4/9 v. Augusta 3-0
4/10 v. Augusta 5-2
4/11 v. Augusta 2-1 (11)
The Sand Gnats looked very sharp to open the season, sweeping their Southern Division and in-state rivals in the GreenJackets. They received three strong performances from their starting rotation with clutch appearances from their bullpen which anchored the club as the lineup gets going.
Jeff Kaplan – 5 IP, 4 H, 3 K
The 2008 11th round pick came up huge on Saturday night, tossing five shutout innings in relief during the 11-inning victory. Kaplan moved up from Brooklyn where he made 11 of his 15 appearances out of the bullpen. A hard-thrower with a diving fastball, Kaplan—a former starter in college—will prove to be a valuable long-man.
Jeurys Familia – ND, 4 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 1 R, 2 H, 3 K, BB
Familia allowed little contact in his first start after making the jump from the Gulf Coast League, allowing a fifth-inning unearned run. It will not be too often that the right-hander goes very deep into games, but he has the tools to be an asset in the Sand Gnats rotation.
Elvin Ramirez – Win, 6 IP, 3 H, 4 K, BB
Ramirez is the lone returner to this Sand Gnats rotation and got the season off with a bang, shutting out Augusta for six innings before turning it over to the bullpen. Ramirez went 6-7 in 18 starts with the club last year and at 21 years old is the ace of a very young rotation.
Chris Schwinden – Win, 5 IP, ER, 5 H, K, BB
Schwinden took home the victory in the middle game of the series, spreading five hits over five innings despite hitters making a lot of contact. The right-hander comes to Savannah off a strong yet somewhat under the radar season in Brooklyn where he went 4-1 with a 2.01 ERA in 62 2/3 innings.
Eric Campbell – 4-12, 2 RBI, R, BB, SB
The 2008 8th round draft pick was the hero in Saturday night’s game, knocking in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning, one day after posting a 2-for-4 day with an RBI and a stolen base.
Sean Ratliff – 4, 11, 3 R, 2B, SB, BB
Ratliff scored the run on Campbell’s game winner after getting on base with a walk. Ratliff’s big night came in the season opener when he went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
ST. LUCIE (A+):
4/9 v. Sarasota 9-3 (L)
4/10 v. Sarasota 6-5
4/11 v. Sarasota 4-2 (L)
Carlos Guzman – 6-9, HR, 2 RBI, 3 R, 2B, 3 BB
The Mets’ right-fielder carried the big stick for his club this week, including Friday’s effort in which he went 3-for-3 with a two-run home run and two runs scored. It is Guzman’s third year in the system and he arrives in St. Lucie after spending 84 games with Savannah where he hit .269 with eight home runs and 33 RBI.
Greg Veloz – 5-14, R, 2B, 3 SB
In the opening three games of the season, Greg Veloz has shown why he will be a formidable piece atop the St. Lucie order. Good contact and the constant threat of stolen bases are the backbone to the second baseman’s game and that trend should continue all season long.
Scott Shaw – ND, 5 IP, ER, 4 H, 5 K
Shaw was very solid in his A-ball debut, limiting the opposition to just one extra-base hit over five innings and zero walks. Shaw’s five pitches and excellent command is a great compliment in the third spot in the rotation behind the two hard-throwers in Holt and Mejia at the top.
Brad Holt – Loss, 3 2/3 IP, 9 ER, 7 H, 5 K, 4 BB, 2 HR
It was a rude awakening to A-ball for one of the Mets top pitching prospects. After cruising through short-season ball last year, Holt was tagged for a career-high in runs and home runs, and allowed a career-high in walks.
4/9 @ Trenton 5-3
4/10 @ Trenton 5-4 (14 inn) (L)
4/11 @ Trenton 4-3
It is always a welcome challenge when the B-Mets matchup with the Yankees’ Double-A affiliate, especially on the road. Coming out of this series with two close victories when all three games were decided by two runs or less was a thrilling way to begin the season.
Emmanuel Garcia – 6-16, RBI, 3 R, 2B, SB, BB
After spending his entire career to date as an infielder, Garcia is now the starting centerfielder and leadoff hitter for the B-Mets. He went 3-for-5 with an RBI on Opening Day before going 1-for-7 in Friday night’s 14-inning affair.
Shawn Bowman – 5-for-17, 3 RBI, 2B
It is not too often players register 17 at-bats in three games, but Friday night’s marathon gave Bowman—the new cleanup hitter in the lineup—that opportunity. Cutting down the strikeouts is a key area for Bowman’s offense this season. He fanned three times on Opening Day.
Jose Sanchez – Win, 6 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 3 K, 2 BB
Sanchez, who led the B-Mets with 13 wins last season, got his season off on the right foot with a quality start in Saturday’s one-run victory. The 24-year-old right-hander should feel very comfortable in the Eastern League as it is the third straight year he begins the season in Binghamton.
Dylan Owen – ND, 5 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 2 K, 5 BB
The third-year right-hander opened the season in Binghamton for the first time, taking a no-decision in Thursday’s loss. Owen did a good job of limiting contact, but the high walk total ran him into trouble and out of the game after five innings. He went 1-1 with a 5.51 ERA in three August starts with Binghamton in 2008.
4/9 v. Pawtucket 6-4 (L)
4/10 v. Pawtucket 9-0 (L)
4/11 v. Pawtucket 1-0 (L)
It was not an ideal start for the newest Mets’ affiliate as the Bisons dropped the first three of four in a series against the Red Sox affiliate. They hung in during a tough fought season opener, but could not scratch a run across in the next two contests.
Fernando Martinez – 3-12, 2 2B, 3B
The Mets’ top prospect was strong in his Triple-A debut, going 2-for-4 with a double and a triple. Martinez will share time in the outfield and as designated hitter while hitting from the third spot in the order.
Jonathon Niese – Loss, 2 IP, 5 ER, 5 H, 2 K, 3 BB
The Mets’ top pitching prospect, and ace of the Triple-A staff, was roughed up in his 2009 debut, getting knocked out after two innings when he allowed four runs in the second frame of the Bisons’ season opener.
Dillon Gee – Loss, 4 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 6 K, 2 BB
Gee was cruising in his Triple-A debut, shutting down the PawSox for four innings before getting knocked out when he was tagged for three runs including a two-run home run in the fifth inning. Gee arrives in Buffalo after just four starts in Double-A last season where he went 2-0 with a 1.33 ERA.
Nelson Figueroa – ND, 7 IP, 2 H, 4 K, 2 BB
Figueroa’s dazzling start went for naught as he picked up a no-decision. Figueroa, no longer on the 40-man roster, returns for his second season with the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate. He posted a 4-7 record and 4.43 ERA in 113 2/3 innings in 2008.