New York Mets: Royce Ring

Farm report: Fulmer moves beyond 2013

May, 7, 2014
May 7
8:44
AM ET
MIAMI -- When the Mets selected Michael Fulmer with the 44th overall pick in 2011, Paul DePodesta suggested the right-hander was the third big prep arm in that year’s draft from the state of Oklahoma, along with Dylan Bundy (fourth overall/Orioles) and Archie Bradley (seventh overall/Diamondbacks).

Three years later, the 21-year-old Fulmer is 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA in five starts for Class A St. Lucie this season. The recent results have been encouraging, though.

After allowing 16 runs over his first three starts, Fulmer has produced consecutive scoreless efforts. In 11 innings over those two recent Florida State League starts, he has allowed seven hits and three walks and hit a batter while striking out five.


Courtesy of New York MetsMichael Fulmer


He throws a fastball (92-94 mph), slider, curveball and changeup.

Last year, Fulmer required March 12 surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee and did not appear in a Gulf Coast League game until June 25. He ended up making only nine appearances between the GCL and Savannah before getting shut down with biceps tendinitis after an Aug. 18 appearance.

So this season’s slow start might have been partly attributable to knocking off the rust after limited work a year ago.

“It’s a little bit of that. Most importantly, it’s the things me and [St. Lucie pitching coach] Phil [Regan] have been working on in between starts -- tweaking deliveries here and there,” Fulmer said. “I think I just kind of put everything together at once and these past couple of starts kind of worked out.”

The tweaks?

“It’s staying back a little longer on my backside. And then really getting over on top of the ball and keeping my front side strong and keeping it closed,” Fulmer said. “It’s just little things. I think everything is going in the right direction.”

As for 2013, between the meniscus surgery and biceps issue, Fulmer said: “I just never really got going. I tried to come back from the meniscus surgery and it felt fine, felt fine. And then I finally got back and just didn’t feel right basically all year. But it’s a new year. Everything is feeling 110 percent healthy. And I’m excited to get this year going. It was basically just inflammation of the biceps tendon. Nothing too big.”

Early on in his Mets career, fellow Oklahoman Jeremy Hefner took Fulmer under his wing, including going to dinner a couple of times during spring training that year. Both are represented by agent Jay Franklin.

As for three years ago, Fulmer ended up meeting the big-league club shortly after the draft, because the Mets were playing an interleague series against the Texas Rangers in Arlington.

“I remember being speechless when I met Jose Reyes,” Fulmer said. “You follow baseball, the entire MLB, and you know who guys are. I was just 18 at the time and never really met anybody in the major leagues. Just to meet all those guys on the team, it was basically a dream come true. They were all nice and welcomed me in and talked to me a little bit.”

Organization leaders

Average: T.J. Rivera, St. Lucie, .393; Wilfredo Tovar, Binghamton, .350; Brandon Nimmo, St. Lucie, .347; Matt Reynolds, Binghamton, .337; Eric Campbell, Vegas, .331; Matt Clark, Binghamton, .330; Allan Dykstra, Vegas, .329; Dilson Herrera, St. Lucie, .299; Zach Lutz, Vegas, .298; Jeff McNeil, Savannah, .297.

Homers: Matt Clark, Binghamton, 7; Taylor Teagarden, Vegas, 7; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, 5; Stefan Sabol, Savannah, 5.

RBIs: Aderlin Rodriguez, St. Lucie, 32; T.J. Rivera, St. Lucie, 29; Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 26; Stefan Sabol, Savannah, 25.

Steals: Patrick Biondi, Savannah, 8; Jeff McNeil, Savannah, 7; Stefan Sabol, Savannah, 6.

ERA: Robert Gsellman, Savannah, 1.48; Jacob deGrom, Vegas, 1.89; Steven Matz, St. Lucie, 2.14; Buddy Carlyle, Vegas, 2.16; Kevin McGowan, Savannah, 2.77; John Gant, Savannah, 2.79; Darin Gorski, Binghamton, 3.04; Hansel Robles, Binghamton, 3.51; Matt Koch, St. Lucie, 3.58; Noah Syndergaard, Vegas, 3.58.

Wins: Jacob deGrom, Vegas, 4; Noah Syndergaard, Vegas, 4; Rob Whalen, Savannah, 4.

Saves: Jeff Walters, Vegas, 6; Chasen Bradford, Binghamton, 5; Robert Coles, Savannah, 5; Randy Fontanez, St. Lucie, 4.

Strikeouts: Rafael Montero, Vegas, 36; Noah Syndergaard, Vegas, 36; John Gant, Savannah, 30; Steven Matz, St. Lucie, 30; Darin Gorski, Binghamton, 29.

Short hops

Vic Black has taken over closing duties from Jeff Walters with Vegas. Walters has a 9.82 ERA and was 6-for-9 in save chances. Walters suffered the blown save and loss Monday at Tacoma, when he entered with a one-run lead and surrendered a pair of ninth-inning runs. Black has walked 10 and hit a batter in 12 1/3 innings this season, but he also has a 0.73 ERA. He has not issued a walk in his past three appearances, although he did allow three hits before preserving Vegas’ 7-6 win Tuesday night at Salt Lake.

• Right-hander Rob Whalen, who is 4-0 for Savannah, has been released from the hospital after having an infection on his throwing hand surgically cleaned. Whalen will need to wait a couple of weeks before resuming throwing. Teammate Robert Gsellman, who sports an organization-best 1.48 ERA, also landed on the disabled list, with a hamstring strain. Gsellman has resumed tossing a baseball and should get on a mound again soon.

• Former Mets reliever Royce Ring is back with the organization as Gulf Coast League pitching coach. Ring, 33, briefly pitched last season for the independent Long Island Ducks. The Mets may have one more minor-league pitching coach vacancy, but there is hope Frank Viola will be well enough to join Vegas in time for Tom Signore to return to his originally intended role as Brooklyn Cyclones pitching coach. Viola underwent open-heart surgery on April 5. Brooklyn’s season opens June 13. Viola will be the Mets' ceremonial representative at the televised June 5 draft.

• Kansas State product Jared King proposed to his girlfriend Maggie Watson before Saturday’s Savannah game. She accepted.

• Left-hander John Lannan has yet to report to Vegas because of an ongoing family issue, team officials said. Lannan last appeared in a game April 13, with the Mets.

• Former second-round pick Cory Mazzoni, who was forced to depart the final spring-training game in Port St. Lucie in the second inning with a lat issue, has started throwing and is moving closer to mound work. Mazzoni had been ticketed for the Triple-A rotation to open the season.

(Read full post)

Morning Briefing: Mets teeter at .500

May, 7, 2014
May 7
5:30
AM ET
MIAMI

FIRST PITCH: The Mets had moved a season-high four games over .500 after winning in Philly last Tuesday. Now, Zack Wheeler needs to help prevent the Mets from returning to Citi Field with a losing record to face the Phillies.

Wheeler (1-3, 5.13 ERA) opposes Miami Marlins right-hander Tom Koehler (3-2, 2.41) in Wednesday’s 12:40 p.m. road-trip finale.

Wednesday’s news reports:

Henderson Alvarez became the first Marlins pitcher to shut out the Mets since Dontrelle Willis in 2005 as Miami won, 3-0, Tuesday night at Marlins Park. Bartolo Colon allowed three runs in seven innings and dropped to 2-5 with a 5.36 ERA. Terry Collins nonetheless said the Mets, who are 16-16 on the season, are “doing all right.”

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

• Heavily used Carlos Torres has been dealing with a lat muscle issue. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

Jeremy Hefner hopes to be throwing off the slope of a mound within three weeks and hopes to return to the majors by season’s end. Read more in the Newsday and at MLB.com.

• Columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post surmises that the bullpen is the Mets’ Achilles heel yet again this season. Writes Davidoff:

Sandy Alderson, in his fourth year as the Mets’ general manager, has performed enough heavy lifting to make this beleaguered franchise relevant again. Except the launch to greater heights is in peril because he and his lieutenants haven’t been able to figure out the darn bullpen.

“We’re disappointed with where we are,” Alderson said, referring to his relief corps, in a telephone interview Tuesday. “It’s not a pen that has been consistently underperforming, but it has underperformed spectacularly in certain cases. Overall, it has been inconsistent.”

• Former Mets lefty reliever Royce Ring is back with the organization as pitching coach for the Gulf Coast League club.

Jenrry Mejia must demonstrate he can navigate the middle innings of games or he may soon be bounced to the bullpen, a team insider tells ESPNNewYork.com.

Jared Diamond in the Journal advocates the Mets using Mejia as closer. And Mejia -- despite previously expressing aversion to bullpen work -- says he would be OK with that, telling Diamond: “If they told me eighth-inning guy or ninth-inning guy, that’s going to be good to me.”

Writes Diamond:

Jenrry Mejia, who currently serves as the Mets' fifth starter, seems like a perfect candidate to close, a move that would instantly resolve a number of difficult questions surrounding the team's future. Transitioning Mejia to that role would alleviate an impending logjam in the rotation, repair the Mets' bullpen and, potentially, best leverage Mejia's skill set.

Unless the Mets' beleaguered relief corps suddenly improves, the debate about whether Mejia belongs in the bullpen will continue to burn.

"It's always in the conversation," manager Terry Collins said.

Read more on Mejia in the Star-Ledger.

• The amount the Wilpons owe as part of their Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme settlement is down to $80 million.

• Although the Mets are expected to soon expose Jacob deGrom and Rafael Montero to bullpen work with Las Vegas in advance of a promotion to the big-league club for relief roles, the duo continues to be listed as starters with the 51s.

DeGrom is next scheduled to start Wednesday, with Montero starting on Friday. Alderson has said it’s “not a necessary step” that the duo first pitches in the minors in relief before coming to the majors for that role, but it may very well be the “first step.”

Of course, if Mejia flops, deGrom or Montero could end up in the big-league rotation, unless the Mets want to turn to Daisuke Matsuzaka.

“I think we are getting to the point where it’s probably weeks as opposed to months,” assistant GM John Ricco told Kristie Ackert in the Daily News for the timetable for deGrom and Montero to be contributing at the big-league level. “Ultimately that will be Sandy’s decision. But, I think we’re getting close.”

• Matsuzaka tells Mike Puma in the Post he will try a more streamlined warm-up routine. “I don’t think there are any short-term effects in throwing the amount I do,” Matsuzaka told Puma. “I don’t think it would affect me in that particular game, but the long-term effects are definitely going to take a toll on my body, so it’s something that I’ve thought about and I will definitely start making adjustments. With the weather getting warmer, my body probably doesn’t need as much to get warm, so I’m definitely going to try out a different routine.”

Mariano Rivera and Jon Stewart chatted about the Mets on “The Daily Show.”

• Darryl Strawberry’s son Jordan has committed to play college basketball at Mercer, TheRecruitScoop.com reported.

• Jayce Boyd homered and had two doubles as part of a four-hit game, but Binghamton lost to New Hampshire, 6-4. Read the full minor-league recap here.

From the bloggers … Mack’s Mets interviews Savannah outfielder Jared King.

BIRTHDAYS: Former catcher Brook Fordyce, who made his big-league debut as a Met, turns 44.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the bullpen issues have been foreseeable?

Ring returns to Mets organization

May, 6, 2014
May 6
3:38
PM ET

Courtesy of Long Island DucksRoyce Ring briefly pitched for the Long Island Ducks last season.


MIAMI -- Royce Ring, who made 26 appearances as a left-handed reliever for the Mets in 2005 and '06, is returning to the organization.

Ring, 33, has been hired as pitching coach for the Gulf Coast League Mets, which are based at the organization's Port St. Lucie, Fla., complex.

Ring appeared in 99 major-league games with the Mets, Yankees, San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves. He made four appearances last season for the independent Long Island Ducks.

The Mets acquired Ring and two other minor leaguers from the Chicago White Sox on July 1, 2003 for Roberto Alomar. He was traded along with Heath Bell to the Padres on Nov. 15, 2006 for Jon Adkins and Ben Johnson.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 9 57 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187