St. Lucie report: Pitchers moving on

Phil Humber has moved on to Double-A.

The surging St. Lucie Mets have leaned on a strong pitching staff to help them into the race for the second-half Florida State League title.

Now, with a few key pitchers moving on, the Mets will need to further prove their mettle, entering play Wednesday trailing first-place Daytona by just one game in the FSL East.

Right-handed pitcher Philip Humber, who came back from Tommy John elbow surgery and made seven starts for St. Lucie, has been promoted to Double-A Binghamton.

Humber, the Mets' first-round selection in the June 2004 draft, made his last start for St. Lucie on Saturday, pitching five shutout innings in a no-decision at Lakeland.

He went 3-1 with a 2.37 ERA at St. Lucie, allowing 24 hits and 10 earned runs in 38 innings, walking nine and striking out 36.

Meanwhile, St. Lucie's resident rehabbing major leaguer, right-hander Brian Bannister, appears poised to move up the ladder toward Triple-A Norfolk of the International League.

Bannister opened the season with the Mets but was set back after straining his hamstring in a April 26 game at San Francisco. He suffered another hamstring injury in a rehab start for Triple-A Norfolk on May 18, and has now made two appearances for St. Lucie, with good results to report.

The 25-year-old Bannister pitched seven shutout innings on Sunday against Daytona at Tradition Field, allowing four hits, walking none and striking out eight to earn the victory.

In his first rehab start for St. Lucie, Bannister pitched five innings, allowing four runs (two earned) and six hits against Lakeland, walking four and striking out one.

State of St. Lucie: The first-half division winners in the Florida State League's East division, St. Lucie enters play Wednesday having fared 21-16 (.568) to open the second half. That places them second in the East, one game behind Daytona (22-15).

St. Lucie leaderboard, offense: Corey Coles (.342) continues to battle Binghamton's Michel Abreu (.343) for the system batting title … Mike Carp's .295 average is 10th in the system … Jesus Flores' 13 homers rank second, while Mike Carp's 11 long balls are fifth … Carp's 65 RBIs pace the system, while Flores' 56 are third … Coles has 18 stolen bases, third in the system.

St. Lucie leaderboard, pitching: Sal Aguilar's 3.18 ERA qualifies him for seventh in the organization and third among pitchers currently pitching for long-season clubs. Jose Sanchez is close behind with a 3.58 mark … Sanchez's nine victories tie him with Norfolk's Willie Collazo for third in the organization … Carlos Muniz's 24 saves are the most in the system.

ON THE RISE

First baseman Mike Carp's sizzling July showed no signs of slowing as the calendar began to turn. Carp went 5-for-5 in a contest against Lakeland on July 29, driving in four runs and falling a triple shy of the cycle.

The 20-year-old Carp – regarded as one of the system's better first base prospects – is batting .295 with 11 home runs and 65 RBI in 105 games for St. Lucie.

He batted .349 with four homers and 20 RBI in 106 July at-bats, by far his best month of the year to date.

TOUGH TIMES

Mike Swindell, a 24-year-old right-hander, went 0-3 with an 8.88 ERA in five July starts for St. Lucie, allowing 17 earned runs in 17.1 innings. He left his last start after just one inning on July 28 with an apparent leg injury.

Swindell was a 29th round pick in the June 2004 draft from the University of Oklahoma. Last year at St. Lucie, Swindell was 0-2 with a 2.90 ERA in six games (five starts).

He is 2-4 with a 4.46 ERA in eight starts this year and has not won since May 17.

InsidePitchMagazine.com Recommended Stories