New York Mets: Tim Lavigne

Minors 8.27.13: Walters breaks saves record

August, 28, 2013
8/28/13
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COLORADO SPRINGS 13, LAS VEGAS 12: Mike Baxter had a three-run homer in a five-run eighth as Las Vegas rallied to even the score at 9, but D.J. Mitchell surrendered four runs in the bottom half of the frame. Trailing 13-9, Francisco Pena doubled to open the ninth and scored on Brandon Hicks' single. Brian Bixler and Kirk Nieuwenhuis then walked to load the bases with none out. Ruben Tejada struck out. With Baxter then batting, a wild pitch scored Hicks to pull the 51s within two runs. Baxter then walked to reload the bases. Zach Lutz delivered a sacrifice fly to make it 13-12, but Eric Campell grounded out to strand the tying and winning runs on base. Starter Giancarlo Alvarado allowed six runs in six innings. Box

BINGHAMTON 3, BOWIE 2: The B-Mets packed their runs into the second inning and held on for a franchise-record 83rd win. Jeff Walters notched his 37th save, displacing Tim Lavigne for the B-Mets' career record. The Baysox opened the scoring in the first inning.

lastname
Walters
Kyle Hudson had a leadoff single against Logan Verrett, took second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a single and scored on another wild pitch. Binghamton answered in the second against Bowie starter Tyler Wilson. Cory Vaughn launched his 10th B-Mets homer, ending the team's five-game long-ball drought. Following Travis Taijeron's single and Blake Forsythe's double, Richard Lucas gave Binghamton its first lead since Saturday with a sac fly. Wilfredo Tovar then doubled to plate Forsythe with Binghamton’s third run. Verrett (12-6) completed his outing with four scoreless frames. The right-hander allowed six hits and walked one over five innings, but held the Baysox to 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded six runners. Chasen Bradford worked around a one-out single to put up a zero in the sixth, but ran into trouble an inning later. Garabez Rosa's solo homer cut Binghamton’s lead to one. Two batters later, Josh Horton singled, putting the potential tying run on base. Adam Kolarek entered and induced an inning-ending comebacker. The Maryland native returned for the eighth and used a double play to erase a leadoff single in a scoreless frame. Walters posted a perfect ninth. Verrett took the sole possession of the Eastern League lead with his 12th win. Box

ST. LUCIE 4, CHARLOTTE 2: Rylan Sandoval had an RBI double in the first inning and T.J. Rivera and Kevin Plawecki had run-scoring singles in the second as St. Lucie built a 4-1 lead. Starter Angel Cuan (8-3) allowed two runs in six innings. Cody Satterwhite and T.J. Chism combined for three scoreless relief innings. Chism earned his 19th save. Box

ROME 14, SAVANNAH 1: Starter Marco Camarena was charged with eight runs in four innings. Reliever Wanel Mesa allowed six runs in two innings. Box

KINGSPORT 5, PULASKI 3: The K-Mets overcame a three-run deficit, evening the score in the fifth on Victor Cruzado's RBI single and taking the lead an inning later on Pedro Perez's run-scoring triple. Alberto Baldonado and Robert Coles combined for three no-hit relief innings. Box

TRI-CITY 5, BROOKLYN 3 (16 innings): L.J. Mazzilli's eighth-inning homer evened the score at 3 and forced extra innings, but the Cyclones ultimately lost the marathon. Cristian Chivilli surrendered two runs in the top of the 16th, after walking and hitting with a pitch the first two batters of the inning. Gavin Cecchini, Mazzilli and Jared King consecutively struck out in the bottom half. Box

GCL CARDINALS 11, GCL METS 6: Frank Francisco tossed a scoreless inning, albeit allowing two hits, in his third Gulf Coast League game in six days. Reliever Ramon Estevez was charged with four runs without recording an out as the Mets failed to hold a two-run lead in the eighth. Gaither Bumgardner was charged with another four runs in the ninth. Dominic Smith drove in two runs in the loss. Box

Compiled from team reports

Morning Briefing: Historic matchup looms

August, 22, 2013
8/22/13
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Associated Press, USA TODAY SportsTim Hudson (ankle) and Jason Heyward (jaw) have suffered serious bone fractures at Citi Field in the past month.
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: Aces Matt Harvey and Max Scherzer will make history this weekend.

Their matchup Saturday at Citi Field will mark the first time the All-Star Game starters have faced off at any point during that same regular season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Of course, the Mets made that possible by keeping Harvey on an extra day of rest.

Carlos Torres steps into the rotation spot vacated by Jenrry Mejia to face Detroit Tigers right-hander Doug Fister in Friday’s 7:10 p.m. series opener.

After Harvey-Scherzer Saturday at 4:05 p.m., Dillon Gee opposes Seton Hall prep product Rick Porcello in Sunday’s 1:10 p.m. finale.

First, the Mets enjoy their first off-day today since Aug. 5.

Scherzer, by the way, is only the fifth pitcher in major league history to win at least 18 of his first 19 decisions of a season -- as a starter or reliever. He joins Rube Marquard (1912 New York Giants, 19-0), Roger Clemens (2001 Yankees, 18-1), Roy Face (1959 Pittsburgh Pirates, 18-1) and Don Newcombe (1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, 18-1).

Thursday’s news reports:

Jason Heyward suffered two fractures to his jaw when he was struck by a 90 mph fastball from Jonathon Niese in the sixth inning Wednesday. Heyward is due to undergo surgery in Atlanta on Thursday. He is expected to miss four to six weeks.

It marked the second time this season the Mets had dealt a serious injury to a key member of the Braves at Citi Field. Tim Hudson fractured his right ankle covering first base when Eric Young Jr. stepped on him on July 24.

"He never lost consciousness," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez told reporters afterward about Heyward. "Right before he went to the hospital he popped his head into the clubhouse to say goodbye to some of the guys.

“It’s not the ballpark. It's just a matter of freak stuff happening. It can happen anywhere.”

Read more in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Post and Newsday.


Brad Penner/USA TODAY SportsFirst-base ump Jerry Layne gets an earful from Terry Collins after a blown 10th-inning call.


• On his first major league pitch since July 19, Greg Burke surrendered a three-run homer to Chris Johnson and the Mets lost to the Braves, 4-1, in 10 innings. The inning was prolonged for Johnson’s blast when first-base umpire Jerry Layne incorrectly ruled Freddie Freeman safe on a close play, which placed runners at first and second base with two outs.

Daniel Murphy was ejected for barking at Layne about the Freeman call as Johnson rounded the bases. Terry Collins subsequently returned to the field to argue and was tossed, too. Major League Baseball intends to institute manager challenges next season that would have reversed such a call.

Niese had allowed one run in seven innings in a no-decision. Atlanta evened the score at 1 in the sixth when Niese briefly unraveled after drilling Heyward with two outs. The southpaw subsequently surrendered singles to Andrelton Simmons and Freeman.

The Mets have now played 52 extra innings this season, eight shy of matching the franchise record, set in 1979 and duplicated in 1985.

Juan Lagares recorded his 11th outfield assist, pulling even with Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Gonzalez for the major league lead. Lagares has the most outfield assists by a rookie since Rocco Baldelli had 15 with Tampa Bay in 2003.

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

Frank Francisco resurfaced in the Gulf Coast League on Wednesday. Francisco surrendered a solo homer to minor league veteran Ben Lasater. He otherwise struck out two in one inning against the GCL Marlins in Port St. Lucie, Fla. It marked Francisco’s first official minor league game action since July 15.

Unless the Mets can get Francisco to the major league level in the next nine days and trade him while he would be eligible for another team’s playoff roster, it clearly would be plausible for them to release the former closer soon. After all, why give him a September opportunity to set up a free-agent deal elsewhere this offeason?

Francisco, making $6.5 million as part of an expiring two-year, $12 million deal, has not appeared with the Mets this season. He seemingly underwent a benign surgery in December to remove a bone spur from his pitching elbow.

Jeremy Hefner will seek a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Monday, but believes he is headed for Tommy John surgery to address a partially torn medial collateral ligament. The surgery, which has a typical 12-month recovery time, would sideline Hefner for most if not all of the 2014 season. Hefner also needs bone spurs removed. Read more in the Times, Daily News, Post, Star-Ledger and Newsday.

• Brian Costa notes in the Journal that he willingly preferred to attend Citi Field rather than Yankee Stadium on Wednesday. Writes Costa:

But as the Mets slog through what's left of another forgettable season in relative obscurity, a window of opportunity is opening. The emergence of their best young players is coinciding with the devolution of the Yankees into an abject spectacle, like the Bronx Zoo Yankees of the 1970s minus the championship.

You'd be a fool to write the Yankees off entirely. Entering Thursday, they'd won eight of their last 10 games. But the odds are not in their favor. Based on the team's run differential and remaining schedule, the website coolstandings.com gave the Yankees a mere 11 percent chance of making the playoffs entering Thursday. And with no top young talent on the immediate horizon, 2014 looks as murky as ever.

For the first time in a long time, it looks entirely possible that the Mets will be a better team than the Yankees a year from today.


Courtesy of New York MetsDustin Lawley has been named Florida State League player of the year.


• Playoff-bound Binghamton (81-49) clinched outright its first Eastern League division title since 2000 with a 5-3 win against Bowie on Wednesday. Allan Dykstra slugged his 20th homer, while Travis Taijeron also went deep. Taijeron has 13 Double-A homers this season and 22 long balls overall. Jeff Walters notched his 36th save, which ties the all-time Binghamton saves record originally set by Tim Lavigne over five seasons.

“We mixed some older guys in, myself included, and we jelled well," Dykstra told the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin. "It’s just a good camaraderie in the clubhouse and that really reflects on the field.”

Eric Campbell had a walk-off single in the 11th as Las Vegas rallied from a seven-run deficit to beat Fresno, 8-7, and improve to 72-57. Demoted Anthony Recker made his 51s debut with an eighth-inning groundout as a pinch hitter.

Domingo Tapia allowed six runs in 3 1/3 innings as St. Lucie lost to Palm Beach, 7-0. Kyle Johnson extended his hitting streak to 16 games. St. Lucie earlier had won the resumption of Tuesday’s suspended game, 6-4. Robbie Shields had a tiebreaking two-run double in the seventh.

After St. Lucie's doubleheader, outfielder/third baseman Dustin Lawley (.259, 25 HR, 90 RBIs) was named Florida State League player of the year. Bronx-raised infielder T.J. Rivera and right-hander Matt Bowman also were named to the FSL postseason All-Star team.

Estarlin Morel threw a walk-off wild pitch as Savannah lost at Kannapolis, 4-3. 2011 first-round pick Brandon Nimmo went 2-for-3 with a walk and now has a .406 average (26-for-64) in August.

From the bloggers: Faith and Fear in Flushing has seen enough of the Braves.

BIRTHDAYS: Outfielder Darrin Jackson is 50. … Ray Burris was born on this date in 1950.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Are you concerned for the Mets being the target for retribution when they play at Turner Field from Sept 2-4, given the injuries to Jason Heyward and Tim Hudson?

Farm report: Walters notches saves record

August, 14, 2013
8/14/13
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Right-hander Jeff Walters has produced 33 saves this season, breaking the Double-A Binghamton single-season record, which previously had been set by Jerrod Riggan with 28 in 2000.

Next up for Walters: The all-time B-Mets saves record. Tim Lavigne notched 36 saves with the B-Mets while spending parts of five seasons with the Eastern League club, from 2002 to 2008.

Walters’ save total is the most in all of minor league baseball. The runner-up, Chris Hatcher, has 29 with Triple-A New Orleans (Marlins).


Courtesy of New York MetsJeff Walters


“It’s been really cool,” said Walters, a seventh-round pick in 2010 from the University of Georgia. “I didn’t think that our team would be doing this well, either, you know? When you win 75 games this early in the season, hopefully you get a couple of cracks at some saves. But I’ve been fortunate to be put in that situation. We’ve had some tight games.”

Walters actually had a streak of 20 straight save conversions snapped Tuesday night with only his third blown save of the season. He issued a walk-off wild pitch. It was his first time working in five days. The organization had backed off his usage because of a shoulder issue.

Walters’ fastball sits at 93-95 mph. He has registered 97 mph a couple of times this season, but generally tops out with an occasional 96 mph. He also sports a slider (83-86 mph) and changeup (82-84 mph).

He originally served as a starting pitcher in the minors, including 14 starts for Brooklyn in 2011. He shifted to the bullpen with Savannah and St. Lucie last season, and emerged as Binghamton’s closer this year.

Walters, 25, had familiarity with the relief role. He served in that capacity during most of his junior year with Georgia, before stepping in as a starter at NCAA regional time. He then settled into to a Saturday starting role his senior year with the Southeastern Conference program.

“I’d be in that situation in JUCO as well, before I had gotten to Georgia,” Walters said. “I’ve been back and forth to both spots and am comfortable either way.”

Walters has an unusual distinction. He was drafted five times before signing with the Mets.

He was selected out of high school in Orlando, Fla., by the Giants in the 24th round in 2006, by the Nationals in the 47th round out of St. Petersburg College in ’07, by the Indians in the 30th round in ’08 out of the same junior college, then by the Orioles in the 17th round in ’09 as a junior at Georgia. With no more college eligibility, he signed with the Mets after being drafted in the seventh round his senior year.

As atypical as that is, Walters had a mentor who went through the same experience. His high school pitching coach, Randy O’Neal, also was drafted five times. O’Neal eventually signed with the Tigers as a first-round pick in 1981 out of the University of Florida.

O’Neal went on to make 142 major league appearances (46 starts) over seven major league seasons, with the Tigers, Braves, Cardinals, Phillies and Giants.

“It was awesome,” Walters said about having O’Neal as a coach in high school. “I got to the point where I was learning more about the game than actual mechanics. Most of it at this point [in Double-A] for a lot of pitchers is not mechanical anymore. It’s being able to understand the mental game -- what to do, when to do it, and how to accept defeat as well as how to accept when you do good. I was taught that from very early, and he has helped me with that a lot.”

Next up for Walters, aside from an appearance with the B-Mets in the Eastern League playoffs? Because he was drafted in 2010 as a college senior, Walters needs to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason in order to be protected from Rule 5 draft eligibility.

The recent shoulder issue may have given the Mets too much pause for a September call-up, although it’s not entirely out of the question. Pitchers who clearly should be with the Mets after rosters expand are Greg Burke, Robert Carson and mostly likely Tim Byrdak.

“I can only take care of what I do on the field,” Walters said. “That’s all I’m concentrating on right now is trying to finish out the season strong with this last month, and then hopefully with us going to the playoffs. And then whatever happens in the offseason happens. I’ll take it whatever it is and prepare and come back next year and hopefully get a chance next year.”

Organization leaders

Average: Victor Cruzado, Kingsport, .336; Jayce Boyd, St. Lucie, .329; Cesar Puello, Binghamton, .326; Yeixon Ruiz, Kingsport, .321; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, .321; Kevin Plawecki, St. Lucie, .317; Jeff McNeil, Kingsport, .314; LJ Mazzilli, Brooklyn, .303; T.J. Rivera, St. Lucie, .298; Jhoan Urena, GCL Mets, .296.

Homers: Dustin Lawley, St. Lucie, 24; Travis Taijeron, Binghamton, 20; Allan Dykstra, Binghamton, 19; Cesar Puello, Binghamton, 16; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, 15.

RBI: Dustin Lawley, St. Lucie, 88; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, 86; Jayce Boyd, St. Lucie, 76; Kevin Plawecki, St. Lucie, 74.

Steals: Darrell Ceciliani, Binghamton, 28; Cesar Puello, Binghamton, 24; Alonzo Harris, Binghamton, 22; Eudy Pina, Savannah, 18.

ERA: Rob Whalen, Kingsport, 1.72; Octavio Acosta, GCL Mets, 2.28; John Gant, Brooklyn, 2.36; Chris Flexen, Kingsport, 2.39; Noah Syndergaard, Binghamton, 2.54; Rainy Lara, St. Lucie, 2.55; Carlos Valdez, Brooklyn, 2.58; Miller Diaz, Brooklyn, 2.68; Robert Gsellman, Brooklyn, 2.69; Gabriel Ynoa, Savannah, 2.71.

Wins: Gabriel Ynoa, Savannah, 13; Rafael Montero, Vegas, 11; Matt Bowman, St. Lucie, 10; Logan Verrett, Binghamton, 10; Erik Goeddel, Binghamton, 9.

Saves: Jeff Walters, Binghamton, 33; T.J. Chism, St. Lucie, 16; Beck Wheeler, Savannah, 15; Robert Carson, Vegas,10; Bret Mitchell, St. Lucie, 10.

Strikeouts: Rafael Montero, Vegas, 126; Noah Syndergaaard, Binghamton, 118; Logan Verrett, Binghamton, 117.

Short hops

• Attempting to close out a victory for the NL in the New York-Penn League All-Star Game, Brooklyn Cyclones left-hander John Mincone surrendered two ninth-inning runs and the AL won, 4-3, in walk-off fashion. Playing in his home state, LJ Mazzilli came off the bench and went 0-for-1 with a run scored in the game at Norwich, Conn. Starter Miller Diaz allowed one run in one inning. Robert Gsellman tossed a scoreless inning, allowing one hit and striking out two.

• A pair of Mets farmhands were named their leagues’ pitchers of the week.

B-Mets left-hander Mark Cohoon earned the Eastern League honor after going 2-0 and allowing one earned run in 13 innings over two starts. Cohoon, a 12th-round pick in 2008, owns the B-Mets’ record for most career innings pitched (371 1/3).

Savannah right-hander Seth Lugo, a 34th-round pick in 2011 out of Centenary College in Shreveport, La., earned the South Atlantic League honor. Lugo, 23, appeared in 11 games (10 starts) after the draft with Kingsport, but did not pitch last year. He missed significant time with a back injury.

• The Mets have not yet named their Arizona Fall League contingent, but team officials indicated players who missed chunks of time during the season because of injury would be prime candidates. Fitting that criteria: Binghamton outfielder Cory Vaughn as well as right-handers Cory Mazzoni, Michael Fulmer and Hansel Robles.

Noah Syndergaard is 5-0 with a 1.76 ERA in nine starts since a promotion to Binghamton. He has allowed 34 hits and 10 walks while striking out 54 in 46 innings.

• 2011 first-round pick Gavin Cecchini took an 11-game hitting streak into the New York-Penn League All-Star break. Cecchini lifted his season average from .214 to .282 with the surge.

Lucas Duda’s last three starts have come at first base with Las Vegas. Duda is hitting .200 (5-for-25) with one RBI and six walks in eight games since joining the 51s.

Farm report: King, of Brooklyn

August, 7, 2013
8/07/13
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Brooklyn Cyclones left fielder Jared King has been switch-hitting since he can remember.

His father Jeff, who played college ball at Ohio State and one season professionally with the Yankees in the New York-Penn League, set up a batting cage in the family’s basement in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, for Jared and brother Jason to learn from a young age.

“He knew you’ve got a better shot if you can swing it from both sides,” Jared said. “He made it a job to try to get us to both be able to do it. And we stuck with it and it’s helped out tremendously.”


Courtesy of Brooklyn CyclonesJared King


Both brothers ended up playing for Kansas State, then getting drafted professionally in early rounds.

Jason, a third baseman, was selected in the fourth round in 2011 by the Tigers and currently is playing in the Midwest League for Western Michigan.

Jared, a fifth-round pick of the Mets two months ago, is hitting .264 with 16 RBIs and a .364 on-base percentage in 42 games with Brooklyn while serving as the regular left fielder. (He suffered a left oblique injury Tuesday and is day-to-day.)

The brothers, three years apart grade-wise and 2 years in age, overlapped for one season at Kansas State because Jared needed to be redshirted his junior year while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

“We’re always talking,” Jared said. “Usually every other day, or every day, we just either text or call each other to see how things are going. He’s always been there to be a support system for me as well as the rest of my family, so it’s been a huge help.”

The family has quite a legacy in Columbus. Jared and Jason’s grandfather Frank Ellwood was a quarterback at Ohio State in 1954 when the program won a national championship. Ellwood went on to be the head football coach at Marshall and an assistant coach with the Buckeyes as well as at Air Force and Ohio University.

Initially it did not seem like the brothers would be able to play together in college.

“We were kind of looking at it that when he’s a true junior, he’s going to be getting drafted. So I’m really not going to be able to play with him again,” said Jared, who played one season of high school varsity with Jeff, when they were a freshman and senior, respectively. “And then he got hurt and was going to be there another year. So it opened another opportunity to be with him. He helped me through that process as well, adjusting from high school to college. It was just a great move for me and the right thing to do.”

The brothers’ experience growing up also was shaped by a tragic event. The day before Jason signed to play at Kansas State, their mother Susan passed away after a battle with colon cancer.

“It was very emotional,” Jared said. “It’s just more motivation for Jason and I to get to where we want to be and follow our dreams.

“When something like that happens, it kind of makes you grow up quicker than you’re supposed to. I really had a clear vision of what I wanted to do with my life, and this is what I want to be doing. The same with him.

“And here we are, still chasing the same dream as when we were five years old.”

Organization leaders

Average: Victor Cruzado, Kingsport, .336; Jayce Boyd, St. Lucie, .336; Jeff McNeil, Kingsport, .333 Cesar Puello, Binghamton, .328; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, .321; Kevin Plawecki, St. Lucie, .317; LJ Mazzilli, Brooklyn, .302; Joe Tuschak, Kingsport, .297; Allan Dykstra, Binghamton, .290; Jhoan Urena, GCL Mets, .290.

Homers: Dustin Lawley, St. Lucie, 23; Allan Dykstra, Binghamton, 18; Travis Taijeron, Binghamton, 18; Cesar Puello, Binghamton, 16; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, 15.

RBI: Wilmer Flores, Vegas, 86; Dustin Lawley, St. Lucie, 83; Cesar Puello, 73; Jayce Boyd, St. Lucie, 72; Allan Dykstra, Binghamton, 70.

Steals: Darrell Ceciliani, Binghamton, 25; Cesar Puello, Binghamton, 24; Alonzo Harris, Binghamton, 22; Eudy Pina, Savannah, 17.

ERA: Rob Whalen, Kingsport, 1.54; Octavio Acosta, GCL Mets, 2.17; Miller Diaz, Brooklyn, 2.34; Chris Flexen, Kingsport, 2.36; Rainy Lara, St. Lucie, 2.37; John Gant, Brooklyn, 2.47; Noah Syndergaard, Binghamton, 2.67; Matt Bowman, St. Lucie, 2.68; Robert Gsellman, Brooklyn, 2.74; Carlos Valdez, Brooklyn, 2.75.

Wins: Gabriel Ynoa, Savannah, 13; Matt Bowman, St. Lucie, 10; Rafael Montero, Vegas, 10; Logan Verrett, Binghamton, 10; Erik Goeddel, Binghamton, 9.

Saves: Jeff Walters, Binghamton, 32; T.J. Chism, St. Lucie, 15; Beck Wheeler, Savannah, 14; Bret Mitchell, St. Lucie, 10; Hamilton Bennett, St. Lucie, 9.

Strikeouts: Rafael Montero, Vegas, 117; Noah Syndergaaard, Binghamton, 113; Logan Verrett, Binghamton, 111; Luis Cessa, Savannah, 109; Matt Bowman, St. Lucie, 107.

Short hops

• Although Ruben Tejada officially has been a minor leaguer since completing a rehab assignment and getting optioned to Las Vegas on July 7, he should comfortably qualify for arbitration eligibility during the upcoming offseason.

Even if he were not to return to the majors this year, Tejada already has accumulated 98 major league service days this season, giving him two years, 151 days for his career and making him a clear-cut Super 2.

Depending when Tejada returns to the majors, he could even cross the threshold and have three years of service time, meaning he would be eligible for free agency a year sooner. A full MLB season is granted for 172 days of service time, so Tejada only needs 21 more major league days this year to bypass Super 2 entirely.

• Just like at the major league level with Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler, every inning is being counted for Noah Syndergaard at Double-A Binghamton. That is why Syndergaard departed his start Sunday after five innings despite working on a two-hit shutout and with his pitch count only at 66. Syndergaard was pulled from his previous start, when he allowed only one hit and one run in six innings, with his pitch count at 59.

The aim is to keep Syndergaard pitching through the end of the season, which should include the postseason in the B-Mets’ case. Binghamton is 72-43 and has opened a 13-game lead over Trenton for first place in the Eastern League’s Eastern Division.

Syndergaard, who has a 1.98 ERA in eight starts since joining the B-Mets, has logged a combined 104 2/3 innings this season between St. Lucie and Binghamton. He had 103 2/3 innings in 2012 while a Blue Jays farmhand. Although there are other factors, a general rule of thumb is capping innings jumps at 30 over the previous season.

Syndergaard, incidentally, was just named as being the best pitching prospect and having the best fastball in the Eastern and Florida State leagues by Baseball America.

• Baseball America’s newly released tools lists by league included several other Mets farmhands:

For the Pacific Coast League, the still-eligible Wheeler was named best pitching prospect and as possessing the best fastball. Now-suspended Cesar Puello was named most exciting player and Pedro Lopez was named best manager prospect in the Eastern League. Savannah’s Gabriel Ynoa was cited as having the best control and Jayce Boyd was named as the best defensive first baseman in the South Atlantic League.

• With 32 saves, Binghamton closer Jeff Walters already has established a new single-season saves record for the Eastern League club. Next up: Walters is closing in on Binghamton’s all-time saves record. Tim Lavigne accumulated 36 saves over parts of five seasons with the B-Mets, from 2002 through ’08. Binghamton has 27 regular-season games remaining.

• 2012 third-round pick Matt Koch was released from the hospital Monday, three days after getting struck with a line drive in the head while pitching for Savannah against Mario Martinez. Koch’s brother picked him up at the hospital in Greenville, S.C., and drove him back to Savannah. Koch has several upcoming doctor appointments and may not pitch again this season, according to a Mets official. Selected out of Louisville last year, Koch is 6-4 with a 4.70 ERA in 18 appearances (15 starts) for the Gnats this season.

• Brooklyn had five players selected to next Tuesday’s New York-Penn League All-Star Game at Norwich, Conn. Right-hander Miller Diaz will start for the National League squad. He will be joined by right-handers John Gant and Robert Gsellman, left-hander John Mincone and second baseman LJ Mazzilli. Mincone, a product of Half Hollow Hills East High on Long Island, is now a two-time All-Star selection in the league.

• Outfielder Cory Vaughn could not have scripted his return to Double-A much better. Vaughn produced six RBIs in Tuesday’s Binghamton doubleheader sweep, after logging nine games in the Gulf Coast League and 12 games with St. Lucie. Vaughn had last played for the B-Mets on June 2, after which he landed on the DL with an elbow strain in his right, throwing arm. Vaughn, the son of ex-big leaguer Greg Vaughn, is hitting .301 with seven homers and 37 RBIs in 176 Eastern League at-bats this season.

• With Wilmer Flores in the majors and Jordany Valdespin suspended for 50 games, Las Vegas used an infield Tuesday night of Eric Campbell at first base, Brandon Hicks at second base, Tejada at shortstop and Zach Lutz at third base.

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