June 30th 2015 -- Cubs 1, Mets 0

One game delivered from their most exciting game of the year, the Mets offense falls back into its slumber. The Cubs come to town Tuesday night and beat the Mets 1-0.  The Mets only managed 3 hits on the night. Daniel Murphy returned from the DL and accounted for one of them a double in the 4th. The only other Mets hits were a single by Lucas Duda in the 1st and a single by Kevin Plawecki in the 2nd. Jonathon Niese pitched very well but the one run he allowed beat him. In the top of the 6th Kris Bryant walked. Bryant reached 2nd on a comebacker that Niese had a shot to get Bryant at second but elected to go to first. That came back to haunt Niese as Mike Szczur double bringing home Bryant with the game’s only run.  Niese went 7 allowed just 4 hits 1 run (earned) walking 4 and striking out 5. He takes the loss falling to 3-8 and has now not won a game since May 9th.  Kyle Hendricks pitched 6 scoreless allowing the 3 hits and gets the win he’s now 3-4. Jason Mott picked up his 3rd save for the Cubs. Michael Cuddyer left the game in the 6th inning with a sore left knee.  With the loss the Mets 4 game winning streak comes to an end. The Cubs 5 game losing streak ends. The Mets now stand at 40-38 on the year and 29-12 at Citi Field.  The Nationals are beating the Braves, with a win the Mets will fall 3 ½ behind in 2nd place in the NL East.  Wednesday it’s game two of the set. Bartolo Colon (9-6  4.89) goes for the Mets, Jon Lester (4-6 4.03) goes for the Cubs. 

Stephen Guilbert - Is Anyone Following What Michael Fulmer Is Doing?

It's easy to get lost in the shuffle if you're a right-handed pitching prospect in the Mets system. However, if your name is Michael Fulmer, you shouldn't. Not with what he's currently doing.

Here's what he's doing: Hitting 99 MPH regularly with his fastball, not walking anyone, striking out a boatload of guys and manhandling Double-A...the league that most often separates the real talent from the role player or career minor leaguer types.

The Mets drafted Michael Fulmer out of high school in Oklahoma in 2011, the same draft that produced OF prospect Brandon Nimmo. He was a supplemental first round pick (#44) as compensation for the Mets losing Pedro Feliciano to the Yankees (We'll take that, huh?). I remember Fulmer from that draft as being distant third in the hard-throwing Oklahoma trio in that draft along with top-10 selections Dylan Bundy and Archie Bradley. While Bundy and Bradley deservedly got the hype, Fulmer was no slouch, either.

The Mets worked him through the system quickly, showing faith in the tall, stocky, young right-hander. Repetitive knee injuries that nagged at Fulmer held him back the past couple years but now he is healthy, throwing hard and the results are ridiculous:

2015: Binghamton Mets- Michael Fulmer Stats: 57 IP, 18 BB, 48 K, 2.37 ERA, 49H, 1.18 WHIP.

Fulmer also had a rocky start to 2015. In his past five starts spanning the past four weeks, Fulmer has allowed one earned run. Yes, one. He has one win to show for his efforts. His K:BB ratio over those starts is 31:4. Last night, Fulmer went seven innings allowing one unearned run, struck out nine, walked none, allowed just three hits and took the loss. Yes, yes, I would say he's getting a good lesson on what it will be like to be a starting pitcher for the New York Mets.

How Michael Fulmer has achieved this success is just as important as the fact that he is having this success, though, and he's doing it with a big fastball. In his start last week, he touched 99 MPH a handful of times. During last night's game, this was reported from the first inning:

Along with the big fastball, Fulmer also throws a two-seamer with plus-to-plus-plus velocity (go figure), a good slider, a curve he stays away from for arm health reasons and a change that was not all that impressive the last time I saw it. Considering his success, my guess is that the change has come a long way in the past couple seasons.

It is easy to forget about a player like Michael Fulmer but fans shouldn't. This is a first round pick. This is arm strength that only a handful of people on the planet possess. This is near-100 MPH with location. This is the best pitching prospect in the Mets system right now after LHP Steven Matz' promotion. Keep an eye on him. He's healthy and he's eating up the Eastern League.


With this past weekend’s emergence of Steve Matz in the Mets’ starting ranks, it is interesting to consider that he was from the ancient draft of 2009.  So very long ago.  A combination of his not pitching in his draft year, and then missing virtually all of the following 2 years due to TJ surgery, plus the Mets’ 2015 starter surplus, delayed this potential future star quite a bit. But yippee, yappee, and yahooie, he’s here now.
I thought I’d look at those picks who have been successful in draft years 2009-14.  Who has made it, or is doing very well and could in fact make it to the bigs.  Please note that this list may exclude other future big leaguers down the road, who may currently not be performing well or is currently injured (e.g., Chris Flexen TJS):
2009 – a very lean year, other than Steve Matz.  Darrell Ceciliani was a 4th rounder.  Other than that, nada.   Thank goodness for Steve.
2010 – JACKPOT!  Matt Harvey in the 1st round, Matt den Dekker got a bit of sunshine as a 5th rounder before his trade to the Nats this year, and then a lull until impact rounds 9 and 10: Jake deGrom and Akeel Morris.  Erik Goeddel in round 24, and Josh Edgin in the 30th round.  So a great pitching round (with 2 potential Cy Young starters) and a poor hitting one.  Morris really did not get untracked until 2013, but has been great in 2013-15, so let’s see how he progresses from here.
2011 – a bumper crop of guys with potential.  (The round that each was selected is in parens). 

Brandon Nimmo (1), Michael Fulmer (1A), Cory Mazzoni (traded to San Diego) (2), Logan Verrett (3), Jack Leathersich (5), Danny Muno (8), Robert Gsellman (13), Travis Tajeron (18), and John Gant (21) all have varying degrees of major league potential.  Jack (until Sunday) and Logan are now in the major leagues.  

Incomparable baseball pundit and writer Mack Ade noted that Fulmer was clocked at 99 in his last fine start, which puts smiles on fans’ faces.  I’m personally pulling for slugging underdog Taijeron to keep pushing his way to the bigs, now that he is playing well in AAA.
2012 – a solid draft at the top – Gavin Cecchini (1), Kevin Plawecki (1A), Matt Reynolds (2), Jayce Boyd (6), Paul Sewald (10), Rob Whelan (12).  Plawecki has been thrust into the Big Show in 2015.
2013 – Dominic Smith (1) and Casey Meisner (3) are two that are excelling this year at a young age.  L J Mazzilli (4), Matt Oberste (7), Luis Guillorme (10) and Jeff McNeil (12) are all showing real promise.  All in all, a decent draft.  How good is TBD.  Hopefully Smith becomes a Robinson Cano type hitter at the major league level, Meisner becomes a star starter, and McNeil becomes a superior version of Joe McEwing.
2014 – Michael Conforto (1) makes this a successful draft all by himself.  Milton Ramos (2) is a 19 year old SS with lots of promise.  Eudor Garcia (4) hitting well in Savannah.  Brad Wieck (7) was the PTBNL in Alex Torres trade.  19 year old Dash Winningham (8) is showing early slugger potential.  David Roseboom (17) has really pitched well up to mid-A ball and seems like a low round coup.

Overall, I’d say these represent a very fine result from those 6 years’ drafts.  Two bona fide major league stars already in Harvey and deGrom.  Matz clearly threw his name in for Star status in his historic major league debut on Sunday.  

By this time next year, it will be much clearer just how good these 6 years’ drafts will ultimately be. And how many more stars may come out of those drafts.
Side note: getting drafted is the first step to achieving a big league dream, but of the more than 50 guys signed in rounds 30 and above, it is questionable whether any will make the big leagues.  Maybe Chase Bradford.


The Morning Report 6.30.2015 | Mets Playoff Chances, Infield Defense Shuffle, Niese's Trade Value, Dodgers Interested in Niese

Ken Davidoff | New York Post- What a difference a week makes. What a difference a year makes. Now that their internal outlook has improved, the Mets’ external challenge remains sizable. In the National League competition for five postseason bids, they trail six teams, none of the six appears to be a pushover and all of them remain on the Mets’ schedule, including their next nine contests. The Mets stand at 40-37, on pace for an 84-78 record. The website Fangraphs currently gives the Mets a 44.5 percent chance at qualifying for the playoffs, ahead of the Giants’ 40.3 percent and behind the other five top contenders.

(Chris Soto: The team as constructed right now is still better than at least half of the teams in the National League solely because their pitching is among the best in baseball. However, as constructed, it's not enough to get past the serious playoff contenders. As we draw closer to the trade market truly developing, Sandy is going to have to add least 1 significant piece to help this lineup start producing again. All we need is 3 runs a night....is that so hard to ask for?) 

J.P. Pelzman | NJ Advance Media- The team plans to activate Daniel Murphy (strained left quadriceps) from the disabled list before the beginning of a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. Murphy, who has played second base for most of his tenure with the Mets, will move to third. He could be there for awhile, considering it’s still unclear if and when third baseman David Wright will return. “I’ve said from the start,” Collins said when asked about Flores’ defense, “this kid played fine at shortstop. He made a couple of errors that cost us a couple of runs at times. But I’ve looked at the [rest of the] league and he caught the baseball” for the most part.

(Chris Soto: I'm not sure what took the team so long to switch to this configuration in the first place. Flores has cost the team as many runs defensively as he has gained them offensively, maybe more. Sliding Murphy into 3B, shifting Tejada to SS, and Flores to 2B improves the team defense significantly. Tejada and Flores have also shown that they could be a solid double play combo with Tejada's quick feeds and Flores' quick turns. Lets not forget that Murphy displacing Herrera in the batting order should also significant improve the team's offensive output too.)

John Delcos | NY Mets Report- With the emergence of Steven Matz, expect the Mets to ratchet up their intent to trade from their pitching depth to bolster their anemic offense. Of the the four the Mets most want to trade, Niese has the greatest upside to bring in a bat. Niese, is left-handed, seemingly healthy, signed to a reasonable contract and has had some degree of success. Niese’s career record is 55-58, but with a respectable 3.89 ERA and average 1.368 WHIP. Niese will make $7 million this year, which means roughly a $3.5 million investment for the remainder of this year. Niese will earn $9 million in 2016; $10 million for 2017; and $11 million in 2018. Those are palatable salaries, and making it more attractive is the final two years have team options.

(Chris Soto: From a money standpoint, Niese's contract is not a going to be a significant hold up point. A team is really only going to be reasonable for the $3.5M rest of 2015 salary and the $9M in 2016 as they can just not elect to take the TEAM options in 2017 and 2018. When you consider that Niese has similar numbers to the Red Sox Rick Porcello who is making $20M per season now....it turns out to be a pretty solid contract. The true question is what kind of a bat can Niese bring? Over the past 4 years he has been worth +2.6, +2.6, +2.0, +2.3 WAR so you can reasonable say he's worth 2.5 wins per season. So when your looking at potential bats targets....use this barometer as a guidepost.)

D.J. Short | Hardball Talk- It was reported over the weekend that the Dodgers and Cubs were among the teams with interest in a trade for Mets left-hander Jon Niese. While the southpaw is a logical target for both teams, a match with the Dodgers isn’t considered imminent. Nothing too surprising here, as teams are likely still in the early stages of evaluating the starting pitcher market. Cole Hamels, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Scott Kazmir are among the big names that could be dealt, so Niese falls into the secondary category with the likes of Mike Leake, Matt Garza, Kyle Lohse, Mat Latos, and Dan Haren. With questions in the back-end of their rotation, the Dodgers will be active.

(Chris Soto: The trade market is beginning to finally let off some smoke as we get closer to July. It should eventually spark and catch fire in about 2 more weeks as we get closer to the All-Star break. When looking at the Dodgers, you don't really see a natural fit for a trade. The Mets need a 3B or a SS of which the Dodgers have Alex Guerrero and Jimmy Rollins available. Neither of those guys are really attractive options. Rollins has been terrible offensively and has lost a step defensively costing the team -4 Defensive Runs. Meanwhile while Alex Guerrero's bat is nice, he is a terrible defender at any position and has an opt out clause if he is traded by the Dodgers.)

Mets Minor League Games - 6-29-15

Minor League Player of The Night - John Gant and Michael Fulmer outstanding.

Honorable Mention -starters Corey Oswalt and Jose Huertas almost as outstanding.

AAA - Las Vegas - (45-33) 7 - Sacramento (33-45) 14

    RHSP Tyler Pill -    3.0-IP, 13-H, 8-R, 1-K, 2-BB, 7.14

If you had The Sacramento squad by. TD, you won.

Tyler was simply awful, and whether it was depression, fatigue, or both, Jack Leathersich got pounded for 6 runs and 2 homers in 2 innings in his first game post-demotion.

Tyler's 8 runs and Jack's 6 make 14.  TJ Rivera contributed 3 hits to climb to .295. Jayce Boyd's playing time has been cut due to the return of Kirk, but JB went 1 for 2 and is hitting .304.  Matt Reynolds sat for the 4th straight contest but walked as a pinch hitter. Pill, in the tradition of slugging AAA pitchers, singled and is hitting .286.

AA - Binghamton - (38-37) 0 - Akron(41-36) 1

    RHSP Michael Fulmer  -  7.0-IP, 3-H, 1-9, 9-K, 0-BB, 2.37

In the Vegas game, 21 runs and 34 hits. In a game of contrasts, this game had only 1 unearned run and 5 hits total.  Michael Fulmer realizes the farm system needs another stud after the promotion of Sluggin' Steve Matz, and has volunteered, as he is pitching his best baseball ever. Last 4 starts, just one run. Time to switch him and Pill between AAA and AA?

Conforto one hit, Nimmo none. B Mets had only 2 hits.

A+ - St. Lucie - (38-37) 2 - Tampa (35-39) 0, 12 innings

    RHSP John Gant  -  8.0-IP, 3-H, 0-R,  10-K, 1-BB, 1.79

Gant has been magnificent in his 6 starts since being sent back to high A ball.  Coles, Regnault, and Smoker pitched the final 4 scoreless innings, and St Lucie finally broke through with 2 in the 12th.  Sixteen K's by Lucie hurlers.

Phil Evans went 2-5, climbing to .181.  Hit machines Smith and Wesson (err, I mean McNeil) had just 1 hit apiece last night.

A - Savannah - (40-34) lost 8-5 in completion of the suspended opener, won the nitecap 3-1 behind Corey Oswalt.  Previously hot Jonathan Johnson slipped to .296.  While he is 5 for 37 in his last 10 games, though, he has walked 9 times, so he is still getting on base at a good clip.

    Game 1 - RHSP Scarlyn Reyes -  4.0-IP, 5-H, 5-R, 6-K, 2-BB, 3.52

    Game 2 - RHSP Corey Oswalt -   6.0-IP, 6-H, 0-R, 7-K, 2-BB, 3.95

Oswalt pitching very well lately. Not much Gnat offense in the two contests.  Enough to win the 2nd, 7 inning game.

Low-A  -  Brooklyn - (7-3) 11 - Auburn (5-5) 4

    RHSP Matt Blackman  -  4.2-IP, 4-H, 4-R, 9-K, 4-BB, 2.31

Blackman's a little shaky tonight, but dealing strikeouts.

A new and improved season for Michael Bernal, who has a double, triple, and homer, and is now hitting .344/.421/.844. Jeff Diehl (.435) and newcomer Vince Sienna (.368) continue to smack the rock.  7th rounder Corey Taylor and Christian Montgomery both tossed scoreless innings, and neither has been scored upon this year.

Rookie -  Kingsport - (4-3) 4 - Danville (3-4) 5

    RHSP Erik Manoah -   5.0-IP, 7-H, 5-R, 5-K, 1-BB, 10.61

19 year old Dash Winningham has 2 more hits and, with 2 more RBIs, has 9 in 7 games while hitting .333. Fellow 19 year old Milton Ramos is 11 for 25 (.440) on the young season, also adding 2 hits and RBIs tonight. 8th round catcher selection Pat Mazelka added what else, two hits and RBIs, moving him up to .292.

Kingsport trailed 5-0 before these 3 hitters propelled the KMets to a come from behind win, each with RBIs in the 8th.  Lefty Taylor Henry gets a tense 2 out save in his debut.

Rookie -  GCL Mets  (2-4) 8. - Cardinals (2-5) 1

    LHSP Joes Huertas -   6.0-IP, 2-H, 0-R, 6-K, 1-BB, 3.86

Ali Sanchez floated like a butterfly and stung 3 balls for base hits, as did Al Maracaro, and. Cecilia Aybar, as part of a 15 hit beating by the G Elite. Meanwhile Huertas put a huerting on the Cards.  Nice.

Rookie - DSL 1 Mets (14-12)) 4 - Marlins (7-19) 1

Laguerre had a nice start and Lagrange keeps hitting.

Rookie - DSL 2 - Mets (13-13) 3 -Marlins (8-17) 9

    RHSP Luis De Los Santos  -  3.1-IP, 3-H, 4-R, 3-K, 1-BB, 2.76

GOAT: Tyler Pill awful tonight.  Jack Leathersich was, too.


Binghamton Mets 2015 Game Notes

Binghamton Mets (38-36) at
Akron RubberDucks (40-36)
(Double-A Affiliate of the Cleveland Indians)

RHP Michael Fulmer (2-0, 2.70) vs. RHP Mike Clevinger (4-3, 2.85)

Monday, June 29, 2015  Game #75  Road Game #38
Canal Park   Akron, OH  7:05 PM

LAST GAME: The B-Mets snapped their four-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over Akron Sunday afternoon at Canal Park. Binghamton won Luis Cessa’s fourth straight start, as the right-hander tossed seven shutout innings for his seventh win. Paul Sewald notched his 14th save, allowing a run in an inning of work. Aderlin Rodriguez had two of Binghamton’s five hits, while Gavin Cecchini drove in all three runs, matching a season-high.

BINGHAMTON STARTERRHP Michael Fulmer is making his 10th start with Binghamton this season and his third against Akron. The B-Mets won both of Fulmer’s starts against the RubberDucks, as the righty allowed one earned run in 10.1 innings pitched combined. Fulmer worked a season-high seven innings against Harrisburg in his last start, not allowing a single run in an eventual 4-1 B-Met loss. Fulmer matched a season-high with six strikeouts in the outing. Binghamton is 6-3 in his nine starts this year.

AKRON STARTER: RHP Mike Clevinger is making his 15th start and fourth against Binghamton. The righty is 1-2 against the B-Mets, with a 3.50 ERA (7 ER, 18 IP). He’s gone six innings in each outing against Binghamton. He earned a no-decision in his last start, throwing five shutout innings against Reading. It’s his second start at Canal Park since May 29th. He has allowed less than three earned runs in each of his last four starts. Binghamton is the only team to score more than three runs against Clevinger this season.

SEASON SERIES: Binghamton has now won the season series against Akron for the third straight season. The B-Mets have won eight of the first 13 meetings, including six of eight at Canal Park this season. Binghamton is 25-16 against Akron over the past three seasons.

OFFENSIVE SLUMP: Binghamton has eight runs and 25 hits in their last 47 innings played (5+ games). The B-Mets are batting .175 during that time, including 3-for-27 (.111) with men in scoring position.

START ME UP: The B-Mets have used five different players in the leadoff spot this season. They have combined to hit .211 with 5 home runs and 31 RBI, while scoring 38 runs. The leadoff hitters have struck out 56 times, while drawing 17 walks, and are 2-for-5 in stolen base attempts. The leadoff hitter is 2-for-25 with two walks in the first inning of Binghamton’s last 27 games. Current leadoff hitter Gavin Cecchini is batting .224 in that spot (31 games), compared to .351 (31 games) elsewhere in the lineup.

RUBBER MATCH: The B-Mets are 1-4 in rubber games, getting outscored 30-15 in the five games.

SERIES FINALES: The B-Mets are 11-11 in series finales this season, but have won four of their last five. Binghamton is 1-2 in finales against Akron, dropping the last two.

STARTING ROTATION: The B-Mets starters had a 1.60 ERA during the last turn through the rotation, yet got a win in just one of the five games.

MR. DEPENDABLE: Paul Sewald is 13-for-13 in save opportunities since April 23rd. Sewald has the fourth most saves in the EL, converting 14 of 15 in total this season.

0-FOR: Brandon Nimmo is hitless in his last three games (0-for-10) since a career-high 14 game hitting streak, in which he hit .383.

RBI DROUGHT: LJ Mazzilli has not driven in a run in 24 games. It’s the longest drought of his career, surpassing a nine-game stretch from 2014. Mazzilli is 2-for-24 (.083) when batting with RISP this season.

The Morning Report 6.29.2015 | Matz's Superb Debut, Granderson on Fire, Flores Value Plummeting, Cubs Interested in Niese

Zach Braziller | New York Post- They stood in the bowels of Citi Field, about 15 members of Steven Matz’ immediate family and his closest friends, all of them beaming, grinning broadly and looking spent at the same time. “I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome, really,” said Lori Matz, Steven’s mother. “He’s just so deserving." “It’s unreal,” said Matz’s brother Jon, a 27-year-old graphic designer. “It’s something you only imagine what it’s like. It’s kind of surreal.” Steven’s grandfather, Burt, became a social-media sensation with his reactions to every big hit.“He was incredulous, ‘I can’t believe it,’ ” Lori said. “I heard my dad is trending. It’s very interesting. He’s a great Steve fan, he’s a great Mets fan.”

(Chris Soto: Matz was unbelievable last night. Not many people, let alone MLB players, see a 96 mph fastball coming from the left side. Then you pair that with a curveball that appears to have tilt and break equivalent to Clayton Kershaw's nasty breaker and you have yourself a future star in the making. From the personal family standpoint, you have to give a hat tip to the rest of the Mets players in that clubhouse. For all the guys to come together and give Matz most of the team's free tickets for him to use for his friends and family was truly a great team moment. Those seats that Momma, Pops, and Grandpa Matz were sitting in?....of course...David Wright's suite seats. Truly a great moment for the Mets organization.) 
Barry Holmes | Rant Sports- Curtis Granderson has always been a topic of discussion, and has had immense pressure to preform since coming over from the New York Yankees in 2014. This is mostly due to the huge four-year, $60 million dollar contract that he signed. Some may say that he hasn’t performed consistently enough to deserve that amount of money. In the month of June, Granderson is hitting for an average of .281 with 6 HRs and 8 RBIs. In the last seven days, he has hit for an average of .429 with 4 HRs and 4 RBIs while also drawing five walks. Stats don’t lie, and the stats are showing that Granderson is swinging the hottest bat for the New York Mets as of right now.

(Chris Soto: And yet...the only thing people are talking about is the fly ball he missed in RF. Take him out of the lead-off spot! Trade him for peanuts to get rid of the money! Really? The Grandy Man is hitting .259 with a .357 OBP and is on pace for 25 HRs this season. He already has been worth +2.2 WAR so another win added and he meets the supposed"financial" value of his contract. The Mets certainly have offensive problems that need to be address, and Granderson is not a perfect player, but he is the least of the team's worries even before this little hot streak.)

Sean Coffey | NY Daily News- It's not longer just talk. After 76 games, the Mets have moved Wilmer Flores to second base. He started at second Sunday for the first time since the final game of the 2014 season. “I wanted to get him out there for a game,” Terry Collins said after the Mets’ 7-2 victory. The News reported last week that the Mets were considering moving Flores to second base as a better defensive and offensive alignment for when Daniel Murphy returns, in part because third baseman David Wright is nowhere near returning. Murphy will play third when he returns from the DL and until Wright returns.

(Chris Soto: From a non problem to a potentially big problem. While Flores moving over from SS to 2B certainly improves the overall team defense, from a personnel standpoint, it severely reduces Flores value in regards to the rest of the MLB. The average SS has been producing a measly .669 OPS, a stat that Flores has been on par with even during his struggles. However the average 2B, has an OPS that 20 points higher at .689. Flores need to work even harder now to start producing or else he's going to end up be an even bigger detriment to the team than he was before, at which point maybe Matt Reynolds starts knocking on his door.)

Connor O'Brien | Metsmerized Online- The Chicago Cubs are [reportedly] somewhat interested in Jon Niese as a potential trade target. However, the Cubs will likely have their sights set a little higher. Niese, 28, has a 4.12 ERA in 83 innings this season. Over eight seasons with the Mets, he owns a 3.89 ERA as well as walk and strikeout rates of 2.7 and 7.1. The big issue is Niese’s contract. He is making $9 million next season and has a $500,000 buyout or a $10 million option for the season after that. If the Mets want to use Niese in any deal for an upgrade at shortstop Niese would only be part of a package. The Mets would have to add more to a deal.

(Chris Soto: The Mets and Cubs have been linked together for a potential trade for months now as the two teams just match up way to well. That said the interest in Niese is a bit surprising. I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that he has found some consistency this month with a 3.46 ERA in his 4 starts and an 7.3 K/9 rate. There has been quite a bit of chatter for a rumored Javier Baez for Niese swap but Baez has been sidelined with an injury since June 7th. In addition, while Baez has rare power from a middle infielder, his K rate is always through the roof. He is also a terrible defender at SS and mostly plays 3B now. The club would be better served to maybe package Niese together with a high upside prospect arm like Fulmer, Meisner, or Gsellman to make a run at Addison Russell.)

Mets Minor League Games - 6-28-15

A near-perfecto and some nailbiters.

Minor League Player of The Night - Harol Gonzalez

Honorable Mention - Luis Cessa, Rainy Lara, Michael Katz, and Brooks Conrad

AAA - Las Vegas - (45-32) 4 - Sacramento (32-45) 3, 10 innings

    RHSP Rainy Lara - 6.0-IP, 7-H, 1-R, 4-K, 3-BB, 4.50 

Vegas was locked in a rare pitcher's duel, courtesy of a fine Rainy Lara AAA debut, but was trailing 1-0, bottom 9.   But Cesar Tovar walked, moved to 3rd on an errant pickoff throw, and came in on a sac fly to even the score.

Sacramento responded in the 10th with 2 runs off Church and Rice. So was Vegas, now down two runs, done?  Not so.

Anthony Recker pinch hit a homer, drawing them within 1 run.  Then with 2 outs, Conrad's hit drove in 2 runs for a terrific come-from-behind walk off win.

AA - Binghamton - B Mets (38-36) 3 - Akron (40-36) 1

    RHSP Luis Cessa -  7.0-IP, 6-H, 0-R, 6-K, 1-BB, 2.56

Gavin Cecchini's 3 run double produced all of the B Mets' runs. Today, it was enough due to a brilliant outing by Luis Cessa.

Conforto 1-4, Nimmo 0-4, Mazzilli doing OK in AA, but no RBIs in 20 games.  

Smith and McNeil both hitting over .360 since early slow starts,covering about 400 combined at bats for the two. Is Conforto the minors' most advanced bat, or is Smith?  Tough question.

A+ - St. Lucie - (37-37) 0 - Tampa (34-38) 6

    RHSP Kevin McGowan  -  6.2-IP, 4-H, 3-H, 1-K, 4-BB, 4.25

Muted St Lucie bats. Murphy (1), McNeil (1), and Smith (2) had the Lucites' 4 hits. Coshow shut them down, and has a 1.95 ERA for the Yanks' affiliate.

A bad Mike Hepple relief outing as he allowed 2 McGowan runners to score in the 7th, then allowed 3 runs himself in the 8th.

A - Savannah -   suspended - rain

Low-A  -  Brooklyn - (6-3) 5 - Auburn (4-4) 5, rain-shortened 5.5 inning game

    RHSP Michael Gibbons  -  5.0-IP, 9-H, 5-R, 4-K, 1-BB, 5.91

A close win for the Cyclones. Michael Katz popped his second homer and now already has 9 RBIs.  Jeff Diehl off to a hot start, too, sitting at .429 with 5 extra base hits in 21 ABs.

Rookie -  Kingsport - (3-3)- Bluefield (4-2) 8

    RHSP Harol Gonzalez -   8.0-IP, 1-H, 2-R, 9-K, 0-BB, 3.07

Harol Gonzalez was sensational, as he took a no hitter (may have been a perfect game) into the ninth, but gave up a single and HBP. Those 2 runners scored, plus 5 others, and a wonderful 4-0 Game turned into a 7-4 nightmare.

But Kingsport was not finished.  They rallied to score 3 to tie at 7-7, and headed to extra innings, but the K Met pen lost in 10, 8-7.

GOAT: Mike Hepple


June 28th 2015 -- Mets 7, Reds 2

Sunday afternoon Steven Matz made a debut like no other in Met history as he allowed just 2 solo homers in 7 2/3 innings and went 3 for 3 for 4 RBI at the plate leading the Mets to their 4 straight win with a 7-2 victory over the Reds. Matz got a rude welcome from Brandon Phillips as he greeted the 23 year old with lead off homer and it was 1-0 Reds in the first.  Matz then brought the offense too.  In his first major league at bat, with 2 on in the bottom of the 2nd, Matz hit a 2 run double over head of Billy Hamilton to make it 2-1 Mets. In 4th Todd Frazier tied the game with a solo homer, his 25th on the year and it was 2-2.  In the 5th Curtis Granderson continued to rake doubling home Eric Campbell to make it 3-2.  In the 6th Matz got his 3rd hit of the game, a single scoring John Mayberry Jr. and Johnny Monell and the Mets had a 5-2 lead.  Ruben Tejada then scored on a fielder’s choice to make it 6-2.  In the 8th Granderson connected for an RBI single to make it 7-2. Matz has the most impressive debut in Met history.  He gets his first major league win he’s 1-0. He went 7 2/3 allowing 5 hits 2 runs (earned) walking 3 and striking out 6.  Matz becomes the first Met player ever to drive in 4 RBI in his ML debut. He’s also ties a Met record for a pitcher getting 3 hits in a game.  Granderson went 2 for 5 with 2 RBI as his hot streak continues.  Johnny Monell went 2 for 3; Eric Campbell scored 3 runs without an official at bat (he walked 3 times.) Hansel Robles pitched the 9th to close it out. With the win the Mets sweep the 3 game series from the Reds. They now stand at 40-37 overall and 29-11 at Citi Field.  Monday is an off day, Tuesday the upstart Cubs come to town.  Jonathon Niese (3-7  4.12) goes for the Mets, Kyle Hendricks (2-4 4.46) goes for Chicago.

Binghamton Mets 2015 Game Notes

Binghamton Mets (37-36) at
Akron RubberDucks (40-35)
(Double-A Affiliate of the Cleveland Indians)

RHP Luis Cessa (6-4, 2.82) vs. RHP Will Roberts (6-2, 3.77)

Sunday, June 28, 2015  Game #74  Road Game #37
Canal Park   Akron, OH  2:05 PM

LAST GAME: The B-Mets dropped their fourth straight, falling 3-0 against Akron Saturday night at Canal Park. Binghamton managed just three hits, including two from Brock Peterson. Binghamton went 0-for-4 with men in scoring position. Gabriel Ynoa tossed Binghamton’s first complete game of the year, allowing an earned run in eight innings. The B-Mets committed three errors behind him.

BINGHAMTON STARTERRHP Luis Cessa is making his 13th start of the year and the third against Akron. He won both of his first two starts against the RubberDucks, allowing three earned runs in 13 innings combined. Cessa struck out 11 RubberDucks while issuing just one walk. He allowed a season-high five runs, while matching a season-high by allowing 11 hits. Binghamton has won his last three starts.

AKRON STARTER: RHP Will Roberts is making his 15th start of the year and the sixth of his career against Binghamton. He’s 0-1 in two starts against Binghamton this season, allowing seven runs in 12 innings combined. He struck out four in each start, while walking one total batter. Roberts gave up a home run in each start. Roberts hasn’t lost in his last five starts, winning each of his last four decisions.

LOSING STREAK: The B-Mets lost their fourth straight game Saturday, matching a season-high. Both losing streaks started on the 24th day of the month. Binghamton hasn’t lost five-in-a-row since closing out the 2014 regular season on a six-game losing streak.

VS. AKRON: Binghamton has lost their last three games against Akron, after having won five consecutive against the RubberDucks earlier this season. Binghamton lost three straight against Akron last season, from April 28-June 9. The B-Mets haven’t dropped four straight against Akron since a five-game losing streak in 2008.

OFFENSIVE SLUMP: Binghamton has five runs and 20 hits in their last 38 innings played (4+ games). The B-Mets are batting .179 during that time, including 2-for-21 with men in scoring position. Four of the five runs have come on home runs.

ERRORS: B-Mets have lost their last four games when committing three or more errors. Binghamton is 25-50 since the start of the 2008 season when committing three or more errors in a game. The B-Mets have reached that total in eight games this year, including three against Akron.

B-MET PITCHING: The B-Mets starting rotation has one win in Binghamton’s last eight games. Meanwhile, the B-Mets bullpen has just two losses since June 3rd.
SHUTOUTS: The B-Mets have been shutout four times this season, all in their last 37 games played. Binghamton is 2-1 following the shutouts.

AKRON PITCHING: The RubberDucks have allowed more than four runs just once in their last 15 games. Akron leads the league in ERA (2.98) and have blown just four saves this season, the lowest in the EL. The B-Mets are batting .216 against Akron in the 12 meetings this year, averaging 3.2 runs a game. Binghamton has still managed to win seven of the first 12 matchups. This is the final series between these two teams this season.

POWER SURGE: Binghamton has 12 home runs in their 15 games, homering in 10 of them.

RBI DROUGHT: LJ Mazzilli has not driven in a run in 23 games. It’s the longest drought of his career, surpassing a nine-game stretch from 2014. Mazzilli is 2-for-23 (.087) when batting with RISP this season.

Your Potential Lottery Picks in the 2016 MLB Draft

I know this seems early, but you might start getting used to some of these top names that will come up in the 2016 draft. The Mets, and the direction they are going, could warrant a pick from one of these top 10 players eligible in June 2016.

Here's an early look of the top ten picks in 2016 from our friends at   Fangraphs

1. Alec Hansen, RHP, Oklahoma: In high school, Hansen was a big dude with some arm speed that hadn’t quite put it together. Last summer in the Cal Collegiate League, he ran it into the high-90’s and showed flashes, then continued that this spring.  He basically has the same stuff as Dillon Tate (94-97, touch 99 mph, 65 or so slider, 55 or so changeup) but is 6’7/235 (Tate is 6’1/190) and is getting his first extended look as a starter as a sophomore (Tate made his first collegiate start this spring, as a junior). There’s some understandable command issues and growing pains given the size and newness of the wipeout stuff, but Hansen is just scratching the surface.

2. Riley Pint (18.6), RHP, St. Thomas Aquinas HS (KS), LSU commit: You’d think a 6’7 Dillon Tate would be a slam-dunk choice over a prep pitcher, but Pint had his share of believers that he should be the #1 prospect in this class. I’ve seen 23 of these 30 players ranked here, but I haven’t seen Pint and most scouts haven’t either. He threw at one event last summer (some video from that event) and will only go to some of the events this summer. He’s been cautiously used, doesn’t throw at all in the winter (which often leads to velo gains in the spring, like for Brady Aiken and Foster Griffin in the 2014 draft class) and is a solid hoops player. Pint is 6’4/190, has athletic actions, sits 92-96 and recently hit 98 mph, mixing in a hard, plus, spike curveball in the mid-80’s and showing enough feel that his changeup and command both project for at least average, but likely more. I’ll probably see Pint a few times this summer and at least once next spring, but it’s hard to put a somewhat mysterious prep pitcher #1 on a loaded list. That said, people that have seen him are saying he’s right there with Lucas Giolito, Jameson Taillon and Dylan Bundy as the next prep phenom righty with a chance to go 1-1; hopefully Pint doesn’t have to get elbow surgery like those three have.

3. Blake Rutherford (19.0), CF, Chaminade Prep HS (CA), UCLA commit: Rutherford was noticed as early as his freshman or sophomore year as an elite hitting prospects and the track records of those type of players is very good (Bryce Harper, Eric Hosmer, Alex Jackson, Nick Gordon, etc.). He’s 6’3/190, a plus runner with effortless actions in all phases, advanced feel to hit from the left side and above average raw power that he gets to in games already. He’s basically a slightly toolsier version of Banks with some track record for scouts, given his performance in events/games as an underclassman in a highly-scouted area of the country.

4. A.J. Puk, LHP, Florida: Puk also has a chance to jump into the elite category, but he’s a two-way guy (with plus raw power from the left side) on a team with a deep staff, so he hasn’t pitched as much as some of his peers. He was also recently arrested for climbing on a construction crane with a teammate, which clouds his future just a bit. At his best, the 6’7/230 Puk sat 92-95 mph, touched 96 mph, worked in a plus slider and shows starter traits. 5/9/15 UPDATE: After his suspension for the crane incident, Puk has ticked up, looking more focused, sitting 94-97 early, hitting 98 mph and holding 93-96 late into games. If he continues doing this into the summer, he’ll jump a couple more spots, but there’s been some inconsistency from Puk in his college career.

5. Nick Banks, RF, Texas A&M: Banks isn’t quite as exciting as those first three players here, but has plenty of ceiling. He’s an above average runner with a plus arm, above average raw power from the left side and some scouts put a 60 on his bat. Banks has performed well in the springs and summers and only got to school due to an injury his senior year in high school that obscured some of his talent.

6. Austin Bergner (19.1), RHP, Windemere Prep HS (FL), North Carolina commit: You’re going to hear Pint and Bergner compared a lot and there’s a number of similarities. Bergner was noticed as early as his sophomore year as an elite arm and is easy to scout, playing in Orlando and hitting the showcase/tournament circuit. The 6’4/195 Bergner has improved every time I’ve seen him and had a coming-out party last October in Jupiter when he sat 93-95, hit 96 mph with life, located an above average to plus curveball and an above average changeup. Scouts were wandering in to see him with potential 2015 1st rounders playing on adjacent fields and the consensus that night is that Bergner was the top high school pitcher on the planet, likely going in the top 10-15 picks, even if thrown in the 2015 class. Pint gets the slight edge for a little more velo, a little more youth, more cautious usage and maybe a little more command, but we’re splitting hairs at this point.

7. Robert Tyler, RHP, Georgia: Tyler is another guy that could jump into the elite category but has been on the shelf for a few months with arm soreness. It sounds like he’s close to returning and late last spring and early in the summer, he showed a new level of performance, sitting 95-98 mph in short stints with a plus changeup and enough breaking ball and command that he’s still got a good shot to start. 5/10/15 UPDATE: Tyler came off the DL and hit 97 mph last week then 99 mph this week. He looks to be back to normal and there’a case to be made he should be even higher than this.

8. Connor Jones, RHP, Virginia: A late 1st round talent out of high school that had a high number, Jones has progressed well at UVA, now working 91-95 and hitting 96 mph with plus sink (but also sometimes 89-93 mph), an above average to plus changeup and an average breaking ball. There’s a compelling case to throw Jones in the elite group now, especially if his breaking ball gets a little better.

9. Jason Groome (17.8), LHP, IMG Academy HS (FL), Vanderbilt commit: Groome is another guy with a chance to jump into that top 7, elite group, He’s very young for the class, a projectable 6’6/180, has a zero-effort delivery and is regularly 89-93, with reports he’s been as high as 97 mph this spring. The off-speed stuff is more 50-55 right now, but there’s more than a few of the positive Brady Aiken indicators here and there may be even more upside.

10. Ryan Boldt, CF, Nebraska: Boldt was another 1st round talent out of high school but a knee injury during the spring caused teams to back off. He hasn’t integrated his average raw power into games yet, but he’s performed and is still an easy plus runner that profiles in center.

Mets Minor League Games - 6-27-15

Minor League Player of The Night - starters, especially Casey Meisner. All 7 starters tossed well.

Honorable Mention - Anthony Recker lowered the boom, and Rafael Ramirez with a dramatic walk off triple.

AAA - Las Vegas - (44-32) 7 - Sacramento (32-44) 1

    LHSP Darin Gorski - 5.2 IP,4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 5.35

It was the Recker the Wrecker show in Vegas, with Anthony going 4 for 4 with 2 homers and 3 RBIs. Taijeron had 2 hits, including a triple and RBI # 40, and clocks in at .303.

Gorski pitched well as did 3 relievers. Vic Black tossed .1 innings and walked 1. 

AA - Binghamton -  (37-36) 0 - Akron (40-35) 3

    RHSP Gabriel Ynoa -  8.0-IP, 8-H, 3-R, 5-K, 0-BB, 4.60

Cool the Confortojets just a bit.  He (and Nimmo) went 0-4, and are hitting .326 and .310, respectively.  A very solid start for Gabe Ynoa, but a loss nonetheless.

3 errors (2 by Dustin Lawley,who has made 13, and is hitting .205) made 2 of Gabe's 3 runs allowed of the earned variety.

Oupitched by Adam Plutko of the Duckies who was terrific.

A+ - St Lucie - ( 37-36) 3 - Tampa (34-38) 1

    RHSP Casey Meisner  -  7.0-IP, 3-H, 1-R, 6-K, 1-BB, 1.29

With Casey Meisner excelling in his Lucie debut, and the support of the law firm of Murphy and McNeil (2 hits each, and 2 RBIs for Murph, and Jeff up to.339), and a fine 2 inning save by Josh Smoker (1.96), St Lucie showed how it is done.

Casey's only run allowed came in the 7th.

A - Savannah -    postponed - rain

Low-A  -  Brooklyn -   Postponed - rain 

Rookie -  Kingsport - (3-2) 5 - Bluefield (3-2) 4

    RHSP Darwin Ramos -   6.0-IP, 1-H, 0-R, 5-K, 1-BB, 0.00

Darwin evolved from struggling full season reliever to fine short season ball starter tonight, allowing just 1 hit over 6.

A 1-0 squeaker through 8, but the Mets allowed 4 in the 9th.  Game over? Heck, no, they scored 4 in the bottom half for a stunning walk off win.  Quite an inning.

With Haggard sputtered in his debut, allowing 4 runs and 4 walk. and a wild pitch in 0.2 IP. Shake it off, buddy.

LF Kevin Kaczmarski had 2 double and 2 RBIs. Speedy Rafael Ramirez had a bad night up until the 9th, but his bases clearing, walk off triple shows hope spring eternal.

Rookie -  GCL  -  (1-4) 1 - Nationals (3-3) 4

    RHSP Jeff Walters  -  1.0-IP, 0-H, 0-R, 2-K, 0-BB, 0.00

The GCL boys are hitting .179 thru 5 games. Kenny Bautista (.333) homered for one of their 2 hits.

Rookie - DSL 1 - Mets (13-12) -5 - Red Sox (7-18) 2

In one inning, Mets scored 5, Sox 2. Rest of the game involved goose eggs for both sides.

Luis Mateo allowed 2 6th inning runs. Wuender Fernandez tossed 3.1 innings of scoreless relief.

Rookie - DSL 2 - Mets (16-9) 8 - Marlins (8-17) 3

    LHSP Aneury Olivo  -  5.0-IP, 3-H, 3-R, 4-K, 2-BB, 1.95 

In one inning, Mets scored 5, Marlins 2. Sounds familiar.
Rest of game low scoring.

Grabiel Jimenez (.337) with his 7th double and 3rd triple. Yanfi Adon hit his 2nd homer. Boris Sanchez with 4 shutout innings in relief.

GOAT: Binghamton's slumbering bats. Witt Haggard.

Mack’s Morning Report – 6-28-15 – Random Thoughts

Good Morning

The Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard victories this week are reminding me of what this team went through in 1969 with Tom Seaver (24-years old 25-7, 2.21), Jerry Koosman (25-years old, 17-9, 2.28), Gary Gentry (22-years old, 13-12, 3.42), Don Cardwell (33-years old, 8-10, 3.02), and Jim McAndrew (25-years-old, 6-7, 3.47.
Check the ages out. Now, check the ERAs. Amazing.

And let’s not forget Tug McGraw, 24-years old, 9-3, 2.25, 12-saves.
DeGrom and Syndergaard game up one run in the 16 innings they pitched.

Not a ton of all-star bats on this team either, but Tommy Agee did hit 26/76. Fellow outfielder Cleon Jones added 12/75, and Art Shamky stat’d 14/47, but the largest slugging percentage was .488 (Shamsky), who also led with an 863 OPS.
This was an elite pitcher team with young arms and an occasional timely long ball. Sound familiar?

On paper, there really isn’t much difference in Agee/Jones/ Shamsky to Granderson/Cuddyer/Duda. They could pull this off with this pitching staff, especially if Steven Matz gets on the soul train. What we need now is to light a fire under Cuddter and Duda and add Daniel Murphy to the mix.

Trust me folks, if these three studs, and Harvey, pitch this well into September and Niese and Colon don’t, you will once again see the loss of the third 6-man rotation.

The Friday 3:30pm press conference by Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins was pretty much a non-issue. It was used to announce the worst kept secret about the promotion of Steven Matz to the parent team.

It was also thrown to announce that the team was back to the on-again, off-again six man rotation. 

Keep an eye on the Marlins this week, now that Giancarlo Stanton is out with a broken hand. This could easily be the final straw to make the decision to become a seller. We all know how nuts this owner is and this could be a chance to get our hands on either Martin Prado or Christian Yelich


June 27th 2015 -- Mets 2, Reds 1 13 innings. (Resumption of Suspended Game)

Saturday at Citi Field the Mets and Reds played to a 6 inning 1-1 tie when the game was suspended. The game will be completed starting at 1:10 pm est before Sunday's regularly scheduled game.  The Met offense was once again held in check. The Mets took a 1-0 lead in the 3rd when Curtis Granderson continued his torrid streak with a opposite field homer to left, his 5th in the last 9 games and 13th on the year.  Matt Harvey started for the Mets; the only blemish he allowed was a RBI double by Brandon Phillips in the 5th inning. The Reds starter Michael Lorenzen went 5 2/3 innings, Harvey went a full 6 allowing just 5 hits the 1 run (earned) walking 2 and striking out 3.  The Mets had a chance to take a lead in the bottom of the 6th. Granderson came to bat with the sacks full, but flew out to left to end the inning and the game for the day. The game resumed on Sunday and six Met pitchers held the Reds scoreless for 7 innings. Carlos and Alex Torres,  Hansel Robles, Jeurys Familia, Logan Verrett and Bobby Parnell.  Familia and Verrett both pitched 2 innings.  In the bottom of the 13th, Dilson Herrera walked. He went to third on a single by Granderson. Ruben Tejada reached on an error by Eugenio Suarez. That brought up Lucas Duda who reached on fielders choice scoring Herrera with the game winner. Bobby Parnell got the win improving to 1-0. Nate Adcock takes the loss falling to 0-1. With the win the Mets improve to 39-37 and 28-11 at Citi Field. Going into Sunday's regularly scheduled game the Mets are 3 games in back of the Nationals in 2nd place in the NL East. In regularly scheduled game Steven Matz (0-0 0.00) goes for the Mets, Josh Smith (0-0 12.00)


SP Duane Below has signed a deal to pitch for the Yokohama Bay Stars in Japan