Cyclones have roster shakeup, lose three pitchers to the Rumble Ponies
The Cyclones went 23 days in April without any major changes to the roster, but it took just two days into May for Brooklyn to have its first true shakeup.
The Brooks lost three pitchers — RHP Jose Chacin, RHP David Griffin and RHP Josh Hejka— to the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies.
Chacin had been maybe Brooklyn’s most effective starter this year, pitching to a 1.53 ERA and 0.96 WHIP over 17.2 innings. His innings total is second on the team, as are his 22 strikeouts. After four starts with the Cyclones in 2021 and another four in 2022, the 25-year-old is moving up in the Mets system.
Griffin has been used as both a starter and reliever this season and has also had some pretty good success. In 15 innings and five appearances he has a 2.40 ERA and 0.80 WHIP, the latter of which is the best on the team. He also gave up an opponent batting average of .148, good for second on the team.
Hejka meanwhile was probably the team’s best relief pitcher. The submariner — and subject of last week’s Brooklyn Cyclones Report — didn’t give up a run over 6 appearances and 7.2 innings of work. His WHIP of 0.91, an opponent average of .179 and K/BB ratio of 5.0 all rank in the top five on the team, and his three combined saves and holds are No. 1.
While talking about Hejka recently, pitching coach A.J. Sager mentioned how this is what he wants for the players on his team.
“Ideally, I don’t want to see any of these guys here at the end of the year,” Sager said. “I want them to all move forward, including [Hejka].”
While Brooklyn is losing those three arms, two new ones along with a familiar-faced infielder are coming to town to take their place.
RHP Brendan Hardy and LHP Nick Zwack have been promoted from Single-A St. Lucie, and infielder Branden Fryman is on his way from Double-A Binghamton
Hardy was drafted by the Mets in the 31st round in 2018, and after a solid showing in rookie ball, he struggled in both 2019 and 2021. He’s taken a massive step forward this season though, giving up one earned run and just three hits while punching out 17 through six relief appearances and 8.1 innings for the St. Lucie Mets.
Zwack, a 17th-round pick in 2021, doesn’t have quite as good numbers on the surface with his ERA sitting at just a couple of ticks under five. However, he’s made four appearances this season, split evenly between as a starter and reliever, and all of his runs have been given up coming out of the pen. His most recent two appearances have been as a starter, where he’s gone five scoreless and four scoreless while giving up just seven baserunners and striking out 15.
As for Fryman, the 2019 21st-round pick has played in Brooklyn in all three of his professional seasons dating back to the year he has drafted. He started the 2022 season in Binghamton but picked up just three singles in 25 at-bats with no walks.
The Cyclones are away through May 8 but then return home for two-straight series vs. the Wilmington Blue Rocks and Hudson Valley Renegades from May 10-22. For tickets and promotion information, click here.