As always, the important stories at AAA, have clear and nearly immediate Major League implications.
Zack Wheeler yielded a two-run homer in the first inning, but it was quickly buried by a nine-run second inning from the B-Mets' offense and Wheeler's own solid work over the subsequent six innings. His final line: 7 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 8 K. He threw 66% of his pitches (62 of 93) for strikes. I'm a broken record on this, but Wheeler's control is the thing keeping him from AAA. He's working with a plus fastball and a plus slider, but as the four walks Thursday illustrate, his location can come and go. He's walked 12% of the batters he's seen (4.5 BB/9).
Lots of hitting stars in this one as seven different B-Mets had at least two hits.
Tags: Binghamton Mets, Buffalo Bisons, Elvin Ramirez, Jefry Marte, Juan Lagares, Zack Wheeler, Toby Hyde
Darin Gorski was commanding again: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 4 K. He threw 62% of his pitches (54 of 87) for strikes. That's two out of three starts in which he's thrown six shutout innings. His three-start line: 16 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 7 BB, 16 K, 1.13 ERA. Sure, you want to point out that he's walking 3.9 batters per nine? Fair. He's also not allowing hits. The Eastern League is hitting just .120 against him. There's a tradeoff, he could throw more strikes and give up a few more hits and walk fewer batters.
Also, Elvin Ramirez keeps racking up the strikeouts out of the B-Mets' pen. Thursday, he fanned four and walked one in two innings of action while throwing a wild pitch. Ramirez has now struck out 14 of the 30 batters he's faced at double-A this year. That's... good.
The Nationals selected Ramirez with the sixth pick in the Major League phase of the Rule Five draft last December coming off an impressive run for Ramirez in the Dominican Winter League that was a dramatic step forward for him?as I discussed here. ?He was reportedly throwing in the upper 90s with stats to match.
Tags: Elvin Ramirez, Rule 5 Draft, Toby Hyde
That makes me smile.
Elvin Ramirez, who the Nationals plucked from the Mets in the Rule 5 draft, isn't throwing yet, so his time on the DL might make life easier for the Nationals to keep him.
Tags: Elvin Ramirez, Matt Harvey, Toby Hyde
In particular, there were numerous reports that the Mets would lose hard-throwing right-handed pitcher Elvin Ramirez.? Buster Olney tweeted, "The guy widely expected to be the first pick in the Rule 5 draft:Mets right-hander Elvin Ramirez,who has been clocked 94-98 mph this winter."
At Baseball America, John Manuel, who did not write about Ramirez in his first look at 25 guys who could be selected in the Rule 5 draft, corrected that omission by writing, "Ramirez has pushed his fastball up to 98-99 mph according to several scouts who have seen him in the Dominican. ... He throws a changeup, curve and slider as well but has impressed most with his improved fastball velocity and control in the Dominican, where he was averaging 11.32 strikeouts per nine innings and just 1.74 walks per nine."
Tags: Analysis, Elvin Ramirez, Rule 5 Draft, Toby Hyde
ALL STATS IN TABLES CURRENT AS OF JULY 1, 2009.