Mets Minors: Dominic Smith’s time is now

Lucas Duda has been with the Mets since 2010 and has hit 112 home runs in that time. He’s been one of the only constants of the Mets lineup and as he approaches the end of his arbitration years it appears to be time for he and the Mets to go their separate ways.

Duda hyperextended his arm on the 19th and was forced to leave the game early. The injury isn’t extremely serious but it’s another injury on what has become a troubling list since last season. People will remember that he missed an extended chunk of Spring Training with a back injury and that he only managed to play 47 games in 2016.

Enter Dominic Smith. At 21 years of age, Smith is a great defensive first baseman with a bat that keeps getting better. He began his Met career in 2013 when the Mets selected him 11th overall in the amateur draft. What you may not remember is that the Mets were forced, because of terrible MLB draft rules, to not sign outfielder Michael Bourn or they would lose their #1 draft pick. Based on Bourn’s steady decline since 2012 that was a blessing in disguise.

Smith, meanwhile, has been a promising player from the start. His only weakness is that he didn’t seem to fit the mold of what we assumed a first baseman was supposed to look like. For one, he wasn’t that big. (Smith is only 6 feet tall, which might be big amongst most people but would make him one of the shortest players at his position.) For another, he didn’t seem to have the prototypical power that fans expect in a first baseman. (Smith’s power numbers in 2014 and 2015 were decidedly anemic with only hitting 7 home runs in 917 at bats.)

Things started changing when 2016 rolled around. Smith’s home run production more than doubled and this change in approach did not ruin his terrific contact and control of the plate. His .824 OPS in Binghamton was a great sign of things to come and thus far his 2017 has only been better.

G AB AVG XBH BB SO OBP SLG
18 71 .338 7 5 11 .382 .507

Now, we need to acknowledge that Las Vegas is a hitter’s paradise and that Smith’s numbers are inflated but we also need to come to terms with the fact that whenever he comes up to the majors, he’s going to need an adjustment period. With Duda’s injury it might behoove the Mets to test the waters sooner rather than later.

AAA: Las Vegas 51s

Amed Rosario not slowing down – He has a .410 average over the past 10 games and he’s got 5 stolen bases on the year.

Gavin Cecchini has a bad week – Nothing awful but this wasn’t a good week for him.

Travis Taijeron has a meaninglessly high OPS – When a player has a .959 OPS and nobody seems excited it’s usually because of other glaring flaws. He’s also got more strikeouts than games played.

Tyler Pill back on the depth chart – Pill earned a promotion to AAA after two solid starts in Binghamton and threw an absolute gem on Wednesday.

Rafael Montero thriving after demotion – Typically, Montero has stumbled after demotions but he threw a masterful 5.0 innings in his first start for Vegas.

AA: Binghamton Rumble Ponies

P.J. Conlon has yet to stumble – He has 17.0 innings under his belt and a WHIP under 1.00, which is great.

A+: Port St. Lucie Mets

Justin Dunn isn’t doing well – He’s thrown three games and the results on his early 2017 season have been bad.

Wuilmer Becerra is struggling – Over the last 10 games he has 16 strikeouts and only a .238 average.

Peter Alonso out – He has not played since 4/11.

Patrick Mazeika a hitting catcher – Hard to complain about a catcher with a .890 OPS.

Jhoan Urena learns to walk – It’s probably an aberration but Urena has walked 12 times in his last 10 games.

Anthony Dimino plays everywhere – We know he can catch but Dimino has also played 3rd base and 1st base for the St. Lucie Mets.

Nabil Crismatt struggles slightly – It wasn’t an awful outing but Crismatt’s 8 strikeouts in 5.0 innings were eclipsed by the 5 runs he surrendered.

A: Columbia Fireflies

Desmond Lindsay still struggling – He’s only hitting .121 over his last 10 games.

Merandy Gonzalez deserves praise – Three starts, 20.2 IP, 0 ER, 10 hits, 1 walk and 18 strikeouts.

Jordan Humphries isn’t far behind – Three starts, 18.2 IP, 2 ER, 10 hits, 1 walk and 22 strikeouts.

Ali Sanchez not hitting a lick – He’s got a .238 OPS to start the year. That’s beyond bad.

Gut Reaction: Nationals 6 Mets 3

It’s only April. It’s only April. It’s only April. It’s only April…

That’s the mantra that Mets fans must adopt right now. Facing perennial Cy Young candidate Max Scherzer, the outmanned Mets went down to a series sweep against main NL East rival Washington. Knowing that the pitching matchup was going to be between Scherzer and the still-recovering Zack Wheeler, the question going into this game wasn’t whether or not the Mets would win, but by how much would they lose. The answer seemed to come quickly.

Adam Eaton led off for Washington and took the third pitch of the game off his right elbow pad. With a full count on the next hitter, Trea Turner, Eaton took off for second. Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera ran to cover the bag as Turner hit a sharp grounder to his vacated position. Cabrera was able to make a nice play on the ball, but his throw to first was no match for the speedy Turner. The ever dangerous Bryce Harper then singled to right to load the bases. Wheeler struck out Ryan Zimmerman, but our ol’ friend Daniel Murphy sent a rocket over the wall in dead center and suddenly, depressingly, the Mets were in a 4-0 hole. For his part, Scherzer didn’t start off his usual, dominant self, surrendering an answering opposite field home run to Michael Conforto on his second pitch. In the third, Conforto led off with a base hit and after two outs, Neil Walker rocked a middling fastball into the right center field stands, bring the Mets back to 4-3. That’s where the game stopped. Wheeler and Scherzer matched zeroes through the seventh inning. But for one lousy inning, it was a heartening performance by Wheeler: seven innings, four hits, two walks, six strikeouts and those four first inning runs. Scherzer allowed another base knock by Conforto with one out in the fifth, but erased him on a 3-3-6 double play by Cabrera. He didn’t allow another base runner through the eighth. Josh Smoker came on to pitch the top of the eighth and looked solid for the first two batters, inducing popups from Eaton and Turner. Harper looped a base hit to left — a ball on which Conforto just missed making a great shoestring catch — and Zimmerman sent a non-sinking sinker into the first row of the left field grandstand. Jeurys Familia looked a lot stronger, pitching a 1-2-3 ninth with two strikeouts. Ol’ friend Oliver Perez started the ninth for Washington by throwing exactly two pitches, giving up a base hit to Jay Bruce. New Nats closer Koda Glover quelled whatever uprising there might have been, however, striking out Walker in the process. Jose Reyes made the last out, but it should be noted that had Reyes reached, Yoenis Cespedes was ready to pinch hit for Kevin Plawecki. Unfortunately, it never came to that.

A welcome off-day tomorrow, one in which the likes of Cespedes and Travis d’Arnaud can heal up a little. We hope.

Game Chatter: Max Scherzer vs Zack Wheeler (4/23/17)

How pitchers are succeeding against Neil Walker

The struggles of the leadoff hitters have gained the most negative attention so far in 2017, so we haven’t focused very much on the lack of production here in the early going for Neil Walker. Certainly, the first hitters combining for a league-worst .374 OPS has been a huge problem and it’s amazing the Mets have scored as many runs as they have with such dreadful performance from the top of the order. But Walker was counted on to provide a big bat and has been essentially replacement level the first three weeks of the season.

We saw three distinct periods from Walker in 2016. He got off to a very good start (.963 OPS in his first 23 games) and finished with an incredible kick (1.215 OPS in his final 23 games) but was largely ineffective for the bulk of the season, with a .613 OPS from May 2 to July 26, a span of 262 PA in 67 games. So far in 2017, he has a .576 OPS.

No one looks good when the hits aren’t falling in and Walker, with a lifetime .305 BABIP, has a .226 mark in the category. On top of that, he isn’t making up for a poor average with power, as he has just four extra-base hits in 74 PA, including just one homer. The one redeeming quality for Walker so far is that he’s kept a solid walk rate, with a 10.8 BB%.

Digging deeper, we see the problem isn’t strikeouts, as Walker’s 16.2 K% is lower than last year’s 18.3 rate. On top of that, his batted ball profile is similar to a year ago, with a slight uptick in LD%, the type of ball that typically has the best results for a hitter. Likewise with his hit distribution, which is right in line with a year ago.

Walker’s troubles this year are a direct result of his struggles versus RHP. Against righties, he has a .146/.250/.220 line. When Walker came to the Mets, his history had been marked by hitting righties well and struggling against lefties. He had such a good overall line last year because he broke out against southpaws. Walker is still performing well against lefties this year but his inability to hit righties has surprisingly been his Kyrptonite.

And the way righties have been beating him in 2017 is with hard stuff, both four-seam and two-seam fastballs. According to Brooks Baseball, Walker is 0-10 against four-seam fastballs from righties and 2-13 against sinkers (two-seam) with both of those hits being singles. That’s 2-23 (.087) against fastballs. In 2016, Walker was 29-109 against four-seamers and 23-52 against sinkers. That’s 52-161 (.323), with 15 of those hits going for extra-bases, including 10 HR.

Here is the information in pictures. Both grids show his results against fastballs thrown by righties, with this first one being from 2016:

When thrown a fastball in the strike zone in 2016, Walker was 37-97 (.381). Now here’s the same chart for 2017:

When thrown a fastball in the strike zone so far in 2017, he’s 1-10.

Of course it’s early and there’s plenty of time for Walker to bounce back and have a season similar to what he gave the Mets in 2016. Still, no one would choose for a hitter to get beat on fastballs in the strike zone, even in a sample as tiny as this. Does it mean anything? Not at this point. But it is something to watch in his trips to the plate going forward. If 1-10 turns into 4-40, then we have a big problem.

Another thing to watch is where those pitches are. In 2016, righties threw fastballs to Walker up and away 18.43 percent of the time. But here in 2017, that percentage is 28.15 in the upper left 2×2 quadrant. The stereotype is that lefties like the ball low and Walker last year feasted on balls on the lower half (and below) of the strike zone. We’ve seen Walker speak to the umpires about high pitches being called strikes here in 2017. Let’s see if pitchers continue to go upstairs against him.

Gut Reaction: Nationals 3, Mets 1 (4/22/17)

The first three innings were scoreless with Jacob deGrom striking out 7 Nationals, while Gio Gonzalez held the Mets hitless.  In the top of the 4th inning the Nationals loaded the bases on 2 walks and a Daniel Murphy single with one out.  Luckily for the Mets, Murphy tried to score on an RBI single by Matt Wieters and was easily thrown out at the plate by Curtis Granderson limiting the damage to just one run.

The National struck again in the 5th inning for two more runs and another play at the plate.  This one however went in favor of the Nationals, when Trea Turner just slide in safely ahead of Michael Conforto’s throw for a 3-0 lead.

Degrom left after 5 and 2/3 innings giving up 3 earned runs with 10 strikeouts and 6 walks a very odd line overall.  Josh Edgin came on to get Bryce Harper with 2 runners on to end the 6th inning.

The Mets finally broke through offensively in the bottom half of the 6th.  Jose Reyes lead off with a walk and Juan Lagares got the team’s first hit with a single up the middle.  Following a Conforto strikeout, Asdrubal Cabrera followed with an RBI single.

Unfortunately, the Mets were unable to garner any more offense and lost the game 3-1.  The bullpen threw 3 and 1/3 scoreless innings.  The series finale is the Sunday night game at 8 PM eastern. Zach Wheeler will face Max Scherzer as the Mets try to salvage a win.

Gotham Baseball LIVE: Mets 2017 Preview with WOR’s Pete McCarthy

Pete McCarthy, who hosts the pregame and postgame shows for the New York Mets flagship radio station WOR 710, will join host Mark Healey to discuss the 2017 New York Mets as we approach Opening Day…

Listen Live Or Download Podcast here:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/gotham-baseball-live/2017/03/31/new-york-mets-2017-preview-with-wor-710s-pete-mccarthy

 

 

 

 

 

Big Stein, Sweet Lou and Davey Added To Special HOF Ballot

georgeFive former big league players, three executives and two managers comprise the 10-name Today’s Game Era ballot to be reviewed and voted upon Dec. 5 at the Baseball Winter Meetings in National Harbor, Md., the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced today.

George Steinbrenner, Lou Piniella, and Davey Johnson  join Harold Baines, Albert Belle, Will Clark, Orel Hershiser, Davey Johnson, Mark McGwire, John Schuerholz and Bud Selig  as candidates that the Today’s Game Era Committee will consider for Hall of Fame election for the Class of 2017.

Baines, Belle, Clark, Hershiser and McGwire are included for the contributions as players. Schuerholz, Selig and Steinbrenner are included for their contributions off the field, and Johnson and Piniella are included for their work as managers. All candidates except for Steinbrenner are living. Any candidate who receives votes on 75 percent of the ballots cast by the 16-member Today’s Game Era Committee will earn election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 30, 2017, along with any electees who emerge from the 2017 Baseball Writers’ Association of America election, to be announced on Jan. 18, 2017.

The Today’s Game Era was one of four Eras Committees identified in July when the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Board of Directors announced changes to the Era Committee system, which provides an avenue for Hall of Fame consideration to managers, umpires and executives, as well as players retired for more than 15 seasons.

The 10 Today’s Game Era finalists were selected by the BBWAA-appointed Historical Overview Committee from all eligible candidates among managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players whose most significant career impact was realized during the time period from 1988 through the present. Eligible candidates include: Players who played in at least 10 major league seasons, who are not on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list, and have been retired for 15 or more seasons; and managers, umpires and executives with 10 or more years in baseball. All active executives age 70 or older may have their careers reviewed as part of the Era Committee balloting process, regardless of the position they hold in an organization, and regardless of whether their body of work has been completed.

The Today’s Game Era ballot was determined this fall by the Historical Overview Committee, comprised of 11 veteran historians: Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun); Jim Henneman (formerly Baltimore Sun); Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch); Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau); Bill Madden (formerly New York Daily News); Jack O’Connell (BBWAA); Jim Reeves (formerly Fort Worth Star-Telegram); Tracy Ringolsby (MLB.com); Glenn Schwarz (formerly San Francisco Chronicle); Dave van Dyck (Chicago Tribune); and Mark Whicker (Los Angeles News Group).

The 16-member Hall of Fame Board-appointed electorate charged with the review of the Today’s Game Era ballot will be announced later this fall. The Today’s Game Era electorate will meet to discuss and review the candidacies of the 10 finalists as part of Baseball’s Winter Meetings, Dec. 4-5 in the Washington, D.C. area.

The Today’s Game Era Committee will meet twice in a five-year period, with the next meeting scheduled for the fall of 2018.

The 10 candidates for Today’s Game Era consideration for the Class of 2017:

• Harold Baines played 22 seasons for the White Sox, Rangers, Athletics, Orioles and Indians, totaling 2,866 hits and 1,628 RBI, an RBI total exceeded by only 31 players in history. A six-time All-Star as an outfielder and DH, Baines was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1977 MLB Draft and was a two-time winner of the Designated Hitter of the Year Award, now named the Edgar Martinez Award.

• Albert Belle was a five-time All-Star outfielder and five-time Silver Slugger Award winner in his 12 MLB seasons for the Indians, White Sox and Orioles in a career cut short by a hip injury. He drove in 100-or-more runs nine times, including three seasons when he led the AL, and led the league in total bases three times. In 1995, Belle became the only player in MLB history to post at least 50 doubles and 50 home runs in the same season.

• Will Clark played 15 years for the Giants, Rangers, Orioles and Cardinals, winning two Silver Slugger Awards and a Gold Glove Award at first base. A six-time All-Star, Clark compiled a .303 batting average while driving in 100-or-more runs four times and finishing in the Top 10 of his league’s MVP voting four times. He was named the 1989 NLCS MVP after hitting .650 with two homers and eight RBI for the Giants against the Cubs.

• Orel Hershiser pitched 18 seasons for the Dodgers, Indians, Giants and Mets. A three-time All-Star, Hershiser won the 1988 National League Cy Young Award and pitched the Dodgers to the World Series title that fall. The owner of 204 regular season wins, Hershiser was 8-3 with a 2.59 ERA in 22 Postseason games, winning series MVP honors in the 1988 NLCS and World Series as well as the 1995 ALCS.

davey-johnsonDavey Johnson managed 17 seasons for the Mets, Orioles and Dodgers, posting 1,372 wins. His winning percentage ranks 12th all-time among managers with at least 10 years of service. A 13-year veteran player whose 42 home runs as a second baseman in 1973 still stands as the big league record, Johnson led the 1986 Mets to the World Series title and led his teams to the playoffs in five other seasons. He was named his league’s Manager of the Year in both 1997 and 2012.

• Mark McGwire played 16 seasons for the Athletics and Cardinals, electrifying the baseball world in 1998 when he hit 70 home runs to break the single-season record of 61 set in 1961 by Roger Maris. McGwire set a rookie record with 49 home runs during his AL Rookie of the Year season in 1987 and was named to 12 All-Star Games at first base. His career mark of one home run per 10.61 at-bats is the best in MLB history.

medialy-birthday-boy-lou-piniella-shares-a-classic-george-steinbrenner-storyLou Piniella managed 23 seasons for the Yankees, Reds, Mariners, Rays and Cubs, winning 1,835 games – good for 14th on the all-time list. Piniella skippered the Reds to the 1990 World Series title and led the 2001 Mariners to an American League record 116 victories. Piniella guided his clubs to seven Postseason appearances and was named Manager of the Year in his league three times (1995, 2001, 2008) following an 18-year playing career that saw him hit .291 and take home World Series rings with the 1977-78 Yankees.

• John Schuerholz laid the groundwork for the Royals 1985 World Series championship team as farm director and general manager, then moved to the Braves, where as general manager and later president he built a club that qualified for the Postseason in 14 straight years, advanced to five World Series and won the title in 1995. He was the first general manager to lead teams to World Series titles in both the American and National Leagues.

• Allan H. “Bud” Selig was Baseball’s ninth commissioner, serving as acting commissioner starting in 1992 before being named commissioner in 1998. Selig oversaw two rounds of expansion, the creation of Wild Card playoff teams and interleague play as well as the creation of the World Baseball Classic.

George Steinbrenner purchased the New York Yankees in 1973 and oversaw the team’s path to seven World Series titles before his passing in 2010. An early adopter in baseball’s free agency era of the 1970s, Steinbrenner’s Yankees compiled a winning percentage of .565 and totaled 11 American League pennants in his 37 full years as the team’s owner.

More information on the candidates is available by visiting www.baseballhall.org.

About the Era Committees

The Eras Committees consist of four different electorates: Today’s Game (for candidates who made their most indelible contribution to baseball from 1988 to the present); Modern Baseball (for candidates who made their most indelible contribution to baseball from 1970 to 1987); Golden Days (for candidates who made their most indelible contribution to baseball from 1950 to 1969); and Early Baseball (for candidates who made their most indelible contribution to baseball prior to 1950).

The Today’s Game and Modern Baseball eras will be considered twice each in a five-year period, with the Golden Days era considered once every five years and the Early Baseball era considered once every 10 years.

Eras considered for yearly induction over the next decade are as follows: 2017 – Today’s Game; 2018 – Modern Baseball; 2019 – Today’s Game; 2020 – Modern Baseball; 2021 – Both Golden Days and Early Baseball; 2022 – Today’s Game; 2023 – Modern Baseball; 2024 – Today’s Game; 2025 – Modern Baseball; 2026 – Golden Days. The Early Baseball era returns for induction consideration in 2031.

Both the ballot and electorate are created anew with each cycle for consideration.

Four separate electorates consider by era a single composite ballot of managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players. Candidates remain eligible in perpetuity through the Era Committee process, with new ballots constructed by the Historical Overview Committee the fall prior to each election.

Mets Trade Cyclones Pitcher Erik Manoah to the Angels

On the eve of the September call-up period in Major League Baseball, the New York Mets dealt minor league pitcher Erik Manoah to the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for veteran reliever Fernando Salas.

Manoah, 20, was a 13th round draft pick of the Mets in 2014 and spent three seasons in the organization, going 9-10 with a 5.84 ERA in 35 appearances across two levels. Most recently, Manoah started 12 games with the Brooklyn Cyclones, pitching 62 innings with a 5-5 record and a 5.81 ERA. Manoah’s final outing with the Cyclones came on Tuesday against the Auburn Doubledays, where he allowed seven hits and three runs in relief of 2016 first round pick Justin Dunn. Manoah was initially slated to start the Cyclones’ home finale next Sunday against the Staten Island Yankees.

“I heard through the grapevine before our game tonight that our big league team (the Mets) were looking for another pitcher down the stretch to get into the playoffs,” Cyclones manager Tom Gamboa said. “Erik Manoah was the player traded to the Angels. He is in shock right now. There are two ways for a player to react to this. A player can take it as though the Mets are giving up on you or as I told Erik, I want to make sure he takes it from the sense that he was traded for a big league player and now a team can make him a big league prospect.”
Salas, 31, is a veteran of seven major league seasons and was a member of the 2011 World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals. Salas spent the past three seasons with the Angels pitching in middle relief and appeared in 58 games this season for the club with 45 strikeouts in 56.1 innings and a 4.47 ERA. The acquisition of Salas enables the Mets to bolster their bullpen and have a viable bridge to late inning flame-throwers Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia. The Mets currently sit 1.5 games behind the Cardinals for second wild card spot in the National League.

To make room for Salas on the active roster, the Mets transferred outfielder Justin Ruggiano to the 60-day DL. Manoah is the first Cyclones player traded to the Angels since pitcher Gaither Bumgarner on July 2, 2015. The last player dealt from Brooklyn prior to Wednesday was former 3rd round pick Casey Meisner to the Oakland A’s for Tyler Clippard.

Jose Reyes Shines for Brooklyn in Rehab Return

Jose Reyes (Photo Credit: Mark Suleymanov/Scout.com)

BROOKLYN, NY – On June 26, 2016, over 7,800 fans witnessed one of the most highly anticipated games in Brooklyn Cyclones history as Jose Reyes made his return to the New York Mets organization with two games at MCU Park after signing a minor league contract. Recovering from a left oblique strain, Reyes began a second rehab stint in Brooklyn on Thursday, playing five innings at third base and went 0-for-1 with two walks, two steals, and a run scored in a 7-4 Cyclones victory over the Vermont Lake Monsters.

Unlike his 0-for-5 showing in his last stint in Brooklyn, his first game on Thursday evening began auspiciously for Reyes. Facing Oakland A’s prospect Dakota Chalmers, Reyes led off the Cyclones’ first inning with a walk and promptly stole second with a head-first slide and eventually was stranded at third when Brandon Brosher grounded out to end the inning.

“I feel more comfortable now in Brooklyn than I did the last time I was there (in late June). There is no pressure for me. I know the Mets are going through a tough time right now. I want to be there in the clubhouse for them. They have had a rough couple of games of late, and hopefully, I can be there soon,” Reyes said.
When Reyes came up to bat in the third inning, the script was unchanged from his first plate appearance. Reyes ran the count full to draw a walk, promptly stole second, and was 90 feet away from scoring when Gene Cone reached base on a bunt single. Reyes scored the game’s first run on Nick Sergakis‘s bases loaded walk. The Cyclones added run courtesy of a Blake Tiberi sacrifice to take a 2-0 lead. Reyes batted again in the fourth and flew out to leftfield on one pitch to close his evening.

“I felt good to be back out there tonight,” Reyes said. “At least I took two swings and was able to steal two bases with no problem. I feel good. There aren’t any complaints my first game. If everything goes well, the Mets will give me the call on Sunday.”

Mets’ first-round pick Justin Dunn took the mound for the Cyclones in his fourth start of the season and put together his finest effort. Featuring a fastball touching 97 miles per hour and an effective changeup, Dunn proved untouchable against the Lake Monsters’ hitting, tossing three no-hit innings while striking out six. Dunn lowered his ERA to a microscopic 0.50 and continued to impress in Brooklyn.

“He is similar to Dwight Gooden at the same age because they are both athletic and have loose easy deliveries. Some pitchers will throw 97 MPH, and it looks like the shoulder will fall out of his socket. Dunn is like Doc where the ball comes out of his arm very easily. He looks like he is just playing catch,” Cyclones manager Tom Gamboa said regarding Dunn.
With a batting average which ranks 159th out of the 160 MiLB teams at .214, entering Thursday’s play, the Cyclones have struggled mightily to get on base consistently, but on a night when control escaped Vermont pitching, reaching base was an easy task for the Cyclones, who set a franchise record with 12 base on balls. The patient approach paid dividends in the seventh inning when Hengelbert Rojas singled home Blake Tiberi and Jay Jabs, each of whom walked in front of him to take a three-run lead.

Brooklyn’s fourth consecutive victory came at a devastating price as prized first base prospect Peter Alonso will miss the remainder of the season after breaking his thumb in two places during the opening game of the series against Vermont. The team hoped the swelling would subside, but chose to shut him down as a precautionary measure.

Reyes will return to the Cyclones for the first two games of series against the West Virginia Black Bears on Friday and Saturday and will play both third base or shortstop, though the Mets have yet to determine which position he’ll play first as of press time.

Woodmansee, Alonso, and Gonzalez Earn NYPL All-Star Selection for Brooklyn

Harol Gonzalez (Robert M. Pimpsner)

Featuring a roster filled with high profile college draft picks, the Brooklyn Cyclones boast their fair share of stars and on Monday three of them were named to the New York Penn-League All-Star team with SS Colby Woodmansee, 1B Peter Alonso, and RHP Harol Gonzalez representing the Cyclones in Hudson Valley.

Colby Woodmansee (Robert M. Pimpsner)
Colby Woodmansee (Robert M. Pimpsner)

Woodmansee, a five-time scholar baller at Arizona State, quickly emerged as one of Brooklyn’s top hitters after being taken in the 6th round of the 2016 draft by the New York Mets. In his first 41 games, Woodmansee has a .283 batting average and a.741 OPS with 2 home runs and 21 RBI. Woodmansee recorded his first professional home run on July 4 against the Batavia Muckdogs.

“Making the All-Star team was something I expected to do and was one of my goals heading into the season. Many players go their entire minor league career and never get a chance to play in one. I texted my mom and dad when I found out and they were really excited for me,” Woodmansee said.

Pete Alonso (Robert M. Pimpsner)
Pete Alonso (Robert M. Pimpsner)

Alonso, a second-round pick by the Mets out of Florida, joined the Cyclones on July 9 and quickly became the club’s central power threat, leading them in five offensive categories, including batting average (.324), home runs (5), RBI (21), and slugging percentage (.590). On August 8 against the Tri-City ValleyCats, Alonso recorded a career-best, four hits in five at-bats and fell a triple short of the cycle in a 17-3 victory. Alonso has also played a flawless first base, going errorless in his first 18 pro games.

“It means a lot especially not getting as much time here in Brooklyn as some of the other guys. Me coming here late and being voted onto the team just means the world because I was able to make the most of my time here. I don’t want to settle for where I am and will myself into being the best player I can be,” Alonso said.

Gonzalez, signed by the Mets as an international free agent in 2013 out of the Dominican Republic became one of the most dominating starting pitchers in the New York-Penn League, going 4-1 with a 1.77 ERA in nine starts and drawing comparisons to a young Pedro Martinez by some scouts. Gonzalez’s 67 strikeouts in 56 innings lead the league and has held opposing batters to a .184 average, entering play on August 9.  Gonzalez took a no-hitter into the seventh inning on two occasions this season, including a July 14 outing against the Lowell Spinners.

“Certainly, all of our other pitchers are watching Harol like a hawk. We have several other guys that throw harder than Harol, but it is obvious they are seeing a guy with impeccable control. He’s always got the hitter behind in the count. You can’t teach this, but Harol has what Greg Maddux and Brad Radke had where they can see a hitter take one swing and know what pitch to throw to keep a hitter off balance. He’s too good for this league,” Cyclones manager Tom Gamboa said.

Woodmansee, Alonso, and Gonzalez will play for the South All-Stars in Hudson Valley. The 12th annual New York-Penn League All-Star Game will take place on Tuesday, August 16 at Dutchess Stadium, the home of the Hudson Valley Renegades.