Rumble Ponies Game Notes#106/107: Rumble Ponies (20-21, 55-50) vs. Erie SeaWolves (29-10, 50-45) - 5:35PM

(20-21, 55-50), 2nd Eastern Division
(New York Mets)
(29-10, 60-45), T-1st  Western Division
(Detroit Tigers)

Wednesday, July 31, 2019  5:35 PM
NYSEG Stadium  Binghamton, NY
GM 1: LHP Kevin Smith (1-0, 2.38 ERA) vs. RHP Casey Mize (6-0, 1.99 ERA)
GM 2: RHP Joseph Shaw (1-3, 2.19 ERA) vs. LHP Tarik Skubal (0-1, 2.79 ERA)
Broadcast: NewsRadio 1290 AM WNBF, MiLB.TV

TONIGHT: The Binghamton Rumble Ponies continue their four-game series with the Erie Seawolves with a doubleheader at NYSEG Stadium.

LAST TIME OUT: The Rumble Ponies fell to the SeaWolves 5-1 in the series opener Tuesday. Cam Gibson hit a grand slam with no out in the top of the sixth off Ponies’ starter Tony Dibrell to break a 1-1 tie. Dibrell suffered the loss as he was tagged with five runs (four earned) on six hits in five-plus innings of work. Patrick Mazeika drove in the lone Ponies’ run with an RBI single in the first.

MAZEIKA RAISES RBI TOTAL: With his RBI single in the first inning Tuesday, Patrick Mazeika drove in his team-leading 57th run of the season. That total is good for third in the Eastern League and places him one behind Chris Gittens from Trenton, who sits in second. Mazeika was the only Rumble Pony with multiple hits on Tuesday as he went 2-4.

HAGGERTY EXTENDS HIT STREAK: Sam Haggerty extended his hit streak to a season-best eight games with his single in the eighth inning Tuesday. He is 12-36 (.364) during this stretch.

DOUBLEHEADER SUCCESS: The Rumble Ponies are playing in their 11th doubleheader of the season. They have swept four of the twin bills and split five of them. The one time the Ponies were swept in a doubleheader came at the hands of the SeaWolves on June 26 at NYSEG Stadium.
SHAW TO START GAME TWO:  RHP Joseph Shaw will start the second game of the doubleheader for the Rumble Ponies. He is making his second start of the season and carries a 1-3 record with a 2.19 ERA into tonight. In his first start, Shaw tossed three scoreless innings over which he gave up just one hit and struck out four at Portland on July 11.

TURNING THE TIDE: After the Ponies won the first six games of the season series, the SeaWolves have now won the last seven games following Tuesday’s win. Three of their wins earlier this month came in walk-off fashion.

GIMENEZ VS. ERIE: Andres Gimenez went 1-3 with a double and a stolen base Tuesday night. He is now hitting .425 (17-40) with four RBI, four doubles and two home runs in 12 games against the SeaWolves. Seven of his team-high 21 stolen bases have come against Erie.

ERIE TURNS TO TOP PROSPECT: Righty Casey Mize will start in game one. Mize is the top-ranked prospect in the Tigers’ organization by MLB.com. On the season, he is 6-0 with a 1.99 ERA in 11 games. Last time out, Mize allowed one run on four hits in six innings against Trenton on July 26.

COMING UP: The Rumble Ponies wrap their four-game series with Erie Thursday at 6:35PM. The Ponies then hit the road for three games at Akron.

OPEN THREAD - Dominic Smith to Full Time LFer

The experiment of Dominic Smith in the outfield seems to be working.

But... the 2020 outfield projects to be quite full.

A returning Yoenis Cespedes and Brandon Nimmo... Michael Conforto... and 'sometimes' J.D. Davis or Jeff McNeil.


The question is...

Should Dominic Smith become our full time left fielder?

Reese Kaplan -- A Mid Year Editorial Reflection

Unlike the off-season when hope springs eternal or the post-season when people are focused on the best of the best showing what they can do, the tail end of July often brings out the worst of baseball fans.  Debates nowadays concern things like mortgaging the future, replenishing the farm system, devaluing someone on an expiring contract and inflating the security of people who have years of team control left via the collective bargaining agreement.  No matter what is done there are some people who will condemn it, others who will celebrate it and others who have already given up on baseball and are looking for who to draft on their fantasy football teams.

Can we all just take a collective breath, step back and get nostalgic for a moment?  Do you remember the days when you were first learning how to swing a bat, how to catch a ball, how to steal a base and how to hit the cutoff man who, in turn, can nail the runner at the plate?

Do you remember the sickly sweet smell of the flat pink piece of bubble gum in the package, and the joy that came from reading the stats on the back of the card?  How about those little cartoons with trivia about the player?  Do you remember those checklist cards that let you track who you had and who you still needed to complete your set?  Do you remember the rookie cards highlighting fresh faces that may or may not help your team compete now and in the future?  Do you remember back when it was more important to get the cards of your favorite players on your favorite team rather than the prospective value they will have if you preserve them in a plastic sleeve so that 30 years into the future you can brag that you have a Johnny Knucklehead rookie card in mint condition?  

Frankly, I remember playing games with the baseball cards, flipping them, trading them and even (horror of horrors) putting them into the spokes of a bicycle wheel to simulate the sound of a motorcycle.  

I’m not here to debate the merits and deficiencies of the Player’s Union or the greed of the owners.  I do know, however, that ever since the Curt Flood and Andy Messersmith milestones in baseball, the fans subtly shifted from rooting for players to rooting for laundry.  The fungible nature of players as resources means you no longer feel the same kinship to the individual player.  You remain loyal to your team and become hypercritical of what they do with their roster when it seems they are putting profits ahead of winning.  Edwin Jackson has been on 14 different teams (thus far!) and former Met Octavio Dotel played on 13.  It didn’t used to be this way.

So let’s step back before this afternoon’s trading deadline, forget about the merits of what package Noah Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler or Edwin Diaz might net, what salary relief a Todd Frazier or Wilson Ramos transaction could bring, and instead just enjoy the fact that the Mets have won 6 of their last 7 games without Yoenis Cespedes, without Jed Lowrie, without Brandon Nimmo, without Dom Smith and with a clearly diminished Robinson Cano and Jeurys Familia.  Celebrate the fact that an All-Star pitcher was just added to the roster.  Whatever happens, happens.  We have no control over it.  The person the Wilpons entrusted to make the deals is the only one who does and nothing we say here is going to move the needle at all. 


New Writers

I must reach out to all of you again.

For various reasons, our writer base is drying up.

We need some new blood here to help us to keep the ship afloat.

I ask all of you, especially some of you that used to write here, to consider joining Mack's Mets as an active writer.

We are adult writers serving adult readers. Other sites do a great job but they are the young serving the young. 

Please... please...  email me at: macksmets@gmail and we can talk about this.




FLUSHING, N.Y., July 29, 2019 – The New York Mets today announced that the club has acquired minor league catcher Austin Bossart from Philadelphia in exchange for LHP Jason Vargas and cash considerations.

Bossart, 26, has hit .261 with 39 doubles, 18 homers and 112 RBI over five minor league seasons in the Phillies system. The 6-2, 210-pounder was selected in the 14th-round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft from the University of Pennsylvania.

In 63 games this season with Reading (AA) of the Eastern League, Bossart has seven doubles, seven homers and 28 RBI.

During his minor league career, Bossart has thrown out 115 of 316 (36.4 percent) of base runners.

Vargas, 36, was 6-5 with a 4.01 ERA in 19 games, 18 starts for New York this year.

OPEN THREAD - Jason Vargas Trade

The Mets traded SP Jason Vargas to division rival Philadelphia.

In return, they receive:

C Austin Bossart - 26/yrs old

    2019:  AA - 200/AB, .195

Take it away dump experts...


Tony Plate - Major League Trade Deadline By Tony Plate 7/30/19


The Major League trade deadline is tomorrow and the New York Mets traded Jason Vargas and cash to the Philadelphia Phillies for minor league Double-A catcher Austin Bossart today. The Mets should be making more trades. 

 The New York Yankees are one of the teams rumored to be interested in Zack Wheeler or Noah Syndergaard.  A trade between the two New York teams would be very interesting since they do not do that much business with each other. 

The Mets are hoping to get a top prospect in return for Wheeler, but it may be difficult to do so since Wheeler will be a rental. Both teams should do business with each other more often, but the Mets have been known throughout the years to not want to help the Yankees. They should not feel that way. There should not be envy. 

 Both teams have players that are friends. I’m sure they pull for each other. The Mets have the starting pitching the Yanks need and the Yanks have the position players and prospects the Mets need. If they did business more often both teams would perhaps meet in the World Series.

The New York Mets really shocked the baseball world when they acquired All-Star pitcher Marcus Stroman from the Toronto Blue Jays this past Sunday for two of the Mets top pitching prospects, 24-year- old left-hander Anthony Kay and 18-year-old right-handed pitcher Simeon Woods Richardson. 

The Mets also get $1.5 million from the Blue Jays to offset the amount remaining on Stroman’s $7.4 million salary this year. Stroman, 28 is 6-11 in 21 starts with a 2.96 earned run average that is fifth-best in the American League.

 In my opinion I felt the Blue Jays should have asked for one more prospect to make the trade more feasible for them. This trade is a win for the Mets. Stroman made his first All-Star team this season. He is eligible for arbitration next Winter and can become a free agent after the 2020 season. He is 47-45 with a 3.76 earned run average in six big league seasons. 

The Mets are only six games back in the National League wild-card race and I think Stroman can really help them. I was surprised they were able to acquire Stroman, because there was a rumor that the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros were interested in Stroman’s services.



Way back in July 2014, it was being reported that the Mets signed two Venezuelan 16 year olds - YOEL ROMERO ($300,000) and EDGARDO FERMIN ($250,000) - both described as being shortstops at the time.

Yoel Romero has had up and down seasons since signing.  he started out down - hitting just .170 in his SECOND DSL season in 2016 - which might have made one start to think, "this guy's a bust." 

But in 2017, he added ONE HUNDRED NINETY FOUR POINTS to his 2016 average, hitting .364/.439/.464 in 67 games.  

In 2018, playing just 53 games at Kingsport in Rookie ball and missing some games (man, it's always something, ain't it?), he hit a respectable .265/.368/.373.

Moving on to 2019, he faltered in Columbia early, going 4 for 30 - but that was at a time that it seemed like the whole team was going 4 for 30.  He also had a 6 for 25 stint with St Lucie, where he fanned just 4 times, a very encouraging # in a limited sample.

Now in Brooklyn, the 21 year old, 6'0", 180 Romero is hitting very well - in 21 games, .325/.379/.500. 

Why so few games in 2019?  He missed 7 weeks spanning 2 stretches.  Man, it's always something, ain't it?   Dude, you need to stay on the field and PLAY!

When he does play, he's played the outfield, SS, 2nd, 3rd, and even a game at first, and is making a bunch of errors, so he needs to work on that.

And for Pete's sake, stay on the field!

Edgardo Fermin did not start his season in 2019 until June 6 - man, it's always something, ain't it?

And this late start, after a lousy hitting 2018 in Columbia (.210/.261/.343 in 109 games), might make one start to think, "this guy's a bust." 

But he got bumped up to St Lucie in 2019.  Why not?

And why not indeed -  the Venezuelan native has done well since his return, albeit in limited at bats to date.  

In Hi A St Lucie and a handful of games in AA Binghamton, Edgardo is hitting .273/.294/.394 in 29 games, 6 of 7 in steals. 

Remarkably, after playing SS for the Fireflies in 2018, he has not played there in 2019 (that spot is manned by Manny Rodriguez).  But he has just made a single error in 2019 while playing 1B, 2B, 3B, and all 3 outfield positions, pretty tough to do in just 29 games.

The 6'1", 170 Fermin, who recently turned 21, several weeks younger than Romero, is younger still than half the guys the Mets just drafted. As such, he has time to show that he is a contender for a future  utility guy role in the majors.  It would seem that continuing to work on his pitch selection to increase walks, and adding some muscle, could do the trick there.   

I would recommend that the Mets dump a few veterans in the higher levels and allow kids like Fermin to play daily.

I do love the fact that both of these guys - Romero and Fermin - are being moved around defensively.

I'm not done yet.

Not every SS prospect is from Central America - MANNY RODRIGUEZ was born in Brooklyn, baby!

The 23 year old, 5'10", 170 M Rod was drafted in the 10th round by the Mets last year, so the fact that he is already the St Lucie Mets' everyday SS is impressive.  

So, how's M Rod doing? .260/.340/.323, and a K per game over 86 games.  

He hit .222 in April, ,306 in May, .211 in June and .278 so far in July.  He needs more Mays and Julys.  

He is though hitting better than the Mets' top prospect Andres Gimenez (.243 in AA), so relatively speaking, Manny is doing all right.

M Rod has 10 of 19 this year in steals, so apparently modest speed is there, and 32 errors in 134 career games at SS, so that needs to improve.

To me, he is playing as one would expect of a 23 year old 10th rounder of 2018.  The trick for Manny, to get to the NY Mets, is to play BETTER than a 10th rounder.  My guess is we will see Manny move up to AA in 2020, and we'll see if he can do just that.  

Three apparently comparable players above.

So let's see which one of these 3 dudes turns out to be NO. 1.


OPEN THREAD - Huge Contracts that Bring Meh Results

The deals that Manny Machado and Bryce Harper were record breaking.

How have they translated so far this season and how do their stats stand up to someone a lot of Mets fans have already given up (Michael Conforto)?:

Machado:    370-AB, .268, 25-HR, 66-RBI

Harper:        368-AB,  .259, 17-HR, 70-RBI

Conforto:     324-AB,  .250,  18-HR, 49-RBI

How would Mets fans have reacted had they handed out a $330 million contract to a guy delivering .258/17/70 or .270/25/66 for $300 million?



FLUSHING, N.Y., July 28, 2019 – The New York Mets tonight announced that the club has acquired All-Star RHP Marcus Stroman and cash considerations from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for minor league LHP Anthony Kay and minor league RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson.

Stroman, 28, entered today ranked fifth in the American League in ERA (2.96), with the third-lowest slugging percentage (.357) and eighth-lowest OPS (.656). He was named to the American League All-Star team earlier this month.

“Marcus is a dynamic talent who will bring tremendous passion to our team and energy our fans will truly appreciate,” Executive Vice-President and General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen said. “As a Long Island native, we believe that Marcus will thrive playing in New York.”

He owns the sixth-lowest HR/9 rate (0.72) in the majors and has yielded 10 home runs in 124.2 innings this year. Since his rookie season in 2014, Stroman ranks 10th in the majors in homers per nine innings (0.80).

The Medford, NY native has the fifth-best ERA (2.93) vs. National League clubs among all American League pitchers with 75.0 or more innings vs. the NL since 2014.

Among pitchers with at least 700.0 innings pitched since 2014, Stroman has allowed the third-fewest extra-base hits (221), behind Alex Wood (186) and Carlos Martinez (207).

Stroman is 47-45 with a 3.76 ERA in 135 major league games, 129 starts (all with Toronto).

Kay, 24, is 8-6 with a 3.13 ERA in 19 combined starts between Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League and Syracuse (AAA) of the International League this year.

Woods-Richardson, 18, is 3-8 with 4.25 ERA in 20 starts for Columbia (A) of South Atlantic League.

Reese Kaplan -- An Analysis of What BVW Has Done

As recently as Friday I implored the Mets here to go big or go home.  After all, half measures had only led to half results and frankly fans were tiring of payroll taking precedence over winning.  

Well, come Sunday afternoon while the world was waiting to see what major league talent the Mets would be trading away for prospects, instead they were the ones acquiring said talent and it was stretching their already thin roster of prospects to the breaking point.  They sent TJS-recovery lefty Anthony Kay and last year's big name, Simeon Woods-Richardson to Toronto for highly desired righty (and New York area native) Marcus Stroman in the midst of an All-Star season.  

In a way it reminded me of when Sandy Alderson acquired failed reliever as part of a flurry of moves in 2017 during the great mediocre reliever prospect haul when they had a closer in hand already in Addison Reed.  They knew by acquiring another closer with another year of financial control it opened up additional possibilities.  It didn't work out but the thought process was valid.

Right away the trade was greeted with derision from the fan base and local media who remembered BVW similarly sending top prospects Jared Kelenic and Justin Dunn to Seattle as part of the now ill-fated trade that brought disappointing Robinson Cano and a seemingly diminished Edwin Diaz to the Mets.  It didn't help that Kelenic started out like a house-afire in A ball while both former Mariners struggled mightily in New York.  We don't hear quite so much with Kelenic now hitting .252 in High A.  In fact, media outside of New York is calling it a good trade for the Mets...even more so if the rumor is true that Toronto threw in some money to make the deal happen.  

This season Kay was dominating AA which resulted in a promotion to Syracuse where he's hit the proverbial wall.  Remember, Syracuse is not the PCL so you can't forgive the manhandling to the tune of a 6.61 ERA on high altitude or dry air.  It could be that in his first full year after his surgery he's a bit fatigued and he may rebound greatly.  However, many scouts now feel that the 24 year old will finish the year in AAA, looking to debut at age 25 with back of the rotation stuff after greater promise when he was younger.  He has a 3.76 ERA for his minor league career and a solid if unspectacular 1.293 WHIP.  He averages a tick under a strikeout per inning and walks over 3.  It's a commendable record but many are living in the past based upon draft pedigree.

By contrast, Simeon Woods-Richardson may be pitching better than his numbers would indicate.  The righthander is in just his second year of pro ball at age 18.  He's fanning people at impressive rates and perhaps even more appealing is that he's not walking that many.  However, he has proven to be hittable, with 78 hits in 78 IP while sporting an ugly 5.06 ERA.  Hard throwers who can miss bats are always appealing, but for every successful major leaguer with that ability, there are dozens of Jack Leathersich and Josh Smoker types who couldn't harness their talents consistently.  

So what do the Mets have in Marcus Stroman?  In 2019 he's had clearly his best year ever in the majors.  Hitting into deGrom type of luck, his record is only 6-11, but he's done that with a 2.96 ERA and his usual terrific control.  He doesn't fan a huge number of hitters, but he's one of those guys who seems to alternate a great year with a mediocre one.  (Big red warning flags -- next year he'd be due for the bad one).  For his career in the majors he's pitched to a 3.76 ERA which is better than Jason Vargas, Zack Wheeler or Steven Matz even with that Jekyll and Hyde pattern of effectiveness.  Another red flag is his cost.  He's under team control for just one more year and he's already earning $7.4 million.  Chances are he he sniffs $10 million from an arbiter coming off this All-Star season for the upcoming 2020 campaign.  

Kind of lost in the hostility is the fact that BVW just upped the price for Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler and even Jason Vargas with one of the most heralded pitchers available at the trade deadline now off the market.  Supply and demand.  Some are suggesting this deal is a predecessor to filling the Mets minor league system with near-ready talent by dealing away a Noah Syndergaard.  Most will focus on the fact that Syndergaard is two years younger and under two more years of financial control as justification for condemning the Stroman move.  What if it is Zack Wheeler leaving instead of Syndergaard?  He's a year older, has had trouble staying healthy and will be a free agent at year's end.  Also you could always re-sign him a'la Jeurys Familia (well, hopefully if you do he'll be better than THAT).   

Right now it's too soon to make absolute conclusions about whether or not the deal was a good one or a bad one until we see the other shoe(s) dropped.  The price paid seems stiff by Mets standards but that is because the club has such a poor farm system that anyone with a glimmer of success rockets to the top of their prospect lists rather than taken as a whole against the rest of the league.  I'm still very much where I was firmly in the go big or go home camp and this move certainly opens up possibilities that are more appealing today than they were a week ago.  To be continued...


Mack - Transaction, Ervin Santana, Andres Regnault, P.J. Conlon,, Harol Gonzalez, Jared Biddy

Thursday, July 25th

- RHP Jared Biddy transferred from Columbia to short-season A Brooklyn

- RHP Alec Kisena transferred to Columbia from advanced-A St. Lucie

      Kudos –

AAA-Syracuse – SP Ervin Santana: 6-IP, ER, 2-K, 4.01
I predict he will the next SP call up once someone is dealt away this weekend to another team.

            AA-Binghamton – C Ali Sanchez: 3-4, R, RBI, .290

            A+ St. Lucie – RP Darwin Ramos: 1-IP, 0-R, K, 0.61

                  That’s a 0.61 ERA in 16 appearances.

            A-Columbia – RP Danny Hrbek: 2.1-IP, 0-R, 5-K

            Low-A Brooklyn – 3B Yoel Romero: 1-2, 2-R, .325

                  Removed from the game after 3 at bats. Hmm.

            Rookie – Kingsport – C Andres Regnault: 3-4. 2-R, .286

I have no idea why they don’t move this guy up a level. 

He’s impeding the development of Francisco Alvarez behind the plate.

            GCL – CF Blaine McIntosh: 3-5, 2-R,.333

Only 15 at bats so far this season but making an immediate name for himself.

Blaine was a 13th round pick this past June.
            DSL-1 – SS Cesar Berbesi: 2-4, RBI, .317

            DSL-2 – RP Enmanuel Almonte: 5.2-IP, 0-R, 6-K

Friday, July 26th

      The Mets released P P.J. Conlon.

Been a Met since Day 1 in 13th round of the 2015

Was rehabbing in Binghamton, Brooklyn, and the GCL Mets very successfully… 7-G, 6,2-IP, 0.00.

Makes no sense. There has to be more to this story.

AA-Binghamton OF, Quinn Brodey, placed on the temp IL

A+ St. Lucie OF, Jacob Zanon, sent to AA-Binghamton to fill the whole left open with the Brodey move.

     (the blue star Brodey has had a miserable season as a Pony. Only .227, only 3-HR, and an OPS of .652).

Kudos –

     AAA-Syracuse – CF Aaron Altherr: 3-4, 2-R, 4th HR, 4-RBI

     AA – Binghamton – SP Harol Gonzalez: 7-IP, 0-R, 4-K, 3.14

Harol is starting to come back and is once again dominating at this level. He has given up only 2-ERs in his past 3-ST, in 19-IP.

     A+ St. Lucie – SP Austin McGeorge: 5-IP, R, 8-K. 0.90
McGeorge seems to be successfully reinventing himself as a starter.

We will give him a blue chip and keep and eye out for him.

     A – Columbia – RP Jake Simon: 2.1-IP, 0-R, 5-K

     Low-A Brooklyn – SP Garrison Bryant: 7-IP, R. 3-K
           36th round pick in 2016.

     Rookie-Kingsport – SP Benito Garcia: 5.1-IP, 0-ER, 5-K

     GCL – LF Zach Ashford: 2-3, .354
           That’s .354 after 59 at bats… moving to blue

     DSL-1 – SP Christian Olivero: 5-IP, R, 2-K, 1.77
           Tagged as a blue prospect

DSL-2 – RP Onil Lozano: 2.1-IP, 0-R, K WIN (2-0)

Saturday, July 27th

            Ex-Met OF Matt den Dekker retired.

            Ex-Met prospect pitcher, Cameron Planck, retired.

          Kudos –

          AAA-Syracuse – RP Matt Blackham: 2-IP, 0-R, 3-K, 0.00-ERA

          AA-Binghamton – Tommy Wilson: 7-IP, ER, 9-K

          A+ St. Lucie – LF Wagner Lagrange: 2-4, R, .387

          A – Columbia – RP Allan Winans: 2-IP, 0-ER, 0-K

          Low-A Brooklyn – RP Jared Biddy: 2-IP, 0-R, 3-K, 0.00-ERA
That’s now a combined 0.00-ERA in 5 games between Columbia and Brooklyn.

He was undrafted out of Southeastern Louisiana University where he went 1-3, 2.92, 1.15, 12-SV last year.

          Rookie – Kingsport –

           GCL – RP Liam McCall: 2-2-IP, 0-R, 3-K

                 29th round pick in 2017

          DSL-1 – 1B Christopher Perez: 3-4

          DSL-2 – SP Jose Valdez: 2.2-IP, 0-ER, 4-K, 2.43