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Happenings Down on the Farm

Mike SteffanosSaturday, August 5, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

For an organization that is ranked at or near the bottom of farm systems, the Mets do seem to possess some quality, even if the quantity is lacking. A couple of young guys made debuts of a sort last night far from the spotlight that shines on Shea stadium. Phil Humber, 2004's number one pick, pitched his first game for Binghamton last night, where his 2005 season ended in Tommy John surgery after one appearance. 24-year-old reclamation project Oliver Perez pitched his first game for the Norfolk Tides in Buffalo. Neither pitched particularly well, but both have the potential to help the Mets win games at some point in 2007.

It's popular in that part of the baseball media that focuses on prospects to endlessly point out how barren the Mets system is compared to others, but with the news that wunderkind Fernando Martinez, who was considered quite young for full-season Low-A ball, has been promoted to High-A St. Lucie, Mets fans shouldn't be fooled into believing that there is no help on the way from within.

NorfolkTides.com: Perez Blasted
For those of you looking for a really quick fix on Oliver Perez in time for this year's playoffs, your hopes were dashed somewhat last night:

Tides' starter Oliver Perez (1-4) struggled in his organizational debut, allowing seven runs on six hits in 2.2 innings of work. The 24-year-old, who was obtained in a trade with the Pittsburgh organization on July 31, struck out four and walked four as the Tides dropped their fifth straight game to begin a seven-game road trip.

Perez seems like he's really screwed up both mentally and mechanically right now. It's probably more reasonable to hope for a return to form after some work over the off-season and a full spring training with the club.

Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin: Phil Humber returns to Binghamton
Last season, Phil Humber's introduction to AA-Binghamton lasted only 4 innings, as the pain in his elbow become unbearable. His return last night after his promotion from St. Lucie went only 1/3 of an inning longer, but he knows there will be another game this time around. Humber admitted to struggling with his control, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks while striking out 5, but wasn't completely dissatisfied with his performance:

I wouldn't call it a full outing. Stuff wise, everything was good. I had good bite on my fastball, and my breaking ball was good. It's just location was the main thing I was missing.

Matt Lindstrom and Henry Owens, two young hard-throwing relievers on the fast-track to the majors, contributed scoreless innings in last night's game.

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Comments (6)

i'm disappointed. But his career is hardly over.

Dave williams and lindstrom could well be BP help.

I agree, Ed. It just takes time when someone goes into a big funk, especially when their mechanics get really out of whack.

GOD Bless David Wright.

Amen. I haven't posted on the game yet. I had something to do this afternoon, so I recorded it to watch later. I was able to catch the last couple of innings live and almost passed out.

The Mets' system today reminds me of the Chicago White Sox organization back in the early 90's. Bill James, who was about the only guy writing on the subject at the time, would frequently mention that the Chisox farm was very, very thin -- but the players they DID have, usually made the succcessful transition: Alex Fernandez, Wilson Alvarez, Scott Radinsky, Frank Thomas. They never cranked them out in great numbers like the Braves have done recently; they just managed to develop several good major leaguers, stay in contention four years running, and win a division title.

And those White Sox didn't have David Wright, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran to build upon.

Good point. Don't get me wrong here, I think the Mets need to develop more prospects. It hurts them when it comes to trades that they don't have any intermediate prospects -- forcing them to choose between overpaying or passing on a trade. Still, there is important talent in the organization, and you just the impression sometimes that there's nothing. Drives me nuts.

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