New York Mets: Tom Gamboa

Morning Briefing: No deal

September, 1, 2014
Sep 1
7:10
AM ET
MIAMI

FIRST PITCH: The gang is still all here.

The deadline to trade a player and have him eligible for the acquiring team’s postseason roster passed at midnight and the Mets stood pat, as they did at the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31. So all the chatter about Bartolo Colon potentially getting dealt can be revisited this offseason, when he has one year and $11 million remaining on his contract.

The Mets open a series at third-place Miami at 1:10 p.m. on Labor Day.

Zack Wheeler, who is 2-0 with a 0.65 ERA in four starts against the Marlins this season, opposes fellow right-hander Henderson Alvarez in the opener.

Read the Mets-Marlins series preview here.

Monday’s news reports:

• The Mets won Sunday’s rubber game against the Phillies, 6-5, to avoid dropping into last place in the NL East. Anthony Recker hit a tie-breaking three-run homer and the Mets held on late despite Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia each surrendering a run.

The Mets went 13-6 in the season series against Philadelphia, matching the most wins against the Phillies in one season in franchise history. It was the Amazin’s most wins against any team in a single season since producing 14 wins against the Montreal Expos in 1991.

Wilmer Flores had a career-high-matching three hits as well as a handful of solid fielding plays at shortstop.

The Mets produced 11 hits. That snapped a streak of 10 straight home games with six hits or fewer, which had tied the 1980 Athletics for a modern-day futility record, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

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

• The Mets have fired their VP in charge of ticket sales after four years on the job, the Post reported.


Adam RubinErik Goeddel is one of four players due to join the Mets on Monday in Miami as rosters expand.


• With rosters expanding, the Mets summoned four minor leaguers to join the club for the series opener in Miami: infielder Josh Satin, right-handed reliever Erik Goeddel, left-handed reliever Dario Alvarez and catcher Juan Centeno. The Mets’ 40-man roster is now at 39. Alvarez, albeit 25, began the season at low-A Savannah. He was promoted from Double-A Binghamton. He had 114 strikeouts and 17 walks in 73 1/3 innings across three levels. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• The minor-league reinforcements were needed in part because the Mets left a couple of relievers behind in New York with elbow woes. Josh Edgin, who has bone spurs, is due to be examined as soon as Tuesday and may be “down for a while,” manager Terry Collins said. Edgin is unsure if he will require surgery to remove the spurs. Daisuke Matsuzaka's balky elbow also will be examined. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Newsday and at MLB.com.

• With St. Lucie having been eliminated from postseason contention on the final day of the Florida State League regular season, several farmhands received promotions to playoff-bound clubs. Second baseman L.J. Mazzilli, the son of Lee Mazzilli, is headed to Las Vegas. 2012 first-round pick Gavin Cecchini, catcher Cam Maron and right-handers Matt Koch and Tim Peterson are headed to Binghamton.

Maron hails from Hicksville, Long Island. He hit .282 with three homers and 50 RBIs and had a .387 on-base percentage in 348 at-bats with St. Lucie.

• St. Lucie was eliminated Sunday despite a 4-2 win against Palm Beach. The FSL club posted a 76-62 record this season. Meanwhile, Brooklyn remained alive for the New York-Penn League’s wild-card berth entering Monday’s regular-season finale by beating Staten Island, 11-3, behind a four-RBI game from Adrian Abreu. The Cyclones need to win Monday and have Connecticut lose to Lowell to qualify for the playoffs. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Mike Puma in the Post names Lucas Duda the MVP and Curtis Granderson the LVP of the Mets for August. The Mets went 12-17 during the month. Granderson, who was 1-for-17 on the homestand, was given Sunday off.

• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger profiles first-round pick Michael Conforto, who is hitting .340 with three homers and 19 RBIs in 159 at-bats entering Brooklyn’s regular-season finale. “It’s just rare to see that kind of selectivity in somebody that is so young,” Cyclones manager Tom Gamboa told Vorkunov. “Everything we had heard -- he was one of the top college hitters in the country -- has proved to be true in pro ball.”

BIRTHDAYS: Left-hander David West turns 50. ... Minor-league infielder Jhoan Urena is 20.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Which starting pitcher should the Mets trade this offseason?

Minors 7.11.14: Bowman nets 1st Vegas win

July, 11, 2014
Jul 11
11:56
PM ET
LAS VEGAS 8, ALBUQUERQUE 1
ALBUQUERQUE 5, LAS VEGAS 2: In Game 1, Las Vegas right-hander Matt Bowman recorded his first Triple-A victory. He allowed one run on seven hits and two walks in six innings. The 51s built an 8-1 lead after four innings. Matt den Dekker went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. Allan Dykstra was 2-for-3 with a three-run triple in the fourth inning. In the nightcap, starter Greg Peavey allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings. Ex-Met Mike Baxter capped the scoring with a solo homer. Box 1, Box 2

ERIE 7, BINGHAMTON 3: Four B-Mets errors led to three unearned runs as a four-game winning streak ended. Erie grabbed the lead against Rainy Lara in the first. Following

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Lawley
consecutive singles, Daniel Fields sent a potential double-play ball to third. It rolled under Dustin Lawley’s glove for an error. Runner Jamie Johnson collided with Lawley on his way to third and was tagged out after stopping between third and home when he incorrectly thought the play had been ruled dead. With runners at the corners, ensuing batter Steven Moya lifted a sacrifice fly for a 1-0 lead. The B-Mets flirted with cracking the scoreboard in the fourth against Kyle Ryan. Travis Taijeron pulled a two-out single into left. T.J. Rivera attempted to score from second, but Johnson gunned him down. After surrendering four hits to the first seven batters he faced, Lara settled in. He stranded two in the second, starting a stretch in which he retired 11 of 12. Lara's run ended in the sixth when the SeaWolves loaded the bases. Lara then uncorked a two-out wild pitch, prompting Devon Travis to dash home with Erie’s second run. Catcher Xorge Carrillo’s toss to the plate sailed past Lara and allowed Steven Moya to also scamper home. Dixon Machado capped the three-run inning with an RBI double as Erie took a 4-0 lead.

Kyle Johnson's two-run single in the seventh pulled the B-Mets within two runs. An inning later, Darrell Ceciliani's RBI double made it 4-3. However, Bryan Augenstein recovered to strike out Taijeron and Angel Nesbitt entered and retired Brandon Nimmo. Erie then took advantage of more defensive misplays in the eighth. A pair of singles and a throwing error by Lawley put runners at second and third. Following a hit batter by Adam Kolarek and a pop out, Johnson sent a potential inning-ending double play ball to short. Rivera failed to field the hop cleanly, allowing a run to score and opening the door for a three-run inning. Lara (5-3) allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits while walking four over six innings. He suffered his first loss since May 28. Box

LAKELAND 9, ST. LUCIE 3: St. Lucie took a 1-0 lead in the first on L.J. Mazzilli's sacrifice fly, but Austin Green put the Flying Tigers ahead for good when he blasted a three-run

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Koch
homer against Matt Koch in the second. Koch and Lakeland starter Edgar De La Rosa dueled through the middle innings until Lakeland put up four runs in the seventh. The rehabbing Austin Dirks crushed a pitch from Koch off the right-field wall for a double that plated Jared Reeves. Tim Peterson replaced Koch and surrendered a two-out, two-run single to Connor Harrell that gave Lakeland a 7-1 lead. Tyler Hanover singled in a run in the eighth. Peterson’s wild pitch later in the frame scored Reeves to make it 9-1. Mazzilli extended his hitting streak to eight games with an RBI triple in the eighth. He scored on Reeves’ throwing error on the play to make it 9-3. With the bases loaded and one out in the ninth, Calvin Drummond struck out Jeff McNeil and got Mazzilli to fly out to end the game. Koch lasted 6 1/3 and was tagged for six earned runs. Entering the seventh he had retired 11 straight batters. Jared King went 3-for-4 for the Mets in his home debut. Box

CHARLESTON at SAVANNAH (ppd.)

KINGSPORT 12, ELIZABETHTON 0: Starter Yoryi Nuez tossed five scoreless innings and combined with Martires Arias on the four-hit shutout. Pedro Perez went 4-for-5 and drove in three runs. Luis Guillorme, Jean Rodriguez and Eudor Garcia had three hits apiece. Box

STATE COLLEGE 4, BROOKLYN 3: Brooklyn scored its three runs thanks to a wild pitch, passed ball and an error. Yet a missed call by the umpires led to the decisive run scoring in the seventh for the Spikes. Cleanup hitter Alex De Leon produced a two-run double against Cyclones starter Carlos Valdez in the first. A half-inning later, Michael Katz, Tomas Nido and Adrian Abreu each singled and Brooklyn had the bases loaded with two outs for Anthony Chavez. A passed ball charged to Spikes catcher Luis Cruz allowed Katz to score. Later in the plate appearance, Chavez was hit by a pitch to reload the bases. With Tucker Tharp at-bat, State College starter Austin Gomber uncorked a wild pitch to plate Nido and even the score at 2. Tharp then hit a slow grounder to third baseman Danny Diekroeger. He uncorked an errant throw that allowed Tharp to reach and Abreu to score as the Cyclones took a 3-2 lead. In the fifth, Robelys Reyes' RBI single evened the score at 3. Brooklyn's Gaither Bumgardner (0-2) found himself in trouble in the seventh, in his second inning of relief. With one out and a runner on first, Diekroger sent a ball own the left-field line that appeared to land in foul territory, just eluding a diving attempt from Katz. However, plate umpire Jacob Metz saw it differently, ruling a ground-rule double. Despite a spirited argument from Cyclones manager Tom Gamboa and a number of Cyclones in the vicinity, the ruling stood and the Spikes had two in scoring position with one out. With a drawn-in infield, De Leon singled to plate the tiebreaking run. Box

GCL METS 3, GCL NATIONALS 3 (suspended): Alfredo Reyes was 3-for-3 with an RBI before the game was suspended in the sixth inning. Box

Compiled with team reports

Farm report: LSU's Moore catching on

June, 18, 2014
Jun 18
8:56
AM ET
NEW YORK -- Tyler Moore split duties at LSU between catcher, first base and third base. He will have a singular focus as a professional.

The Mets, who have assigned Moore to the Brooklyn Cyclones, have resolved to solely use the sixth-round pick behind the plate. And that’s just fine with the 21-year-old native of Baton Rouge, La.

Moore made his pro debut Saturday, going 1-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored as the DH in the Cyclones’ season-opening 8-2 win against Staten Island. He started at catcher for the first time Monday.


Courtesy of Brooklyn CyclonesTyler Moore


“I’m definitely looking forward to that -- just really to be precise in catching, really be great at it,” Moore said. “Instead of having to work at multiple positions, now I can just focus on one. It will give me the opportunity to get even better at that position.

“I think my whole life it’s really been something that I loved, even though I didn’t do it all the time. In high school it became a primary position for me. That’s really the first time I was a catcher.”

As for which skills he most wants to hone behind the plate, Moore added: “I think the biggest thing is throwing. Moving into pro ball, calling your own games and getting to know the pitchers as well -- just building some bonds with the pitchers and getting to know their tendencies and what they want.”

Moore grew up less than 15 minutes from the LSU campus and rarely missed a home football game, even before enrolling there. He joked that a big difference in New York for him is no swamps or alligators. (No, he did not grow up on a bayou.)

“I’m not used to taking the subway to the field, stuff like that,” he said. “It’s fun. It’s a new experience.”

Moore had a major role in Stony Brook’s first-ever College World Series berth. In the opening game of that best-of-three Super Regional in Baton Rouge in 2012, Moore -- a freshman -- homered in the bottom of the 10th inning to re-tie the score in what became a 12-inning win for the SEC powerhouse. Stony Brook went on to win the Super Regional in three games.

“It was a school that wasn’t supposed to be there,” Moore recalled. “They just came over there and they acted like it was their stadium and it was their ballgame. That was probably the biggest thing about the Super Regional. They came in with confidence and they played their game and they just flat-out beat us.”

As for his game-tying extra-inning homer, Moore added: “That was definitely one of the best experiences of my college career. It’s definitely up there in the top two or three. It helped my confidence going forward, knowing that I came through in the late innings, and knowing that I could do it in the future.”

Moore had enrolled at LSU after going undrafted out of high school.

“A lot of scouts knew that LSU was in my backyard and I had grown up watching it,” Moore said. “The biggest dream of mine is to play in the big leagues, but another dream was to play at LSU. I talked to a few scouts and told them I wanted to go to school unless the opportunity was there to play pro ball. It would have had to have been a pretty good opportunity to pass up LSU. I’m definitely glad I went there. It was an awesome experience. Now I’m glad that I’m getting my chance and I’m in pro ball.”

Organization leaders

Average: Joe Tuschak, Brooklyn, .375; Jairo Perez, St. Lucie, .365; Matt Reynolds, Binghamton, .356; T.J. Rivera, St. Lucie, .341; Jeff McNeil, Savannah, .332; Kevin Plawecki, Binghamton, .329; Brandon Nimmo, St. Lucie, .322; Dilson Herrera, St. Lucie, .307; Matt Clark, Binghamton, .307; Brandon Allen, Vegas, .297.

Homers: Andrew Brown, Vegas, 13; Brian Burgamy, Binghamton, 11; Matt Clark, Binghamton, 10; Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 10; Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Vegas, 10.

RBIs: Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 48; T.J. Rivera, St. Lucie, 47; L.J. Mazzilli, Savannah, 45; Matt Clark, Binghamton, 44; Aderlin Rodriguez, St. Lucie, 44.

Steals: Jeff McNeil, Savannah, 15; Dilson Herrera, St. Lucie, 14; Patrick Biondi, Savannah, 14; L.J. Mazzilli, Savannah, 11; Brandon Nimmo, St. Lucie, 9.

ERA: Gaither Bumgardner, Brooklyn, 0.00; Casey Meisner, Brooklyn, 0.00; Corey Oswalt, Brooklyn, 0.00; Marcos Molina, Brooklyn, 1.50; Octavio Acosta, Brooklyn, 1.93; John Gant, Savannah, 2.12; Kevin McGowan, Savannah, 2.14; Steven Matz, St. Lucie, 2.21; Darin Gorski, Vegas, 2.90; Matt Koch, St. Lucie, 3.63.

Wins: John Gant, Savannah, 7; Gabriel Ynoa, St. Lucie, 7; Matt Koch, St. Lucie, 6.

Saves: Chasen Bradford, Binghamton, 11; Robert Coles, Savannah, 11; Randy Fontanez, St. Lucie, 10; Vic Black, Vegas, 7; Jeff Walters, Vegas, 6; Beck Wheeler, St. Lucie, 6.

Strikeouts: Darin Gorski, Vegas, 67; Matt Bowman, Binghamton, 65; Steven Matz, St. Lucie, 62; Noah Syndergaard, Vegas, 60; Miller Diaz, Savannah, 59.

Short hops

• With St. Lucie’s first half due to be completed Wednesday, promotions to Binghamton are imminent. Outfielder Brandon Nimmo and left-hander Steven Matz should be on the move to Double-A as soon as the end of the week. St. Lucie would win its first-half title in the Florida State League with a win and Fort Myers loss.

• After considering the rehab route, Jeff Walters underwent Tommy John surgery on Tuesday for the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Walters, a member of the 40-man roster, set Binghamton’s single-season and career records with 38 saves in 2013.

• The prolonged absence of Dillon Gee demonstrates side-muscle injuries can take a while, but Rafael Montero’s left oblique strain “doesn’t appear substantial,” a team official said. Montero left his last start with Las Vegas after five pitches.

• Outfielder Bradley Marquez will not be joining the Mets this summer. The Texas Tech wide receiver, who was splitting time between the Mets and college football, will remain in Lubbock and take classes this summer, although the Mets have not been informed he officially is giving up on baseball. Marquez, 21, was selected in the 11th round in 2011. He hit .250 with one homer, nine RBIs and three steals in 84 at-bats last season with Kingsport. He has one more season of college football eligibility. (See college football bio here.)

• Brooklyn manager Tom Gamboa offered high praise for two Cyclones standouts:

On 18-year-old Amed Rosario, who signed with the organization two summers ago out of the Dominican Republic for a franchise-record $1.75 million, Gamboa said: “He’s a five-tool player at shortstop. … It’s kind of ironic that his favorite player is Hanley Ramirez, because by the time he’s 21 or 22, that’s probably the type of player that his skill set is going to be. … I was with the Angels twice. In my first tenure I got to manage Erick Aybar at the Double-A level. In my second go-around I managed Jean Segura. And I love both of those guys. And they’re both not only in the big leagues, Segura has already been an All-Star. But Rosario has as much or more talent than both of those guys. And he’s only 18.”

On right-hander Casey Meisner, the Mets’ third-round pick out of high school in Texas last year, Gamboa said: “He couldn’t have possibly had a better spring down in Florida. He’s a young kid, one year removed from high school, but he throws 93 mph. He’s got a very good changeup. And in the spring he developed a pretty good curveball to go with it. So he’s got two real good pitches, and he’s developing the third. And for a youngster he’s got pretty good feel for the strike zone and dominant stuff.

“He reminds me a lot of a pitcher we had in my tenure with Kansas City -- he made the All-Star team one year, a guy name Mike MacDougal. They’re both tall, lanky, red-haired, freckle-faced guys that are blessed with God-given ability. But, fortunately, Meisner has better control than MacDougal ever did.”

• Kingsport opens its season Thursday. The roster is highlighted by 19-year-old Wuilmer Becerra, the outfielder acquired from Toronto with Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard in the R.A. Dickey trade. Becerra hit .243 with one homer and 25 RBIs in 173 at-bats in the Gulf Coast League in 2013. Players assigned to Kingsport from this month’s draft include power-hitting third baseman Eudor Garcia (fourth round) and right-handers Jim Duff (20th) and Matt Blackham (29th).

(Read full post)

Minors 6.14.14: d'Arnaud homers again

June, 14, 2014
Jun 14
11:21
PM ET
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Montero
LAS VEGAS 7, OKLAHOMA CITY 1: Rafael Montero departed after only five pitches after a visit from the trainer with an injury to his left side. Travis d'Arnaud produced a two-run homer in the third inning that staked Vegas to a 2-1 lead. D'Arnaud finished 2-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored. He now has four homers in 24 at-bats since his demotion and is hitting .417. Darin Gorski took over for Montero in the first and limited the RedHawks to one run on five hits and four walks in 6 2/3 innings. Ryan Reid completed the game with two scoreless relief innings. The ex-Pirate Reid, an offseason waiver claim by the Mets, upped his streak without allowing an earned run to 22 2/3 innings. Box

BINGHAMTON 4, ERIE 2
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Robles
BINGHAMTON 6, ERIE 0: Hansel Robles tossed a seven-inning shutout in the nightcap. He limited Erie to three hits and one walk while striking out five. Brian Burgamy, Matt Reynolds, Matt Clark and Travis Taijeron all homered for the B-Mets in Game 2. Burgamy finished the doubleheader 5-for-6. In Game 1, Binghamton overcame a 2-1 deficit with a three-run fourth. Taijeron had a go-ahead two-run single and Kyle Johnson followed with a sacrifice fly. Adam Kolarek recorded the final four outs for his second save. Starter Tyler Pill (4-5) allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings. Box 1, Box 2

FSL NORTH 6, FSL SOUTH 4: In the Florida State League All-Star Game at Bradenton, Fla., St. Lucie's Dilson Herrera and T.J. Rivera each drove in a run as the South took a 4-2 lead into the ninth inning before faltering. Rivera finished 2-for-3. Herrera split the full game between shortstop and second base and went 0-for-3 with two walks. Brandon Nimmo went 1-for-4 with a strikeout and played the entire game in the outfield. Cam Maron came off the bench and struck out in his lone at-bat. On the mound, reliever Randy Fontanez required only 10 pitches for a no-hit inning with one strikeout. Box

AUGUSTA at SAVANNAH (canceled): Saturday's doubleheader, washed away by rain, will not be made up.

BROOKLYN 8, STATEN ISLAND 2: Opening Day starter Octavio Acosta allowed one run on two hits and four walks while striking out seven in 4 2/3 innings. Brandon Welch picked up the win with 2 1/3 no-hit relief innings in Tom Gamboa's Cyclones managerial debut. Tomas Nido went 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs. Sixth-round pick Tyler Moore from LSU went 1-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored in his professional debut. Eighteen-year-old shortstop Amed Rosario was hitless in four at-bats, but produced an RBI and scored a run. He also committed a fielding error. Box

Compiled with team reports

Video: Cyclones media day interviews

June, 13, 2014
Jun 13
11:02
AM ET
NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Cyclones open play in the New York-Penn League on Friday night at Staten Island. Right-hander Octavio Acosta draws the start in the opener.

Here are media day interviews (via 1495Sports):


Manager Tom Gamboa


Seton Hall right-hander/fifth-round pick Josh Prevost


LSU catcher/sixth-round pick Tyler Moore


University of Kansas outfielder/30th-round pick Tucker Tharp

Morning Briefing: Friday the 13th edition

June, 13, 2014
Jun 13
5:40
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: Two struggling teams meet this weekend at Citi Field.

San Diego arrives in Queens after having been swept in Philly. The Padres (28-38) have lost of eight of their last 10. They have scored an MLB-low 200 runs.

The Mets have lost eight of their last nine games and have dropped a season-worst eight games under .500.

Bartolo Colon (5-5, 4.31 ERA) opposes right-hander Andrew Cashner (2-5, 2.13) in the Friday the 13th series opener at 7:10 p.m.

Friday’s news reports:

Carlos Torres was charged with four runs in the 13th inning and the Mets lost Thursday’s rubber game to the Brewers, 5-1, at Citi Field. Torres was seen punching himself in his towel-draped head in the dugout after the appearance. (See video here.)


Frank Franklin II/Associated PressCarlos Torres trudges off the mound in the 13th.


The Mets (29-37) had loaded the bases with one out in the 11th (with Zack Wheeler the pinch runner at first base). That opportunity ended up going for naught. Wilmer Flores’ grounder forced out David Wright at the plate and Anthony Recker struck out looking. Recker then was ejected by plate umpire Angel Hernandez over objections to the strike zone. Terry Collins called Recker’s actions inexcusable because the only remaining position player on the bench at that point was backup catcher Taylor Teagarden.

The Mets used a season-high-matching 21 players in the four-hour, eight-minute game. It was the Mets’ eighth game of at least four hours this season, a major league high.

Jonathon Niese and Kyle Lohse had dueled to a 1-all draw through most of regulation. The Mets’ lone run came when center fielder Carlos Gomez had a two-base error on Daniel Murphy’s fourth-inning single and Bobby Abreu followed with a sacrifice fly. Niese was pulled with his pitch count at 97 in the eighth after Gomez’s two-out single. Niese was visibly upset with the hook and mouthed a profanity. Collins reasoned that ensuing batter Aramis Ramirez is solid against southpaws and already had homered against Niese in the second inning.

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

Jenrry Mejia was pulled from the game with back tightness and “a little bit of pain” after taking the mound for the 11th. Read more in the Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

Curtis Granderson was held out of the starting lineup Thursday with a sore left calf. He did pinch hit in the 11th and was intentionally walked to load the bases for Flores. Wheeler pinch ran for Granderson. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger, Newsday and at MLB.com.

• With Flores and not Ruben Tejada in the lineup, Murphy batted leadoff for the first time this season and 12th time in his career.

• The Mets and Houston Astros are tied for the longest active streak of consecutive losing seasons at five. Ken Davidoff in the Post asserts the Astros’ approach during their lean years -- a full teardown, as opposed to the Mets’ try-to-make-it-look-good tact -- has left Houston in a better position going forward. Writes Davidoff:

From Opening Day 2009 through the present, the Astros own a 343-535 record, a .391 winning percentage. In the same time period, the Mets are 403-473, .460. The Astros selected first overall in last week’s amateur draft, a record third straight year they had earned such a dishonor. In this span, the Mets gave their fans such treats as Dickey’s 2012 National League Cy Young Award, Jose Reyes’ 2011 NL batting title and Matt Harvey’s 2013 surge that culminated in him starting the All-Star Game at Citi Field.

Yet those peaks seemed to only increase the trust deficit between the Mets’ fans and their owners; Reyes and Dickey are gone and Harvey injured. Though the Mets continue to struggle to put together a quality team, the Astros look like a rising stock. They went 15-14 in May to post their first winning month since Luhnow took over baseball operations.

“I don’t think there are many teams in recent history that have tried to do what Houston’s done,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Thursday. “In baseball, it’s usually not a recipe for success, but in this case, that’s a strategy they’ve pursued. It appears they’ve gotten through the worst of it. I applaud them for carving a strategy and sticking with it.”

• Tyler Kepner in the Times writes about the Mets’ reliance on prospects:

When you hit on almost all your top prospects, you get the San Francisco Giants, with four first-round draft picks in a seven-year span -- Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Buster Posey -- becoming major contributors to multiple championship teams. But the Giants are the outlier.

The strong chance is that some of the players anointed as Met saviors will not help the team very much. The Mets must make better decisions on the major leaguers they acquire, and hope for the best from the farm, recognizing that immediate, sustained success is the exception.

• Columnist Anthony Rieber in Newsday writes that the Mets look like trading-deadline sellers.

Matt Harvey was elected by his teammates as the Mets player representative for union matters. Read more in the Daily News.

Eric Young Jr., on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, played his first rehab game Thursday. He went 1-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored in a seven-inning game with Class A St. Lucie. Young’s rehab assignment is due to continue with Double-A Binghamton on Friday.


Eliot J. Schechter/MLB PhotosFlorida State League All-Star Brandon Nimmo returned to St. Lucie's lineup on Thursday.


• 2011 first-round pick Brandon Nimmo, who had been sidelined since last Friday with a right wrist injury after getting hit by a pitch, returned to St. Lucie’s lineup Thursday. He manned center field in both games of a doubleheader. St. Lucie now heads into the Florida State League All-Star break. Nimmo is due to be one of the team’s seven St. Lucie representatives in Saturday’s All-Star Game in Bradenton, Fla.

• The Tom Gamboa-managed Brooklyn Cyclones open their season at 7 p.m. Friday at Staten Island. See the full roster here. Andrew Beaton in the Journal profiles the two managers: Gamboa and Baby Bombers skipper Mario Garza.

Joel Carreno limited Colorado Springs to one run on three hits and three walks in seven innings and newly demoted Scott Rice tossed 1 2/3 scoreless relief innings as Las Vegas won, 3-1. Kyle Johnson, Xorge Carrillo and Rylan Sandoval each had three-hit games as Binghamton used an eight-run seventh to beat Akron, 11-3. St. Lucie swept a doubleheader against Jupiter. Cam Maron, Jairo Perez and Cole Frenzel homered in Game 1 and Aderlin Rodriguez went 4-for-5 and drove in five runs and Eudy Pina homered twice in the nightcap. Savannah swept a doubleheader from Augusta. Jonathan Leroux had a walk-off RBI double in the opener. John Gant had a seven-inning shutout in Game 2. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Marc Carig in Newsday warns against writing off Travis d’Arnaud too quickly. Carig pointed to Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy as an example of a catcher who took time to hit his stride in the majors.

• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger catches up with the ex-Met Gomez.

• Marty Noble at MLB.com places Murphy’s paternity leave and White House visit in a historical context.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear thought the Mets played a late-September game in the middle of June.

BIRTHDAYS: Mets minor-league left-hander Angel Cuan turns 23.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: What can the Mets do to halt their freefall?

Morning Briefing: Hours from 1st pitch

February, 28, 2014
Feb 28
6:28
AM ET

Brad Penner/USA TODAY SportsRafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard started opposite each other in the Futures Game. Now, a day after Syndergaard wowed in an intrasquad game, Montero takes the mound for the Grapefruit League opener.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.

FIRST PITCH: Rafael Montero will throw the first pitch of the Mets’ Grapefruit League schedule at 1:10 p.m. Friday, as the Amazin’s face the Washington Nationals (SNY/WOR).

Terry Collins plans to start Chris Young, Juan Lagares and Curtis Granderson in the outfield. Wilmer Flores will man second base and Travis d’Arnaud is behind the plate.

Also scheduled to pitch: Jacob deGrom, Logan Verrett, Miguel Socolovich, Adam Kolarek, Gonzalez Germen and Jeff Walters.

Fifth-starter candidate Taylor Jordan starts for the Nats. See Washington’s full lineup and travel list here.

Friday’s news reports:

Jonathon Niese received favorable news after undergoing an MRI on Wednesday in New York. Terry Collins said Niese’s shoulder even looked better than at this point last year, before suffering an in-season rotator-cuff strain. Niese, who does have weakness in the scapula in the back of the shoulder, should resume throwing this weekend.

“Usually when our guys have gone up to get looked at, they’ve come back with bad news,” Niese told Marty Noble at MLB.com. “I’m happy I’ve given people some peace of mind. … Dr. [David] Altchek told me not to pitch, but I can throw for a few days and then get back to my normal routine. There’s just some weakness in the back. It’s nothing bad, nothing like last year when I had the MRI. ... I pretty much knew I was OK before I went up to New York, but it’s not a bad thing to make sure.”

Read more in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Journal and Times.

• Noah Syndergaard struck out five and displayed a wicked curveball in two innings in Thursday’s intrasquad game. Columnist John Harper in the Daily News suggests the Mets avoid delaying Syndergaard’s promotion to June or beyond and strongly consider using him in the rotation early on. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger, Newsday and MLB.com.

• Danny Muno went 2-for-3 with a homer, walk and steal and Carlos Torres tossed two perfect innings in the tune-up for the Grapefruit League opener. Dillon Gee allowed Muno’s homer, but felt positive about his health -- a far cry from a year ago. Check out the intrasquad recap and box here. Read more in the Post and Daily News.

• Maybe they are all delusional, but David Wright also says 90 wins is “attainable” for the Mets and a suitable goal. Read more in Newsday.

Eric Young Jr. (side) may be held out of games through the weekend, while Bartolo Colon (calf) should resume at least tossing a baseball Friday.

• Tom Gamboa, the former Kansas City Royals first base coach, who was attacked on the field by two spectators more than a decade ago, has been named manager of the Brooklyn Cyclones.

• ESPN’s Keith Law believes Seattle Mariners infielder Nick Franklin can handle shortstop at the MLB level if the Mets ultimately acquire him. “I actually do,” Law responded during an online chat. “Maybe somewhere between 0 to -5 runs a year on defense, but with his bat, that will work -- and I won’t rule out the possibility that he can be more than that. He has unusually good instincts out there.”

• While the Arizona Diamondbacks want a top-tier catching prospect in a trade for one of their extra young shortstops, they are looking for a better talent than Mets farmhand Kevin Plawecki, Marc Carig writes in Newsday.

• Chris McShane at Amazin’ Avenue chats with T.J. Barra, the Mets’ manager of minor league operations and baseball information, who crunches the organization’s statistics.

On batters, Barra tells McShane: “… You get into their particular selectivity sets: What’s their swing rate? What’s their chase rate? How well do they do on the breaking ball? It’s starting to get to the point that you’re actually measuring the skill and what actually happened and things that players actually control. I think there’s going to be more continuity in what those numbers show in the course of the year than other metrics like batting average and on-base, which have a higher level of variance.”

• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger compares Flores and his childhood idol, fellow Venezuelan Edgardo Alfonzo, who is in Mets camp as an instructor. “I like the way he plays because he likes to go the other way, which is what I used to do,” Fonzie tells Vorkunov about Flores. “I think he can have a pretty good career if he stays that way. He’s nice and quiet and he listens a lot. I don’t like to compare myself or compare someone to me, but that’s good when you listen, be quiet and do the job.”

• Tim Rohan in the Times looks at Ike Davis versus Lucas Duda at first base. Jared Diamond in the Journal also examines that “competition” as well as other camp questions.

• ESPN Deportes Radio Nueva York (1050 AM) will continue to broadcast Mets games in Spanish through 2016. The continuation of the relationship officially was announced Thursday.

From the bloggers … John Delcos at Mets Report writes that the organization should not get carried away by Syndergaard’s intrasquad performance.

BIRTHDAYS: Ex-Mets right-hander Brian Bannister, who was traded to the Kansas City Royals on Dec. 6, 2006 for Ambiorix Burgos, turns 33.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets consider Noah Syndergaard opening the season in the big-league rotation? Or wait until mid-April to delay free agency by a year? Or wait until after the Super 2 deadline to delay arbitration eligibility?

Gamboa expected to manage Cyclones

February, 27, 2014
Feb 27
9:22
AM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Tom Gamboa is expected to manage the Brooklyn Cyclones, a team insider told ESPNNewYork.com. The Mets made the late hire after incumbent Rich Donnelly left the organization in December to manage the Seattle Mariners' Triple-A affiliate.

Gamboa, who turns 66 on Friday, has managed 11 seasons in the minors with the Brewers, Dodgers and Angels organizations.

He may be best known for his tenure as Kansas City Royals first base coach. In 2002, two fans in Chicago ran onto the field and attacked him. One of the men was eventually given 30 months of probation.

"My only question in court was why me?" Gamboa later told ESPN.com. "The thing that I got was, 'We were on drugs when we got to the park, then we drank beer throughout the game, and then we made a decision to get attention so when we got on the field, you were the closest one to us and your back was turned, so you were an easy target.' So basically I was just at the right place doing my job at the wrong time with these two wackos."

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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