4/21/18

Mack’s Apples – Justin Dunn, Scott Copeland, Wilson Ramos, Free Tickets, Puerto Rican Baseball

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Fangraphs   Top 18 Mets Prospects -

5.      Justin Dunn, RHP
         Drafted: 1st Round, 2016 from Boston College
         Age   21       Height           6’2      Weight          195     Bat/Throw   R/R

        Tool Grades (Present/Future)

       Fastball       Slider Curveball     Changeup    Command
       55/55            55/60    45/45             40/50           40/50

Dunn thrived after a move from the Boston College bullpen into the rotation, holding his stuff, working with four pitches, and throwing strikes. It moved him firmly into the first-round picture of the 2016 draft, and the Mets picked him 19th overall. In a disappointing 2017, Dunn walked 48 hitters in 95 innings and didn’t miss as many bats as expected. His stuff was similar to what it was in college, the fastball 90-95 and touching 96, the slider 80-84 flashing plus, with a chance for a viable curve and change.

Dunn threw 47 innings as a sophomore then 65 split between the bullpen and rotation as a junior followed by 30 more in pro ball — plus whatever he threw during his first instructional league. That’s a sizable jump. Some combination of fatigue and relative inexperience probably impacted Dunn’s 2017, though it’s strange his stuff appeared intact. Dunn is likely to bounce back this year, and we are projecting pretty heavily on the changeup as Dunn continues to use it more often than he did in college. He has mid-rotation upside if he can build full-season stamina.


Patriots Starter  Copeland Signs With New York Mets –

         

        Former Blue Jays pitcher Scott Copeland, who was expected to slot into the middle of the rotation this season, was signed by the New York Mets on Saturday morning and is expected to be assigned to Double-A Binghamton.





Mets Rumors: Rays ready to make a deal for Wilson Ramos -

       
    The Rays “would love to talk” with the Mets about a possible deal involving Wilson Ramos. Hoping to unload as much salary as possible, it’s no surprise to see the Rays eager to trade away whatever veterans they can.

Their offseason included trading Evan Longoria to the San Francisco Giants among other cost-cutting transactions. Ramos, who is set to earn $10.5 million this season, seems like an appropriate trade candidate for the Rays as well.



Could  free tickets be the wave of baseball's future? –

       
    Here’s an idea no one’s thought of before:

Instead of charging $30 for parking and anywhere from $30 to $120 for tickets, why not just open the doors and let in everyone free and watch them spend all their money on concessions?

Leave it to the Oakland A’s, one of the game’s least successful franchises, to do just that.



What Hurricane Maria Didn’t Wreck: Puerto Rican Baseball –

        
   At the Estadio Hermanos Marrero, a baseball stadium nestled in this small, mountainous municipality in the center of Puerto Rico, parts of the roof over the grandstand are gone or twisted back.

The Cayey Toritos played their 2018 home opener there in a Sunday doubleheader because their stadium is still too heavily damaged to use. Before the first pitch, a team prayer in the dugout led by Toritos right fielder Rafael S├ínchez ended with a rallying cry, “This is for our community!”

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Jupiter 5 - St. Lucie 2

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Press Release:

JUPITER, Fla. (April 20, 2018) – The Jupiter Hammerheads jumped out to an early lead and defeated the St. Lucie Mets 5-2 on Friday at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.

Jupiter starter Daniel Castano only need 69 pitches as he cruised through seven innings to pick up his third straight win. He held the Mets to four hits and two runs while striking out three.

The Hammerheads scored two runs in the third on a RBI single from Riley Mahan and a run-scoring ground out by Stone Garrett. They added two more runs in the fourth to go up 4-0. Corey Bird drove in a run with a single and Joe Dunand added another RBI ground out.

The Mets collected all four of their hits and both runs in the fifth inning against Castano. Michael Paez bounced a two-run single up the middle with one out to cut the deficit to 4-2. However, Castano would retire seven batters in a row to end his outing.

Vincenzo Aiello pitched a perfect eighth and Lukas Schiraldi worked a scoreless ninth for the save.

Paez, Andres Gimenez, Luis Carpio and Dan Rizzie had the four singles for the Mets.

St. Lucie starter Harol Gonzalez suffered the loss. He gave up eight hits and four runs in four innings.

Adam Atkins allowed one run and struck out three in three innings of relief.

The Hammerheads won their sixth straight game. They have won 11 of 12. The Mets dropped to 1-5 away from home.

The Mets (7-7) and Hammerheads (12-3) play the second game of their series at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
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Binghamton 4 - Erie 1

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Press Release:

BINGHAMTON, NY –  The Binghamton Rumble Ponies opened up their six-game homestand with a 4-1 win against the Erie SeaWolves, Friday night at NYSEG Stadium. Binghamton’s victory, their second in the last nine games, was highlighted by a season-best 14 strikeouts from Ponies pitching.

For the ninth time this season, the Rumble Ponies gave up the game’s first run. Kenny Wilson’s first-inning sacrifice fly pushed home Jacob Robson, who started the game with an infield single. Erie’s 1-0 lead would be their only one on Friday night.

Crismatt (2-1), meanwhile, settled in after allowing the first-inning tally. He twirled six innings of six-hit ball, while whiffing nine SeaWolves and walking one. In his only other NYSEG Stadium start this season, Crismatt tossed six innings of one-hit baseball against Portland. 

The Rumble Ponies response occurred just an inning later when they rallied for two runs in the second. After Peter Alonso’s leadoff walk, Jeff McNeil singled, putting two aboard for Kevin Taylor. Taylor’s fielder’s choice pushed Alonso and McNeil into scoring position for Tim Tebow. Tebow floated Spencer Turnbull’s pitch down the left field line for a two-run single, propelling the Ponies in front, 2-1.

Turnbull (0-2) went four innings, coughing up a pair of earned runs. The righty allowed five hits, had two strikeouts and walked three. 

In the fifth inning, Patrick Mazeika gave the Rumble Ponies their first insurance run, blasting his first home run of the season over the fence in right field. Binghamton’s catcher finished the night 3-for-4 with hits in his final three plate appearances. 

The Binghamton bullpen preserved the advantage by hurling three scoreless innings. Daniel Zamora and Tyler Bashlor combined to strike out six SeaWolves without allowing a walk. 

Binghamton (5-7) continues its three-game set against Erie on Saturday afternoon. Rumble Ponies are set to send RHP Mickey Jannis to the bump to face SeaWolves RHP Kyle Funkhouser. 

POSTGAME NOTES:Binghamton’s now 2-7 when the opponent scores first…Tim Tebow reached base in all four plate appearances…Tyler Bashlor has not allowed a run in 16 Double-A appearances (21.1 IP)…
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Columbia 6 - Hickory 3

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Press Release -

COLUMBIA, SC – Columbia evened its four-game series against the Hickory Crawdads with a 6-3 victory on Friday night at Spirit Communications Park. Starting pitcher Joe Cavallaro allowed just two hits and struck out six batters en route to his second win of the year in just three starts. Columbia remains tied for first place in the Southern Division of the South Atlantic League.

The 6-foot-4 right-hander has perhaps been the most consistent Fireflies starter. Cavallaro (W, 2-0) has logged at least six innings in all three outings, limited opponents to two or fewer earned runs and has recorded 18 strikeouts (in 19 IP). The Floridian’s ERA is a miniscule 1.42.

After falling in the series opener on Thursday, the home team jumped ahead 3-0 in the second inning on Friday, over-whelming Hickory (5-9) starter A.J. Alexy (L, 0-1). With two outs, the right-hander imploded by first walking Ali Sanchez and then allowing a base hit to Raphael Gladu. The 22-year-old outfielder Walter Rasquin plated both his teammates with a double. Moments later, Edgardo Fermin kept the hit parade alive with a base hit of his own. The run-scoring single put Columbia (10-5) ahead, 3-0.

Cavallaro allowed two unearned runs in the top of the third and watched the three-run lead slice to just one. The hitters stood behind their starter and added to the slim advantage with a score in the bottom of the fifth. This time, Matt Winaker and Jeremy Vasquez vaulted back-to-back doubles. With the hit, Vasquez’s on-base streak stretched even further to a league-best 14 straight.

The bottom of the sixth inning featured more of the same. With the bases loaded, Blake Tiberi smoked a single into right field that scored Gladu. Later Winaker’s sacrifice fly brought Rasquin in from third base. Columbia’s lead had grown to 6-2.

The Crawdads eighth-inning comeback attempt was futile. The visitors plated one run, but were over-matched by reliever Joshua Payne. The right-hander fanned five in just two innings.

Stephen Villines then earned his second save of the season with a clean ninth. Over his last four outings, the side-arm righty has punched out 12 hitters (in 6.1 IP) and has allowed just one – one! – baserunner.

The large strikeout totals are becoming a nightly routine. Columbia hurlers punched out 12 more on Friday and have struck out 67 batters over the last five games. On the other side of the box score, Fireflies hitters tallied nine more hits, increasing the total to 83 over the last eight.

Columbia and Hickory meet again on Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m. Southpaw Jake Simon (0-2, 2.45) starts his third game of the year for the Fireflies and faces Crawdads’ righty Jean Casanova (0-1, 3.00).
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Fresno 12 - Las Vegas 4

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The Grizzlies defeated the 51s, 12-4, in the finale of the four-game series before a season-high FIREWORKS NIGHT crowd of 9,003 at Cashman Field.

Fresno, which won three out of four games, built a 12-1 lead after 3 ½ innings.

Shortstop Jack Mayfield was 2-for-4, walk, double, HR, 4 RBI; first baseman J.D. Davis was 2-for-5, HR, 3 RBI; left fielder Kyle Tucker was 3-for-6, double and right fielder Alejandro Garcia was 3-for-4, walk, 2 RBI.

Las Vegas left-hander P.J. Conlon suffered the loss. He pitched 3 innings and allowed 8 hits, 7 runs, walked 2 and struck out 3.

Shortstop Gavin Cecchini was 3-for-4, two doubles, run scored.

Las Vegas will continue the seven-game homestand against El Paso in a three-game series beginning on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.  
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Reese Kaplan -- Bookends With a Common Thread

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While covering the 51s last weekend there was a constant in right field for the team, Zach Borenstein, a lefty hitter who started all four games for Las Vegas.  Originally a 23rd round choice of the Los Angeles Angels in 2011, Borenstein was expected to be a leadoff type of hitter who had shown good speed, a good eye and some power en route to a .353 average for Eastern Illinois.  He demonstrated great athleticism and was tried all around the diamond.  A lefty hitter with some pop, he was successful in his junior year in 12/15 stolen base attempts in 207 ABs. 

Borenstein actually thought he’d be drafted much higher than he was, and by 2013 he was starting to make some folks think he might have been right.  In High A ball he started off with a bang that kept up throughout the season, finishing with a very impressive .337 batting average in a pitcher’s home ballpark to along with 28 HRs and 95 RBIs.  For those of you keeping score at home, his OPS was an eye popping 1.034.  In fact, the only offensive area where he was a little disappointing was in baserunning where he tallied just 5 thefts and was also caught 5 times.  At age 23 the future certainly looked bright for the Illinois native.

Apparently others noticed young Mr. Borenstein as well.  Midway through 2014 he became the centerpiece of a trade that sent speedster Tony Campana and veteran reliever Joe Thatcher from the Diamondbacks to the Angels.  He joined the Arizona organization along with converted infielder now pitcher Joey Krehbiel.   

In his first full year for his new team he split between AA and AAA, providing a .289 average to go along with 10 HRs and 60 RBIs in about a half season’s worth of ABs.  In 2016 he seemed to hit a bit of a wall as the power was done as was the batting average while the strikeouts went up.  Overall it was a .272/9/57 year.  The one bright spot was he stole 15 bases and was only caught once.  Was this the limit for Borenstein?

Apparently not.  In 2017 after helping Team Israel (along with future 51s teammate Ty Kelly) achieve a 4-2 record before losing to Japan in the World Baseball Classic, Borenstein returned to Reno and he slammed 24 HRs, drove in 91 to go along with a .279 AVG in just 384 ABs.  It appeared he had a future ahead of him in Arizona though there was a pretty good ballplayer by the name of J.D. Martinez occupying right field.  All Martinez did in 2017 was hit .303 with 45 HRs and 103 RBIs.  Can you say “blocked”?

Declaring himself a minor league free agent, Borenstein took to the open market and found himself a job with the New York Mets who assigned him to play in Las Vegas.  On the young season it looks as if the Mets might have found a winner.  He’s off to a .321 start with 4 HRs and 12 RBIs over 53 ABs.  Extrapolated over the course of a full season that's 40 HRs and 120 RBIs.  Nice.

Borenstein is tied at the hip with his mirror image now patrolling left field for the Las Vegas 51s.  Bryce Brentz was a late addition to the Mets organization.  A former 1st round draft choice of the Red Sox in 2010, he struggled in his first short season stint in pro ball, batting just .198, but a year later he made the Boston braintrust look brilliant when he delivered 30 HRs and 94 RBIs while hitting .306 in his first full season in the minors.  In 2012 he ascended as high as AAA and delivered another solid year hitting .290 with 17 HRs and 76 RBIs. 

Unfortunately in 2013 Brentz did his Plaxico Burress impression, shooting himself in the leg in the off-season.  Later that year he also suffered a torn meniscus, but despite the health issues still managed to club 19 HRs and drive in 64 in just 364 ABs. 

In 2014 Brentz had a few major milestones.  He was added to the Red Sox 40 man roster.  His Pawtucket team won the AAA World Series and he made his major league debut, slamming a double off Francisco Liriano for his first big league hit. 

Unfortunately much of 2015 and 2016 were missed first due to a severe hamstring strain and then later to an oblique injury.  When you’re trying to make the majors to stick and you’re having trouble staying on the field it can cost you big time.   In 2017 the Red Sox outrighted him off the 40-man roster and he accepted an assignment back to Pawtucket. 

Healthy for the first time in a long time, Brentz rebounded to have a great year in AAA.  He was Player of the Week, an All-Star and won the minor league home run derby.  He finished with an impressive 30 HRs, 85 RBIs and a .271 batting average.  Although he was out of options and no longer on the 40-man roster, numbers like that meant he was likely going to get a shot to crack the opening day roster for Boston who was in need either a DH or an outfielder. 

Unfortunately it was not to be as the Red Sox sold him to the Pirates for cash considerations.  He spent the beginning of spring training with in Bradenton, Florida but by late March he was cut loose.  The Mets picked him up and assigned him to Las Vegas where he is the right handed hitting counterpart to Zach Borenstein, playing left field.

Ironically, Boston did make a roster addition that might have been Brentz had they opted to keep him around.  Who was it?  J.D. Martinez!

Brentz has not gotten off to a good start with the bat for the 51s, thought this week he's finally started heating up.  He sits at .220 with 2 HRs and 9 RBIs.  That may not sound like much but he was in the .120s to start last weekend in El Paso.  Over that weekend he appeared in all four games, starting three of them.  Twice he made some very flashy plays in deep left center field. 

While the prospect window may have closed on both of these non-roster players, the fact is that the Mets have secured themselves two formidable bats who may prove naysayers wrong and become late bloomer role players.  After all, no one could have predicted that the Mets would lose two catchers to injury on the same day, so opportunities sometimes arise when you least expect them. 

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4/20/18

ROSTER MOVES - Retired Met

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A-Columbia RHP Cannon Chadwick... has retired.

LHP Aaron Ford was transferred from Low-A Brooklyn to A-Columbia.

Chadwick had 18 appearances for Brooklyn last season, posting a stat line of 1-1, 1.33. He was off to a slow start this year, going 12.60 in four outings.
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Mike Friere - Is Jose "That" Guy?

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Pic by Mack Ade  


Well, this article is a difficult one to compose, since the subject of this piece is one of the better success stories of a franchise that hasn't exactly produced a lot of quality offensive players. 

Before I get started, do any of you know someone who "lives in the past"?  It may be the older guy on your softball team who thinks he is still 21 years old and then gets upset when his current skill set is not capable of producing the way "it used to".  Or, perhaps it is a golfing buddy who cannot come to grips with the fact that he or she isn't "the next Tiger Woods" anymore (heck, that may actually apply to the current Tiger Woods).

On a professional level, have you ever watched a world class athlete "get old" right before your very eyes?  Muhammad Ali,  especially late in his career immediately comes to mind. Or for you MMA fans, watching Chuck Liddell in his last few fights before he called it quits. There is a general sentiment that it is better to retire a bit too soon, then to wait until you get exposed.  In that vein, Barry Sanders is an excellent example of a player who left the game with dignity and respect before his skills began to decline and he became merely "average".

(I keep hoping that Tom Brady gets this message and finally moves on, but he is determined to keep going, dammit)

OK, so what does this lengthy introduction have to do with the Mets, you may be wondering?  As sad as it is to say, I think that Jose Reyes may be THAT guy.

As a quick reminder, Jose has been a wonderful player for the majority of his career.  He was an above average defensive player at a difficult position, that also slotted into any lineup as a prototypical lead off hitter.  His presence in the lineup was "killing two tough birds with one stone", do to speak.  That doesn't even cover his unbridled enthusiasm and outward joy that he felt playing baseball on the professional level.

If you look at his statistics and you use 600 at bats as a full season, JR has produced roughly 12.25 seasons worth of playing time within his 15 year career, so he has also been pretty durable for a player who sacrificed his body both on the field and on the base paths.  

So, what does an average JR season look like (using our 12.25 seasons as the divisor);


.285/.336/.429 (.765 OPS)

11.51 HR - 57.39 RBI - 41.79 SB - 93.88 RS

2.9 WAR and .073 dWAR


That is pretty impressive for anyone, let alone a seasonal average for over a decade, mostly in a hostile media market.  How many of you would take that type of season from our newest phenom Amed Rosario?  I would take that type of production every day and twice on Sunday.

Unfortunately, "that" JR has left the building and watching him on the field now (when he gets on the field), quite frankly is sad.

His 2018 season to date begins and ends with the following line......0 for 18!

In a purely analytical sense, it is more then fair to wonder if JR is "done".  Is he the guy that has stayed too long and doesn't know when to call it a day?  Would the Mets be better off parting ways with him and offering the extremely valuable bench spot to another player who will be more productive and whose career is just beginning like Philip Evans or Gavin Cecchini?

Before we feel too sorry for JR, he has six million dollars owed to him for the 2018 season and he can add that "small" amount to the 143 million dollars that he has earned during his MLB career (he should be OK).  Plus, the Mets could keep him around the organization as an ambassador or even an advisor, which would allow him to contribute to the team in other ways without holding the team and the aforementioned prospects back any longer.

Not that he consults with me, but if Sandy was wondering, I think it is time to thank JR for his service and move on.



 



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Q and A - 2018 Biggest Surprise Players

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Mike Friere asks - 

 Which current player will be the biggest surprise in 2018?

MetsMusings Mack says –

Brandon Nimmo will be the surprise player, if gets in.  He will prove that he is indeed, an everyday player

Mike Friere says – 

Defining what a "surprise" consists of is tricky, but necessary to properly answer this question.  Is it a veteran no one thought much of who puts together a career year?  Or, is it a young player who finally blossoms once they have regular playing time.  It could also be a player like Daniel Murphy (ouch), who suddenly finds another "gear" and turns into the second coming of Ty Cobb....yes, I am still upset over that whole debacle.  In short, it could be any of the above, as a "surprise" is simply unexpected production and in this case, positive production.

My initial vote was going to be Todd Frazier, since his numbers the past couple of years were suppressed by a low BABIP (due for a rebound) and he is returning to the National League where he has so much success with the Reds.  I think he will be in the conversation, but my final and likely very popular answer is Brandon Nimmo.  All of this obviously hinges on getting him enough playing time to make a difference, which I think will happen as our primary "fourth outfielder" who can spell any of our starters as needed.

IF Brandon can get at least 400 at bats, he will produce across the board with his ability to get on base and his sneaky power stroke from the lead off spot.  His production will allow the Mets to seek a trade for Juan Lagares and I predict he will push for a starting role in the not so distant future.  Granted, you can argue whether Sandy should have picked him as early as he did, but I think we will be happy to have him moving forward.

Mack says – 

Hmm…
I think Robert Gsellman will take over the closer role from a sliding Jeurys Familia, by the all-start break.

A bigger surprise could be RP Drew Smith, who could be fast tracked at the same time.

Michael Maar says – 

I don't think Gsellman and Lugo can be considered surprises anymore, so I'll go out on a limb and say Tomas Nido will get his feet under him once he gets some playing time and will be a pleasant surprise.

Reese Kaplan says – 

Considering I was one of many questioning the value of adding Adrian Gonzalez to the roster after his miserable 2017 campaign, I thought it was just another one of those dumpster-diving maneuvers at which the Mets seem to specialize.  He was only going to be paid major league minimum with the Braves on the hook for the rest of his salary.  They felt they received value from Jose Reyes in a similar situation, so why not have a Dom Smith insurance policy?

It became clear (even before the oversleeping incident and the subequent injury) that Smith would have an uphill battle to supplant the former five-time All Star.  When Gonzalez looked positively lost at the plate all Spring and showed no power, whispers about him being done turned into shouts and people openly speculated if he would last only long enough for Michael Conforto to return to the roster.  

Surprisingly, he's off to a solid start with a home run and 9 RBIs through the first two weeks of the season, resting against lefties to give way to Wilmer Flores.  He's saved a great many errors with his skill around the 1st base bag and people have openly talked about his positive presence in the clubhouse.  While he may not approach the MVP ballot numbers of the past, this stronger-than-expected start probably means he's here for the remainder of the season.  That, in and of itself, is a huge surprise

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Tom Brennan - MINORS OBSERVATIONS: BATS AND PENS

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Tom Brennan - MINORS OBSERVATIONS: BATS AND PENS

Mack puts out weekly hot/cold minors updates on starting pitchers. Don't miss 'em. 

He is the Warren Buffett "Oracle" of Mack's Mets, after all.

Holding up my end of the tag team, as far as who's hot, who's not so hot in the Mets minors,  I focus on the Mets' minors hitters and relievers.

(Special Note: After 13 games, Columbia is hitting a league-leading .286, while at the other end, Lexington is hitting just .209 - it is nice to be first in hitting).
Stats through Wednesday's games, unless noted otherwise:

"FUEGO" HOT HITTERS:

In AAA, Ty Kelly has cooled down to .319, so rumors that Babe Ruth was exhumed in Vegas and wearing Ty's uniform were Fake News. 
David Thompson is getting it done at .308, and Zach Borenstein is scorching when not fanning (13 for 35, 3 HR, 10 RBIs in his last 9 games).

In AA (Arctic Alliance), the frequently postponed Rumble Ponies have seen an early renaissance from Tim Tebow, whose 5 game hit streak has him up to .250.  Miraculous! 

Pounding Peter Alonso has a crush...on baseballs, that is, going .361/.429/.722 after 10 games in frigid playing conditions.  Other Ponies players gather around him to warm up in the dugout, as his bat also acts as a radiant heater.

Jeff McNeil is only 3-17, but the 3 are homers, so that's hot enough for me.  Just keep homering every 5.2 at bats, Jeff.

For St Lucie, Ian Strom has set the pace, hiding .379/.455/.690 with 5 steals in 9 games.  He had to have his phone number changed, because the Hall of Fame wouldn't stop calling him.  How annoying!
Andres Gimenez is off to a very solid start as well (.283/.346/.457) and Dazzlin' Desmond Lindsay has a fine .385 OBP, too.

Columbia bats have been sizzling so far.
Shockingly, two normally struggling hitting catchers, Scott Manea and Dan Rizzie, are hitting a combined .333, with just 6 Ks in 50 plate appearances.  Keep it up, fellas!
Other Super Sizzling FUEGO Fireflies Hitters:
3B Blake Tiberi: .340/.404/.468
CF Quinn Brodey: .326/.426/.543
1B Jeremy Vasquez: .325/.491/.475
2B Walter Rasquin: .324/.378/.529
Great, real numbers - not produced in Las Vegas!

NOT SO HOT HITTERS:


Matt den Dekker must be taking (non) hitting advice from .000 Jose Reyes....Matty is slumming in AAA at .146.

AA's Pat Mazeika is off to a chilly 6 for 35 start, but is 3 for his last 8....be patient, once the temperature is above 32 degrees, he promised me he'll hit just fine.
Four other frozen Double A Dudes:

Jhoan Urena hopes that once his hands thaw out, he can hit better than 4 for 28.  
Champ Stuart is 0-13, contemplating whether to change his name from Champ to Slump. (That's why the writer is a Tramp). 
Andrew Ely and Kevin Taylor are sub-Mendoza so far.  
BRRR. 

They're all planning on taking up a warmer sport, like down hill skiing, or ice fishing.

Brandon Brosher - the St Lucie catcher is just 1 for 27 so far, pulling him down to a career .198.  Good power in his bat, but lots of whiffs too.
Jay Jabs is the lone Columbia struggling bat to date, sitting at 2-20 (.100).

FUEGO BULLPEN DUDES:



Tim Peterson - gave up his first run of the season, surrendering a HR in an otherwise perfect 2 innings on Wednesday.  Still, a 1.13 ERA, and he has fanned 16 through 8 IP.  In the hitters' paradise PCL, no less.  Wow.

Drew Smith - the highly regarded Smith has thrown 6.2 IP and allowed 1 run while fanning 8.  POWER ARM!

In AA, relievers Tyler Bashlor, Eric Hanhold, Adonis Uceta, and Austin McGeorge are the Awesome Foursome.
Combined?  22 IP, 4 ER, 30 Ks.  Sizzling.

St Lucie: Matt Blackham, Ryder Ryan, and Steve Nogosek have been similarly (and not surprisingly) smokin', with 22 IP, 12 H, 1 R, 27 Ks.
Carlos Hernandez (who?) in Columbia has been SUPER FUEGO, throwing 5.2 innings of 1 hit, 11 K ball. Hot Dog!!
Steve Villines had a rough season start, but in his last 3 outings?  A Carlos Hernandez imitator - 5.1 innings of 1 hit, 11 K ball.  What is in their Gatorade?  Man!!
NOT SO HOT BULLPEN STEERS:



Not too many chilly relievers, but there are some:
Messrs. Matt Purke, Logan Taylor, and Kyle Regnault have learned you can never let your guard down in the PCL - the 3 have pitched a total of 20 IPs and surrendered 25 runs!
Dave Roseboom has had a rough go of it so far in AA and AAA. Encouraging, however, is his 8 Ks in 5.2 IP.  Probably shaking off rust after a long 2017 and spring 2018 hiatus.
Columbia's Darwin Ramos and Cannon Chadwick are sputtering, combining for 18 hits & 14 runs allowed in 11 IP.
That's it for now - I hope you thought my recap was HOT, rather than NOT SO HOT!



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