The Mets and Padres are expected to have heavy interest in Cuban SS Alfredo Rodriguez, according to Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio (May 28, 1:33 p.m.)
Rodriguez, 21, recently left Cuba in order to pursue a contract with a major league team.
Rodriguez was the 2014-15 Serie Nacional Rookie of the Year in Cuba and the recipient of their gold glove award. In 304 plate appearances last season, Rodriguez hit .265 with a .301 OBP and .284 SLG percentage.
“He has a long way to go as a hitter, but was arguably the best defensive shortstop in Cuba,” according to Baseball America’s Ben Badler (May 28, 1:45 pm). “He’s an athletic, agile defender with smooth, fluid actions.”
Rodriguez should be able to ink a deal during the upcoming signing period, which starts on July 2.
The Mets have signed free-agent RHP Casey Delgado to a minor league contract and assigned him to Single-A Savannah, according to the Evansville Courier & Press (May 27, 3:40 pm).
Delgado, 24, spent two years playing in the independent Frontier League, where he was 10-13 with a 3.24 ERA in 36 appearances.
He graduated from Austin Peay State University in 2013, where he was 9-3 with a 5.14 ERA, 105 strike outs and 35 walks in 96 innings pitched.
Delgado has not drafted and has never played with an MLB organization.
Matthew Cerrone: The Mets are 8-1 against the Phillies in 2015, but just 19-20 against everyone else.
“So what,” I say, what does it matter? If it indicates anything, it suggests the Mets may not be as strong of a team as we think. But, again, what’s the difference? Strength of schedule, run differential, power rankings, etc., they all have their purpose. However, in the end, all that matters is the team’s actual record, wins and losses. If the Mets win 88 games and grab the last Wild Card spot, it’s not like they’re disqualified if 15 of those wins were against one team.
“You’ve got to win games you’re supposed to win,” Terry Collins added after Wednesday’s victory. “It helps we are as familiar with the Phillies as we are.”
By the way, in case you’re curious, the Mets do not play the Phillies again until Aug. 24, after which they meet up nine times. Also, for what it’s worth, if the season ended today, this is how the playoffs would look…
In this week’s Mostly Mets Podcast, Toby Hyde and Rob Brender discuss David Wright’s back, as well as what the team should do about third base during the short and long term…
Listen in separate window | Subscribe with iTunes | RSS
The Mets will activate Dillon Gee form the disabled list June 2 and then institute a six-man rotation that could last through at least mid-August, Dan Warthen said Wednesday at Citi Field (May 27, 12:45 pm).
According to Warthen, the Mets hope to get each of their starting pitchers roughly 30 starts before the end of the season, which will help shave innings and keep them from shutting pitchers down for long stretches during the season.
“It is better for the player and better for the organization, at least, until we get to where we feel like we have plenty of innings left in September and still have the possibility of innings left in October,” Warthen said, noting that each of his starting pitchers will throw two bullpen sessions between starts as opposed to just one.
The Mets currently have the fourth-best team ERA in MLB…
“With the arms we have and the arms coming, the rotation in a few years on this team could be as good as any in baseball,” Collins said after the game (May 28, 9:30 am). “Obviously, the Nationals have all the big name guys, but stuff for stuff, pitch for pitch, our guys match up with them. And these young kids that are coming are dynamic and they’re going to make a huge impression in this league.”
In addition to Gee, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Jon Niese, Bartolo Colon and Jacob deGrom, the Mets have Rafael Montero on the disabled list and top LH pitching prospect Steven Matz in Triple-A.
Montero has been on the DL since April 30 with inflammation in rotator cuff. The Mets expect him to throw off a mound Thursday. In one start and four relief appearances this year, he was 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 10 innings. Meanwhile, Matz, 23, is 6-2 with a 1.99 ERA and 68 strike outs in 63 innings at Triple-A.
Sandy Alderson has said the team will likely carry a four-man bench to offset carrying the extra pitcher for the six-man rotation.
In case you missed it
Alderson’s strategy to keep Harvey healthy is a mistake, according to reporter Joel Sherman >> Read more in the New York Post.
“I respect their forward thinking in trying the six-man rotation,” Sherman writes. “But, at full health, Gee should be used as a safety net not an equal to the Mets’ best starters. That is why this doesn’t make sixth sense to me.”
Noah Syndergaard tossed 101 pitches in 7 1/3 scoreless innings, while going 3-for-3 with a home run, as the Mets swept the Phillies with a 7-0 win at Citi Field on Wednesday.
“Every time I go out there I’m getting better at a certain thing, like today I was throwing my breaking ball in fastball counts,” Syndergaard said after the game. “It didn’t have to be the best breaking pitch I could throw in my life. I just had to get something over the plate for a strike and something to get hitters off my fastball if I was in a fastball count.”
Syndergaard’s 430-foot home run was the first by a Mets pitcher since Jeremy Hefner in 2012 >> To see Noah’s HR, click here!
“That was impressive,” Michael Cuddyer later said. “That’s a long way to hit a ball. You don’t see too many pitchers do that.”
Matthew Cerrone: I watched MLB.com’s Fast Cast of Syndergaard again this morning and two things jumped out at me, 1) I wonder when the last time, if it’s ever happened at all, that a guy threw a 100-mph fastball and also hit a 430-foot home run in the same game, and 2) Who is responsible for getting him to throw a two-seam fastball late in the game? In his first three starts, he tired late and opposing hitters rocked him. In Wednesday’s start against the Phillies, he went to this other variation and managed to squeak out another turn through the batting order, which made all the difference for him. Man, what am impressive day…
In case you missed it
Dwight Gooden likes what he sees in Syndergaard, he told reporter John Harper >> Read more in the Daily News
“With all of this pitching, I really think the time is now for the Mets,” Gooden said.
Chat with Steve Gelbs, presented by Citi
Steve Gelbs is chatting on Facebook, presented by Citi, at 10:30 a.m.
Noah Syndergaard tossed 7 1/3 shutout innings and hit a home run as the Mets completed a three-game sweep of the Phillies with a 7-0 win at Citi Field on Wednesday afternoon.
Travis d’Arnaud, expected to return from the disabled list next week in San Diego, caught seven innings during a rehab game for High-A St. Lucie on Wednesday.
Dillon Gee allowed three runs (two earned) in 6 1/3 innings pitched during a rehab start for Double-A Binghamton. Gee is expected to return from the disabled list, join a six-man rotation and start for the Mets on June 2.
The Mets traded Kirk Nieuwenhuis to the Angels for cash considerations. Nieuwenhuis had been recently designated for assignment.
Pitching coach Dan Warthen said that Vic Black, who recently pitched in back-to-back games during his rehab assignment, is ready to be activated from the disabled list.
Matt Harvey, who has been dealing with ‘dead arm,’ looked great during his bullpen session on Tuesday, Warthen said.
What’s on tap for Thursday, May 28
The Mets are off on Thursday.
They open a three-game series against the Marlins at Citi Field on Friday at 7:10 p.m. on SNY.
Matt Harvey will start for the Mets against Dan Haren for Miami.
For every Mets home run hit at Citi Field® this season, Citi will show their appreciation to an NYC community partner with a $2,000 donation.
Thanks to home runs from Michael Cuddyer and Noah Syndergaard, and two home runs from Lucas Duda in yesterday’s home game against the Phillies, Citi is donating another $8,000 to an NYC community partner.
Visit mets.com/citi to see this season’s grand total to date.
Wednesday’s minor league recaps…
Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud played his first rehab game with the St. Lucie Mets Wednesday as he continues to work his way back from a broken bone in his hand. He caught seven innings and was 0-for-3 at the plate with three ground outs.
Dominic Smith was 2-for-3 with a double. He has a nine-game hitting streak and at least one hit in 15 of his last 17 games, with 10 doubles during that span >>Read more at SNY’s Mets Minors