#15 ? Vic Black
#15 ? Vic Black
DWLDomingo Tapia (Gigantes del Cibao): 2 G, 2 IP, 1 H, 4 BB, 1 K
Looks like the control problems that plagued Tapia all season followed him south this winter as he's walked two batters in each of his first two appearances.
In Norse mythology, Thor slays the serpent?J?rmungandr, and then ties himself from the snake's venom. In another story Thor's hammer Mjollnir is stolen, and eventually Thor tricks the thief using an age-old cross-dressing strategy before killing all who tried to steal his treasured hamer. Lets just say we're at the point in the story without a hammer.
Noah Syndergaard is alive, but had a bad outing Monday night: 3 IP, 9 H, 11 R, 9 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. Hey at least he threw 64% of his pitches (55 of 86) for strikes. He was pitching on nine days rest because the Mets are limiting his innings down the stretch. Prior to Monday's meltdown, since a homerun alllowed on 7/28, Thor had been untouchable:?20.1 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 26 K, .106 OBA, 239 pitches/178 strikes (74%).?One bad start does not seem like a big deal. I suspect he will get an extra day or two of rest and then throw in game one or two of the B-Mets' playoff series next Wednesday or Thursday.
Better from Domingo Tapia: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K.
Tapia is one of the most confounding prospects in the Mets' system. He has one of the best fastballs in the system, showing 95-96 mph with sink regularly with plenty of 98 and a few 100s mixed in. His changeup, when it's right, dives like a splitter out of the zone. ?He's struggled in years past to find a release point for his slider as it used to come out loopy from his low 3/4 arm slot and he basically stopped throwing it at the end of the 2012 season in Savannah.
Oh, Domingo Tapia: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 4 BB, 2 K. That's three times in his last four starts he has not finished the second inning. In those four outings, he's fanned eight and walked 14 in 9.2 innings while allowing 16 runs on 13 hits. That's not good. As long as he's fully healthy there's just no reason to think, based on his season-long performance (5.00 ERA, 73/49 K/BB in 81 IP), and his recent work, that he's ever going to be a Major League starter. Instead, he should be ticketed for the AA bullpen to start 2014.
Game 1, Rainy Lara was fine: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K. He's fanned 18% of his opponents in advanced-A, while walking 7% on his way to a 2.92 ERA. He gets his outs with his slider and has a chance to be a slider heavy middle reliever if he can tighten the pitch.
Game 2, Domingo Tapia was wild: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 0 K. It's the third time in 17 starts this year that he has failed to finish the first inning with four walks. It's the second straight start in which he has not finished the second. He's up to 43 walks in 73.2 innings, a 13% walk rate. Major, major uh-ohs here.
Through six innings tonight, Domingo Tapia had allowed one unearned run on two hits without walking a batter and against six strikeouts. After getting two groundballs to start the seventh, he gave up a walk and two singles to load 'em up before departing the game up against his pitch count. All three runners he bequeathed to RHP Cody Satterwhite, making his Mets' organizational debut, scored.
As he always does when he's on, Tapia induced a bunch of groundballs, in this case, eight.
Cory Mazzoni (4-3, 4.38): 6 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 6 K - 66% strikes (66 of 99) - 5 ground outs/4 fly outs. Mazzoni's been missing bats over his recent starts, but also giving up lots of hits and runs. The Mets second round pick in 2011 has allowed at least three runs in each of his last eight starts, and five runs or more in half of those octet.
The Mets scored the go-ahead run in the ninth when CF Gilbert Gomez walked and scored on T.J. Rivera's single into right field.
The most notable thing in this box score was ugly as Domingo Tapia walked five. His line: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 K. He induced four groundouts, but the bottom line is that he walked five of the 22 batters he faced. That's not good. Tapia has now walked 25 in 47.2 innings thus far and 12 in 15.1 since returning from his burned hand on May 24.
I'm not very concerned about Tapia's hand, mostly because it's his non-throwing hand. Also, in the long run, cooking for himself and his teammates is, burns aside, certainly healthier than eating out every night.
- Lynn Worthy reports that AA RHP Tyler Pill has been shut down for three weeks with a Bennett lesion in his right shoulder. Per Worthy, "Bennet lesion is a buildup or mineralization in a ligament located in the back of the shoulder capsule." Not all Bennett lesions are painful. One study found 22% of asymptomatic pitchers had Bennett Lesions, and pain is associated with a bony spur. This falls into the category of impingement in the area around the posterior rotator cuff which are not good words for pitchers. This might be nothing and some minor irritation that goes away, but I suspect that Pill will be out for a significant length of time. Even after a three-week shutdown, he'd need a few weeks in the throwing program to build his arm strength back up so he's looking at 5-6 weeks minimum.?
St. Lucie manager Ryan Ellis told MiLB.com that Tapia's breaking ball, which was formerly sliderish has improved and mutated:
SS Philip Evans (pictured) had one at-bat on Saturday and popped out to first base. He was then removed from the game by Gnats' manager Luis Rojas because he did not run out the play. "It's organizational policy," Rojas explained after the game. "We talked about it, and he [Evans] understands." The 20-year-old Evans has had a tough start to the year, hitting .189/.254/.226 through 15 games with seven errors.
The good: 1B Jayce Boyd: 3-for-4, 1 2B, BB, 4 RBI. The 22-year-old is hitting .387/.473/.532 with 10 walks against nine strikeouts (!) in his 16 games with the Gnats.
CF Brandon Nimmo ?(pictured)?as 3-for-5 with a homer, his first of 2013 and five RBI, a new season-high by a Gnat. After 11 games, the 20-year-old is hitting .429/.510/.571 with three extra-base hits, five walks and eight strikeouts. I am very pleasantly surprised. He's young for the league and for the season's first week and a half, been the circuit's best hitter.
1B Jayce Boyd added a 2-for-5 night with a double, his fifth. The 22-year old is hitting a robust .372/.460/.558 in his 11 games.
The four walks tied the 21-year old Tapia's 2012 season-high. He had a really short outing in April '12 on the road in West Virginia, when the Power smacked every fastball he tossed up for eight hits and eight runs in 1.1 innings. This feels different thanks to the walks and wild pitches.
Tapia is a fun prospect. He's huge, with a loose, easy arm that generates a plus-plus fastball. He was regularly 94-96 with plenty of 98 and 99 mph in 2012 with Savannah. It's not straight either. He gets sink on the two-seamer and armside run if it's up.
During the 2012 season, he started added a four-seamer (also in the mid-upper 90s) to work away to righties and in to lefties. Alongside Zack Wheeler's heater, it was the best fastball in the system last year.
Obviously, no RHP Rafael Montero, RHP Jacob deGrom or 3B Aderlin Rodriguez. Montero, I suspect will be on the Florida State League list, but I confess I am still fuzzy on BA's eligibility requirements by league.
RF Cesar Puello ?(.257/.325/.424)?was 1-for-3 with a homer in game one. He played rightfield in both games, while Darrell Ceciliani roamed in center in game one and Alonzo Harris did the same in game two.
LF Cory Vaughn?(pictured) was 2-for-3 with a double (his 22nd), a homer (his 23rd) and a stolen base, (his 21st) in game one and doubled and walked in game two. ?Vaughn is tied for the FSL homerun lead with Marlins OF Marzel Ozuna, who won game one with a walkoff off Adam Kolarek in the bottom of the seventh. Ozuna might be a better prospect simply because as a 21-year old who won't turn 22 until November, he's a year and a half ?younger than Vaughn, who turned 23 this year. ?After a .222/.330/.430 line in 61 games in the first half, Vaughn is up to .269/.382/.510 in 60 games in the second half as he's cut his strikeouts from 60 to 50. He has a significant platoon split as he's run a .922 OPS versus lefties and a .773 OPS versus right-handed pitching. Before you get excited about the next Scott Hairston, remember that he plays center and Vaughn doesn't.
Darrell Ceciliani, who has been out since June 27 with a strained hamstring, returned as the DH and was 3-for-4 with a strikeout. He's played a whopping 15 games this season in a season essentially lost to his hamstrings. When he's played, he's hit: 18-for-57 (.316/.375/.474). The issue is that he has barely played and will probably have to repeat St. Lucie to begin 2013.
RF Cesar Puello was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. In 12 games in August, the 21-year old hit .293/.383/.488 with six extra-base hits (good) and 1 walk against 13 strikeouts (alarming). Again, note that he's playing right, while Alonzo Harris plays center. That's interesting.
I think Tapia's two-seamer/changeup combo will get him to the big leagues. They are that good. Mike bemoans the fact that Tapia does not throw a slider in games. The general scouting consensus is that without that breaking ball, he will land in a bullpen.
Hansel Robles?(pictured) took a perfect game into the eighth when he gave up a two-out single. His final line: 8 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K. A week shy of his 22nd birthday, Robles is having an outstanding season. His 1.48 ERA is now third in the NYP, his 51 strikeouts are third (behind only teammates Luis Mateo and Rainy Lara) he's second in WHIP (0.80), fourth in innings pitched (54.2) and fourth in lowest walk rate (0.99 BB-IBB/9 IP). His strikeout to walk ratio is a tasty 8.5. Again, according to some reports, he's been up to 94-95 mph in recent starts. According to Cyclones' Pitching Coach Marc Valdes, he was 92-94 mph on Friday. ?One major red flag: he's listed at 5'11" and there just aren't that many right-handed starters under 6' in the big leagues.
SS Philip Evans singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. The 19-year old is hitting a superficially unimpressive .234/.314/.348, but the 30/22 K/BB rates in 50 games are very solid.
On Sunday, the Mets and Jays played one inning in the game that began Saturday. Then it started raining again in Port St. Lucie.
With two walks and a hit-by-pitch in his inning of work Sunday, LHP Jack Leathersich now has issued 15 walks in 30 innings in advanced-A on his way to a 4.20 ERA.
DH Mike (Whitestone's own) Baxter was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI in his first rehab game since injuring his shoulder saving Johan Santana's no-hitter.
RF Cory Vaughn continued his big July: 2-for-4 with a double and a walk. The 23-year old is hitting .340/.431/.620 with nine extra-base hits and six walks in 14 games in July, but is still hitting just .242/.347/.462 for the year.
Domingo Tapia, pitching at home in Savannah for the first time since May 23rd, did not begin well. In the top of the first inning on a sweltering afternoon in Savannah (94 degrees officially and muggy at first pitch) he walked the leadoff man. A flyout and a pair of singles gave the RiverDogs a 1-0 lead. After a strikeout, and a wild pitch, he gave up a sharp single through the left side past the reach of SS Matt Reynolds to a left-handed batter that plated two runs. ?An unearned run in the second inning put the 'Dogs up 4-0.
Then Tapia started rolling. From the second inning on, he retired the 16 of the final 17 batters he faced, and from the third inning on, the final 13 batters in a row. Of those last 13 batters, he allowed two flyballs, nine ground balls, and fanned two. He needed 41 pitches in the first two innings and then 41 over the next five. His pitch counts by inning: 28, 13, 5, 10, 9, 8, 9.
Tapia has not pitched in a game since May 29, in the Gnats' 51st game of the year. At that point, he had had thrown 46 innings and was on pace for 126.1 innings in 2012. Tapia threw a total of 56 innings in 2011 in Kingsport and Brooklyn and 58.2 in 2010 in the DSL and GCL. While some increase is desirable, the Mets clearly were a little uncomfortable with a pace that more than doubled his innings pitched over the previous season.
Tapia is not scheduled to throw this weekend in Charleston as RHP Marcos Camarena will make a start in his place.
Pedro Beato threw another scoreless inning in his rehab, giving up a hit without striking out a batter.
SS Wilfredo Tovar drove home the go-ahead run to cap a three-run St. Lucie top of the eighth inning.
Have a night Blake Forsythe. The catcher was 2-for-3 with a pair of home runs and drove home all six St. Lucie runs. He lifted a solo home run in the third inning, a grand slam in the fourth, and then drove home Cesar Puello with the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth. The big night lifted the Mets' third round pick in 2010's season line to .231/.257/.492 in 20 games. Eight of his 15 hits have gone for extra-bases, but in 20 games, he's rocking a 22/3 K/BB ratio.
Wilmer Flores was 2-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to seven games. The 20-year old is up to .324/.359/.504 overall in 38 games. In May, he's ripping at .368/.419/.561 in 15 games.
He uses his 6'4" frame and long arms to generate a special fastball. His heater has regularly been 95-98 mph, has touched 99, with plus sink. It alone can overpower South Atlantic League hitters.
A few weeks ago, I sat down with the 20-year old, for an interview, translated by Gnats' manager Luis Rojas. Due to the nature of translation, where Rojas was paraphrasing answers, presenting it as straight quotes did not seem not quite right.
Lets start with the dude who's smoking hot: RF Cory Vaughn who homered for the fifth time in seven games. Vaughn, who was 1-for-4, is hitting .293/.381/.587 overall. He's leading the Florida State League in homers (7) and is second in slugging, tied for second in extra-base hits (13).
3B Wilmer Flores was 1-for-3 with a walk, his fifth of the season. The 20-year old is hitting .316/.343/.495 in 26 games with a walk rate (4.6%) that is nearly a dead ringer for last year (4.8%). The difference between this year and last year? He's stopped striking out, with just seven strikeouts, he's whiffed in 6.5% of his plate appearances, and hitting for more power as his extra-base hit rate has ticked up (from 6.6 to 8.3%) while his HR rate has more than doubled (from 1.6 to 3.7%).
No Andres Torres, who's supposed to take his rehab north for the weekend to somewhere cold and rejoin the Mets Monday in Houston. With the Bisons at home to host Rochester this weekend, and the B-Mets in Erie, PA to see the SeaWolves, I'd wager heavily he'll be in a Bisons' uniform for a few days. However, DJ Carrasco tossed two scoreless innings.
RHP Erik Goeddel (pictured)?made his first start of the year and his second appearance overall and was really good: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. Goeddel, who the Mets went overslot to sign in the 24th round in 2010, was really good for Savannah in the first half in 2011, missed over two months with shoulder issue, and did not look like the same guy when he returned in August.
The Crawdads scored three runs in the top of the 13th against Savannah reliever Jared West, but the guy who matters most, and this will be true every time he pitches in 2012, is RHP Domingo Tapia.?
His line: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K. Four of the six hits and both runs he allowed came in the first two innings before he really settled into the game and retired 15 of the final 17 to face him. Four of the six hits were on the ground. It's not just that he throws hard, his fastball sinks something mean. (I don't know how hard, since I ?really do not trust the stadium gun, but it was mid-90s or better, easily.) Tapia was able to use his slider and change-up well from the second inning on. It was really an impressive performance. He's starting to work his pitches in combinations and set up hitters nicely. For example, after a 1-1 change-up for a strike a hitter had no chance at the two-strike heat, or after getting ahead with the fastball, he could make a batter flail at a slider away for strike three. The only walk he issued was to the first batter of the game, and even that was a seven-pitch confrontation.
An excerpt from their comment about Wheeler:
The EL is a long way from the big leagues, granted, but one couldn't ask for much more from Wheeler than he's shown thus far. He's throwing strikes with two plus pitches and showing flashes with his third and fourth offerings.They promise more on Tapia later.
RHP Domingo Tapia: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K, 0 WP, 0 HBP, 13 ground ball outs, 0 fb outs. Every out he recorded was by strikeout or groundball. Two of the three hits he allowed were grounders. The 20-year old hit 99 in his first start in Savannah, and did not throw a fastball below 95. Saturday, he touched 98 on the Augusta stadium gun. In two starts in the SAL, he's fanned 11, walked one and gave up seven hits in 12 innings. I had him ranked #14 coming into this year, and I fear I severely under-ranked him.
Hot damn. This was about as good as it gets in A-ball. Easter Sunday was picture-pefect: ?77 degrees and sun-drenched in Savannah with a pair of big arms on the hill, RHP Kyle Crick for the GreenJackets and RHP Domingo Tapia for the Gnats.
I had Tapia ranked #14 in my pre-season Top 41 ranking of Mets prospects. He's a big guy who throws hard with plenty of room to fill out. For what it's worth, Tapia was my highest-ranked pitcher who did not pitch at a full-season level in 2011.
- Domingo Tapia was dominant on the hill in Friday's clincher: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. ? It was the first time sine his first start of the year, on June 22 against Johnson City in the Appalachian League, that he struck out as many batters as innings pitched and fanned three times as many as he walked. After struggling early in the Appalachian League season, Tapia put together a 3-1 August with a 1.13 ERA in which he allowed just 17 hits in 24 innings, walking nine and fanning 15.
- Philip Evans played shortstop Saturday and Sunday, going a combined 1-for-8.
The Brooklyn Cyclones completed a three-game sweep over Lowell with a convincing 7-1 victory on Thursday.
Leading the Cyclones attack were Cole Frenzel (3-5, 4 RBI) and none other than Danny Muno (3-3, 2B, 2 bb). ?With his perfect night, Muno (pictured) now leads the NYPL in hitting with a .353 average. ?He also leads the league in OBP (.463) and OPS (.975).
1B Cole Frenzel (.250/.346/.328), this year's seventh round ?pick out of Arizona was 3-4 with a double and an RBI. ?After a slow start to his professional career and a .215/.315/.291 line in 20 games in July, Frenzel is rolling along at .324/.409/.405 in August. ?He's not hitting for much power yet, but at least he's hitting for average.
Rain held Eduardo Aldama's night to 2.2 so the bullpen had to pick up the slack. ?Tyler Pill, ?this year's fourth-round pick out of Cal State Fullerton, tossed a scoreless inning with two strikeouts.
? ? ?Game 2: @ Batavia Muckdogs 2, Brooklyn Cyclones 1- 8 innings
In Game 1, the pitching combination of Eduardo Aldama (5 IP, 3 hits, bb, 6 K) and Jack Leathersich (SV(1), 2 IP, 3 hits, 1 er, bb, 5K) limited Batavia to just one run on six hits. ?The two pitchers combined to strikeout 11 while walking only two.
? ? Friday: Brooklyn Cyclones 9, @ Staten Island Yankees 4
Thursday: The Cyclones were limited to just three hits.
I will not do an in-season re-ranking. ?I just don't see a point. ?I want to see the 2011 draftees play. ?I want to see the short-season guys play. ?I want to see how the guys who were recently promoted handle their new levels. ?I want to see if the guys who struggled in the first half can make adjustments. ?.