Worth noting: As the end of the season approaches, the Mets have already started looking ahead to the 2014 campaign. The most important part of that checklist includes shelving pitchers who have reached their innings limits. Matthew Bowman, who made the transition from reliever to starter this year, was the first player shut down under those guidelines. The 22-year-old amassed 127 innings this season between Low A Savannah and St. Lucie — a jump of nearly 100 innings after he logged 29.1 innings with short-season Brooklyn last year in his first pro campaign. He was placed on the 7-day disabled list so the Mets could roster another pitcher, but there is still an outside chance he makes one more start during the final week of the season. Meanwhile, infielder Aderlin Rodriguez continues to nurse a sprained right thumb and is unlikely to return this season, according to the team’s radio analyst. Rodriguez has not played since June 12th because of the injury.
Surging at the plate: Second baseman T.J. Rivera. The month of August continues to be kind to Rivera. The Bronx native, whose average held steady around .275 during the first four months of the season, has posted a .417 clip in August heading into Wednesday’s action. In his past eight games, Rivera has notched multiple hits five times, however, only one of those 12 hits have gone for extra bases (a homer). He now ranks third on the team among current players with an overall batting average of .296.
Surging (back) on the mound: Reliever Carlos Vazquez. After spending nearly two months away from the club, Vazquez was returned to St. Lucie from Diablos Rojos del Mexico on Aug. 12th. He made his first appearance out of the bullpen last Wednesday — his first since June 26 — vs. Fort Myers and permitted a run on one hit without a walk or a strikeout over two innings. For the season, the left-hander has posted a 2.29 ERA and 13:3 K:BB ratio over 19 2/3 innings for the Mets, which includes one start.
Number to remember: .373. Following his sluggish finish at the end of July, outfielder Kyle Johnson has blossomed into a standout atop the St. Lucie lineup this month. Johnson, acquired from the Angels in exchange for sledom-used Collin Cowgill last June, carried an impressive 14-game hitting streak into Tuesday’s series opener at Palm Beach. During that run, the 23-year-old has generated a .373 batting average along with a .385 on-base percentage. In addition, Johnson has notched 14 runs scored, four extra-base hits and three stolen bases.
Up next: The Mets took their final scheduled off day of the season Monday before opening a three-game set at Palm Beach on Tuesday. The series opener was suspended by rain and scheduled to be resumed as part of a doubleheader Wednesday. St. Lucie then travels to the western part of Florida for four games at Fort Myers beginning on Friday.