PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Mets dispatched three more players to minor-league camp after Monday’s Grapefruit League loss: outfielder Cesar Puello, left-hander Jack Leathersich and right-hander John Church.
Leathersich had just given up a mammoth homer to Giancarlo Stanton in the seventh inning, but the 23-year-old reliever’s fate already had been decided before then.
Church Puello Leathersich Collins’ parting advice to Leathersich was “strike one is important.”
Leathersich, a fifth-round pick in 2011 from UMass-Lowell, has been a strikeout machine in the minors, with 241 Ks in 143 career innings. But after a late-season promotion in 2013 to Triple-A Las Vegas, Leathersich walked 29 batters in 29 innings.
Collins also told Leathersich to shake off Stanton’s monster homer to left field. The manager noted Leathersich would not have been challenging Stanton had it been a regular-season game, since two lefty batters preceded Stanton and one followed him.
Collins added that Stanton has victimized plenty of pitchers. The manager recalled Stanton’s May 13, 2012 walk-off grand slam in a six-run ninth against Frank Francisco and Manny Acosta. That blast was ruled to be 432 feet before impact.
“I told Jack Leathersich, ‘Don’t let that get to you. I’ve seen a lot of them off his bat,’” Collins said. “That one he hit off Manny Acosta, they’re still repairing the glass that he broke in the back of the dome. That’s the farthest one I’ve ever seen hit -- the one he hit in Miami.”
With Monday's dozen midday cuts, the Mets sent 15 players overall to the minor-league side. That leaves 49 players still in big-league camp.