Housecleaning in Buffalo

Some strange goings on in Buffalo with the AAA Bisons.

The Mets / Bisons have released outfielders Wily Mo Pena and Bobby Kielty, and have dropped C/1B Javier Valentin.

In addition, the team has added lefthanded pitchers Ken Takahashi — who was just demoted from the big club — and Art Lopez, who was plucked off waivers from the San Diego Padres.

First of all, I didn’t realize a player on the disabled list could be released — Valentin is on the DL with a strained shoulder. Second, aren’t the Mets desperate for bats off the bench, particularly players who can play the outfield and/or first base?

Kielty had impressed with his hustle, hard nosed play, and line drive hitting from both sides of the plate in spring training, but suffered an injury that limited him to 8 games and 26 at-bats.

The real mystery, however, is the dumping of Pena, the one guy in the organization with the potential to hit balls out of Citi Field on a consistent basis. After a slow start, Pena has really heated up over the last month and a half (.346 in June), and was hitting .361 over his last ten games, including 2 HR, 2 doubles, and 7 RBI. Considering that Carlos Beltran’s knee is aching, and the Mets only legitimate homerun threat, Gary Sheffield, is limping around on one leg, you’d think they’d be inclined to keep Pena around. In fact, it seemed he was on the brink of a promotion. Can anyone in Buffalo gives a clue as to what might be the reason for Pena’s departure? Did he have a bad attitude? Was he lazy? (Not that laziness matters for the Mets.)

By the way, last night, non-prospect Jesus Feliciano pinch-hit for uber-prospect Fernando Martinez in the ninth inning of the Bison’s game vs. Charlottle — and doubled in a run.

(Hat tip to loyal MetsToday reader “Walnutz15” for much of this info)

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. tarheelcoach June 22, 2009 at 5:18 pm
    The word on another website was that Pena was upset that Evans got called up instead of him, and asked for his release.
  2. isuzudude June 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm
    Echoing tarheel, that’s what I heard too – that Pena asked out. Whether it was because he was unhappy of being picked over, or because he wanted a better chance of making it to the majors, is anybody’s guess.

    I really don’t understand the Takahashi reassignment, especially considering his replacement is going to be Pat Misch, who San Francisco already decided wasn’t good enough for their bullpen. Also, with all these moves, Bobby Parnell somehow survives his possible demotion. Make all the moves except the most obvious, huh Omar?

  3. mic June 23, 2009 at 12:02 am
    my spin on Tak was he has options…and he was supposed to spell Pedro lite as the 2nd LOOGY and clearly did not.

    – The DFa thing is also epidemic. I-dude fav Val ‘long ball’ pascucci was released by (houston?) this past weekend despite a .780 OPs.

    Also see comment at the link below: If you track Omar you know he has promoted quite aggressively and Lucas Duda, Ike Davis all represent prospects doing well. Also if the absysmal Buffalo team is not getting it done with senior players why not see what the youngster can do?

    Last yr Murphy, Evans were rushed mainly when Trot Nixon (last yrs Bobby Kielty) went down. But Carp could have excelled if calle over Murphy(?) and is turning heads now in Seattle-Tacoma. Why not see if Duda COULD be insurance for Murphy? or even a candidate to push Murphy for the soon to be vacant 1st base job. With Schneider a FA this offseason I am curious too in how the brass views Thole who leads AA in hitting at .350.

    Yes I-dude; i am very much a supporter/watcher of Mets prospects and I am wondering if the Mets are eyeing Jenry Meija for a potential look at starting in Citi field as early as NEXT year?

  4. isuzudude June 23, 2009 at 8:25 am
    Nice job to stay on top of things, mic. I was aware Robertson had been demoted to Binghamton, but didn’t realize he had gotten the boot along with Kielty yesterday. Pascucci was playing for the Dodgers’ AAA team, not Houston’s, but still I didn’t know he was a casualty of the DFA either. I doubt the Mets bark up that tree again.

    I’m also a stout follower of the minor league system. Lucas Duda doesn’t really jump off the page as a prized prospect to me; he doesn’t hit for enough power and strikes out a lot. Then again, Dan Murphy never knocked my socks off either and look where he’s wound up. I’m sure calling Duda up to Buffalo won’t hurt, and should give the Mets a better idea about what to do about 1B in 2010. I really like Josh Thole, and wish he’d get a callup to AAA, too, because I think he’s a good candidate to split the catching duties with Omir Santos on next year’s squad. He’s left-handed, which is a plus in a platoon situation with Santos, he walks more than he Ks, hits for a high average (career .290), and is throwing baserunners out at a sweet 30% clip this year. He’s essentially Brian Schneider with 50 more points on his batting average. As a cheap backup catcher, I’ll take that.

    I think you’re right that the Mets are eying Mejia for a 2010 look. He’s done well at every level the Mets have put him so far, which is really saying something for a kid who won’t even be 20 until this October. That said, I think it would be wise not to rush him for the sake of rushing him, and give him the rest of the year at Binghamton to continue to improve. Then, if he handles AA well this year, start him out in AAA next year with the chance of getting a callup if one of the top-5 starters go down.