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Mets Daily Prospect Report, 8/25/14: Mazzoni, Matz, McGowan and Molina, M'kay?

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Catch up on all of yesterday’s minor league action from around the Mets farm system!

Persio Reyes
Persio Reyes
Jessica Rudman

*All results from games played on Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Triple-A - Las Vegas 51's (77-60)_______________________________________

ROUND ROCK 5, LAS VEGAS 6 (Box)

Baseball is a funny game. Everything can be going swimmingly at one moment, and then completely unravel for no discernible reason the next. Exhibit A? Going into the 8th inning, Cory Mazzoni was having an extremely impressive outing. Owing a lot to his slider, which he had working all night, Mazzoni was pitching a shutout, scattering five hits and two hit batsmen, all while fanning eight batters. The 8th came around, and the wheels came off. He allowed consecutive singles, a double, and a walk, before Wally decided that enough was enough. Miguel Socolovich was called to make things better, but instead, he simply added more fuel to the Round Rock fire. All three runners Mazzoni left on the bases came around to score, in addition to a runner charged to Socolovich. Chase Bradford was called to end the inning- and thankfully he did- but what had been a shutout only a few minutes before was now an extremely tight 6-5 contest. Bradford staggered in the bottom of the 9th, allowing a double to start the inning out, and a single after that, but thanks to some poor base running by center fielder Jared Hoying, it was not an RBI single- Hoying did not advance on the hit, staying put on second because he was unsure if Ryan Rua's single was going to be caught by Andrew Brown or not. The very next batter hit a sharp groundball right at Josh Satin, who initiated a 5-4 double play to salvage the game.

Double-A - Binghamton Mets (81-52)_____________________________________

AKRON 2, BINGHAMTON 5 (Box)

Will Roberts, the RubberDucks starter, has generally been one of the more consistent starting pitchers in the league. Leading the Eastern League in innings pitched, the right-hander has averaged roughly six innings per start. For a while, it looked like Binghamton might be able to knock Roberts out early. The first four B-Mets batters that came to the plate all reached base, with Brandon Nimmo doubling, Dilson Herrera and Jayce Boyd singling, and Brian Burgamy drawing a walk. Darrell Ceciliani made the first out of the game for Binghamton, but at least it was a productive out, a sac fly that scored Herrera. T.J. Rivera lined a single into left to score one more run, the third in the inning, before Roberts was able to induce Travis Taijeron and Xorge Carrillo to make outs. Wilfredo Tovar led off the 2nd with a single, continuing the early assault. He then stole second and scored on a Herrera sac fly when the Akron centerfielder, Ollie Linton, slipped and stumped after making the putout. Roberts recovered, and was able to make it into the 6th inning for the twenty-fifth time in twenty-five starts. He was pulled in the 6th, after putting two men on base. Xorge Carrillo drove one man in with a sac fly, bringing Robers' total on the day to five earned runs in five innings. The B-Mets came oh so close to breaking that strea

Steven Matz, on the other hand, looked great. The B-Mets de facto Sunday starter was limited to five innings yesterday afternoon, as a way to manage his innings load- he is already about ten IP over his high last season (106.1 regular season innings and 12.2 postseason innings) and stands to make at least two more regular season starts, in addition to playoff starts. Not that I am disagreeing with the move, but it was a shame, because the lefty looked good from the get-go, and seemed to be getting stronger as the game progressed. His fastball hovered around 94 MPH, but perhaps more importantly, his change-up and curveball both were working, and he had confidence in both to mix them in liberally all afternoon, throwing them in all counts, behind and ahead. His "worst" inning came in the 4th, when he allowed two singles, putting an Akron runner at third, the first- and only- time the RubberDucks got a man in scoring position while he was on the mound. All in all, Matz tossed an efficient five innings.

Advanced-A - St. Lucie Mets (31-31 / 71-60)_____________________________________

JUPITER 2, ST. LUCIE 3 (Box)

This game was a must-win for St. Lucie for their slim-but-not-nonexistent playoff hopes. With eight games remaining in the second half, and something of a logjam atop the standings, St. Lucie needed to win this one against the cellar-dwelling Hammerheads. Kevin McGowan did all he could to help the case, not allowing a single hit until the 7th inning. Jupiter got a few baserunners, thanks to an error by McGowan himself in the 1st and Gavin Cecchini in the 3rd, but were otherwise kept silent until late in the game. St. Lucie used that opportunity to take the lead early. Phil Evans walked, but was erased after getting caught in a run down, which was unfortunate, because Albert Cordero launched a solo home run immediately after. Gilbert Gomez scored a Reyes run derivative, stealing second and scoring on a Eudy Pina double, making it a 2-0 ballgame.

When it rains, it pours. Jupiter finally got into the hit column in the 7th with a Blake Barber single. That single was followed by a Cody Keefer single, which was followed by a Juan Avila RBI single. Ryan Fraser came into the game with one out and runners on the corners and was tasked with getting out of the inning without surrendering St. Lucie's narrow 2-1 lead. He was able to wiggle out of a bases loaded situation, and then another in the 8th. The St. Lucie offense took some of the pressure off to be so perfect, scoring an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th.

As fate would have it, that insurance run was extremely important, as the Hammerheads were able to plate a run in the bottom of the 9th against Paul Sewald. The reliever gave up back-to-back singles to start the inning, and both runners were moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. The lead runner scored on a routine ground ball for the second out, while the trailing runner advanced to third, but Cecchini was able to make the 6-3 putout to end the game.

Low-A - Savannah Sand Gnats (38-25 / 82-47)__________________________________

SAVANNAH 5, GREENVILLE 8 (Box)

Alex Panteliodis was hittable early on, and put Savannah in a hole early. In the 1st, after getting the first out in the inning, he gave up back-to-back doubles to Tzu-Wei Lin and Wendell Rijo, a single to Sam Travis, and a Franklin Guzman double before getting out of the inning, giving up two runs in total. He allowed a single in the 2nd, but the run did not come home to score. In the 3rd, he allowed four more runs- Sam Travis hit a two-run homer, and Kevin Mager drove in two with a double. Panteliodis was lifted after that two-run double, in favor of Paul Paez, who struck out two and induced a routine fly ball to end the inning without any more drama. All in all, quite a drop off in results from his last start, which also came against Greenville. That game, he gave up three runs on nine hits in 8.2 innings. Yesterday, he gave up six runs on eight hits in 2 innings.

Paul Paez was strong out of the bullpen, while Bret Mitchell ran into a little hiccup in the bottom of the 6th. Trailing 8-2, the Savannah offense, which had mostly been asleep all game, woke up in the 9th. Jorge Rivero, Colton Plaia, and Stefan Sabol hit consecutive singles, driving in a run and setting things up for future batters against German Taveras, pitching his third inning in relief. Yeixon Ruiz was unable to get anything done, grounding into a double play. Champ Stuart, on the other hand, succeeded where Ruiz failed. After Plaia scored on a wild pitch, Stuart homered, his third long ball of the year. Matt Oberste struck out afterwards, ending the game.

Short-A - Brooklyn Cyclones (38-30)__________________________________

TRI-CITY 1, BROOKLYN 10 (Box)

Cyclones ace Marcos Molina looked shaky in the 1st inning. Leadoff hitter Jason Martin took advantage of that, drawing a walk to start the game off, stealing second, and scoring on a wild pitch. He recovered, and went on to pitch a solid game, though his five walks made up for the lack of hits he allowed. The same cannot be said about Tri-City starter Jeffrey Gause. The 22-year-old 10th round pick had a less-than-rosy 1st, giving up three singles and issuing a walk, and was removed from the game after recording only a single out. He wasn't hurt (nothing was announced), and while his performance wasn't exactly that great, it's not like it was horrible, either, so I really don't know why ValleyCats manager Ed Romero was so quick with the hook. The debuting Zach Davis got out of the inning, but had problems of his own in the 2nd. After getting the first out of the inning, he allowed three singles- Michael Conforto's single was a few inches away from being a home run; thanks Atlantic Ocean- and two walks, good for two runs. Once again, Ed Romero was quick with the hook, and Davis was removed. His replacement, Luis Ordosgoitti, gave up a sac fly to Pedro Perez and a two-run triple off the bat of Michael Bernal before ending the inning.

Ordosgoitti pitched a few more innings, deciding that the 21-year-old swingman would be the man to preserve the bullpen. He was solid enough, running into a little trouble in the 6th that led to two more Brooklyn runs. Those two runs would be the last of the game, as he and Aaron Vaughn prevented the Cyclones from scoring for the rest of the game, while the combined efforts of Molina and relievers Brandon Welch and Mike Hepple did the same for Brooklyn.

On Molina, coach Tom Gamboa had nothing but glowing praise for his pitcher. "He has had a phenomenal year", Gamboa said, stating the obvious. "He is leading this league in almost all of the important categories. As good as this outing was, he was actually a little bit off. He gave up one hit and struck out eight in seven innings, but he also walked five, which is very uncharacteristic. It was just an aberration. He pitched a very good game, it wasn't like we were making great plays behind him. He has the ability to take the sting out of a hitter's swing by changing speeds. Hitters just don't get very good swings against him. Even through his ERA is 1.56, the thing he has to work on in the future is not getting in trouble in the first inning. We've tried to get him to warm up differently and longer or to focus more, but inevitably they score in the first inning. Take away that first inning and his ERA is virtually nothing. Ever since the days of Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman, the Mets have been considered a pitching team. He is another in the fold. His future is right in front of him. He needs to be challenged to get the most out of him. I would like to see him, at 20, be challenged. I think the Florida State League is a good place for him. There's a good chance they take him on the natural course to Savannah for a couple months, but I would expect him to finish next year in Port St. Lucie. He is just a different guy and different guys don't take a normal progression. I'm sure the Mets will be very pleased with the year he has had. I think he is on the really fast track in terms of his development. I see him more than other pitchers in this league, but he's the No. 1 pitching prospect in this league. Earlier this season, we played against Dylan Bundy in Aberdeen and Dan Duquette and his entourage were there to see how Bundy was progressing. He went seven and struck out seven. Molina went seven and only gave up one or two hits. If a fan went to the ballpark and saw a Major Leaguer was rehabbing, they'd have to ask which team he was on."

Rookie - Kingsport Mets (33-30)__________________________________

JOHNSON CITY 1, KINGSPORT 9 (Box)

Kingsport needed Persio Reyes to have a solid game, the offense to come through, or both, in a game that had playoff implications. As luck would have it, the Kingsport Mets got both: a solid performance by their starter, and a booming offense. In the bottom of the 2nd, the offense gave Reyes a 1-0 lead, thanks to an RBI single by Oswald Caraballo. In the 4th, the offense scored two more, staking Reyes to a 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the 6th, the offense turned this one into a route, plating six runs. After Caraballo, Zach Mathieu, and Jose Garcia hit three consecutive singles- scoring a run- Ivan Wilson hit a three-run shot over the left field wall to break things open. After Luis Guillorme made the first out of the inning immediately thereafter, Kingsport reset the table, with  Jean Rodriguez, Vicente Lupo, and Eudor Garcia hitting three more consecutive singles- and scoring a run in the process. Stepping to the plate for the second time that inning, Caraballo hit another single- his second in the inning and his fourth in the game- to score one more runner, making it a 9-1 game. Persio Reyes threw one more scoreless inning before giving way to Ty Williams in the 8th, and Ramon Estevez in the 9th. Estevez gave up a solo home run to lead the inning off, and allowed a double to the next batter, but stayed focused and got those remaining three outs without further trouble.

With the win, the Kingsport Mets tied Johnson City in the standings. Both teams trail the Elizabethton Twins by three games. Kingsport just happens to play Elizabethton next week, after they end their current three-game series with Johnson City. It's going to be an interesting week for Kingsport.

Rookie - GCL Mets (31-25)__________________________________

NO GAME (SCHEDULE)

Gulf Coast League
East Division

Team Record
GCL Cardinals 32-23
GCL Mets 31-25
GCL Nationals 25-30
GCL Marlins 23-33

Star of the Night

Kevin McGowan & Persio Reyes

Goat of the Night

Alex Panteliodis