Posted in Baseball

Brooklyn Cyclones' coaching staff takes shape

Autographed Edgardo Alfonzo baseball card from my collection

Brooklyn Baseball Banter reports that Edgardo Alfonzo will return as the Brooklyn Cyclones’ bench coach in 2016, while former Mets prospect Sean Ratliff will be the team’s hitting coach.

Alfonzo, a member of the New York Mets’ playoff teams in 1999 and 2000, will be coaching in Brooklyn for a third straight year.

Ratliff, a 4th round draft pick in 2008, was forced to give up his playing career as the result of injuries sustained when he was struck in the face by a foul ball in a 2011 spring training game. He served as the hitting coach for the Rookie-level Kingspoort Mets in 2015.

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Saturday stories: Johan Santana, Tim Wakefield & Sean Ratliff

This has not been a good week. From a baseball fan’s perspective, we lost Gary Carter. From a more personal one, my family is awaiting the results of medical tests that my father is undergoing.

Johan Santana and catcher Rod Barajas walk in from the bullpen prior to his June 26th, 2010 start against the Minnesota Twins (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

So today, I want to focus on some positive stories.

Johan Santana threw 25 pitches in his first bullpen session of the spring after missing the entire 2011 season following shoulder surgery. Afterwards, he said that he “felt much better than I felt last year” The next test comes today, when Santana and the Mets find out how he feels a day after throwing. Then comes his next planned session on Tuesday. In a few weeks, if all goes well, Grapefruit League games. And maybe, on April 5th, an Opening Day assignment at Citi Field.

I loved watching Santana pitch in 2008 and 2009. I know that that pitcher will probably never come back… but I really would love to see Santana return as a pitcher still capable of winning games in the major leagues. I believe that’s still a realistic possibility, and it’s one of the stories I’m interested in following this spring.

Minor league outfielder Sean Ratliff is also trying to come back after a serious injury, but he’s getting far less attention. Late last spring, Ratliff was hit in the face by a check-swing foul ball. He suffered six broken bones and there was concern that he could lose his right eye.

On Thursday, Adam Rubin wrote about Ratliff’s recovery and the challenges that sill lay ahead for the 25-year-old prospect.

“I’m still not completely sure that I’m going to be game-ready,” Ratliff told Rubin. “It’s a matter of seeing live pitching and getting into game situations. But it’s closer than I thought it was going to be at this point, which is really good. Probably about a month ago, when I got this most recent contact [lens], I started to realize there was still a pretty good chance I was going to be able to play.”

I hope I get to see Ratliff play baseball in 2012. I would guess that he’ll be assigned to the Binghamton Mets at some point this season if his recovery goes well, so maybe I’ll run into him in Trenton.

Continue reading “Saturday stories: Johan Santana, Tim Wakefield & Sean Ratliff”

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Mets prepare for December’s Rule 5 draft

Yesterday, the New York Mets added seven minor league players to the 40-man roster to shield them from December’s Rule 5 draft.

Reese Havens

Players are eligible to be taken in the draft if he is not on a Major League 40-man roster and:

  • signed at 19 or over as part of the 2008 draft class or earlier
  • signed at 18 or younger during 2007 or earlier.

The Mets added lefthanded pitcher Robert Carson, righthanded pitcher Jeurys Familia, infielder Wilmer Flores, infielder Reese Havens, outfielder Juan Lagares, outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis and outfielder Cesar Puello to the 40-man roster.

Chris Walendin‘s tpgMets blog has a list of the minor leaguers in the Mets’ system who can be selected in the draft.

Some of the more interesting names on the draft-eligible list: Continue reading “Mets prepare for December’s Rule 5 draft”

Posted in Baseball Cards, Uncategorized

2008 Donress Elite Extra Edition Mets prospects

One of the dealers at today’s card show had opened a box of Donruss Elite Extra Edition and had singles, so I picked up the Mets. I was able to finish the base team set, so I’m done with this product — I’m not a huge fan of Donruss’ MLB-unlicensed efforts. Although they scanned dark grey / black, the backgrounds of these cards are silver foil. Too much foil makes the set even less appealing to me. 

#35 Eric Beaulac
#35 Eric Beaulac

Eric Beaulac was the Mets 9th round draft pick this year out of Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y. He began his professional career at Kingsport in the Appalachian League, where he made two starts and four relief appearances. He moved up to Savannah in the South Atlantic League and made six starts there. He also made a pair of relief appearances for the Brooklyn Cyclones in the New York Penn League. His overall totals for 2008: 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA.  He struck out 60 in 48 innings pitched while giving up 38 hits and walking 26. He also made 8 wild pitches. 

Continue reading “2008 Donress Elite Extra Edition Mets prospects”