Friday’s minor league recaps…

Mets reliever Bobby Parnell continued his road back from Tommy John Surgery, tossing a scoreless 7th inning in St. Lucie’s Friday win in Dunedin. It’s the first time in his last five appearances he didn’t allow a run to cross.

Starting pitcher Rob Whalen was fantastic, limiting the Jays to one run on two hits in 5 2/3 innings for his second win of the season >>Read more at SNY’s Mets Minors

May 22, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Jung Ho Kang (L) during the fourth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Syndergaard to stay in rotation

Noah Syndergaard isn’t expected to go back to Triple-A or move to the bullpen when Dillon Gee returns from the disabled list. Instead, he will stay in the Mets’ starting rotation. (May 22, 9:43 p.m.)

After Friday’s six-inning, four-run outing, Manager Terry Collins committed to Syndergaard’s spot in the rotation.

“Right now, he’s not going anywhere,” Collins said.

It is possible the Mets will use a six-man rotation once Gee returns from the DL. (May 22, 4:49 p.m.)

Syndergaard (1-2) has a 3.63 ERA in three starts this season. He struck out five batters and allowed seven hits on 99 pitches Friday.

“He pitched better than what the game looked like,” Collins said.


Video highlights from Friday’s loss to the Pirates

Mets starter Noah Syndergaard strikes out Starling Marte in the second inning for his fourth straight strikeout to begin Friday’s contest in Pittsburgh. >>  Watch here

Mets center fielder Juan Lagares scores on a wild pitch by Gerrit Cole to cut the Pirates’ lead to 2-1 in the third inning. >> Watch here

Syndergaard records his fifth strikeout of the game, getting Cole to swing and miss in the fifth inning. >> Watch here

To read post-game reports from the team’s beat writers, check out, Daily News, New York Post, New York Times, Bergen Record, ESPN, Newsday and

May 22, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (18 tags out New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy (28) on a stolen base attempt during the second inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Mets bats silenced in 4-1 loss to Pirates

The Mets’ offense didn’t score more than two runs for the 10th time in the past 19 games, as New York lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-1, Friday at PNC Park.

The Mets (24-19) lost for the eighth time in 12 games and weren’t able to get much offense off Gerrit Cole (6-2), who gave up six hits in 8 1/3 innings for the Pirates (19-22).

New York’s 1-4 hitters combined to go 1 for 14. The Mets scored their only run of the game in the third inning when Cole threw a wild pitch, allowing Juan Lagares to score and Kevin Plawecki to advance to third.

Curtis Granderson struck out and Eric Campbell flied out to right to strand Plawecki on third.

Cole struck out 10 batters and induced double plays in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings. He threw 111 pitches before being pulled in favor of Mark Melancon.

Melancon entered with runners on first and second and got Lucas Duda to fly out and Michael Cuddyer to ground out for his 10th save of the season.

Noah Syndergaard (1-2) gave up four runs, three earned, in six innings. He struck out five on 99 pitches.

Syndergaard gave up two runs in the second on a Gregory Polanco RBI single and a Chris Stewart RBI double.

He settled down until the sixth, when Jung Ho Kang hit an RBI single. Syndergaard threw an error trying to pick Kang off first, allowing him to advance to third and score on Pedro Alvarez’s sac fly to make it 4-1.

Matt Harvey (6-1) will take the mound for the Mets in the second game of the three-game series on Saturday. A.J. Burnett will pitch for the Pirates.


David Wright took BP, could return first week of June

David Wright took batting practice Friday and may soon begin a minor-league rehab assignment, according to beat reporter Adam Rubin (May 14, 4:50 pm).

Sandy Alderson told reporters earlier this week that Wright could return from the disabled list during the first week of June.

Wright resumed baseball activity on Monday, doing everything except swinging a bat (May 18, 1:11 pm).

Alderson said Monday that Wright’s hamstring is a “non-issue,” with the focus now on getting his back healthy.

Wright’s return from the hamstring strain was interrupted by lower-back pain a little over a week ago. Team doctors examined him last week and said there was no connection between this situation and the stress fracture that cost him two months in 2011.


Dillon Gee will meet Mets in Pittsburgh, six-man rotation possible

Dillon Gee will join the Mets in Pittsburgh this weekend, and could end up part of a temporary six-man rotation, Terry Collins suggested Friday, while talking to reporters before that night’s game (May 22, 4:49 pm).

Gee pitched 6.1 scoreless innings in a rehab start Thursday for Single-A St. Lucie, which should be his final rehab appearance before being activated from the disabled list.

In two starts since filling in for Gee, top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard is 1-1 with 11 strikeouts in 11.1 innings. He is scheduled to start Friday against the Pirates at PNC Park.

It’s unlikely the Mets Syndergaard in to the bullpen when Gee returns, Sandy Alderson said Tuesday (May 19, 4:03 pm).

According to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin, the Mets could still gain an extra year of arbitration on Syndergaard’s contract and keep him from qualifying for Super 2 status if they demote him for at least three weeks after Gee is activated from the disabled list. Otherwise, if he remains on the roster the rest of this season, he’ll be arbitration eligible and due a sizable raise in 2018 as opposed to 2019.

Reaction from May 18

cerrone avatarMatthew Cerrone: Look, if the Mets were bobbing around .500 and staring down the barrel of another so-so season, I’d demote Syndergaard upon Gee’s return. However, the Mets can’t demote this kid if he’s pitching well and they’re still in first place and several games over .500. I appreciate Gee, he’s been a rock the last few years, but Noah is the future and the future is now. I don’t know if this means moving Dillon to the bullpen, making a trade, a six-man rotation, or if it means someone else suffering a temporary, possibly mysterious, injury, but Syndergaard should absolutely stay put…

Travis d'Arnaud behind the plate 2

Travis d’Arnaud took BP, may soon start rehab assignment

Travis d’Arnaud took batting practice Friday and may soon begin a minor-league rehab assignment, according to beat reporter Adam Rubin (May 14, 4:50 pm).

Sandy Alderson would not give a timetable for d’Arnaud’s return when speaking to reporters May 18, but did say there’s a set protocol in place for catchers to follow as they return from a fractured finger (May 18, 1:25 pm).

D’Arnaud, who has been out since April 20, was cleared for baseball activity last Monday. He suffered the fracture on the little finger of his right hand when he was hit by a pitch on April 19.

D’Arnaud was hitting .317 with a .356 OBP and a .537 SLG before the injury.


SNY gets to know Steven Matz

Mets LHP prospect Steven Matz allowed four earned runs over 6 1/3 innings for Triple-A Las Vegas on Thursday night. He struck out seven, walked two and allowed two home runs.

It was his worst start of the year.

This season for Las Vegas, Matz has a 2.24 ERA and 1.101 WHIP over 56 1/3 innings. He’s struck out 61, walked 20 and has allowed just 14 earned runs.

SNY’s Mets Insider caught up with Matz on a recent trip to Las Vegas…

Watch the latest episode of Mets Insider as the show heads to Las Vegas this Sunday at 5 p.m. on SNY.

MLB: New York Mets at New York Yankees

Mets play a bunch of teams below .500 the next month

In the next 35 games, the Mets play 32 games against teams currently below .500, including the Pirates this weekend, followed by the Phillies, Marlins, Padres, D-Backs, Braves, Blue Jays, Brewers and Reds.

The Mets are 18-6 against teams below .500, they’re 5-12 against teams above .500.

cerrone avatarMatthew Cerrone: It’s a fairly large disparity when compared to other successful teams. But, as they say, ‘It is what it is,’ and, ‘A win is a win.’ It’s not like they’re worth any less just because they’re against weaker teams. Also, as Keith Hernandez said the other night, “Go .500 against first division teams, kick the fannies of second division teams,” is a totally acceptable way to reach 90 wins and get to October. If there is one concern, it’s in how they’ll perform against top teams in October, since they’re struggling against them now, but that is putting the cart a mile ahead of the horse. In the meantime, I’ll take one game at a time and every win they can get, regardless of who it’s against…