Seth Lugo and Steven Matz to the rescue

Lefty starter Steven Matz and righty swing man Seth Lugo have been absent from the Mets active roster since spring training. Coupled with the long term losses of our top starter and closer, this has been devastating for our once deep and powerful pitching staff. Back in spring training we had seven good to great starting pitchers and a solid bullpen. But four injuries have led us to carrying players on the roster that, frankly, don’t belong in the Major Leagues.

A team with journeymen Tommy Milone and Neil Ramirez and AAAA talent like Rafael Montero on the roster, not to mention marginal talent like Paul Sewald, Josh Smoker and the struggling Hansel Robles and Fernando Salas, isn’t poised to go very far. Noah Syndergaard and Jeurys Familia aren’t likely to rejoin the team until at least after the All Star break. But thankfully, Matz and Lugo are working their way back to Queens with minor league rehab starts. Both should be back within the next week or two and that could be a game changer.

The offense has been pretty good for the most part and with Yoenis Cespedes coming back, scoring runs should continue to be a positive for this team. For the pitching staff to do its part, the starters need to routinely, or at least more frequently, go seven innings. Jacob deGrom is there and Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Robert Gsellman have all shown encouraging signs of joining him to form an effective rotation. The fifth spot, currently held by the now injured Milone and tomorrow by either Smoker or Montero (gulp) has been a major problem. Matz will provide a massive upgrade. While his injury history has been frustrating, he’s been effective when healthy.

The addition of Lugo might prove even more valuable. The curveball machine can fill in as a spot starter and give the rest of the rotation an extra day, or he can be someone who enters the game in the sixth inning to give us a solid two inning bridge to our only two effective relievers – Jerry Blevins and Addison Reed. Right now, it’s hard to feel comfortable bringing anyone else into a close game. Either way it will help solve the problem of blowing games in the sixth and seventh innings, where seemingly every loss this season can trace its roots.

In an ideal world, the forthcoming additions of Matz, Lugo and Cespedes spark the team and help us get back into contention. Come July, the front office can make a move to shore up the bullpen while we look forward to getting back Syndergaard and Familia, not to mention Amed Rosario, for the stretch run. In a stormy season, there’s always a sliver of sunlight if you look hard enough.

Gut Reaction: Padres 4 Mets 3 (5/25/17)

Y’know, we always talk about the weather, but we never do anything about it. On this night, the Mets couldn’t do anything about the weather or the San Diego Padres and they were done in by both. The Mets dropped the rubber game of this series in desultory fashion, going down in a hail of runners left on base.

Jacob deGrom was supposed to pitch for the Mets, but an all-day soaking rain caused a shift in management’s thinking: on the very real chance that the game would be interrupted by a downpour, and not wanting to waste a deGrom start, it was decided to start Rafael Montero instead. It was a bad decision. By gametime, the rain had slackened to an annoying mist. Montero threw 87 pitches in three innings — yes, you read that right — 45 of which came in the first. With one out, Yangervis Solarte drew an eight-pitch walk. Will Myers followed with a base on balls of his own. Hunter Renfroe hit a painfully slow roller to short on which Jose Reyes had no play and the bases were loaded. Cory Spangenberg lined a base hit into left and the Padres led it, 1-0. After Montero struck out Austin Hedges, he surrendered his third walk of the inning to Matt Szczur and San Diego had a 2-0 lead.

The Mets got one back in the second, when Lucas Duda launched a long home run to right field off rookie right-hander Dinelson Lamet, making his MLB debut. Euphoria was short-lived, however, as the weather reared its head once again. Leading off the third, Renfroe lifted a lazy popup to Michael Conforto in left field. Right off the bat, Conforto couldn’t see it through the foggy murk and it dropped right next to the left field foul line, while Contforto was playing duck-and-cover. Renfroe wound up on second, was sacrificed over to third by Spangenberg and scored on a two-out base hit by Szczur. The score was 3-1, but somehow it felt like 8-1.

Paul Sewald replaced Montero in the fourth and did yeoman work, tossing three scoreless innings. Josh Edgin came on in the seventh and notched two scoreless frames of his own. On offense, the Mets kept getting runners on against Lamet, but couldn’t bring any of them around — it looked a lot like last year in that regard, actually. The got the leadoff man on in the third, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth and ended up with only one additional run to show for it. That run scored in the eighth, when Neil Walker led off with a booming double over Sczcur’s head and Duda grounded a single up the middle.

Addison Reed came on to hold the Padres in the ninth. He did not do that. Allen Cordoba led off with a single and with one out, Myers walked. Renfroe then sent a deep fly to right and Cordoba crossed over to third. Spangenberg slapped a line drive just past Duda’s leap, resulting in an RBI double and that bloody insurance run. It was needed, because in the bottom of the ninth, Juan Lagares drew a one-out walk. Conforto — having struck out four times, in addition to his meteorological problems — smacked a base hit into right, putting runners on first and third. Reyes hit big hopper to short, but the Padres couldn’t turn the double play and Lagares scored. That brought up Jay Bruce with a chance to win it, but he hit a weak pop foul outside third, which Spangenberg squeezed as he fell against the front of the stands.

It’ll be tough getting past the ignominy of dropping two-of-three to the worst team in the majors, but now it’s on to Pittsburgh to try and recover.

Game Chatter: Dinelson Lamet vs Rafael Montero (5/25/17)

The tipping point with Terry Collins and the mainstream media

The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. It seems like we may have witnessed two important tipping points with the Mets this year. The first is with how they handle injuries and the second with how they utilize their relievers.

Jerry Crasnick wrote a very detailed piece on injuries and now we have news that Sandy Alderson is holding daily meetings on the subject and looking into all aspects of how the team handles injuries. Better late than never.

And now, Teflon Terry Collins is coming under scrutiny from every source on how he handles his bullpen. Of course, bloggers have been talking about this for years while the mainstream media turned a blind eye because, doggone it, TC is such a good guy. But we heard Ron Darling crticize him on the air last night and reporters are following up. Here are snippets from what Joel Sherman wrote today in the Post:

“Perhaps the only issue Terry Collins wanted to discuss less than injuries in his pregame media gathering Wednesday was bullpen management.

And because those were the subjects of the day — and pretty much every day around this disappointing team — the manager was touchy and miserable.”

snip

“Normally chatty and helpful with reporters, Collins provided vagaries and terse responses when asked the status of his injured fleet.”

snip

“Collins saw the wildness and a dip in velocity and summoned Neil Ramirez to face Myers. On April 29, pitching for the Giants, Ramirez had allowed a three-run homer to Myers. He was designated for assignment the next day. I asked Collins if he knew that and he said he did not, that he had not seen the matchups. In this data-driven baseball age, how could the manager and his entire staff not be aware of what occurred less than a month ago?”

Wow, I mean just wow. And once again for emphasis, wow!!

To see Collins skewered in the mainstream media is shocking. It’s 100 percent correct and at least five years overdue but wow. Hey, better late than never.

As someone who’s been beating the drum for years that the Mets’ bullpen deployment makes no sense, it’s good to see others pick up the cause. Still, I can’t help but wonder if Collins hadn’t been “terse” and instead was “chatty and helpful” if he would still be getting a free pass.

The beauty that is Michael Conforto

“If you can keep your head about you when all others are losing theirs, and blaming it on you…Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, and – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!” — Rudyard Kipling

As all of us who read this know, it’s a trying time to be a Mets fan, to say the least. The woes of this team are well documented and don’t need to be enumerated individually here, suffice to say that no team is going to look very good without its dominant ace starter, its mostly-consistent closer and its lightning-rod superstar hitter. It seems that the Baseball Gods have taken special delight in heaping the trials of Job on the team from Queens. Those of us of a metaphysical bent might call it Madoff’s Revenge or continuing payback to Satan for Bill Buckner. It could be a simple reversion by ownership to its previous meddling ways – if you notice over the years, in the wake of success, Mets’ GMs going all the way back to Frank Cashen suddenly get stupid; I leave it up to you, dear reader, to figure out the common denominator. In any case, the 2017 is hurtling toward the “lost” column and it’s just Memorial Day weekend.

One bright spot among this rubble has been, of course, the emergence of Michael Conforto. Extremely little was expected from this third-year player this year. After his meteoric rise to the post-season roster in 2015 – it is easy to forget that he was only drafted out of college in June of ’14 – his fall was just as rapid last year. With all kinds of talk swirling that he might start the year in Las Vegas due to the Mets’ supposed glut of outfielders – they were supposed to have a glut of starting pitchers, too, but look how that one turned out – a lat injury to Juan Lagares late in training camp allowed for Conforto to take that roster spot. After a fitful start to the season, he has definitely made the most of his opportunity. With Yoenis Cespedes on the shelf for most of the early g and with Jay Bruce’s initial hot streak a thing of the past, Conforto has emerged as the team’s most consistent, exciting hitter. A graphic on a recent game telecast showed a textbook swing, with near-perfect mechanics. Ron Darling marveled at Conforto’s ability to keep his head down, his eyes focused on ball meeting bat. “That’s what everybody means when they say ‘Keep your eye on the ball.’ Conforto’s doing that perfectly.” With his emerging stature among League leaders, people are starting to take notice: eighth in Avg. (.333), third in home runs (13), fourth in OPS (1.138). And because of that lousy pre-season depth chart, he can’t get on the All-Star ballot.

Across town, people are turning cartwheels over the development of Aaron Judge, and rightly so. Judge started this season like a house ablaze and hasn’t let up. Thing is, Conforto is right there with him and not a lot of folks around here are noticing. While Conforto isn’t nearly the imposing physical specimen Judge is and is a year younger, he’s matched Judge stat-for-stat, with a couple more RBI and a couple fewer HR. Just watch, they’ll go neck and neck down the New York track the rest of the year.

Dare we hope the rest of the Mets can catch up?

Follow me on Twitter @CharlieHangley.

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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.