Friday, July 30, 2004

Mets Screw UP- Trade Farm away

Oh God. It's like a nightmare come true. The Mets gave up the farm today. This is one of those Dykstra/Juan Samuel type moments. 1. Mets trade SCOTT KAZMIR and Jose Diaz to the Devil Rays for Victor Zambrano and Bartolome Fortunato. 2. Mets trade catcher Justin Huber to the Royals for minor league infielder Jose Bautista. 3. Mets trade Bautista, Ty Wigginton and Matt Peterson to the Pirates for Kris Benson and Jeff Keppinger. Lets start from the beginning with the Devil Rays deal. 1. Prior to the season, Kazmir was ranked as the second best prospect in the system, behind Kaz Matsui, and ahead of David Wright. Kazmir struggled a little bit due to injury, but recovered to pitch lights out in St. Lucie and earn his promotion to AA. With Binghamton, Kazmir was 2-1, 1.73 ERA, 2.08 RA, and the league was hitting .188 against him. He'd struck out 29 and walked 9 in 26 innings. That's awesome. And he's a 20 year old lefty. A future Stud. Jose Diaz was BA's 17th best Mets prospect entering the year. The former catcher features a live arm, but struggled with his control this year. The Mets received 28 year old arbitration eligible Victor Zambrano who this year is 9-7, 4.43 ERA, 4.789 Ra. The league is hitting .237 against him as he's allowed 107 hits in 128 innings. His K/9 sits at 7.66 after increasing steadily each of the last two years. Zambrano's a nice pitcher, and will help the Mets, but Kazmir alone would have been too much for me. Fortunato has some good AAA numbers for Durham out of the bullpen. 4-3 9 Saves, 2.42 ERA league hitting .183 against him. He's fanned 54 and walked 21 in his 44.2 innings. He'll be 30 in August. 2. Huber for Bautista. You can't give up on catchers who can hit......271/.417/.487 in AA, and was doing fine in AAA. Like young lefties, catchers who can hit are rare breeds. 3. Huber (by way of Bautista), Wigginton, and Peterson, for Benson and Jeff Keppinger. BA had Huber ranked as the sixth best prospect in the organization before the system by the way. Matt Peterson was the fourth ranked prospect in the Mets system according to BA before the season. Peterson's 22, and large at 6-5, 210, with the ceiling of a #2. Peterson was having a solid year in AA: 6-4, 3.27 ERA, 3.78 RA, with 90 K vs. 45 BB in 104.2 innings. He gave up 11 HR, but otherwise was just fine. Wigginton was a very useful everyday guy to have on the team given his versatility and his bat: .285/.335/.487 in 312 AB. Benson, who's contract is up at the end of this year has been a first round pick who's never quite lived up to expectations. His last two months were good, but his career has not been. Baseball Prospectus lists his most comparable pitchers coming into this year as: Bryan Rekar (2002 edition), Dick Bosman (1973), Roy Smith (1991). Other notable names on the list include: #7, Dustin Hermanson (2002), #9 James Baldwin (2001), #19 Steve Trachsel (2000). Benson is 8-4 with a 4.22 ERA and a 4.68 RA. His K/9 has slipped his year to 5.65 down from a high of over 7.5 in 2000. 24 year old second baseman, Jeff Keppinger is hitting .338/.387/.413 for AA Altoona. I like that OBP, and he's got 17 2B, 2 3B, and 1 HR in his first year in AA. Keppinger did not make BA's top 30 prospects, and he's having a fine year, but he is not among the caiber of prospects the Mets traded away. This will be remembered as a dark day in Metsland unless of course there are rings handed out this year with World Series Champions inscribed on them. I'm nearly speachless I'm so upset, but I have to put myself together and do a broadcast tonight, but my thoughts will hardly be on the Stockton Ports/Inland Empire 66ers game in front of me. For the record, the Pirates asked about Rangers stud 19 year old left John Danks and were immediately rebuffed by the Texas front office. Looks like Tampa and Pittsburgh found their suckers...

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Recaps for 7-26

        Scott Erickson last night:  Two innings, seven runs against the Expos.Remember, this was the man who would “solidify” the Mets starting rotation.The Expos.  This is a Montreal team dead last in the Majors with 350 runs,51 behind Milwaukee, last in OBP and last in Slugging.        Of course that nearly overshadowed David Wright’s first Major Leaguehomer,which we can all be excited about.       
I missed writing very badly last week.  I hope to be more regular thisweekfrom Rancho Cucamonga.

Stars of the Day:
AAA: Aaron Heilman/Danny Garcia
AA: Scott Kazmir/Josh Pressley
High A: Aarom Baldiris/Corey Ragsdale/Alhaji Turay/Tim McNab
Low A: Vincent Cordova/Ryan Harvey/Shawn Bowman
SSA: Joseph Williams/Ryan Coultas

Norfolk 6, Indianapolis 3       
Pinch hitter Mike Glavine drove in the winning run in the bottom of theseventh. Justin Huber began the rally with a walk.  Danny Garcia had theonly extra basehit a double in a 2-4 night.  Gerald Williams singled twiceand drove in two.  Justin Huber didn’t have a hit, but drew three walks.
Aaron Heilman earned the win, his fourth in a row to improve to 5-8. Heilman dealt seven innings and allowed three runs all in the sixth inningwhen he walked two batters with the bases loaded.  On the night he walked four and hit a batter while striking out two.  Heilman didn’t allow ahomerun for his second straight night.  Heilman has allowed a homer in 11 ofhis 20 Norfolk appearances, and tonight was only the third time in theseason that he has managed to go two consecutive appearances without givingup a long ball.Vic Darrensbourg worked a perfect eighth, striking out all three Indians hefaced.  Heath Bell gave up one hit and struck out one to record his ninthsave.

New Britain 2, @ Binghamton 5       
Oh yeah.  Scott Kazmir fired seven one run innings while striking outseven.  He gave up five hits, walked two and hit a batter.        Josh Pressley doubled twice, scoring a pair.  Centerfielder Wayne Lydon,who can fly, was 1-2 with two hit by pitches, but was caught stealing.Readers around here should know that I rarely reference a batting averagewithout the corresponding OBP, but know that no player in the Binghamtonlineup had a batting average over .300.St. Lucie 4, @Lakeland 3 (11 innings)        Homers by Aarom Baldiris (his 3rd) and shortstop Corey Ragsdale (his6th)sent this game into extra innings where a homer by Alhaji Turay (his 13th)won it for the Mets.  Baldiris and Turay were each 2-5.  Lastings Milledge doubled for his only hit.       
Tim McNab dealt three scoreless innings for the win.  He struck outthreewithout walking a batter and allowed just one hit.  Brian Bannister started, going six innings giving up three runs on six hits.  The former USC Trojan, Bannister struck out eight – his third highest total of the season.  JoseNunez bridged McNab and Bannister with two scoreless innings of his own.
Augusta 2, @ Capital City 5       
Vincent Cordova dominated: seven one run innings, with just three hitsand13 strikeouts without a walk.  Those 13 strikeouts are a career high,although he ended 2003 with 10 strikeouts in his final appearance forBrooklyn.  Cordova has a sick 7.167 K/BB ratio with 86 strikeouts againstjust 12 walks.  His ERA sits at 3.99 (46 ER/103.2 IP), but his RA is 5.21(60 R/103.2 IP) as he has allowed a very high number of unearned runs, whichis reflected in his .500 record – 7-6 so far.       
Thirdbaseman Shawn Bowman homer in four trips, to go along with a pairofwalks.  2001 draft and follow Jamar Hill homer and walked.  Ryan Harveymissed a homerun for the cycle as he singled, doubled and tripled.  Harvey,now 24, is hitting .330/.405/.500.  That .330 is third in the league, andthe .405 OBP is fifth, his 27 doubles are tied for fifth in the league.  Ifor one would like to see him face FSL pitching this season.  It’s not likethe St. Lucie outfield is loaded with top-shelf prospects.  The St. Lucieoutfield consists of two guys, Jonathan Slack (.276/.357/.378) and BobbyMalek (.254/.307/.409) who have made 80+ starts and two in Joe Jiannetti(.255/.307/.349) and Alhaji Turay (.254/.297/.466) who have made roughly 50 starts sharing the other spot.

Brooklyn 1 @ Aberdeen 3       
Seventeenth round pick Joseph Williams from St. Xavier (Ill.) fired sixscoreless innings to star the game.  There were baserunners, with five hitsand four walks, but Williams kept the Ironbirds at bay to lower his ERA to1.83.  He’s fanned 34 and walked 15 in his 39.1 IP, and the league ishitting just .181 against him.       
Outfielder Corey Coles had the only extrabase hit, a double.  ShortstopRyan Coultas, the sixth rounder from UC Davis singled, stole a base, anddrove in the only Brooklyn run of the night.  No Cyclone had more than onehit.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Wrap-Up and catchup from 7-19

            I am going to start reporting and calculating total runs against average alongside the more traditional ERA for pitchers.  After all, the pitcher should still be responsible for putting the guys on base.  As writers Michael Wolverton and Dayn Perry among others have noted, the issue of separating defense and pitching statistics is complicated, and the ERA rule merely makes a half-assed attempt, while the RA avoids the any attempt at correcting for defense.  A pitcher on the Ports put the issue a little less delicately when he told that “after the error, it’s like saying nothing matters, and you could just shit the bed.”  Like OBP, just give RA a few years. 
            Would anyone care to hazard a guess as to how many runs Mike Cameron has saved Mets pitchers this year?  
            The White Sox again traded prospects for Carl Everett.  I asked a sportswriter what he thought that would do to clubhouse atmosphere.  He replied flippantly that it wouldn’t do a thing because the other payers would regard him as an alien presence.  I think that’s wishful thinking out of an A’s fan. 
            The Tides went 2-2 following the All-Star Break, and has been getting solid starting pitching all the way around. 
Thursday, fresh off his Futures Game appearance, David Wright homered twice to give the Tides a 3-0 lead they’d eventually give back.  Matt Ginter started but only lasted one inning.  Randy Keisler allowed four runs in his six innings.  Tyler Yates dealt a scoreless inning, but hit a batter and allowed a hit.  David Wright is handling AAA very well: .308/.392/.607.  That heady .607 slugging percentage can be explained with the fact that of his 33 AAA hits, eight have been doubles, and eight(!) have been homeruns.  Wright’s running buddy from AA, Prentice Redman is still adjusting to AAA: .241/.298/.379.  You can’t blame his strikeout rate, 20 in 87 AB, because he struck out in nearly 1 out of 4 AA plate appearances with 68 K in 245 AB.
Recently signed thirty-four year old Vic Darensbourg dealt a perfect inning.  The lefty is a good candidate to show up in the Mets bullpen shortly after pitching well in AAA Charlotte where the league was hitting .22 against him and he had 33 strikeouts against nine walks.  His left/right splits do not exactly suggest a lefty specialist as rights are hitting .206 against him, while lefties a heftier .261.  He does strike out lefties at over one an inning in AAA.
Friday Pat Strange dropped allowed just one unearned run on four hits.  He fanned three and walked just one.  Victor Diaz tripled and Craig Brazell had a pair of singles. 
Saturday Bob Keppel earned his first win of the year.  Gerald Williams homered, and dropped a sacrifice bunt in the same game.  The Tides scored four runs with two RBI.
Sunday, Aaron Heilman turned in his fourth solid start in a row.  He earned his third win in a row for his seven innings.  Heilman allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits.  He struck out eight and walked two.  In four starts in July in 26 innings his ERA is 2.42 and his total runs against average is 3.11.  With 26 strikeouts and ten walks his K/BB ratio is 2.6.  That’s all good, but he’s still allowed a homerun in two of those starts.  He’s given up 15 homers, tied for ninth in the league, in 110 innings so far this year.  Victor Diaz homered and doubled.  David Wright dropped another 2-4 performance with a walk and an RBI.  Tyler Yates picked up a John Franco style nerve racking save: 1.1 innings, 1 hit, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, but he got the job done.
            At 55-39 the B-Mets lead the Eastern League’s Northern Division by three games ahead of New Hampshire.  Angel Pagan’s .312 batting average is fourth in the league and he’s hitting .312/.366/.438.  The team features three pitchers in the top ten in the league in era: Jason Scobie (3-2, 2.91 ERA, 3.53 RA), Matt Peterson (6-4, 3.27 ERA, 3.78 RA), and Neal Musser (9-4, 3.33 ERA, 4.34 RA).   Twenty-three year old Wayne Lydon (.269/.339/.352) leads the league with 52 stolen bases, nearly twice the total of second place Tyrell Godwin who has 27.  Even without David Wright and Prentice Redman the B-Mets have won 3 of their last 5 including two on Sunday.
            Scott Kazmir won his first AA game with five one run innings in a 10-3 victory Thursday.  He fanned five, but walked one and plunked two.  Josh Pressley doubled in a 2-3 night while driving in three.
St. Lucie
            The Floridians are playing .500 ball in the second half at 12-13, and find themselves fourth in the tightly bunched East Division four games behind Vero Beach.  Aarom Baldiris is hitting .305/.387/.383, big numbers in the pitcher friendly FSL.   That OBP puts him sixth in the league, and his .305 average puts him eighth.  Jonathan Slack (.281/.361/.391) is tied for second in the league with 27 stolen bases, but has only been caught 4 times. 
            Lastings Milledge was promoted from Capital City and is 3-9, with a double and a triple.  Firstbaseman Brett Harper, originally a 45th round pick in 2000 is now clubbing along to a .360/.455/.579, all numbers that would put him in the top three in the league if he had enough AB to qualify.
            Yusmeiro Petit earned his first High A win this week with six scoreless, one hit innings versus Jupiter.  He fanned six and walked two.  In 11.2 FSL innings, he’s given up just one run. 
            Once again, this will be a relatively slow recap week as I will be on the road again.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Mets Weekend Wrap 7-11

Two Mets prospects played in the Major League Baseball Futures game, for the country’s best prospects: Yusmeiro Petit and David Wright. It’s dangerous to read too much into their performances, since this was an All-Star game, but even so, the scouts were there in force, and it’s a very cool showcase. For each prospect, there was some good and some bad.
Defensively, David Wright had a rough third inning behind Rangers prospect John Danks. Danks, a 19 year old has a big time curve and induces grounder after grounder. With a runner on first, Danks induced the World centerfielder to bounce the ball on the left side, to Wright’s left. He angled back, let the ball play him, and had the ball bounce off his glove for an error. With his next chance, with runners at first and second and one out, Wright received another bouncing ball at third. This one should have been two, by way of second, to get out of the inning. Instead, Wright snagged the ball, chased and tagged the charging runner, which left runners again at first and second. Next, Danks induced a slow roller towards third, that Wright didn’t get to quickly enough to make a play. This would have taken a sensational play to get the runner at first. So: two blunders, one half mental (apologies to Yogi)/half physical, and one completely mental. I watched the inning with Danks’ current teammates which also includes one of Wright’s buddies- Josh Rupe, who was disappointed with Wright’s defensive performance. He promised to call his boy and give him a hard time. On the plus side, Wright at the plate was 1-3. The one was a line drive single up the middle on a 98 mile an hour 2-2 fastball.
Meanwhile, Yusmeiro Petit was one of three pitchers alongside Danks, and the Expos’ Clint Everts, who was selected to the game based on their achievements in low A. I didn’t watch his inning, but listened online. He faced three batters, and retired two with a single and a strikeout; that’s the good. However, he allowed both runners he inherited to score.


Friday 7/9: Norfolk 8 @ Scranton WB 1
Saturday 7/10: Norfolk 4 @ Scranton 1
Sunda 7/11: Norfolk 6 @ Scranton 2

Sunday saw a good performance by Aaron Heilman who gave up just a 2 run homer in six innings. He struck out 4, and walked five, while allowing five hits in six innings. Tyler Yates struck out three in an inning in which he faced four batters, but didn’t allow a hit or walk. Pedro Feliciano worked a perfect ninth with a pair of whiffs. Prentice Redman homered.
Saturday was Scott Erickson time. He went 8.1 innings and allowed one run and seven hits. He struck out two and walked two. That’s solid, but hardly dominating. Victor Diaz had a pair of hits, which included a double. Gerald Williams homered.
Friday night Randy Keisler hurled seven one run innings. He struck out six without walking a batter while giving up seven hits. Yates gave up one hit and fanned two in one inning. Royce Ring gave up a hit in the ninth.
I’ll take Keisler’s 6Ks over Erickson’s 2 any day of the week.

The big news is Scott Kazmir’s AA debut Saturday. He described himself as shaky, but left with the game tied. He went six innings and allowed two runs. Kaz fanned seven but walked five.
Ken Chenard started again Sunday and was solid, earning the win for his five shutout innings. He gave up just three hits. He struck out six, but plunked two. Jason Scobie went four innings for his first save of the year. Josh Pressley was 2-3 with a pair of doubles and 3 RBI. Jeff Duncan was 3-5 with a triple and a pair of singles. Chase Lambin drove in three with a double and two singles.
Friday Bowie scored a 9-0 victory. This one was a 2-0 game in the seventh when Neal Musser left the game. Musser gave up just one earned run, and allowed but three hits over his seven frames. He fanned four, but walked only one. Jose Diaz “had his titties lit.” Six runs, 2 walks, 2 HPB, 2 hits. The B-Mets managed only two hits.

St. Lucie

St. Lucie 5 @ Jupiter 4 Sunday; 25 year old Rule 5 draftee Brian Edwards dealt six inning ad gave up one run. He struck out four, without walking a batter. The big hit in the game: Alhaji Turay’s three run homer in the bottom of the eighth to put Binghamton ahead.
St. Lucie 2, Jupiter 1 (18 innings); !!!! Orlando Roma fired eight one hit innings while fanning 10. Tim McNab won the game for his 4.2 innings while striking out five.

I’m not sure how much writing I’ll do this week from Visalia, but I’d like to find a computer.
As you might have noticed, I switched formats halfway through the report. Since on Sunday, I try to cover a little more, which makes for the easiest reading?

Pass on to friends!!!

Friday, July 09, 2004

Mets Minor League Recaps for 7-8

From Adam Rubin in the Daily News: “Most Mets officials have never seen Soler pitch, but the belief is that the righthander, who throws in the low-90s and is purported to be 24 years old, could be in the rotation after several minor-league starts.” Let me get this right, $3 Million dollars, and you’ve never seen him pitch, AND his CUBAN birth certificate says he’s 24, AND he’s had two major shoulder surgeries... Oh, now I get it. Who knows, maybe Alain Soler takes the Mets to the pennant in 2004. “The belief is that the righthander, who throws in the low 90s….” Belief? George Bush believes that we are winning the War on Terror. I want a scout or a GM to KNOW what a guy throws.
Also from Rubin: “Soler’s addition and the likely promotion of Scott Erickson from Triple-A Norfolk…could solidify a rotation that includes shaky back-end starters Matt Ginter and Jae Seo.” Huh? Scott Erickson isn’t a shaky back-end starter? Just for fun, lets compare some AAA numbers:

Erickson: 2-3, 5.15 ERA, 43.2 IP, 49 H, .283 BA, 5 HR, 10 BB, 28 K
WHIP: 1.36 K/BB: 2.8 K/9: 5.83
Ginter: 0-2, 1.56 ERA, 34.2 IP, 27 H, .211 BA, 1 HR, 4 BB, 27 K
WHIP: 0.89 K/BB: 6.75 K/9: 7.01
Seo (2002): 6-9, 3.99, 128.2 IP, 145 H, .284 BA, 14 HR, 22 BB, 87 K
WHIP: 1.30 K/BB: 3.95 K/9: 6.09

Erickson’s numbers are actually fairly similar to Seo’s 2002, with a WHIP around 1.3 and a K/9 around 6. But Seo’s control was better as evidenced by his K/BB ratio. Ginter’s performance at AAA was far superior than Erickson’s in every dimension and he’s ten years younger.

Stars of the Day:
AAA: Pat Strange/Gerald Williams
A: Jay Caligiuri/Jonathan Slack
High A: Jonathan Slack/ Jay Caligiuri
High A: Aarom Baldiris/Corey Ragsdale
A: Lastings Milledge/Rashad Parker

Norfolk 3, @ Scranton-WB 2
Pat Strange won his first game in a month, with his best start in nearly two. He gave up seven hits and two runs over six innings, while fanning four. Jason Roach followed with two innings and allowed just one basehit. Tyler Yates got his first save for a perfect ninth with two strikeouts.
The Tides used a pair of homeruns to do all their damage. David Wright’s solo shot in the first put Norfolk up 1-0. Gerald Williams’ two run returned the lead to Norfolk at 3-2. Both Wright and Williams were 1-4. Esix Snead and Rodney Nye each doubled for their only hit. In fact, no Norfolk hitter had multiple hits as Norfolk needed just five hits, four of which went for extra bases.
Javier Cordona started tonight behind the plate. The 29 year old spent all of last year in the independent Atlantic League. He’s at AA, but not much at AAA or the major league level. He last saw the bigs in 2002 when he hit .103 in 39 AB for the Padres.

Off. The B-Mets begin a four game series vs. Bowie Friday night.

St. Lucie 4, @ Sarasota 6 (10 innings)
Chris Durbin’s two run homer in the tenth off Robert Paulk won the game for Sarasota. That ruined Paulk’s otherwise solid 3.1 innings of relief work. Brian Bannister worked in and out of trouble for the first 6.1 innings allowing four runs, two earned. He gave up eight hits, walked two unintentionally, issued one intentional pass, and plunked a pair.
Jonathan Slack was 3-5 with a stolen base and a pair of runs scored from the top of the order. Aarom Baldiris was 2-5 with two singles. Jay Caligiuri was 2-4, with a homer and 3 RBI.

St. Lucie 1 @ Sarasta 10
This was a looong doubleheader. Yusmeiro Petit started and lost for St. Lucie, but was the best pitcher of the ballgame for the Mets: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 2 K. Luz Portobanco gave up three runs in 2.1 innings, and David Byard surrendered 6 in his 2.
Two Mets had two hits: Aarom Baldiris singled twice with an RBI, and Corey Ragsdale singled and doubled. That was it.

Capital City 6, @ Asheville 16
Ivan Maldonado was charged with 13 earned runs in 3.1 innings.
Lastings Milledge was 3-5 with a solo homer. Rashad Parker singled and doubled in five trips. Jamar Hill and Blake Whealy each had one hit: a solo homer.

Off. The Cyclones play Staten Island this weekend.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Mets Minor League Recaps for 7-7

Scott Kazmir was promoted to AA Binghamton and is scheduled to make his AA debut Saturday at 7:05 against the Bowie Baysox. He should be added to the roster Friday. I read on, that Yusmeiro Petit’s start in St. Lucie this week was supposed to be a spot start, but he was so good, the Mets were thinking about keeping him in Florida. Could that have pushed Kazmir to AA? Or maybe it was just Kaz’s 0.78 ERA in his last four starts that did it.
Ryan Harvey earned Topps Player of the month honors for the SAL in June for his .381/.458/.667 month that included a 17 game hit streak. He had 32 hits in the month, and an even 16 of them, twelve doubles and four homers went for extra bases. And he walked seven times.
Ian Bladergroen, who was having a huge (.349/.375/.554) breakout season is now done for the season after tearing ligaments in his left wrist.

Stars of the Day:
AAA: Victor Diaz/Bob Keppel
AA: Matt Peterson/Angel Pagan
A: Brian Walker/Blake Whaley/Ryan Harvey
R: Seth Pietsch

Richmond 2, @ Norfolk 4
Victor Diaz was the hero tonight with a two run pinch hit double in the bottom of the eighth to break a 2-2 tie. Diaz’s hit scored Rodney Dye and John Pachot who had each singled. David Wright: a single, a double and a walk.
Bob Keppel threw the first two innings and allowed nothing but struck out two Braves. Then the rains came. A 94 minute rain delay followed. Jake Joseph allowed two runs, neither earned in four innings of relief. Mike Meyers walked one in a scoreless inning. Pedro Feliciano snagged the win, his fourth for striking out two batters in the top of the eighth. Heath Bell struck out a batter for his fifth save.
Each team committed four errors in an ugly game that didn’t end until 11:52 local time.

Binghamton 12, @ Erie 9
Matt Peterson cruised through the first six innings giving up two earned runs while striking out eight. Then the bullpen of Blake McGinley and Kole Strayhorn make this one a lot more interesting by giving up seven earned runs over the final two innings.
You gotta feel for Erie pitching. The defense committed eight errors so 8 of Binghamton’s 10 runs were unearned.
Angel Pagan drove in four with a three run triple and a sacrifice fly. He added a double to complete a 2-4 night. Karim Garcia drove in three runs with a double and sacrifice fly in five AB. Chris Basak was 3-4 with a double and two RBI. Wayne Lydon put together an amusing line: 0-3, 2 BB, 3 R, 1 SB.

St. Lucie
Rained out.

Capital City 12 @ Asheville 2
Something I don’t understand in the boxscore: Matt Lindstrom is listed as the starter, but didn’t face a single batter. Brian Walker went the first 5.2 “real” innings, and gave up two runs on seven hits. Bryan King earned the long distance save in a 10 run game. He was perfect facing the minimum 10 batters in 3.1 innings with four strikeouts.
The Bombers broke a 3-2 game after three innings wide open with a five run fifth, and a four run sixth and set a season high with 17 hits.
The big hit in that five run fifth was Blake Whaley’s three run blast. Whaley finished 2-4. Shawn Bowman was 2-3 with a two run homer in the sixth, a single, a walk, and a sac fly. Andy Wilson doubled twice. Ryan Harvey was 3-5 with a double.

Brooklyn @ Auburn
Rained out. The game will not be made up this season.

Burlington 2 @ Kingsport 11
Seth Pietsch was 2-3 with a HR, and three RBI. DH Travis Garcia had 5 RBI in a 2-4 night that included a homer and a single. Garcia played at every level of low A last year: Brooklyn, Kingsport and Capital City where he hit .288 in 59 AB.

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Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Mets Minor League Recaps for 7-6

The Mets are making it hard for me to keep thinking only of the future. I honestly would have been pleased to be within 2 games of .500, instead of 2 games from first one game past the halfway mark. Now, I just hope and pray they don’t raid the farm system to trade for a mediocre aging expensive talent.
Eric Gagne. I lost some respect for John Smoltz when I heard him say on the radio that he thought Gagne’s 84 straight saves was more impressive than Orel’s 59 scoreless. Seriously. I don’t think this is a record that will ever be broken, and more importantly, people shouldn’t even try. Someday, and I hope it will be soon, managers will figure out that saving their best reliever for the save is silly.

Stars of the day:
AAA: David Wright/Aaron Heilman
AA: Lance Caraciolli/Angel Pagan/Chris Basak
High A: Tim McNab/Corey Ragsdale
A: Lastings Milledge/Micah Mangrum

Richmond 3, @ Norfolk 6
Good news. Aaron Heilman picked up only his second win of the season against eight losses. To earn the win he dealt six innings allowing two runs, but just one earned run. He did allow six hits. Heilman struck out seven while walking one. Lefty Pedro Feliciano gave up one hit in a scoreless seventh. Tyler Yates gave up a hit and a walk with one strikeout in the eighth.
David Wright’s only hit was a two run homer. He also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Vance Wilson was 2-4 with a solo homerun. Craig Brazell tripled for his only hit.

Binghamton 4, @ Erie 10
Wayne Ough made it only an inning plus giving up six runs, all earned. Lance Caraccioli gave the B-Mets a chance with three scoreless innings.
Wayne Lydon singled, doubled and scored from the leadoff spot. Angel Pagan homered, driving in two and singled as well. Chris Basak drilled two solo homers as well, giving him three in three nights. Twenty six year old Basak started the season in Norfolk where he went .265/.293/.504, that OBP of .293 is almost impressively low. He walked 5 times versus 117 at bats. In Binghamton he’s up to .270/.360/.520 and has 19 walks versus 152 AB.

St. Lucie 0, @ Sarasota 3
Fresh off last night’s marathon, the pitching continued to dominate this series. St. Lucie managed only seven singles, and three of ‘em belonged to Corey Ragsdale. Aarom Baldiris had a pair of hits as well to increase his numbers to .299/.386/.378.
Matthew Lindstrom went 5.2 and gave up three runs on six hits. He was doomed by his five walks. Tim McNab dealt 2.1 perfect innings striking out two.

Capital City 4, @ Asheville 15
The Tourists Bombed the Bombers pounding out 13 hits and four homeruns. Tanner Osberg gave up the first ten. Micah Mangrum mopped up by going a perfect 2.1 with 4 strikeouts.
Lastings Milledge had more than half the Bombers hits. He was 4-5 with a solo homer. Milledge is redhot: in July he is hitting .419/.419/.710. That’s 13/31 with three doubles, a pair of homers and three stolen bases in six games. Shortstop David Reaver singled and doubled in five trips. Catcher Yunir Garcia singled twice and drove in a pair.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Mets Minor League Recaps for 7-5

Check out Avkash at the Raindrops. He did a very cool analysis of monthly splits for a few prospects a few days ago. Also, he’s written up some recaps for the last few days. If you’re reading this, you should check his work out.

Stars of the Day:
AAA: Craig Brazell/Pedro Feliciano
AA: Ken Chenard/Wayne Lydon/Chase Lambin
High A: Scott Kazmir/The Bullpen/Jonathan Slack
SSA: Dante Brinkley/Ryan Coultas

Richmond 11, Norfolk 6
Norfolk led 6-1 after five and a half innings thanks to a Craig Brazell grandslam and five one run innings from Scott Erickson.
However, Richmond hung a five spot on the board in the sixth, and added three in the seventh, and two in the eighth. Mike Meyers was charged with five runs in .1 of an inning! Pedro Feliciano retired two to get Norfolk out of the sixth. Tyler Yates took the loss for allowing three runs, two earned on three hits in one inning of work. Royce Ring allowed a pair as well.
The Tides mustered only five hits. Craig Brazell’s grandslam was his only hit of the night. Victor Diaz singled in four trips. Gerald Williams singled, doubled, and was hit by a pitch.
Norfolk has now lost five in a row.

Binghamton 6, Erie 3
Ken Chenard improved to 5-1 with his second straight victory as a starter. He gave up three runs on five hits while walking two and fanning four. Tim Lavigne picked up the three inning save.
Two bigleaguers made their rehab debuts. Vance Wilson, making his first rehab start went 1-4, but his only homer was a homerun. Karim Garcia was 0-3 with a walk.
Shortstop Gil Velazquez drilled a two run homer for his only hit. Wayne Lydon was 2-5 at the top of the order with a stolen base. Chase Lambin was 3-4. Ron Acuna drove in two with his two singles.

St. Lucie 2, Sarasota 0 (19 innings)
Oh god. Four hours and 56 minutes. Eighteen scoreless innings. Two total runs.
St. Lucie scored the game’s only runs in the top of the nineteenth. Corey Ragsdale walked and Jonathan Slack singled to put runners on first and second. Wilson Batista bunted them along to second and third for the first out. Aaron Baldiris singled home Ragsdale, and Jay Caligiuri’s sacrifice fly brought home Slack with the second run. Slack was 3-8.
Scott Kazmir did it again. This time for six innings. He gave up five hits, struck out three and walked one. In his last four starts, since June 19th, he has a microscopic 0.78 ERA (2 ER/23 IP). He’s whiffed 21 while walking nine. The league is hitting just .198 against him over this span. Believe it or not, he did not factor in the decision.
David Byard got the win for his three innings of work. He followed four innings from Brian Edwards who gave up just two hits and didn’t walk a batter. Robert Paulk alloed just one hit in his three innings. Luz Portobanco gave up one hit in his two innings. Scott Strickland was the first reliever in relief of Kazmir and pitched a perfect seventh. St. Lucie pitching recorded only eight strikeouts and two unintentional walks. Sarasota pitching fanned 20 Mets.

Capital City

Brooklyn 4, Auburn 5
Dante Brinkley was 3-5 and drove in two. Sixth round pick Ryan Coultas singled, doubled and walked. The double was his first extra base hit as a professional. Derran Watts doubled and walked in four official at bats. Aaron Hathaway doubled.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Mets Minor League Recaps for 6-30

Stars of the Day:
AAA: Scott Erickson/Victor Dias
AA: Ken Chenard/Chris Basak
High A: Scott Kazmir/Andy Wilson
A: Ryan Danly/Ian Bladergroen/Wilson Batista
SSA: Dante Brinkley
R: Josh Wyrick/Seth Pietsch

Pawtucket 0, Norfolk 3
The Tides got two runs off Byung-Hyun Kim in his two innings of work for Pawtucket. Victor Diaz drove home all three Norfolk runs with a homerun and a double, Norfolk’s only extra base hits of the night. David Wright was 2-4, the only other tide with more than one hit.
Scott Erickson turned in his best outing on any level: a scoreless 7.2 innings. If you wanted to nitpick, you would point to the eight baserunners he allowed between five hits and three walks, while only striking out two. Heath Bell struck out one in a perfect ninth for his fourth save.

Akron 3, Binghamton 9
I tried to listen the Binghampton broadcast online tonight, but the server kept disconnecting. It was a frustrating experience. The other times I’ve tried to listen to Binghamton’s games, I’ve never been able to establish a connection.
Ken Chenard won to go to 4-1. He threw five innings, and gave up three runs, and two homeruns. Lance Caraccioli and Blake McGinley each gave up two hits in two scoreless innings.
Catcher Justin Huber continued his hot hitting with a pair of doubles in a 2-4 effort. Chase Lambin’s homerun was his only hit of the night. Chris Basak drove in four runs with a homerun and went 2-3 with two walks. Wayne Lydon and Angel Pagan each doubled. Pagan’s .319 average is now tied for fourth in the league, his OBP is just .372. He has 16 doubles, five triples and two homers but has walked just 25 times in 307 PA.

St. Lucie 8, Vero Beach 2
Yes, Yes, Yes!! Scott Kazmir: 6.0 innings, three hits, 6 strikeouts, 3 walks, and the win. In his last three starts Kazmir has a 1.06 ERA (2 ER/17 IP) and has 18 strikeouts versus eight walks.
Meanwhile, the offense blasted away with three homeruns and fourteen hits. Jay Caligiuri’s homer was part of his 2-5 night with 2 RBI. Alhaji Turay’s was a solo shot and his only hit. Andy Wilson was 2-3 with his homer and three RBI. The non-drafted free agent from Stetson, is hitting .429 in the five games since his promotion from Capital City.

Capital City 1, Rome 0
The rain shortened a doubleheader into just five innings of baseball. The one run the bombers pushed across in the fourth benefited from the sloppy track. Wilson Batista drew a walk, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error on Braves catcher Miguel Bernard. Ian Bladergroen drove him home with a sacrifice fly to increase his SALly leading total of 73 RBI. His line of .342/.399/.598 puts him in third in the league in batting, eighth in on base percentage and first in slugging. His 39 extra base hits are one off the league lead.
Ryan Danly dealt five scoreless innings and allowed just three hits, while fanning three. He’s won both games he’s appeared in; one in Capital City and one in Brooklyn. He was a draft and follow: originally a 38th round draft pick in 2000 who signed in May 2001.

Brooklyn 3, Hudson Valley 11
Dante Brinkley doubled twice and drove in one. The 23 year old has seen stops already this year in St. Lucie and Capital City and didn’t hit over .250 in either league.

Greeneville 5, Kingsport 16
Josh Wyrick was 3-4 with a double, homerun and three RBI. Wyrick, out of Porterville (CA) CC was the Mets 11th round selection. Seth Pietsch drove in seven, with a triple, HR, as part of a 3-5 night. An eighth rounder last year, Pietsch is now hitting .410/.477/.821 in his second time round in Kingsport. I think we’ll be hearing from these two a little bit.