Paul is a freelance writer, blogger, and broadcast technology professional residing in Denver. A New Jersey native, he is a long-suffering Mets fan, a recently-happy Giants fan, and bewildered Islanders fan. He's also a fair-weather Avalanche and Rockies supporter. In his spare time, he enjoys the three Gs: Golf, Guitars, and Games.
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Did the Mets Overreact to Wheeler’s Second Start?

Does it make sense to change a pitcher’s mechanics after two major league starts?

That’s what pitching coach Dan Warthen did. It was in response to Zack Wheeler’s second start in which he was apparently tipping his pitches. Mets TV analyst Ron Darling noticed that Wheeler was slowing down his motion when he threw his curveball. He made it a point to say he didn’t slow down his motion on his slider, just the curve. So was that worth an immediate mechanical adjustment?

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Link Roundup: Wheeler, Marcum, Denver Layover

After splitting a two-game series with the Chicago White Sox, the Mets will play a makeup game in Denver today against the Rockies. This is a makegood for one of the games that was snowed out back in April. Back then, the temperature was in the 20s. Today, it’s expected to reach the mid-90s. So, at least, another snowstorm looks unlikely.

However, the Mets will have to cool off Rox outfielder Michael Cuddyer, who’s riding a 23-game hitting streak.

Former Rockie Eric Young, Jr. returns to Colorado for the first time since being waived by his old club. He’s been a revalation since joining the Mets in a trade that sent RHP Collin McHugh to Colorado. In his first couple of weeks, he’s been the leadoff spark the Mets have missed at the top of the order since Jose Reyes departed.

Zack Wheeler had trouble putting ChiSox hitters away on Tuesday, and was apparently tipping his pitches, as pointed out by Ron Darling, among others.

Last night, Shaun Marcum picked up his first win of the season, tossing 8 scoreless innings (a feat he also accomplished in relief during the infamous 20-inning game with the Marlins earlier this year).

Pitchers Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero will appear in the MLB futures game at Citi Field over the All-Star break. Incidentally, Mookie Wilson will manage team USA, and Edgardo Alfonzo will manage the World team.

Check out the Kranepool Society’s podcast featuring special guest Howie Rose.

With Ike Davis apparently finding his swing in Las Vegas, what is his future in the Mets organization?

Keep following the daily drama that is New York Mets baseball here on Mets Today.

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Niese Has Partial Rotator Cuff Tear

Jon Niese will miss the next couple of weeks with a partial tear of his rotator cuff.

Jonathon Niese has been diagnosed with a partially torn rotator cuff, although surgery is not immediately being recommended, assistant general manager John Ricco said.

The diagnosis came after Niese was examined by team doctor David Altchek on Friday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.

Niese had departed a start on Thursday in Atlanta in the fourth inning, after experiencing pain in his pitching shoulder and a drop in velocity while delivering pitches to Tyler Pastornicky.

The southpaw landed on the disabled list Friday.

The Mets called up submariner Greg Burke to take Niese’s roster spot.

He doesn’t need surgery…yet. The team will try to treat the injury with rest and physical therapy – pretty standard procedure. Surgery is always the last option.

One wonders if Niese’s outings in arctic conditions in Minneapolis/St. Paul and Denver had anything to do with his shoulder troubles. He’s also struggled with his arm angle, which may have either caused or been a result of shoulder discomfort.

It’s a shame this happened just when the starting rotation, present and future, was starting to come together. It will be up to Gee, Marcum, and Hefner to step it up.

Who knows how serious this is yet, but any shoulder injury is disconcerting.

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Wheeler: Leaving Las Vegas, Montero: Viva Las Vegas

Wheeler is scheduled to debut on June 18.

Wheeler is scheduled to debut on June 18.

Zack Wheeler looked sharp against Tacoma in his final tune-up before his imminent major league debut on June 18. Limited to 85 pitches, Wheeler went 5.2 innings, allowing a run on a solo homer by Carlos Peguero, walking 2 and striking out 7. Peguero’s homer was the only hit surrendered by the lanky right-hander.

He even impressed Tacoma’s manager, former Mets catcher John Stearns.

“He looked very good tonight: Those first five innings, he was just outstanding,” he said. “Throwing mid-90s with his fastball and two or three other pitches — he’s got the breaking ball down in the zone and the fastball up — he’s going to be a big league No. 1 or 2 starter for a long time, in my opinion.”

Wheeler’s numbers are eerily similar to Matt Harvey‘s numbers before his promotion last year. And not just his season numbers, but his career minor league numbers. Here’s further analysis about their similarities.

Rafael Montero has been promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas to take Wheeler’s place. Montero has been dominant this year at Double-A Binghamton, as he has been at every level in the minors. He got a spot start for the 51s earlier this year, and pitched very well, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits in 6.2 innings before the bullpen blew the game (get used to it, kid).

In what has been a dirge of a season thus far, we Mets fans need to cling to whatever positivity comes our way (for the sake of our mental health), and these two player moves are reason for hope.

Yes, it’s been said there is no such thing as a can’t-miss pitching prospect, but I’m allowing myself to be optimistic about both of these pitchers. Wheeler’s numbers combined with his plus stuff make it likely that he will succeed in the major leagues.

Meanwhile, Montero’s numbers are outstanding – even better than Wheeler’s in some categories. They say he doesn’t throw as hard as Wheeler and Harvey, but kind of lives in the 92-94 range with excellent command. That’s why his strikeout to walk ratio is nearly 6:1. His WHIP in three seasons of minor league ball is below 1.00.

Now he’ll get a true test of his abilities in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.

We all remember the can’t-miss guys who missed (Bill Pulsipher, Paul Wilson, Yusmeiro Petit – mentioned in the article linked above). They had good minor league numbers too. But there have been hits as well (Harvey, Dwight Gooden, Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman).

The Mets are counting on the Wheelers and Monteros of the world to solidify their pitching staff for years to come. Let’s hope they live up to the billing.

Update: Terry Collins says Montero is on an innings limit this year – he’ll probably be capped at about 150. He’s thrown 73 innings so far this year. So we may not see him in September, but maybe next year.

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11th Annual Starlight Night at Citi Field

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The Mets will play host to 300 seriously ill children for a night of fun, food, and baseball on June 11th. John Franco and Mookie Wilson will also be on hand. Here’s the press release with all the details:

LOCAL NINE YEAR-OLD HAS CHANCE OF A LIFETIME TO THROW FIRST PITCH AT NEW
YORK METS GAME

More Than 300 Seriously ill Children Will Attend the 11th Annual Starlight
Night at Citi Field for a Night of Fun, Food and Baseball on Tuesday, June
11, 2013

WHO: Ernesto Martinez, a nine-year-old boy from Yonkers, New York
battling Acute Leukemia Lymphoma (ALL), will get the opportunity of a
lifetime on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at the 11th Annual Starlight Night at
Citi Field. As part of the event, Ernesto will have the coveted chance to
walk onto Citi Field and throw the ceremonial first pitch before the New
York Mets game against the St. Louis Cardinals

The event will also include more than 300 seriously
ill children who spend a significant portion of their
lives in hospitals and clinics, as well as Mr. Met and
New York Mets greats John Franco and Mookie Wilson.

More than 300 seriously ill children who spend a significant portion of
their lives in hospitals and clinics will attend the event and enjoy a
night of fun, food and baseball at Citi Field, courtesy of the Mets and
ARAMARK. The event will include face painters and clowns and the children
will receive a special visit from Mr. Met, along with New York Mets greats
John Franco and Mookie Wilson.

WHAT: The event brings seriously ill children and their families out
for a night of fun, food and baseball at Citi Field, courtesy of the Mets
and ARAMARK. It includes face painters and clowns along with appearances
by several of the New York Mets’ wives.

The event will support the mission of the
Starlight Children’s Foundation, which brightens
the lives of seriously ill children and their
families through entertainment, education and
family activities.

www.starlight-newyork.org/<http://www.starlight-newyork.org/>

WHERE: Citi Field, Flushing, NY
WHEN: Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Media Call Time: 6:00 p.m.
First pitch: 6:30 p.m.

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Link Roundup: Demotion Emotion

In case you missed it, Ike Davis was sent down to Triple-A Las Vegas after another embarrassing sweep at the hands of the Marlins. Mike Baxter and Rob Carson joined Davis on the trip to Sin City.

In their place, the team is expected to recall 1B Josh Satin (who is having a tremendous year, but needs to be added to the 40-man roster), OF Collin Cowgill, and LHP Josh Edgin. Cowgill and Edgin will begin their second stint with the Mets – neither did very well their first time around.

In addition, Rick Ankiel was given his walking papers following the 20-inning game on Saturday.

Davis had practically the same numbers this year as he did last year at this time. But the Mets stuck with him in 2012, and he went on a tear in mid-June.

This is the first mass demotion since 2004.

Sandy Alderson is finally making some moves, but are they too conservative? Should Zack Wheeler come up sooner than the road trip in Atlanta, for instance? Should he send down the rest of the team?

If it were possible, should the Mets trade Davis and move Lucas Duda to first?

Cesar Puello is a Mets farmhand who may get a cup of coffee in Queens before all is said and done. He’s tearing up the Eastern League with a .326/.401/.606 slash line, while belting 13 home runs and stealing 17 bases. He’s also under suspicion for PED use tied to the Miami Biogenisis Clinic.

First round pick Dominic Smith took batting practice at Citi Field yesterday.

The drama never stops in Flushing. Like my mother says, watching the Mets is like watching a real-life soap opera. Stay tuned to Mets Today for all the coverage.

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