Binghamton’s Xorge Carrillo finds plenty to like about catching 6-foot-4 right-hander Robert Gsellman.
“He is very consistent at getting the ball down,” Carrillo said. “They just keep hitting it into the ground. His curveball is really good. It’s tight, almost like a 12-to-6. And he’s got a good changeup as well. So he’s got a three-pitch mix that he’s aggressive with. And he’s very mature. He has good poise about him on the mound and he likes to learn. He doesn’t make the same mistake twice too often. That’s always a good sign, especially for a young guy like him.
“It’s definitely fun to catch him. For some reason his games go fast. Everybody is just aggressive and hitting groundballs. The next thing you know, it’s the seventh inning and he’s got zeroes with 70-something pitches. He has a nice, bright future.”
Gsellman, a 13th-round pick in 2011 out of high school in Los Angeles, opened the season 6-0 with a 1.76 ERA in eight starts for St. Lucie. He is 4-5 with a 3.47 ERA in 10 starts for Binghamton since a promotion in late May.
Gsellman, 22, began implementing a two-seam fastball last season in Savannah after being taught it by a former minor leaguer, Keith Ramsey, back home in California the previous winter.
“I like it. I throw it in to righties, away to lefties. It’s moving down and they’re going to hit it right into the ground,” Gsellman said.
Gsellman indicated he wants to improve his curveball, getting it down more and consistently over the plate.
“The big thing is a put-away pitch,” he added. “That’s what I’ve been struggling with. I get ahead of batters and I can’t put them away.”
Gsellman’s father Bob was a 23rd-round pick in 1984 by the Philadelphia Phillies. He caught in that organization for four seasons, rising to Charleston in the low-A South Atlantic League.
“He never really forced anything on me. He just said, ‘Go play,’ and would give me tips here and there,” Gsellman said. “He’d tell me I should start running, working out, or to play long toss and throw sides. Typical stuff.”
Gsellman, at least for now, has heavy facial hair. He had a bet with John Gant about who would shave first. Gsellman ended up winning on a technicality. Gant was traded to the Atlanta Braves on Friday with Robert Whalen in the deal that brought Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson to Queens. Unlike in the Mets’ now-relaxed minor league system, the Braves have a strict facial-hair policy. So Gsellman won when Gant shaved upon reporting to his new organization. Still, Gant doesn’t intend to collect from his friend because of the circumstances.
“Whoever cut it first owed a pair of cleats,” Gsellman said. “I don’t think they’re allowed to have hair. I’ve got to cancel the bet because they made him cut it. It’s an organization rule, I guess. We were good buddies.”
On losing Gant, Gsellman added: “That’s kind of crazy. Ever since I’ve been here, the Mets have just been collecting [prospects]. Now they got rid of one of my good friends. But I’ll get used to it. It’s a business.”
Average: Ali Sanchez, GCL Mets, .349; Vinny Siena, Brooklyn, .323; Alex Castellanos, Vegas, .314; Jeff McNeil, St. Lucie, .314; T.J. Rivera, Vegas, .312; Patrick Mazeika, Kingsport, .310; Kevin Kaczmarski, Kingsport, .305; Gavin Cecchini, Binghamton, .302; Luis Carpio, Kingsport, .300; Brandon Allen, Vegas, .299.
Homers: Travis Taijeron, Vegas, 17; Alex Castellanos, Vegas, 16; Josh Rodriguez, Binghamton, 15; Michael Conforto, Binghamton, 12; Brandon Allen, Vegas, 11.
RBIs: Josh Rodriguez, Binghamton, 60; Dominic Smith, St. Lucie, 58; Alex Castellanos, Vegas, 56; Michael Conforto, Binghamton, 54; Travis Taijeron, Vegas, 54.
Steals: Wilfredo Tovar, Vegas, 28; Patrick Biondi, Savannah, 22; Champ Stuart, St. Lucie, 21; Jonathan Johnson, Savannah, 18; Jeff McNeil, St. Lucie, 15.
ERA: Michael Fulmer, Binghamton, 2.03; Steven Matz, Vegas, 2.19; Casey Meisner, St. Lucie, 2.35; Gaby Almonte, Brooklyn, 2.38; Martires Arias, Savannah, 2.51; Audry German, Kingsport, 2.68; Robert Gsellman, Binghamton, 2.70; Ronald Guedez, GCL Mets, 2.79; Merandy Gonzalez, Kingsport, 2.83; Seth Lugo, Binghamton, 3.20.
Wins: Casey Meisner, St. Lucie, 10; Robert Gsellman, Binghamton, 10; Scarlyn Reyes, Savannah, 10; Darin Gorski, Vegas, 8.
Saves: Jon Velasquez, Binghamton, 19; Paul Sewald, Binghamton, 16; Akeel Morris, Binghamton, 13; Jimmy Duff, Savannah, 12; David Roseboom, St. Lucie, 8.
Strikeouts: Steven Matz, Vegas, 94; Martires Arias, Savannah, 93; Michael Fulmer, Binghamton, 92; John Gant, Binghamton, 91.
A trio of Mets farmhands earned weekly league honors. Las Vegas right-hander Matt Bowman was named Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week, while Binghamton right-hander Seth Lugo was named Eastern League Pitcher of the Week and Savannah outfielder John Mora was named South Atlantic League Player of the Week.
Brandon Nimmo earned a promotion to Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday. The 2011 first-round pick hit .279 with two homers and 16 RBIs in 269 at-bats with the B-Mets. He lost a month due to an ACL sprain in his left knee and continued to be slowed after returning.
With the departures of Casey Meisner and Whalen from St. Lucie’s rotation because of a pair of trades, the Florida State League club received Scarlyn Reyes (10-4, 3.40 ERA) from Savannah and had knuckleballer Mickey Jannis step in to take Tuesday’s start.
Amed Rosario, the 19-year-old shortstop phenom assigned to St. Lucie, was dispatched to a doctor this week to have an ailing left wrist examined. Rosario (.263, 0 HR, 22 RBIs) last appeared in a game on July 18.
The Mets signed 27-year-old Vince Belnome to a minor league contract and assigned him to Binghamton. Belnome, a utility infielder, appeared in four games for the Tampa Bay Rays last season. He hit .169 in 160 at-bats with Triple-A Durham to begin this season.
After dealing with an elbow strain, Matt Reynolds is making progress toward a return to the infield with Las Vegas. Reynolds played shortstop on Monday in the Gulf Coast League. It marked his first action at the position since June 25 in the PCL. Reynolds served as a DH and pinch hitter with the 51s for another 10 days before landing on the Triple-A club’s DL.
Michael Katz, a ninth-round pick in 2014 out of William & Mary, has homered in four straight games for Savannah. Katz’s first pro season was cut short last July with Brooklyn when he injured his right patellar tendon stretching to make a catch at first base.
Matt Blackham, who got off to a tremendous start with Brooklyn, slipped at first base while covering the bag and injured his right hip last Wednesday. He will refrain from throwing for the time being. Blake Taylor also is slowed with the New York-Penn League club because of renewed left forearm soreness.
Desmond Lindsay, the Mets’ top pick in this year’s draft (second round), made his Gulf Coast League debut on Friday. Lindsay, 18, went 1-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts and manned center field.
The Mets will send Marc Valdes to the Arizona Fall League to serve as pitching coach for the Salt Lake Rafters. Mets farmhands will be teamed with prospects from the Diamondbacks, Rockies, Blue Jays and Nationals.
In his last nine starts, B-Mets right-hander Michael Fulmer has a 0.68 ERA and has struck out 61 and walked nine in 53 1/3 innings.