MINOR LEAGUES ARMS HOPE by Tom Brennan
After promoting Thor and Matz in 2015, and trading Messrs. Fulmer, Cessa, Gant, Weick, Whelan and several others in the 2015 playoffs push, one has to wonder if there is any minor leagues pitching hope for the Mets.
After all, Rafael Montero has gotten hammered in Vegas this year.
Is there hope? YES.
The following aren't the only guys, but here are a few to watch:
Seth Lugo - one look at the extreme breaking ball he struck Anthony Rizzo out with gives hope he may be a future Mets bullpen arm.
Domingo Tapia threw 100 MPH, quite ineffectively, in the past. Puzzling - but likely because the righty was driving uncomfortably on Tommy John Boulevard and finally had a blow out. He's had 6 nice relief outings since his return from TJS, so we'll see if he is a real pen arm soon enough. Fellow TJS alumnus Luis Mateo has a 2.43 ERA in 29 relief outings in AA, and may yet prove to be a useful BP arm.
PJ Conlon gave up not a single earned run in relief in Brooklyn in his debut year of 2015. Now starting this year, the lefty is an awe-inspiring 10-1, 1.62 and now in St Lucie. The luck o' the Irish that we drafted him.
Justin Dunn: our 1st rounder in 2016 made his Cyclones debut with 2 scoreless IP, 2 Ks.
Harol Gonzalez - no D in Harol, but hopefully the boys play strong D behind him. 20 K's in 10.2 IP in his last 2 starts in Brooklyn opens one's eyes.
Then there are the Kingsport Lefties:
Tom Szapucki, 20, was the 149th pick last year, so one should have high expectations. He is delivering: in 3 starts spanning 16.2 IP, he has fanned 30 and allowed 1 earned run.
Max Wotell, 19, was a high pick last year, and he is 1-0, 1.74 after 2 starts, and allowed just 7 hits in 21 career IP, with 26 Ks, in 2015 and 2016. Nats have their Max, we have ours.
Presumably, we'll also see the return of Marcos Molina fairly soon, hopefully healthy and ready to rock again.
So there is hope, in my opinion.