8/20/17

Tom Brennan - RESULTS VS. EXPECTATIONS

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Tom Brennan - RESULTS VS. EXPECTATIONS

The above does NOT represent the Mets' picture for 2017.

Sometimes you go into something with certain expectations, and the results are sometimes spot on and sometimes very different.  Let's look at 11 such prognostications.

1. I expect really good things from these starters.

Well, those starters are Zach Wheeler, Matt Harvey, Rafael Montero, Rob Gsellman, and Steve Matz.  Before the season, I expected some strong, but not great, pitching from them.  WRONG.

The 5 made 68 starts (and 17 relief appearances), and are 15-30, with a 6.30 ERA in 376 innings.  I would doubt that in Mets' history you could find 5 guys picthing the equivalent of 42 complete 9 inning games with that kind of staggeringly bad ERA.

2. I did not expect to see certain guys before Sept., if at all.

Well, those 5 pitchers are Chris Flexen, Chasen Bradford, Eric Goeddel, Paul Sewald, and Tyler Pill.  While the 5 are only 3-9, they got in 89 games - and it is still 2 weeks from September.  They have thrown 127 innings, 4.54 ERA and a K per inning.  Compare to the vaunted first group above.  The Afterthought Five crushed 'em.

3. Noah Syndergaard would be a neck-and-neck racehorse in the Cy Young Derby.

Hard to do when you've thrown about as many innings (27) as the front runners have made starts.

4. Jeurys Familia would return from suspension and still have time to rack up 35 saves or more.  He and Addison Reed would handle all save opportunities.

Due to the Familia Clot, he's thrown 9 innings and saved 3 games.  He and Addison Reed still managed to save 22 of 25, but the other guys?  TWELVE blown saves in 16 save opportunities.  That really blows, don't you agree? 

5. We'd end up with 5 starters with 10 or more wins, possibly 6 starters.

Jake has 13, but Gsellman and Harvey would share second place with 5 wins apieceHansel Robles, despite a deserved month or so in the minors, is 2nd on the teams with 7 wins.

6. Mets would have one of the best team ERAs in baseball.

Not exactly.  After 119 games, it sits at 4.89, 27th worst in baseball.  The 169 homers allowed in 119 games projects to 230 homers, clearly the worst total for any Mets staff ever.  No, I'm not looking it up.

7.  Yoenis Cespedes would win the MVP and have 45 homers and 120 RBIs.

On August 18, he has 15 homers 38 RBIs, so 74% of the way through the season, he is just 1/3 of the way to my pre-season targets.

8. David Wright would not play.

Right.  Spot on.  David Wright has not played. 

9. Amed Rosario would be called up in early May and be in the running for Rookie of the Year.

He got called up in early August, a little too early to have few enough at bats in 2017 to qualify for 2018 Rookie of the Year.

10.  Jake would be Jake.

Jake has in fact been Jake.  Not Super Jake, but Jake, and that is pretty darned good.

11. The Mets would be neck and neck with the Dodgers at season's end for the NL's best record.

Nope.  On August 18, the Mets trailed the Dodgers by a mere 32 games.  neck and neck for a giraffe, maybe.

I hope your expectations are for a GREAT DAY, everybody.



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8/19/17

YOUR 2017 METS MODIFIED LINE-UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Tonight's Line-Up has just been announced:

Theodore CF
Bordick SS
Vail RF
Vaughn 1B
Sasser C
Baerga 2B
Gilkey LF
Fregosi 3B
Montero P



***Breaking News- Gilkey has just been traded so now playing the role of Bernard Gilkey will be Super-Sub Joe McEwing!!!!


***More Breaking News- Carlos Baerga just broke his leg walking through the clubhouse so the part of Baerga will be played by Al Weis!

More news to come as it breaks- or as the bones of a team member do- whichever happens first, WE'LL BE THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PS- if you don't recognize any of those names, don't worry- they can easily be replaced at a moment's notice with hundreds of others...
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ROSTER MOVES

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IF Wilmer Reyes transferred from the DSL-1 Mets to the GSL-Mets

OF Guillermo Grandalilo promoted from GCL-Mets to Brooklyn

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Tom Brennan - TEBOW & ST LUCIE HITTERS; GRANDY

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Tom Brennan - TEBOW & ST LUCIE HITTERS; GRANDY
Up until July 29, Titanic Tim Tebow was writing a fairy tale story, having been in St Lucie for slightly over a month and impressing folks far and wide.  
He started to get cautiously optimistic commentary from a wide array of folks, this writer included.

Then July 30th arrived, and Tim went hitless...and there's been a lot of hitless games since then, too.

In fact, over that span of nearly 3 weeks, he has gone a pretty powerless 6 for 66 through August 18, so like a needle scratching across a music album, the sweet music has stopped.  His lone highlight, it seems, of late, was getting beaned, standing stunned for a second, shrugging it off, and walking down to first.
Has baseball finally caught up with Tebow, or is this just a prolonged slump? Time always tells the tale, and his 2017 tale has about 3 more weeks to be written.  
He does still, however, remain a big hit at the turnstiles.

Meanwhile, St Lucie has other excellent hitters worth watching, too.
Pounding Pete Alonso is an extra base hit beast, leading the league in homers despite missing nearly 45 games. 

Johan Urena (N.B., sing his name to the lyric in My Sedona, it works) leads the league in doubles. And 2 recent homers boost his long ball total to 11.

Anthony Dimino is hitting .330 this year in 53 games, and .323 lifetime, with a .412 career on base % in over 500 plate appearances...sort of a TJ Rivera with less power and more speed so far in his career.  He plays everywhere (even catches, throwing out 9 of 25 this year) and threw a scoreless inning this year, too.  

He's caught, pitched, and played 1B, 2B, 3B, and the OF.  

C'mon, get him in at SS too, what are ya waiting for?

Jeff McNeil, my long time favorite, has shaken off the rust of 2 mostly injured years (just 3 games in 2016 and 30 this year so far) to go 8 for 13 in his last 3 games, climbing to .324 this year.  If injuries (sports hernia, hip surgery) have not sapped his speed, here is a 25 year old  prospect to watch....a versatile, high-on-base, .306 lifetime hitter, who hits with more pop than he used to. 

(Right on cue, with the Mets needing to suddenly call up Cecchini and Reynolds, McNeil on Thursday got promoted straight to Las Vegas and had 2 hits and a steal.  Keep an alert eye on this guy!)

22 year old Wuilmer Becerra has clearly disappointed this year, with 122 Ks in 11 games, and a .254 average with just a .318 slugging %.  Lots of folks thought he'd be a future Mets OF.  Not at this rate, mateys.  .318 hitters, yes, .318 sluggers, no.

A recent St Lucie grad, catcher/1B Pat Mazeika, loves the cooler air of AA.  First 3 AA games? 5 doubles, a single and 2 walks.  May his next 3 games be just as sweet. Patty Maz is now .314/.416/.449 in his career.  How long until Queens?

Circling back to Tebow, his fellow mid-season graduate from Columbia (Fireflies, that is) is Michael Paez.   MP Hammer has likewise found the high A ball Florida State League (where other teams' collective season ERAs average a low 3.50) to be really tough.  In 48 games, MP 3 is hitting just .193/.308/.265. Ouch, baby, very ouch.

So there you have it.  From my office suite on the 6:08 A.M. LIRR choo choo to Hunters Point, this is not Walter Cronkite signing off.  Just little old me.  

Have a great day, people.  But before I go....

GRANDY:  
After his usual horrid April, he actual hit comparably to Jay Bruce and got on base at a terrific rate.  Good move by the Dodgers.  When he arrives in LA, his first act will be to stop at a jeweler to get sized for a World Series ring.  Best of everything to a guy who epitomizes CLASS.

PHIL EVANS:  
Last season's AA batting champ was hitting .233 on June 29, but like last year, he has gotten hot, hitting .320 in his last 42 games with Vegas.  So he should not be forgotten.
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Reese Kaplan -- A Modest Proposal to Do the Wright Thing

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Reports have surfaced this week that confirms the big disconnect between Mets management and the players on the team.  First there was the whole Robert Gsellman kerfuffle in which he alleged replied, “I don’t care” when informed that Sandy Alderson must see him pitching better in order to get promoted once again.  Next came the conflicting narrative about David Wright.  Some stories suggest he’s preparing to do at least some pinch hitting during the 2017 season.  Then we heard that Sandy Alderson was going to look for a 3rd base option in 2018 (which, of course he should have done since 2016 – better late than never!)  Then we heard that perhaps a position switch is the preferred route given the apparently unhealed shoulder impingement that makes the long throws across the diamond from 3rd base untenable.


The problem with this last hypothetical  position switch to 1st base where the amount of throwing is minimal has three factors.  First, the recent promotion (marketing-wise, not just minors-to-majors) of Dom Smith would take a serious blow if he had to step aside for the former face of major league baseball.  Second, Wright, even at partial capacity, is still dealing with the spinal stenosis problem which at best requires very extensive preparation in order to play.  Even if you pencil him in exclusively against lefties there’s no guarantee he will be able to take the field.  Third, you already have a lefty masher capable of platooning at 1B if that maneuver is desired in Wilmer Flores who may never achieve David Wright’s Shea Stadium numbers but is a much surer bet to exceed what he has done at Citifield (and since his injuries sidelined him for much of the past several years.) 

Some have suggested that the best thing to do with David Wright now is to name him the new manager.  Obviously he’s respected all around baseball, he bleeds orange and blue as much as anyone who’s ever worn a Mets uniform, and there is good precedent for taking players and thrusting them straight into the managerial seat.  Don Mattingly and Robin Ventura immediately spring to mind.  If you took a poll, I think it’s safe to say the majority would deem Terry Collins long past his expiration date.

There is a major problem with this avenue as well.  Right now the Mets have a contract with David Wright to pay him $20 million in the 2018 season, $15 million in the 2019 season and $12 million in the 2020 season.  In other words there are $47 million reasons why David Wright would want to continue his attempt at a comeback.  Yes, if Wright is unable to play for medical reasons then the insurance company picks up nearly 75% of that salary obligation.  That would require the Mets and Wright both to be complicit in what appears to be the charade that Wright is attempting to resume his playing career.  The Mets only get hit for $11.75 million if the insurance company believes them. 

Many clamor for the Mets and Wright to work out a way to buy him out of his contract.  As we all know, the Mets are not exactly enthusiastic when it comes to spending money.  Consequently, paying him, say, half of that $47 million obligation would rankle them to no end knowing that if he continues trying to come back that the insurance company would cut that obligation in half again.  From David Wright’s perspective, what incentive is there to accept a buyout?  All he has to do is continue the charade of a comeback and he gets his full $47 million.  Thus the two sides are at something of a financial stalemate.


I have a modest proposal for a buyout that doesn’t come with the same cash flow problem writing a $47 million check would entail.  Recently as they were trying to get out from under the Madoff situation the Mets were pretty public about selling minority ownership shares to interested parties which drew takers as diverse as financier Steve Cohen, comedian Bill Maher and recently deposed White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci.  If the reports were accurate, they sold 4% shares to each of these folks (individually or as part of a group) for $20 million.  That actually turned out to be quite a coup for the investors because if you extrapolated the investment it would presume the club was worth $500 million. 

Forbes magazine in April of 2017 did an analysis of the value of the baseball franchises and the New York Mets were number six with an estimated worth of a cool $2 billion.  That means those 4% shares grew substantially in just a few years.  It is that capital gain that provides the foundation for a graceful way to buy out David Wright.

Instead of handing him a check (or a series of checks every year so we can celebrate David Wright Day just as we do Bobby Bonilla Day), I am suggesting that the Mets offer David Wright an ownership interest in the team in exchange for being relieved of the balance of his contract. 

There are several benefits to this arrangement.  Number one is the fact that you don’t write a check.   Consequently there is no negative impact on cash flow.  Number two, all of the money you would have earmarked for Wright’s paycheck is immediately available to your budget once again.  Number three, think of the positive “Met for Life” public relations you could generate by saying he was a Met for his entire career and will forever remain a member of the Mets family.  Number four, you have the money to make it happen based upon the increased value of the team. 

How about it – Wright’s happy, the Mets are happy, and the Mets fans can finally move on without the specter of Wright’s contract handicapping the club from making the necessary moves to improve itself.   Even if Wright were to sell his share of the club, there would be no financial benefit or detriment to the Wilpons – they would still remain the controlling partners. 

It makes so much sense that I’m fully confident it would never happen.
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8/18/17

Peter Hyatt - Robert Gsellman on Mets Leadership

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Yet another New York Met has shown his contempt for the 2017 leadership of the New York Mets.

From the NY POST:


I am back to 100 percent,” Gsellman said before the Mets’ 5-4 loss to the Yankees. “My pitch count is back up, and ready to go.”
Told that before his last start in the minors general manager Sandy Alderson said he needed to start pitching better, Gsellman responded: “I don’t care.
Contempt for one's employer (immediate supervisor, supervisor's supervisor) is one thing but having the nerve to say it publicly suggests a lack of fear of consequences. 
The 2017 Mets have not had to fear consequences from either Terry Collins or Sandy Alderson.  
This form of open contempt is seen in such things as not running out ground balls or pop ups, showing up late for practices, skipping games, rehabbing when, where and how one wants to and even undergoing standard team medical protocol only if one wants to. 
The contempt from older wealthy players is not entirely surprising. 
The contempt from the younger players, however, is something that only comes when a team is undisciplined and the example of disdain has been embraced.  
Can you imagine saying "I don't care" what your employer thinks...
publicly?  
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Tom Brennan - A PAINFUL COMPARISON

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Tom Brennan - A PAINFUL COMPARISON

As the Mets get their butts whipped in the head-to-head competition with the Yanks here is NYC, do we get solace or even greater pain when we look to how each respective organization's minor league teams' relative performance. 


Here is the answer, courtesy of Mr T.:

PAIN, PAIN, PAIN

Maybe you feel I am overreacting (nah, I'm NOT). 

But you draw your own conclusions (standings thru 8/16/17):

AAA

Yanks' team: 77-45   Mets' team 48-76. 

Yanks are 29 games ahead of the Mets.

AA

Yanks' team: 79-42   Mets' team 71-49. 

Yanks are 7.5 games ahead of the Mets.

HIGH A

Yanks' team: 75-46   Mets' team 55-66. 

Yanks are 20 games ahead of the Mets.

FULL A

Yanks' team: 67-54   Mets' team 61-58. 

Yanks are JUST 5 games ahead of the Mets.

But in the 2nd half, Yanks are 33-18, Columbia is just 21-30.

NY PENN

Yanks' team: 35-19   Mets' team 15-38. 

Yanks are 18 games ahead of the Mets.

APPALACHIAN LEAGUE

Yanks' team: 35-16   Mets' team 23-28. 

Yanks are 12 games ahead of the Mets.

GULF COAST LEAGUE

Yanks' team: 23-20   Mets' team 14-28. 

Yanks are 8.5 games ahead of the Mets. 

The Yanks' GCL record is an average of its two teams; the Mets have just one (lousy) team.


Add 'em right up and you'll see that for the 7 leagues above, the Mets are ONE HUNDRED GAMES BEHIND the Yanks. 

100!!!!!

Which leads one to ask...
WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH THE METS???!!!

And last night, THE 4 GAME SMACKDOWN left new, fresh sand in our faces from the Yankee bullies.  

We wouldn't trade Jay Bruce or Neil Walker to them, but gave them a real playoff-hopes shot in the arm anyway.





ANOTHER MAJOR MATZ MELTDOWN.  What to do?  


Boy, did he look good about 6 weeks ago - 7 shutout innings on June 28, 7 shutout innings on July 3.  KERSHAW stuff!

Then the next 8 outings came along: 33 innings, 57 hits, 10 walks, and 37 earned runs!! 10.09 ERA!!  Egads!!

Again, what to do?

I have an idea.  Shut Meltdown Matz down for the rest of 2017 and call up...Luis Mateo.  Yes, you heard me right.  Mateo, the former fast riser until a bad Tommy John surgery experience put him on a multi-season struggle.

Mateo has relieved all season, pitching much better of late.

Pressed into a start last night against the PCL's most potent offensive team, he excelled.  He threw 3 scoreless innings and fanned 5 at the front end of a Vegas shutout.

Works for me...call Mr. Mateo up.  Now!   DO IT, SANDY!  This is a season to be creative.  THIS would be creative.

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Clay Ramsey - Kingsport Mets Weekly Recap

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Series Covered:

8/9-8/11 vs. Princeton
8/12-8/15 @ Greeneville

Roster Moves:
None

Wednesday 8/9

Joe Cavallaro vs Joel Peguero

Kingsport wins 7-0

- WP Ryan McAuliffe (1-0) 3.0 IP 2H 0R 1BB 1 K (0.00 ERA)
- Joe Cavallaro 4.0 IP 1H 0R 1BB 4Ks (3.24 ERA)
- Wagner Lagrange 2-4 2 1Bs, 2 RBIs
- Dionis Paulino 1-4 1 R, 2B, 2RBIs
- Danny Hoy 1-3 1 R, HR (first professional), 3 RBIs
- Anthony Dirocie 0-4 3Ks

Thursday 8/10

Ezequiel Zabaleta vs Easton McGee

Kingsport wins 6-5

- WP Pedro Perez (3-0) 1.0 IP 2H 1ER 2BB 1K (6.91 ERA)
- Save: Mac Lozer (2) 2.0 IP 2H 0R 0BB 1K (3.94 ERA)
- Ezequiel Zabaleta 6.0 IP 9H 4ER 1BB 3Ks (5.96 ERA)
- Hansel Moreno 2-3 2 1Bs, R, 1 BB
- Anthony Dirocie 2-4 1B, 2B, RBI
- Danny Hoy 1-3 3B (first professional), R, RBI
- Rigoberto Terrazas 2-4 1B, 2B, R, RBI
- Grabiel Jimenez 1-4 1B, R, RBI Groundout
- Raphael Gladu 0-3 RBI Sacrifice Fly

Friday 8/11:

Aneury Olivo vs Luis Moncada

Game cancelled due to rain; will not be made up

Saturday 8/12:

Game 1:

Christian James vs Yhoan Acosta

Kingsport wins 2-0

- WP Christian James (2-3) 6.1 IP 5H 0R 1BB 9K (3.80 ERA)
- Save: Billy Oxford (1) 0.2 0H 0R 1K (4.50 ERA)
- Rigoberto Terrazas 1-3 1B, R, K
- Wagner Lagrange 1-3 2B, R, RBI, K
- Juan Uriarte 1-3 2B, RBI
- Dionis Paulino 0-3 2Ks
- Anthony Dirocie 1-2 1B, K

Game 2:

Edwin German vs Noel Pinto

Kingsport wins 3-0

- WP Marbin Montijo (2-1) 2.1 IP 2H 0R 2BB 1K (4.98 ERA)
- Save: Aaron Ford (1) 1.2 IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K (1.35 ERA)
- Edwin German 3.0 IP 3H 0R 1BB 3Ks (1.86 ERA)
- Hansel Moreno 2-4 2 1B, 2 R, 1K
- Kevin Hall 1-3 RBI 1B, RBI Sac Fly, 2Ks
- Wagner Lagrange 1-4 1B, RBI, 2Ks
- Raphael Gladu 2-3 2 1Bs
- Rigoberto Terrazas 1-2 1B, R, 2 BBs

Sunday 8/13:

Ronald Sanchez vs Francisco Villegas

Kingsport loses 5-4

- LP Yeudy Colon (0-2) 2.0 IP 3H 4R 1ER 1 BB 2K (4.22 ERA)
- Ronald Sanchez 5.0 IP (Career High) 4H 1ER 5BB 0K (6.83 ERA)
- Hansel Moreno 2-4 2 1B, RBI, R, K
- Rigoberto Terrazas 1-4 2B, RBI, BB, K
- Raphael Gladu 1-2 1B, 2 BB
- Angel Manzanarez 1-3 1B, 2 R, BB
- Anthony Dirocie 1-4 2B, RBI, 2 Ks
- Juan Uriarte 1-4 2B, R, K

Monday 8/14:

Carlos Hernandez vs Gerardo Bojorquez

Kingsport wins 6-1

- WP Carlos Hernandez (3-3) 6.0 IP 1H 1R(0ER) 4 BB 6Ks (4.53 ERA)
- Carlos Hernandez, Ryan Selmer and Mac Lozer combined to only allow 3 hits
- Hansel Moreno 1-4 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 1BB, 1K
- Raphael Gladu 1-4 1B, R, BB
- Rigoberto Terrazas 2-5 2 1Bs, 1K
- Wagner Lagrange 1-5 1B, R
- Juan Uriarte 3-4 3 1Bs, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1K
- Anthony Dirocie 1-4 1B, R, 2Ks
- Angel Manzanarez 1-4 1B, RBI
- Grabiel Jimenez 0-3 RBI Sac Fly, 1K

Tuesday 8/15:

Joe Cavallaro vs Hansel Paulino

Game cancelled due to rain; will not be made up

Week record: 5-1, with 2 rain-outs


Came into the Princeton series 18-27, good for 4th in the Appalachian League West behind Elizabethton, Greeneville, and Johnson City

Exited the Greeneville series 23-28, but still in 4th place, although gaining ground on 2nd place. Johnson City and Greeneville are tied for 2nd



*** Kingsport's victory on 8/10 marked the 1200th win in Kingsport's history***


3 stars of the week:

Bronze Star: Dan Hoy, 2B. Hoy swung a pretty good bat over the course of the week, given his struggles at the plate this season. The Princeton University grad collected his first professional home run and his first professional triple on 8/9 and 8/10. Although he only collected 3 hits in 5 games, he was able to bring his average up 10 points from .159 to .169. His success earned him more playing time as a result.

Silver Star: Christian James, RHP. The New York Mets' 14th Rounder has had a great season for the KMets this year, although he has had a couple poor outings. He is this week's silver star for 2 reasons: 1) his success and 2) his outing on 8/12 (final line above). To this point in the season he has logged 42.2 IP, 18ER, 14BB, and 43Ks, keeping in mind he was just in high school last spring. If he keeps this season up, I wouldn't be surprised if he makes it to Brooklyn before the end of the season.

Gold Star: Hansel Moreno, SS. This week's gold star was a toss up between Moreno and Rigoberto Terrazas. Moreno wins it this week because he increased his average while Terrazas's average decreased. Moreno played in 5 of the 6 games and in 4 of those he logged multi-hit performances. His average went from the mid .220s to right around .250. In thw week he compiled 7 hits in 18 ABs which is around a .389 clip. Moreno has had a high K rate this season, but only struck out 4 times total this week. He also launched his 3rd Home Run this season.

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8/17/17

MORE ROSTER MOVES

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Effective Thursday, August 17, 2017

- INF Colby Woodmansee transferred from Columbia to advanced-A St. Lucie

- OF Jacob Zanon transferred from Columbia to advanced-A St. Lucie

- RHP Harol Gonzalez activated from Columbia’s disabled list and transferred to Advanced-A St. Lucie

- RHP Gabriel Llanes activated from Columbia’s disabled list

- LHP Jose C. Medina transferred to Columbia from short-season A Brooklyn

- RHP Placido Torres activated from Columbia’s disabled list and transferred to short-season A Brooklyn
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ROSTER MOVES

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SP Briam Campusano was promoted from Rookie-GCL Mets to Rookie-Kingsport

SP Harol Gonzalez came off the Rookie-Kingsport DL and was promoted to A+ St. Lucie


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