By Paul Festa @pauljfesta on July 8, 2014
Whether due to injury or fatigue, every major league baseball team needs reinforcements for the dog days of summer. The New York Mets are no different. Here are five minor league prospects who are candidates to be promoted to the big club by August.
For Noah Syndergaard, it's very simple. If he pitches well at triple-A Las Vegas, he'll find himself in the New York Mets rotation in short order. If he continues to struggle, he may never reach the majors. He's 7-4 with a 5.31 ERA, but he's coming off of his best start of the season. He has a 97-98 mph fastball and a MLB-ready plus curve. If he learns to trust his stuff, he'll do just fine.
Flores already had a taste of the big leagues with the Mets this year. In 83 plate appearances, he hit .225/.253/.300, while playing shortstop. It almost seemed his presence was simply a tactic to scare Ruben Tejada into playing better. If that was the case, it worked, as Tejada has been hitting consistently and fielding well. If Flores is promoted again, chances are it will be because the Mets finally decided to trade Daniel Murphy.
The bullpen is where teams need the most help late in the season. The Mets' bullpen has been outstanding, but if there's an injury, or someone underperforms, they may just decide to dip down into double-A and bring up Jack Leathersich. The left-handed fireballer has always had a knack for the strikeout, but has had to control his walks. He's done so this year, walking 17 in 36 innings while fanning 64.
Rafael Montero had a brief audition for the Mets this year but struggled, posting a 5.40 ERA in four starts. He's been injured since rejoining the Las Vegas 51s. If he comes back healthy and rediscovers his command, he could be a candidate to fill a rotation spot. With Jon Niese now on the DL, New York may need extra help by August.
Acquired in the trade of Ike Davis, Zack Thornton is another candidate to provide reinforcement to the Mets' bullpen. The former Pirate farmhand has a funky delivery and uses it to get ground balls, which is always an asset in a major league bullpen.
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