New York Mets prospects

Las Vegas 51’s Enjoying A Well Deserved Day Off

By Michael Lecolant

The Pacific Coast League was idle Wednesday, marking the first scheduled day off of the young season.  After Las Vegas routed the El Paso Chihuahuas 21-9 on Tuesday, Wally Backman‘s troops could have perhaps used the rest.

Thursday evening, the Las Vegas 51’s will continue their home stand, beginning a four game weekend series against the Tacoma Rainiers.

March 30, 2013; Sarasota, FL, USA; New York Mets third baseman Zach Lutz (19) in the dugout against the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Las Vegas presently leads the circuit with a 15-5 record.  Spearheading Las Vegas’ offensive charge are first baseman Allan Dykstra, and left fielder Eric Campbell.

Allan Dykstra broke his fibula playing winter league ball, but has rebounded quite well in his first season playing Triple-A baseball.  On Monday, he was named Pacific Coast League player for the previous week.

Dykstra is sporting a rather insane quadruple slash of .419/.516/.814/1.375 in 43 trips to the plate.  In 81 at-bats, teammate Eric Campbell owns a quadruple slash of .346/.430/.556/.986, and shares the team lead with Dykstra with 3 home runs and 18 RBI.

Third baseman Zach Lutz, center fielder Matt den Dekker, right fielder Cesar Puello, and middle infielder Wilmer Flores round out Wally Backman’s offensive attack.

After a hot start, Zach Lutz has cooled off just a bit, but is still batting .299 in 67 at-bats, with a .440 OBP.  Matt den Dekker is batting a respectable .280 in 75 at-bats.  Both are tied for second on the team with 12 RBI.

Cesar Puello and Wilmer Flores however, are not faring as well.  Although Flores has 10 RBI, he is batting .247 in 73 trips to the plate, with only 4 extra base hits, and a .317 OBP.  Puello is hitting only slightly better, with a .265 average in 68 at-bats, but has struck out 13 times, and only sports a .296 OBP.

In Thursday’s game, Rafael Montero will climb the hill for the fifth time this season.  Noah Syndergaard with throw on Friday. Jacob deGrom gets Saturday’s start, and Logan Verrett will close out the series on Sunday.

Wally Backman’s main concern might lie with his bullpen, where closer Jeff Walters is struggling in his Triple-A debut.  After dominating the Eastern League last season, Jeff has allowed 8 earned runs on 14 hits, including a pair of home runs, in only 8.0 innings pitched.  He otherwise has walked 2 and struck out 5 batters, and has so far posted 5 saves.

Josh Edgin‘s woes also continue.  He has allowed 7 earned runs on 10 hits, and issued 7 walks in 7.1 innings of work, for an unsightly 8.59 ERA.

After feeling pain stemming from a pinched nerve in his neck, reliever Vic Black has pitched 7.1 superlative innings since returning from the disabled list.  I’m sure he is quietly anticipating a return to Flushing.

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