Tag: gooden

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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Link Roundup: Snow Day Edition

Jeremy Hefner works on his new pitch: The Snowball.

Jeremy Hefner works on his new pitch: The Snowball.

The Mets/Rockies game was snowed out last night.  I mean really, REALLY snowed out.  I live here in the greater Denver area, so I can attest to that.  Seven inches of snow on Tax Day just ain’t right.

They’ll try to play two today, but the weather isn’t looking so great.  Not snowing as of this writing, but more rain and snow is predicted for this evening – which would threaten game 2 of the double header.

And while it’s not snowing, the frozen stuff needs to be delicately removed from the field, or else the players are going to have to exchange their spikes for snow shoes.

UPDATE (10:50 AM MDT): Here’s what Coors Field looks like now as they try to clear the snow – still a lot of work to do.

In uniform news, the Mets and Rockies will all wear number 42 in game 1 to belatedly honor Jackie Robinson Day.  In game 2, they’ll wear their 1993 uniforms to commemorate Colorado’s first game as a franchise – a 3-0 loss to Dwight Gooden and the Mets at Shea.  In an odd anomaly, the Mets will wear their home jerseys from that year, and the Rox will wear their old road unis.

Of course, there was much bigger and more serious news that brought us down to reality once again, the way the real world has a habit of doing on occasion.  Here is some reaction to the terror attack in Boston yesterday, and what baseball means in its context.

Maybe baseball is one of many reminders that for every one maniac who feels the need to take people’s lives away, there are a million good-hearted people who can’t possibly fathom anything of the sort.

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NY Post: Dopey Mets Want to Erase Dwight’s Citi Autograph

Memo to the Mets: ERASE THIS!

Memo to the Mets: ERASE THIS!

The NY Post’s George Willis is reporting that the Mets are up to their old tricks:

WHEN Dwight “Doc” Gooden attended the Mets’ Opening Day ceremonies at Citi Field last week, he stopped by the Ebbets Club along the first-base line and mingled with fans who cheered him during his Mets career. He shook hands, took pictures and signed autographs.

Someone thought it would be a nice idea if one of the greatest pitchers in franchise history signed a blank gray wall next to the bar. Gooden obliged, taking a black Sharpie and writing in script “Doc Gooden 84 R.O.Y., 85 Cy Young, 86 W.S. Champs.”

Gooden took a picture next to the signature, and so did countless fans lucky enough to afford the price of a ticket that allows them access to the club.

But now the Mets – who have been criticized for not showcasing enough of their history in their new ballpark – plan to erase Gooden’s signature from the wall, treating it as if it were unwanted graffiti.

Read the whole article here. Granted, it’s a little strange that Gooden autographed a wall, but it’s not like he could have posed for pictures in front of a photograph of himself or the ’86 Mets – from what I’ve heard, those photographs are nowhere to be found at the new ballpark.

When you think about it, it’s amazing that Gooden is still alive, much less visiting the new ballpark and interacting with fans. Leave it to Mets management to step in and screw it up.

The fact is, Gooden DID autograph the wall and now that it is there, it should be left alone. It should be allowed to become part of the stadium and part of the team’s history.  The minutiae and folklore of this team – like skydivers, black cats and Bill Buckner – are created and shared by players and fans. Ownership can build the ballpark, assemble a roster and sell the tickets, but they can’t control the memories. Unfortunately, that is exactly what they are trying to do.

[NY Post via MetsBlog]

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