five scoreless innings. He retired the final 11 batters he faced. Binghamton mustered a threat against the Curve bullpen in the eighth. Following a single by Xorge Carrillo, Brandon Nimmo lined a double against Emmanuel de Leon, putting runners at second and third. With the tying run on second, de Leon struck out Dilson Herrera to end the threat and preserve Altoona’s two-run lead. Robles (5-5) walked three and struck out five over 4 2/3 innings in the loss. Tyler Pill, the originally scheduled B-Mets starting pitcher, was scratched due to illness. Box
FORT MYERS 3, ST. LUCIE 2 (suspended): The game was suspended in the fifth inning inning due to thunderstorms. It will be resume at 5:05 p.m. Friday. Cory Mazzoni, in his second minor-league appearance since suffering a side-muscle strain in the Grapefruit League finale, allowed three runs in four innings. The Mets got on the board in the second inning. Gavin Cecchini doubled against Tim Shibuya and moved to the third on Maikis De La Cruz's flyout. With two outs, Eudy Pina then grounded to third baseman Tyler Grimes. He threw off line to first, allowing Cecchini to score. The Miracle answered in the bottom half. With the bases loaded against Mazzoni and none out, Grimes grounded into a fielder's choice that evened the score at 1. Aderling Mejia followed with a run-scoring double, although Grimes was thrown out at the plate on Cecchini’s relay throw to Cam Maron. Mejia advanced to third on the throw home and scored on Niko Goodrum’s infield single for a 3-1 lead. Pina got a run back in the fifth with his sixth homer of the season. After Gilbert Gomez struck out, L.J. Mazzilli came to the plate and had a 1-2 count when the game was delayed. Box
CHARLESTON 9, SAVANNAH 0: Starter John Gant allowed six runs (five earned) on seven hits and four walks in five innings. Savannah was held hitless until Nelfi Zapata's leadoff single in the fifth. The Gnats' lone other hit came on Patrick Biondi's eighth-inning single. Box
KINGSPORT 5, PRINCETON 4 (17 innings): Luis Guillorme had a two-run double in the top of the 17th and the K-Mets held on. In the bottom half, Manny Sanchez struck out to lead off but reached second on a throwing error by catcher Jose Garcia. Sanchez eventually scored to pull Princeton with one, but reliever Jim Duff struck out Emmanuel Paulino swinging to strand the tying run at third base. Duff, a Long Island native, earned the win in his professional debut. Box
BROOKLYN 6, ABERDEEN 2: Aberdeen committed five errors and Tucker Tharp, Michael Katz and Jeff Diehl had two hits apiece. Starter Casey Meisner allowed two solo homers but no other damage in six innings. Mike Hepple (2-0) and Brad Wieck combined for three no-hit relief innings. With the score tied at 2 in the seventh, the Cyclones jumped on reliever Brady Adamek. Tharp had a leadoff double. Amed Rosario then hit a grounder up the middle that Aberdeen second baseman Steve Wilkerson snared. However, Wilkerson overthrew first base. The error allowed Tharp to round third and score the tiebreaking run. Aberdeen imploded later in the inning. Michael Bernal was hit by a pitch to place runners on first and second. Tomas Nido then singled to drive in Katz and move Bernal to third. Shortly after, Diehl sent a grounder to third base. Another error allowed a third run to score in the inning for a 5-2 lead. Box
GCL CARDINALS 3, GCL METS 0: After four scoreless innings from starter Audry German, Jose Medina (0-1) allowed three runs in two innings. Erik Manoah, the Mets' 13th-round pick this month, pitched a scoreless inning in his professional debut. Box
Compiled with team reports
BINGHAMTON 6, RICHMOND 1: Greg Peavey tossed eight strong innings as the B-Mets won for the eighth time in their last nine games. Binghamton hopped on Richmond starter
CHARLOTTE at ST. LUCIE (ppd.): St. Lucie's final game of the Florida State League first half was canceled due to unplayable field conditions. The washout did not have a bearing on the race for first place in the FSL South Division. Fort Myers defeated Bradenton, 5-0, later Wednesday to finish a full game ahead of the Mets (40-29) in the standings. The Miracle (41-28) clinched the first-half South title and earned a spot in the postseason in September. Had the Miracle lost to Bradenton, the Mets would have won the South because the two teams would have finished with identical records. The Mets won the head-to-head matchup, 5-1, and had the tiebreaker. All 12 teams in the FSL will reset their records to 0-0 when the second half begins Thursday. Five players were promoted to Double-A Binghamton after the half's completion: Brandon Nimmo, Steven Matz, Dilson Herrera, Randy Fontanez and T.J. Rivera.
BROOKLYN 4, HUDSON VALLEY 3 (10 innings): In the 10th, a pair of Hudson Valley fielding errors put Joe Tuschak and Amed Rosario on the corners with nobody out. Tyler Moore took advantage of the scoring opportunity, lofting a tiebreaking sacrifice fly to left field that plated Tuschak. Left-hander Shane Bay pitched a scoreless bottom half to collect his first save. Jhoan Urena sent the game to extra innings with a ninth-inning solo homer. Rosario had a solo homer in the first inning. Box
Compiled with team reports
BINGHAMTON 8, AKRON 1
BINGHAMTON 10, AKRON 5: In Game 1, Angel Cuan tossed a seven-inning complete
ST. LUCIE 6, JUPITER 3: Jairo Perez lined a two-out, two-run homer in the
SAVANNAH 3, KANNAPOLIS 2: Trailing 1-0, the Gnats got a game-tying run in the eighth when Amed Rosario tripled and scored on Colton Plaia's single. The Gnats then grabbed a 3-1 lead in the top of the ninth on a throwing error and fielder's choice. Jeff McNeil had walked to open the inning and moved to second on L.J. Mazzilli's single. Both then advanced on Dominic Smith's sacrifice bunt. In the bottom half, Robert Coles surrendered a two-out RBI single to Tyler Shyrock that advanced the tying run to third base. Coles then struck out Trey Michalczewski looking to end the game and notch his 11th save. Starter Ricky Knapp allowed one run on five hits and three walks in seven innings. Dawrin Frias (4-0) tossed a scoreless eighth. Box
Compiled with team reports
NEW BRITAIN 6, BINGHAMTON 1: The B-Mets were swept in a three-game series in which
ST. LUCIE 6, DAYTONA 0: Aderlin Rodriguez broke out of a 1-for-17 slump by blasting a
SAVANNAH 4, ROME 3: Jeff McNeil's infield single brought home the decisive run in the
Compiled with team reports
NEW BRITAIN 3, BINGHAMTON 2: Despite a career-high 12-strikeout performance from Matt Bowman and 11 hits by the offense, the B-Mets fell to the Rock Cats. The B-Mets
ST. LUCIE 4, DAYTONA 3: Jairo Perez broke a 1-all tie in the sixth when he unloaded on a 2-0 pitch from Jose Rosario for a three-run homer to put the Mets up for good. Earlier in
SAVANNAH 6, ROME 2: Sparked by Champ Stuart’s speed and power, the Gnats scored
Compiled with team reports
BINGHAMTON 7, NEW HAMPSHIRE 2: Brian Burgamy ripped a two-run homer during a three-hit game to lift Binghamton to the series win. New Hampshire opened the scoring
BREVARD COUNTY 9, ST. LUCIE 1: Tyler Wagner tossed eight innings and limited St. Lucie to a fifth-inning solo homer by Phillip Evans. With the Manatees already leading 2-1, Seth Lugo surrendered a two-out, two-run double to Tyrone Taylor in the seventh. Brevard County then sent 10 batters to the plate against Lugo and Beck Wheeler in the eighth, scoring five runs on six hits. Mike Garza, Jose Sermo, Orlando Arcia and Taylor all had run-scoring hits in the frame. Luis Cessa took the loss, although he did not pitch poorly. The first four batters of the game reached -- on three doubles and a single -- and two scored. Cessa settled down to strand runners at second and third. He did not allow another run. Cessa struck out five and gave up seven hits in six innings. The Mets only had six hits. Half came from Jairo Perez, who went 3-for-4 for the second straight game. Box
SAVANNAH 3, ROME 2 (12 innings): L.J. Mazzilli plated Patrick Biondi with a walk-off
Compiled with team reports
BINGHAMTON 6, NEW HAMPSHIRE 0 (suspended): The B-Mets and Fisher Cats played
BREVARD COUNTY 2, ST. LUCIE 1: St. Lucie's ninth-inning rally fell short on a night 2011
SAVANNAH at AUGUSTA (ppd.): The game was postponed due to unplayable field conditions after the night’s rainy weather. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader Wednesday in Augusta.
Compiled with team reports
PORTLAND 5, BINGHAMTON 1
PORTLAND 6, BINGHAMTON 5: In a span of nine pitches to open Game 1, Darrell Ceciliani doubled, took third on Matt Reynolds' single and scored on Kevin Plawecki's
ST. LUCIE 5, CLEARWATER 2: Dilson Herrera broke a 1-all tie with a ground-rule double that plated Eudy Pina. Brandon Nimmo followed with an RBI single and Jairo Perez brought home another run on a double play to make it 4-1 in the fifth.
Compiled with team reports
BINGHAMTON 9, NEW HAMPSHIRE 8 (14 innings): Kyle Johnson had a one-out double
LAKELAND 3, ST. LUCIE 2: Lance Durham drove in the go-ahead run with an eighth-inning double against St. Lucie reliever Paul Sewald. With Chad Wright at second base and two outs, Durhman lined Sewald's offering into to left field. Maikis De La Cruz initially broke in, but the ball was hit deep. By the time De La Cruz recovered, it went just beyond his glove and to the wall to score the tiebreaking run. Lakeland reliever Jade Todd had inherited runners on the corners with one out in the seventh in a 2-all game. He struck out Brandon Nimmo and got T.J. Rivera to ground out to preserve the tie. Gabriel Ynoa made his best start of the season for the Mets. He pitched a season-high seven innings and struck out five. Ynoa allowed seven hits and two runs in a no-decision. The Flying Tigers opened the scoring in the third. Wright, Curt Powell and Jeff McVaney all singled against Ynoa with two outs. McVaney’s hit scored Wright to make it 1-0. Dilson Herrera tied the score at 1 in the fourth with a leadoff homer, his second long ball of the year. Eudy Pina gave the Mets a brief 2-1 lead with a two-out RBI single later in the frame. The Flying Tigers tied the score at 2 in the fifth. McVaney lined a full-count pitch from Ynoa off the left-field wall to plate Tyler Hanover. Drew Longley tried to score from first on the play, but the throws from De La Cruz to Phillip Evans and on to catcher Albert Cordero beat him to end the inning. Herrera and Nimmo finished with two hits apiece. Box
CHARLESTON 10, SAVANNAH 3: Charleston third baseman Miguel Andujar homered twice to hand the Gnats a three-game losing streak for the first time this season. The RiverDogs scored the game’s opening run in the third on Mike Ford's double against Savannah starter Chris Flexen. Andujar’s three-run homer against Flexen in the fifth staked Charleston to a 4-0 lead. Trailing 5-0, the Gnats (28-14) scored their lone runs in the sixth. Two walks and a single loaded the bases for Dominic Smith, who produced a two-run single through the hole on the right side. The hit snapped the Gnats’ 0-for-20 streak with runners in scoring position in the two games against Charleston. Victor Cruzado followed with an RBI single as the Gnats pulled within 5-3. Andujar hooked a two-run homer down the left-field line against reliever Dawrin Frias in the seventh for a 7-3 lead. The Dogs added three runs against Savannah closer Robert Coles in the ninth, snapping Coles’ scoreless streak at 18 2/3 innings to begin the season. Jeff McNeil went 2-for-3 with a double to extend his hitting streak to 11 straight games. Box
Compiled with team reports
ST. LUCIE 3, TAMPA 2: With the Mets trailing 2-1 in the seventh, Eudy Pina tripled to plate Aderlin Rodriguez and tie the score. The next batter, Phillip Evans, drove a pitch from
CHARLESTON 1, SAVANNAH 0 (10 innings): A bases-loaded walk issued by John Mincone in the bottom of the 10th resulted in the game's lone run. Jose Rosario produced a two-out double. Mincone then intentionally walked Aaron Judge and unintentionally walked Mike Ford to load the bases. Next, Mincone battled to a 3-2 full count with Charleston RBI leader Michael O’Neal, only to surrender the winning run on a called ball-four at the inside corner. RiverDogs starter Jaron Long was electric over seven innings, allowing three hits while striking out five. Gnats starter Kevin McGowan matched Long over his six innings, also allowing three hits, while fanning six. McGowan has allowed three hits or fewer in four of his six starts. Savannah reliever Akeel Morris added another two scoreless innings, striking out four. Opponents are now hitting .104 against Morris this season. Third baseman Jeff McNeil was the lone thorn in Charleston’s side, finishing 3-for-4 while improving his team-high batting average to .313. Box
Compiled with team reports
FIRST PITCH: The Mets have lost a season-high five straight as well as eight of nine. They also now occupy sole possession of last place in the National League East.
Can Jonathon Niese stop the slide?
Niese (2-2, 1.82 ERA) opposes left-hander Cole Hamels (0-2, 7.02) in Sunday’s 1:10 p.m. series finale as the Mets look to avoid getting swept for a second straight series, as they did in Miami.
Hamels has a 7-14 record and 4.65 ERA in 27 career starts against the Mets. The Mets roughed him up for six runs in 4 2/3 innings two weeks ago in Philly. Hamels then allowed five runs on 10 hits and a walk against the Toronto Blue Jays, including surrendering homers to Edwin Encarnacion and Colby Rasmus. Overall, Hamels needs one win for 100 in his career.
Sunday’s news reports:
• Terry Collins would not commit Saturday to Jenrry Mejia making his next start, and appears to prefer 23-year-old Rafael Montero getting promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas for Wednesday’s outing opposite Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees at Citi Field. Of course, Sandy Alderson -- who picked Mejia over Daisuke Matsuzaka out of spring training, which was not Collins’ preference -- would need to sign off on bouncing Mejia from the rotation. Would the GM allow a prospect to debut in the Subway Series (and before the Super 2 deadline)? That seems out of character. In fact, a source tells columnist John Harper in the Daily News about Alderson's thinking on Montero: "not yet."
After tossing 5 1/3 no-hit innings Friday (with three walks) at Salt Lake, Montero is 4-1 with a 3.67 ERA and .203 opponent batting average in eight Pacific Coast League starts.
Read more in the Post, Newsday and at MLB.com.
• Eric Campbell joined the Mets on Saturday and received No. 29, formerly donned by Ike Davis. He delivered a tiebreaking sac fly while pinch hitting with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth against left-hander Jake Diekman. Campbell became the first player in franchise history with a sac fly in his first big-league plate appearance. Ken Boswell in 1967 had a sac fly in his MLB debut, but it came later in the game.
Campbell had an eventful second plate appearance. With the score tied at 4, one out and two in scoring position in the eighth, Mike Adams threw the first pitch of an intentional walk. Chase Utley then came to the mound with Carlos Ruiz and the Phillies -- realizing Bobby Abreu had grabbed a helmet and planned to subsequently pinch hit -- reversed course and pitched to Campbell, who proceeded to strike out.
Eric Campbell made his major league debut Saturday with a sacrifice fly and strikeout off the bench.
Josh Satin, who had been 3-for-28 this season in sporadic use, was optioned to Las Vegas. Campbell figures to start Sunday against Hamels.
Read more in Newsday.
• A half-inning after the Mets stranded the bases loaded, Ryan Howard delivered a two-out RBI single in the ninth against Kyle Farnsworth and Philadelphia beat the Mets, 5-4, Saturday night at Citi Field. At three games under .500, the Mets (16-19) have matched their 0-3 start for their season low-water mark.
After consecutive singles to open the bottom of the eighth, Chris Young -- hitless in 14 at-bats -- had a successful sac bunt. Campbell then struck out, Wilmer Flores walked and Abreu, pinch-hitting for Travis d’Arnaud, grounded back to Adams as the score remained tied at 4.
Scott Rice had inherited a one-run lead for the seventh from Dillon Gee and surrendered a game-tying RBI double to Utley.
Gee’s scoreless streak ended at 16 innings with two runs by the Phillies in the first. He allowed three runs in six innings and tossed only 81 pitches before departing with a 4-3 lead in what became a no-decision. Collins preferred having Rice face the Utley/Howard portion of the Phillies lineup in their fourth plate appearances.
David Wright snapped a career-high 136 at-bat homerless drought with a two-run homer in the first inning against Kyle Kendrick. Wright finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs, but popped out in foul territory against Jonathan Papelbon with Daniel Murphy at second base to end the game.
Mets pitchers remained hitless and are now 0-for-61 to open the season.
Read game recaps in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Post, Daily News, Times, Newsday, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.
• Noah Syndergaard surrendered five runs (four earned) in six innings for Las Vegas, including a first-inning three-run homer to Nick Franklin. He struck out 10. Matt Koch, Randy Fontanez and Beck Wheeler combined on the shutout as St. Lucie beat Palm Beach, 2-0. John Gant, Dawrin Frias and Robert Coles combined on the shutout as Savannah beat Charleston, 1-0. 2012 first-round pick For the Gnats, Gavin Cecchini returned to the lineup two days after departing with a knee injury. Savannah snapped Yankees prospect Caleb Smith’s scoreless streak at 23 1/3 innings. Read the full minor-league recap here.
• Jon Hamm, who plays advertising executive Don Draper on “Mad Men,” is a St. Louis Cardinals fan in real life. Hamm was in New York on Friday promoting his role as a sports agent in the new Disney movie, “Million Dollar Arm.” Writes Anthony McCarron in the Daily News:
“Oh, I hated the Mets with a passion that kills and still do,” Hamm said last week while promoting his new movie, “Million Dollar Arm,” which opens Friday, May 16.
But, Hamm acknowledges, the Mets -- at least the late ’60s version -- are the “perfect team for Don Draper to root for. They’re brand new. They represent nothing but possibility.
“Don would never be a Yankee fan. That’s a frontrunner. He’s an underdog guy, if he’s anything.”
Speaking of Don Draper and the ’69 Mets, columnist Mike Vaccaro addresses that topic in the Post.
Read more in the Times and Newsday.
• Kevin Burkhardt (Class of 1997) will give William Patterson University’s commencement address Wednesday at the Izod Center, writes Phil Mushnick in the Post.
• The Yankees will honor Joe Torre, Goose Gossage, Tino Martinez and Paul O’Neill with plaques in Monument Park this season. So what about the Mets honoring their past heroes? Writes David Lennon in Newsday:
The franchise has retired only three numbers in addition to Jackie Robinson's No. 42 -- Casey Stengel's 37, Gil Hodges' 14 and Tom Seaver's 41 -- but [Mike] Piazza seems to be next in line.
Piazza's No. 31 has not been issued by the Mets since he left after the 2005 season, and he was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame last year. But the Mets appear to be waiting on Piazza's campaign for Cooperstown, and he fell 74 votes shy of the 75 percent needed (429) for induction in his second year.
Carter's No. 8, Keith Hernandez's No. 17 and Willie Mays' No. 24 also have been mostly kept out of circulation, so they remain possibilities.
In the meantime, the Mets rely on a seven-person committee to decide on their own Hall of Fame, which has 27 inductees. Who will follow Piazza? David Wright? That would be a bit of a wait.
• Columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post suggests the Mets' season appears snowballing out of control.
• Omar Quintanilla cleared waivers and accepted a demotion to Vegas. Quintanilla, who was replaced by Wilmer Flores on Friday, had the right to decline the assignment and declare free agency.
• There have been 122 players to play for both the Mets and Yankees, writes Anthony Rieber in Newsday. There are five slated to participate in this week’s Subway Series: Abreu, Bartolo Colon, Farnsworth, Curtis Granderson and Carlos Beltran.
• The Chicago White Sox promoted former Mets closer Frank Francisco from Triple-A Charlotte on Saturday.
• The Los Angeles Angels released ex-Mets left-handed reliever Robert Carson from Triple-A Salt Lake, where he had a 10.34 ERA and had allowed 23 hits and 13 walks in 15 2/3 innings.
• From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear encounters a Mets fan existential crisis.
BIRTHDAYS: Walt Terrell, who was traded to the Detroit Tigers for Howard Johnson on Dec. 7, 1984, turns 56.
TWEETS OF THE DAY:
My child is already sick of this pen pic.twitter.com/RAClnsgq25— Casey Stern (@CaseyStern) May 11, 2014
YOU’RE UP: Who should start Wednesday against the Yankees -- Jenrry Mejia, Rafael Montero, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Carlos Torres, Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard?
With each passing loss that Loyalty Oath is becoming a Loyalty Dare. #Mets— Mike Vaccaro (@MikeVacc) May 11, 2014
Quintanilla has accepted the assignment to Vegas. He had the right to declare free agency.
Quintanilla, 32, hit .207 (6-for-29) with three RBIs in 15 games with the Mets this season.
FIRST PITCH: The Mets head home having failed to score in 23 straight innings … and with a new shortstop.
Wilmer Flores is expected to join the Mets on Friday for the series opener against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Omar Quintanilla is due to be designated for assignment.
The Mets, off on Thursday, will play 16 of their next 19 games in New York City -- including two Subway Series games in the Bronx.
Jenrry Mejia (3-0, 5.23 ERA) opposes Phillies right-hander Roberto Hernandez (2-1, 4.50) on Friday at 7:10 p.m.
With the Mets at 16-17 and now under .500, the pressure is on Mejia to demonstrate he can navigate through the middle innings in order to maintain his rotation spot.
Thursday’s news reports:
• Miami handed the Mets their seventh walk-off loss at Marlins Park since the stadium opened for the 2012 season. This time, Giancarlo Stanton scored on a sacrifice fly ahead of an offline throw from usually steady Juan Lagares and the Marlins beat the Mets, 1-0, Wednesday afternoon.
Hitting coach Dave Hudgens suggested the combination of strong pitching, a spacious ballpark and Mets batters “not locked in” combined to up the Mets’ scoreless streak to its longest stretch since going 24 straight innings from July 15-17, 2010.
Zack Wheeler tossed six scoreless innings, but had a no-decision to show for it. Mets pitchers are now 0-for-58 at the plate this season.
Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times, Journal and at MLB.com.
• Flores apparently will be chipping away at Ruben Tejada’s time at shortstop when he is expected to join the Mets on Friday. Can Flores actually handle the position in the majors? Stay tuned.
Read more on the shortstop shakeup in the Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.
• Like ESPNNewYork.com, Carig reports in Newsday that Mejia may soon be headed back to the bullpen. Writes Carig:
Back in spring training, the Mets right-hander asked his agents to relay his desire to remain a starting pitcher, which he believes is easier on his arm than working as a reliever. The Mets initially were on the same page, with general manager Sandy Alderson citing Mejia’s injury history as the reason he’d be a starter.
But the Mets are preparing for an about-face. With the bullpen desperately in need of reinforcement, Mets insiders told Newsday that Mejia has emerged as a prime candidate to transition again into a relief role.
"[Even] if I don’t like it, I’m going to do it,” said Mejia, who is scheduled to start Friday night against the Phillies. “I have to do it. That’s my team, and I want to be with my teammates.”
In that scenario, Daisuke Matsuzaka could step into the rotation or Jacob deGrom or Rafael Montero could be promoted for a starting role. Read more in the Star-Ledger.
• David Wright said the Mets, losers of six of their last seven, must stop their skid now.
• The Mets have been hitting into some bad luck, ESPN Stats & Information’s Mark Simon writes here.
• Ron Darling did not read the “True New Yorker” letter he and other ’86 and ’69 Mets digitally signed before the club blasted it via email to fans. Read more in the Daily News.
• Columnist Mike Vaccaro in the Post, in Miami for the Nets-Heat series, swung by Marlins Park on Wednesday and used the “True New Yorker” loyalty-oath request and the Mets getting swept as fuel for a scathing column. Writes Vaccaro:
Matt Harvey was with the Mets this week rehabbing before the public eye, so it was a good time to remember that the men who own the Mets vowed in the spring of 2013 that this was going to be the year they blew the dust off their wallets and jumped back into the game, act like they own a team based in New York City, not Oklahoma City.
And, you know: act like True New Yorkers.
Then Harvey got hurt last year and you could almost hear the audible sighs of relief coming from the suits in the corporate suites: “surely, nobody would hold us to that promise now” -- even if, when Fred Wilpon made that sacred pledge, Harvey was just a pitcher with a world of potential, not the Dark Knight of Gotham he became.
But that was OK, because the men who run the Mets have grown used to playing their fans for fools, because for years they have insisted that all is well in their corporate coffers, and to celebrate this they have a team that cost the princely sum of $86 million this year. That would be considered shameful, but then the men who run the Mets have proven time and again that they have no shame.
• Scott Rice, whom Terry Collins refrained from using the final two games of the Marlins series, insisted his back issue is a nonissue.
• Harvey is now due to throw on flat ground at 120 feet on Friday at Citi Field for the first time since undergoing Oct. 22 Tommy John surgery. That potentially puts Harvey within three weeks of throwing off a mound for the first time since the procedure.
• Wheeler expressed dissatisfaction with his slider during his postgame interview, Mike Puma notes in the Post.
• Read more on the Mets’ hitless pitchers at MLB.com.
• DeGrom struggled for the first time this season, but Eric Campbell had a tiebreaking RBI double in the top of the 10th and Vic Black struck out the side in the bottom half. When it was over, Las Vegas had rallied from a two-run deficit with two outs in the ninth to beat Salt Lake, 7-5. Outfielder Cesar Puello, who served a 50-game suspension related to Biogenesis last season, was placed on the temporary inactive list with Vegas. Greg Peavey tossed a two-hit shutout as Binghamton beat New Hampshire, 6-0. Gavin Cecchini homered and had three RBIs as Savannah beat West Virginia, 9-3. Read the full minor-league recap here.
• From the bloggers … Faith and Fear immerses itself in a decade’s worth of Mets-at-Marlins walk-off lore.
BIRTHDAYS: We ain’t lying: John Maine turns 33.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Can Wilmer Flores handle shortstop in the majors?
@AdamRubinESPN Still wish they'd try for Nick Franklin, buried by the Mariners at Tacoma and hitting .369. Or Gregorius, .288 at Reno.— Bob Mac (@Ram8080Bob) May 8, 2014
How Terry Collins plans to divvy the playing time at shortstop remains to be seen, but clearly the Mets are dissatisfied with their production at shortstop and Ruben Tejada's playing time will diminish.
Of course, how Flores will handle the big-league speed of the game at shortstop remains to be seen. There are many skeptics.
The Mets abandoned using Flores at shortstop in the minors after the 2011 season, only to reinstate him at the position this season after he spent eight weeks at agility camp. The move, though, appeared primarily out of desperation for options.
ESPN Stats & Information's Mark Simon computed early Wednesday that Mets opponents have a .278 batting average on groundballs -- highest in MLB. That's undoubtedly attributable in some substantial part to a lack of infield range. Adding Flores may be a further drag.
Then again, the Mets need offense. They will enter the weekend series at Citi Field against the Philadelphia Phillies on a 23-inning scoreless drought, their longest since 2010. Mets shortstops this season have combined to hit .194 with no homers and nine RBIs in 103 at-bats.
Flores has committed seven errors and has a .941 fielding percentage in 24 games at shortstop with Las Vegas through Tuesday.
Flores is starting at shortstop for Las Vegas on Wednesday night at Salt Lake, which is likely why the promotion is not official. He entered the game hitting .296 with five homers and 23 RBIs in 108 at-bats. He was hitless in four at-bats at the major-league level in one start at second base this season while Daniel Murphy was on paternity leave.
Quintanilla is due to be designated for assignment.