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Press and Sun-Bulletin from Binghamton, New York • Page 18
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Press and Sun-Bulletin from Binghamton, New York • Page 18

Binghamton, New York
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8D Press Sun-Bulletin Sunday, July 10, 1994 BINGHAMTON METS flairs sin fflsmie iire 1 air SDinma PnleitVhpr wntQ even better days A i Rested Castillo impresses By CHERYL ROSENBERG Staff Writer The 1993 Double-A All Star game was the undoing of Juan Castillo. After the game, in which he pitched one inning to pick up the win, Castillo won just one more game all season with the Bing-hamton Mets. He finished 7-11, and along the way set the Eastern League record by giving up 27 home runs. "I was so tired," Castillo said. "My arm was tired.

I'd throw strong, but everything was right down the middle." This season, Castillo was again selected for the All-Star team. But the way his season has been going, chances are it won't end as a repeat of '93. The New York Mets organization told Castillo after last season not to play winter ball in his native Venezuela as he had the past three years, in order to save his arm. He came to spring training this season well-rested. His first start for Binghamton was shaky.

He gave up seven earned runs on nine hits in 2lA innings on April 15 against Canton. Castillo then gave up seven earned runs in his next five starts combined, winning eight consecutive decisions. He pitched back-to-back complete games May 6 and 11, and has a 2.78 ERA. "This year is totally different," Castillo said. "I feel strong.

I feel confident." He won his 10th game July 2. "He has much better life on his fastball," Binghamton pitching coach Randy Niemann said. "His breaking ball is better. The addition of a slider is going to be a big pitch for him. He's starting to get that over.

The difference in his changeup is night and day." By CHERYL ROSENBERG Staff Writer Making the Double-A All-Star team was a goal Bill Pulsipher set before the season. So far, it is the only accomplishment with which he's satisfied. "I don't know whether it was my performance or my name that got me selected," Pulsipher said. "I haven't lived up to All-Star qualifications." To the Mets organization and to anyone else looking at his stats, it would seem Pulsipher is being a bit hard on himself. He is 10-4, with a 3.44 ERA.

He has struck out 96 batters, and his 12523 innings pitched leads the Eastern League. "The record's great," said Pulsipher, who will be the starting pitcher. "The other numbers aren't as good as I'd like them to be. Maybe the organization thinks I'm doing great, or doing everything they expected, but what they expect and what I expect are a little bit different. "I have high expectations.

I think part of the reason I struggled a little bit early might have been that I was putting too much pressure on myself to do well and trying to show everybody why I'm supposed to be the No. 1 prospect. "I just told myself, 'Stop worrying about the numbers. They'll take care of themselves. Just go out and pitch.

Go out and have a good time when you I don't think I was having a good time while I was pitching earlier on in the year. I was stressing too much. "When I try to get it by people, I'm trying to blow it by them down in the strike zone instead of up in the strike zone, where before I'd try to get it by them and it would be going out the other direction." Pulsipher, of Clifton, was dominating in his first start back in April. He scattered three hits in seven shutout innings, striking out six and walking none. Certainly the performance was one you would expect from a pitcher drafted in the second round in 1991 and recently named as the top prospect in the Mets organization by Baseball America.

He won his next three decisions before losing his first game. Even in victory, Pulsipher wasn't overpowering. One outing, June 5 against Canton-Akron, he gave up six earned runs, but his teammates scored seven and Pulsipher received no decision. The 12 home runs Pulsipher has allowed is six more than he's given up in his whole career. "He started off very well, then no longer a certainty.

"I once was a top prospect," Davis said. "Then they trade for a guy like Tracy Sanders, and something has to give. And it was me giving up playing time to see what he could do. It was tough to swallow. "But it worked in my favor.

It helped me to learn how to deal with certain situations in a positive way. Earlier in my career, I might have pouted or handled it in a childish manner. I'm sure the organization looked at the way I handled myself, which was in a professional manner. I wasn't angry. They already know what I can do." Davis played in 1 2 games in May including six appearances as a pinch-hitter or pinch-runner before being sent to Triple-A Norfolk to fill a roster spot.

Meanwhile, Sanders, who batted .323 for Double-A Wichita last season, was batting just .230 with one home run by June.Then right-fielder Jeff Barry fractured his knee and missed most of the month. The door was open for Davis. He had three consecutive three-hit games from June 5-7. He put together a seven-game hitting streak from June 1 1 to June 17. He ALUMNI i --jr is Mi' r'" I HOLLY MCQUEENPRESS SUN-BULLETIN had hit in nine of 10 games until going 0-for-2 against New Britain on Tuesday, leaving the game early with a stiff back.

"He never quit, he never got down," Sanders said. "He's worked his tail off and it paid off. We push each other. Neither of us wants to spend the rest of our lives in the minors. Being ready definitely helped him." Davis, who is batting .335, doesn't necessarily feel his statistics are worthy of All-Star recognition.

He mentioned other teammates he felt were more deserving. Left-handed starter Chris Roberts, who won his first eight games of the season. Center-fielder Ricky Otero, who has been the team's sparkplug. "I don't know why I was picked," Davis said. "In the beginning I wasn't even playing.

I had to wait my turn. When I got my chance, I had good success. My concentration was so deep, it was unconscious. I wasn't thinking about being an All-Star. "When I started getting more of a chance to play I got more confidence.

I wasn't tense. I have to stay within myself and stay on that fine line to continue to be successful." Binghamton Mets left-fielder Jay Davis steps up to added playing time and an all-star berth, he's devel-the plate during last weekend's homestand. With oped his confidence this season. Matured Davis puts past behind, makes most of his chances Mm ill; wit "I'Hi i I ill Hi II 1 A- jhil i JONATHAN FICKlS PRESS SUN-BULLBN Bill Pulsipher reached his goabf being named to the all-star teai, but he's not completely happy wh his statistics this season. he went for a period where he strfe- gled, Binghamton pitching co Randy Niemann said.

"He was il hard for probably the first tinw his pro career. He had to learn it type of pitches he had to throw, i couldn't just get the fastball them." Better selection of oitcbs and location have helped Pulsiphr' become more consistent. Tje development of a changeup hs made his fastball and curveblii more effective. He said he is coi( fortable with the way his last ca-' pie of starts have gone. His goals for this season indue" reaching 200 innings pitched axl leading the league in innirjs.

pitched. Twenty wins is not oubf the question. "I feel I'm throwing the ball mce, consistently," Pulsipher sapl' "When you feel like you're mi ing every pitch, you can get avJy, with some pitches sometim' because you're confident enodfy in the pitches that you're goingta put them in a spot where theyje' not going to hit them eveijif. they are bad pitches sometimej "You get on a little roll whee, everything happens your way ad' Binahamton MuniciDal Stadium and Datting practice for all-stars), and Henry streets. Mill, S.C.

A crowd of 4.009 watc sd! the game at the horn of! the now-defunct Charlotte Knigh of! the Southern League. Huntsville stars closer Todd Rev iig allowed an RBI single to Binghan on Mets outfielder Tim Howard in hej bottom of the ninth before get ng Reading's Mike Lieberthal to pop iut to end the game. Huntsville Stars outfielder Mi col Armas, brother of former major- guer Tony Armas, hit a home run rid! went 3-for-4 in the loss for the Al In the inaugural Double-A All- ar game in 1991, Midland Angels infi d-er Mark Howie drove in four rurijto lead the AL to an 8-2 victorv overlie NL in front of 4,022 at the 10.200-latj Joe W. Davis Stadium in HuntsvleJ Ala. Castillo poise on the mound and ability to get stronger as the innings progress in a game on May 6, he threw his fastest pitch of the game in the ninth inning have drawn Juan Castillo attention from the organization's higher-ups.

Although Castillo wasn't considered among the Mets' top prospects, his performance has garnered recognition. "You've got to talk about Castillo as one of the more pleasant surprises this year," Mets assistant vice president of baseball operations Gerry Hunsicker said. "He's really emerging as the quality pitcher that we all knew he could become, but never really put it together for a long period of time. He's on verge of putting it together. His name has to be right there among all the others." Castillo has also made adjustments in his mechanics.

He has concentrated on getting more extension of his arm, which has kept his fastball down and away from the batter's sweet spot. He I has allowed five home runs so far he had 16 at this time last sea- son. "It's a different Juan Castillo," Mets manager John Tamargo said. "You have to believe that it was just a tired arm last year. He's not trying to push the ball as much this year.

He's the type of pitcher who'll go at you all the time' All-star festivities All events to take Dlace at unless uuierwise nuieu. Monday Luncheon (Holiday Inn Arena, call 723-METS for $25 for adults, $1 4 for children 1 2-and-under, noon-2 p.m. By CHERYL ROSENBERG Staff Writer Handling adversity has not come easily for Jay Davis. In the past, lack of playing time, a series of poor at-bats, or an error in the field could cause Davis to smash his batting helmet or sulk. This season, Davis could have resorted to dealing with his frustrations in the same way.

Instead, his reactions have earned him a position on the Double-A All Star team. "I was shocked to hear the news," said Davis, a left fielder for the Binghamton Mets. "A little thrill went through my body. But I'm a little bit more excited about getting more playing time. I'd rather play every day than be an All Star." Davis was the everyday left fielder for Binghamton last season.

He was slowed in early August by shoulder problems, but finished batting .28. In the off-season, he had surgery on his left shoulder. Before this season started, the Mets made a trade with San Diego, obtaining Tracy Sanders. When Davis learned Sanders would be joining him in Binghamton, he realized his starting job in left field was ALL-STAR Pregame workout (infield 4-6 p.m. Balloon flyover, 6-7 p.m.

Eastern League All-Star game, 7:30 p.m. Game tickets Although the game is officially a sellout, a limited number of tickets will go on sale Monday at 9 a.m. at the ticket window at the Stadium, corner of Fayette The tickets are reserved seats that were not picked up. Cost is $10 for box seats, $8 tor reserved grandstand and $6 for bleach er and standing-room only. Double-A games showcase tomorrow's stars Double-A All-Stars in majors Major LMgiwrs who played In Doubla-A All-Star Gama, which It In Its fourth year of Its current format: Bret Boone, 2B, Cincinnati Reds Toby Borland, Philadelphia Phillies Royce Clayton, SS, San Francisco Giants Jim Converse, Seattle Mariners Cliff Floyd, 1 Montreal Expos.

Tim Hyers, 1B, San Diego Padres John Jaha, 1 Milwaukee Brewers Bobby Jones, New York Mets Todd Jones, Houston Astros Steve Karsay, Oakland Athletics Mike Lansing, 2B, Montreal Expos Mike Lieberthal, Philadelphia Phillies Javy Lopez, Atlanta Braves Pat Mahomes, Minnesota Twins Jeff Mutis, Florida Marlins John Patterson, 2B, San Francisco Giants Arthur Rhodes, Baltimore Orioles Kevin Rogers, San Francisco Giants John Roper, Cincinnati Reds Manny Ramirez, OF, Cleveland Indians Roger Salkeld, Seattle Mariners Dave Silvestri, IF, New York Yankees Jim Thome, 3B, Cleveland Indians Steve Trachsel, Chicago Cubs Brian Turang, OF, Seattle Mariners Matt Walbeck, Minnesota Twins Rondell White, OF, Montreal Expos Tim Worrell, San Diego Padres By PAUL STUART Staff Writer Less than two years ago, Bobby Jones took the Binghamton Mets to the Eastern League championship. Now, he's a standout in the New York Mets' starting rotation with a 9-7 record. He's just one of several talented and young major league prospects who have played in one of the first three Dou-ble-A All-Star games. Cleveland Indians right fielder Manny Ramirez and Atlanta Braves catcher Javy Lopez are two others who have played in All-Star games the past two seasons and are on the verge of making it in the big leagues. As of July 1, 33 players in the major leagues participated in one of the three previous Double-A All-Star games.

A Last season, NL starter Juan Castillo picked up the victory, pitching one scoreless inning in a 12-7 victory over the AL at Tim McCarver Stadium, home of the Triple-A Memphis Chicks. Castillo was one of nine pitchers former Harrisburg manager Jim Tracy used, each throwing one inning. Mets third baseman Butch Huskey went hit-less in two at-bats. Wichita Wranglers outfielder Dwayne Hosey. a late addition to the NL roster, led his team to victory.

Hosey went 3-for-4, including a single, triple and home run. He scored four runs and also stole a base. In 1992, Jones pitched a scoreless first inning as the NLstarter in an eventual 4-3 loss to the American League team at Knights Castle Stadium in Fort handful of other All-Stars have tasted the majors but are back in the minors. Some major leaguers like Montreal's Kirk Reuter, never earned All-Star status in Double-A before excelling in the majors. Others, such as New York Mets prospect Jeremy Burnitz, now at Triple-A Norfolk, have made it up to the big leagues but have since returned to the minors.

Another Double-A All-Star, Carlos Delgado, was the talk of baseball with eight home runs in April as a left fielder with the Toronto Blue Jays. But Delgado, the starting catcher in last year's Double-A All-Star game, struggled in May and is with Syracuse of the International League. Three other Binghamton Mets have played in the game. ft.

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