This week’s Buffalo Bisons recap has been cancelled due to inclement weather. Just kidding of course, but the Bisons were forced to play two double headers this past week due to less than enviable weather in upstate New York. Buffalo swept the second of those double headers, which broke a 6-game losing streak, putting them at 6-9 on the season and in last place in the International league North division. With the pitching they’ve gotten they should be better, but their hitters have the lowest average in the league and they were barely able to average 2 runs per game during their 6-game losing streak.
Jenrry Mejia was impressive in his 2 starts this past week. After 3 starts this season, he is averaging more than 6 innings per outing and has an ERA of 0.98. However, he has made errors in the field and has struggled controlling his fastball, which has caused him to fall behind hitters, two things that could be fatal in the big leagues, so he is clearly in need of more time, no matter how impressive the numbers look. The soft throwing Chris Schwinden has impressed in his first two outings after being promoted, while Josh Stinson struggled after being recalled to AAA, as those two guys have taken the place of Dillon Gee and Boof Bonser in the rotation. Mike O’Connor struggled this week and has come back down to earth after starting strong, while the other lefty specialist on the Mets radar Taylor Tankersley has yet to give up a run while striking out 12 in 8 innings.
At the plate, only a couple of guys have been immune to the slow start, namely Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Going into the season, there were questions as to how quickly he would catch on to AAA pitching, and he appears to have answered those questions pretty early in the season. He has reached base in all 15 games and is hitting .340 with 4 doubles and a pair of homers. If he can keep up anything close to that pace, he should be in position for major league call-up by midseason, if not sooner. Of course, the question as to if he can play centerfield everyday in a spacious park like Citi Field remains unanswered. Zach Lutz is also swinging a good bat, hitting .308 and is second only to Nieuwenhuis on the team in slugging percentage. After a hot start, Ruben Tejada has just 4 hits in his last 8 games, knocking his average down considerably. The team’s offensive struggles are in large part due to the poor starts of Nick Evans and Lucas Duda, who are both still hitting below the Mendoza line, although Evans launched 2 home runs yesterday, which may be a sign that he’s starting to come out of his slump. Also contributing to the offensive struggles are the losses of Justin Turner and Fernando Martinez. Turner should be gone for good, replaced by Luis Hernandez, while Martinez has still only played 4 games, but is expected back soon.