Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Pedro pitched yesterday ... in St. Lucie

In Port St. Lucie, the GCL Mets beat the GCL Dodgers. Anytime any Mets team beats any member of the organization that deserted Brooklyn, it's a plus. But yesterday's victory wasn't a typical one. Both the GCL Mets first and last pitcher have pitched for the Big Club.

The starter was Pedro Martinez. In another rehab assignment as he seeks to recover from arm surgery, he threw for four innings. Were it not for the home run he gave up in the fourth, he would have held the Dodgers scoreless on two hits.

Despite the homer, the Mets won, 7-6.

You've probably never heard of the three Mets pitchers who pitched next: Nathan Hedrick, Yury A. Santana, and Luis Rojas. The 6'10" Hedrick, from Tucson, Arizona, is the youngster of the group. He's 18. In comparison, both Santana and Rojas, at age 25, are old to be playing in the GCL Rookie League where the average age is 20.

The last pitcher's name should be more familiar: Ambiorix Burgos. He was the fourth native of the Dominican Republic to pitch for the Mets in the game. The 245-pounder pitched two innings of almost perfect baseball: no earned runs, no hits, no walks.

He did allow a run. The lead-off batter in the ninth reached second base on the shortstop's throwing error. One groundout advanced him to second; a second groundout scored him. After hitting the next batter, Burgos got the final batter to ground out.

Burgos was throwing ground balls yesterday. Aside from one batter who flied to center, five outs came on the ground.

Since joining the GCL Mets on July 27, Burgos has pitched four innings over three outings and has yet to allow an earned run. But then, this is a Rookie League.

I'm in no hurry to see him return to the Mets. I'd prefer they let him pitch first against tougher minor league competition.

During his last stint in Double-A with the Royal's Wichita farm club, his ERA was 4.97. Another Double-A experience will reveal how much, if any, he's improved. And if he doesn't show significant improvement, he's not a pitcher I'd want in the Mets bullpen during a stretch run.

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