What's Your Language?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mets News and Notes: Citizen Bank Park, Harvey, Shoppach, Quick Pitch, Cecchini, Nimmo, Bye-Bye Buffalo, First basemen Homers

Mets News and Notes:

The Mets are now 7-1 at Citizens Bank Park this season. And they already have clinched their third series win in Philadelphia in 2012. The only other season in which the Amazin's won three series of three-plus games in the City of Brotherly Love came in 1989.

Collins acknowledged pregame that Harvey is expected to be shut down before the end of the season due to an innings limit. Including Wednesday's workload and his minor league duty, Harvey has now logged 152 1/3 innings. Sandy Alderson previously suggested Harvey may be capped in the 165- to 170-inning range, although a team insider said the total may get to 175.

Kelly Shoppach started the past two games, although Collins said Josh Thole now would catch through Saturday, with Shoppach's next opportunity Sunday in Miami against southpaw Mark Buehrle. The manager said Shoppach needs to play enough so the Mets can gauge if he's a match for 2013. Thole is 0-for-21 over his past seven starts. “We’re going to see more righties than lefties,” Collins said. “I want to give Kelly a shot. We brought him here to find out if it’s going to be a fit. So I think he needs some playing time to find that out.”

The Mets entered Wednesday averaging just 20.4 seconds between pitches, according to FanGraphs, the fastest pace in the majors. Their starting pitchers have been particularly brisk, averaging 19.4 seconds between pitches, more than half a second faster than any other team. There is, of course, no trophy for working the fastest. And speed is not a prerequisite for success. But Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen strongly discourages pitchers from dawdling on the mound.

"We want them to be the aggressor all the time," Warthen said. "We want them to get on the mound, throw the baseball and at least have the appearance of, 'We're going after you. This is our game, and you have to hit me.'" Section 8.04 of the Major League Baseball rulebook requires pitchers to release the ball no more than 12 seconds after receiving it when the bases are empty and the batter is in the box. But the rule doesn't cover situations with men on base. And since umpires don't have stopwatches, it's more of a request than a requirement.

2012 first-round pick Gavin Cecchini is joining Brooklyn for its remaining regular-season games, plus the playoffs assuming the Cyclones qualify. Cecchini hit .246 with one homer and 22 RBIs in 191 at-bats with Kingsport, which completed its season Tuesday. A shortstop, Cecchini has been limited to DH duty since Aug. 12 because he is playing with a fracture at the tip of the middle finger on his throwing hand. Cecchini has begun a pregame throwing program.

2011 first-rounder Brandon Nimmo is hitting .264 with five homers, 37 RBIs and a .385 on-base percentage in 239 at-bats with the Coney Island club.

Tuesday likely marked the Mets' final game in Buffalo before changing affiliations. Todd Dewey in the Las Vegas Review-Journal adds to the educated speculation the Mets will now end up with their Triple-A affiliate in that Nevada market for 2013.

The only first basemen in Mets history to produce more homers than Ike Davis (24) in a single season are Carlos Delgado (38 twice), Dave Kingman (37), Eddie Murray (27) and Mo Vaughn (26).

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