Tag: Wheeler

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?


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.


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.


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.


Searching for Rays of Hope

London to Brighton Veteran Car RunSo, the Mets have lost 6 games in a row, and have fallen to 14-23, 6.5 games behind the NL East leading Atlanta Braves here on May 16th. Besides Matt Harvey, the starting rotation has been horrible, besides Bobby Parnell, the bullpen has been unreliable, and the Mets’ offense, which lit up opponents the first two weeks of the season, has gone colder than Jeffery Loria’s Grinch-like heart.

This has left even the most loyal and upbeat Mets fans in a funk, and has even prompted some to ask for divine intervention. But it can’t be this bad all year, can it?

Instead of another Mets blog post about how bad this team is, let’s try to find some rays of hope in this otherwise gloomy pallor of baseball.


28 Games Later: The State of the 2013 Mets


28 games are in the books in 2013 – 28 embarrassing, encouraging, disastrous, delightful, hopeless and hopeful games.  One night, a fan could go from swearing off his beloved Mets for good, while another game brings about a glimmer of hope.  But the Mets have given us no reason to believe that 2013 edition of this team will deliver anything more than a glimmer.


Link Roundup: Minor League Openers and Monkeys

Sure, the Mets lost yesterday, but I’m still fired up about Matt Harvey.

Triple-A Las Vegas started their season last night, and Zack Wheeler struggled with his command.  Considering how little he pitched in March, this is still his Spring Training, so there’s no need to panic.  C Travis d’Arnaud went 2 for 4 and 2B Wilmer Flores had a 3 for 3 night.

Double-A Binghamton also opened their season, and starting pitcher Rafael Montero looked every bit as polished as people in the Mets organization say he is.  He struck out nearly half of the batters he faced, allowing just a pair of singles, and tossing 75% of his pitches for strikes (63 of 84).

As for the parent club, they have an opportunity to continue their fast start with the retooling Marlins coming to Queens this weekend.  In order to do so, Jeremy Hefner is going to have to prove he belongs in the major league rotation.  This is especially important considering Shaun Marcum seems to come down with a new malady every day.

Loge 13 has an interesting piece on the designs of the “convertible” Shea Stadium.

And finally, here’s Orioles slugger Chris Davis with a monkey.

The Mets begin their weekend series with the Marlins tonight at Citi Field.  Stay tuned to Mets Today for coverage.