Posts Tagged ‘Greg Burke’

By Steven Inman

Photo by New York Mets

Photo by New York Mets

With the Mets 40-man roster being as cluttered as it is, the Mets made their first round of roster cuts today. The team designated four players for assignment Thursday afternoon. OF Mike Baxter, LHP Robert Carson, RHP Greg Burke and LHP Sean Henn were let go by New York Thursday. The Mets 40-man roster now sits at 36 however the Mets have 8 players on the 60-Day Disabled List and those players must be added back to the 40-man within five days after the World Series ends.

Mike Baxter was a very strong presence on the 2012 Mets bench. He led baseball in pinch hits and had arguably the best regular season catch in New York Mets history. He struggled mightily in 2013 however hitting just .189. Mets front office people still secretly believe that Baxter never recovered from that catch he made in left field to preserve the only Met no-hitter to date. Baxter will tell you that is not the case and he was healthy this year. I still believe Baxter will be a successful part of some contending teams bench somewhere down the road. He was put on waivers by the Mets and was claimed by the Dodgers. No that doesn’t mean he will be in the lineup during the NLCS…

Robert Carson was thought of by the Mets as a possible left handed relief option for 2013. That didn’t happen as he gave up a whopping nine homers in just 19 innings for the Mets this season. He went through waivers as well and was claimed by the Angels.

Greg Burke actually made the Mets out of Spring Training. He struggled mostly despite converting to a new side-arm delivery this year going 0-3 with a 5.68 ERA. Although other stats say he actually pitched better than that. He wasn’t DFA’d he was simply out-righted meaning he won’t become a free agent until after the World Series.

Lastly Sean Henn pitched in just a few games with the Mets and struggled. He went unclaimed by the other 29 teams.

Baxter looks like the only one of the four with a potential major league career still in front of him. There may be plenty more where these cuts came from as the Mets need to open up several more roster spots.

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By Steven InmanimagesCADQ3WP8

In an absolute must read for any baseball fan, let alone Met fan, Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal, details how bad the situation is for the Mets Triple A affiliate in Las Vegas.

Costa talks first about what we already knew, due to the Mets poor job in developing a farm system no minor league team wants to be associated with them. “They’re undesirable,” said Dave Rosenfield, a longtime Norfolk (Va.) Tides executive. “Nobody wants them.”Norfolk was the Mets Triple A affiliate up until 2006.

There are 30 major leagues teams but just 30 Triple A minor league teams so it’s kind of like musical chairs.imagesCAU5LIB3

Due to the Mets inability to develop a farm system along with the meddling nature of the Wilpons, Norfolk and eventually the Buffalo Bisons, dumped the Mets, forcing them to Las Vegas. “When he (Wilpon) became involved in everything was when things changed,” Rosenfield said. “I dealt with him on some things and somebody always had to go to him if you wanted to do anything. He had his nose and hands in everything.” Rosenfield said.

The Mets did their best in 2010 of keeping Buffalo happy by bringing in veteran minor league talent like Mike Hessman and R.A. Dickey, (yes the 2012 Cy Young award winner was brought in to appease a minor league team) Both players along with others however were called up early that season to Queens and the Bisons were a losing team once again.imagesCAU5LIB3

Last offseason Buffalo signed a player development contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, leaving the Mets with Las Vegas in a game of undesirable musical chairs.

The Mets will be in Vegas for at least this year and next year. We have already heard complaints from prospects like Zack Wheeler.

In the article even executives in the Las Vegas organization know the stadium is far from pro ball standards. The field is dry, making it difficult to grip a baseball. The ball flies when it’s put in play. The organization only has two groundskeepers so they don’t have time to water the field before games somehow.

“You get in situations where you’re like, ‘I’m not looking for a double play here. I need to strike this guy out because I’m afraid of him putting it in play.'” Greg Burke said.

Sandy Alderson has acknowledged that putting the Mets Triple A team in Vegas, makes it significantly more difficult to evaluate players.

The only bright side to the Mets situation is they are only signed up to be in Vegas through 2014. If the Mets can develop their young players especially on the offensive side of ball they can turn the 51’s into a winning club. If they can do that they can probably leave Vegas after next year for a club closer to New York. That’s what the Blue Jays did and they are very happy in Buffalo.

By Steven InmanimagesCADQ3WP8

Over the last year, minor league free agent Greg Burke who signed with the Mets had been working on a new side arm delivery, this new delivery could result in Burke making the Mets opening day 25-man roster. Former Met pitching coach, Rick Peterson recommended to Burke that he convert to throwing “submarine style” during spring training last year when both were with the Baltimore Orioles.

Burke, 30, eventually finished winter ball with a 3-1 record and 2.23 ERA. He converted all 11 save chances with Obregon in Mexico. The Mets signed Burke to a minor league deal very early in the offseason and became worried that might lose him to another team in the rule 5 draft. As a result, the Mets put Burke on the 40-man roster to protect themselves from losing him.

It is extremely rare for a team sign a minor league free agent on a non-guaranteed deal and later in the offseason add him to the 40-man. It shows how much the Mets really love Burke and how much they thought they could lose him. If Burke has a good spring training he will probably make the Mets bullpen especially if Frank Francisco starts the season on the disabled list which appears likely.

By Steven Inman

According to the team the Mets signed RHP Greg Burke to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. The Mets originally drafted Burke in the 42nd round in the 2000 MLB draft but Burke chose to go to Duke University instead.

Burke only big league experience came in 2009 with the San Diego Padres where he went 3-3 with a 4.14 era and 33 strikeouts. He held right hand hitters to just a 1.95 era with the Padres but this more of a depth move and Burke will likely be assigned to Triple A Las Vegas.