Meet the Bisons
Much to the consternation of Adam Rubin, SNY broadcast Zack Wheeler's AAA debut on a two-hour tape delay last night. Obviously they've been taking notes from NBC. Wheeler was strong early, shaky late, but left after 4 and 2/3 of 2 run ball. He struck out seven and walked four, two of which came in the fifth inning when he was clearly starting to labor. He showed off his plus-plus fastball (that touched 100 on the wonky Syracuse gun), but the breaking stuff was inconsistent early. He started to get a feel for his curve and slider later on his start, but shortly after lost the ability to spot his heater. All in all, I'd give his AAA debut a B-. The Bisons bullpen promptly blew the 3-2 lead they were given and lost 5-4. Just like watching the real Mets.
The Bisons were without manager Wally Backman for the doubleheader yesterday, as Wally was suspended for a screaming match with the Syracuse manager on Saturday. Toby Hyde has the video.
As for the big club, they were off yesterday, but there was plenty of transactional action. Garrett Olson is headed to the majors to keep Terry from breaking Josh Edgin. He'll be replacing Tim Byrdak who is likely out for the season after doctors discovered an anterior capsule tear in his shoulder. And yes, that's the same injury Chris Young and Johan Santana had.
Around the NL East
Speaking of oft-injured former starters, Erik Bedard two-hit the Diamondbacks. Andrew McCutchen went 2-4 and scored a pair of runs, as I slowly come to accept that David Wright is not going to win the MVP this year. At least it is going to go to someone deserving and not Ryan Howard.
Aaron Cook struck out two over seven innings of work, which is some sort of record for him, and the Red Sox pounded the Rangers and Yu Darvish. This should keep Bobby Valentine employed for another day at least.
The kind of ridiculous Justin Verlander struck out 14 Yankees and hit 100 mph on his 130th pitch. Freak.
The Angels struck first in their big series against Oakland, as Jered Weaver shut out the A's. Speaking of the Athletics, Beyond the Box Score takes a look at the 2012 A's in the context of Anti-Moneyball teams.
And over at Fangraphs, Matt Swartz does his usually thorough job examining why first basemen get paid so much more money than everyone else.