Teams Ask Mets About Carson, Despite Lefty's Struggles





NEW YORK—The calls came as they always do, inquiring about the availability of prospects. The name general manager Omar Minaya heard again and again was that of Robert Carson, a lefthander with Double-A Binghamton.

The attention came despite Carson's general lack of name recognition—not to mention the fact that in four Double-A starts he was 0-4, 9.61 with nine walks and four home runs allowed in 20 innings.

"I got a lot of calls on Carson," Minaya said. "He's good. He's one of those guys who you can see up here helping us next season."

The 21-year-old lefthander came to the organization as a 14th-round pick out of Hattiesburg (Miss.) High in 2007. So while Carson may not have the results at Binghamton, he does have the weapons.

Minaya said that Carson was regularly clocked at 93 mph, and independent scouting reports corroborate that he ranges from 90-95. The GM further stated that Carson has command of a high-80s cutter and an in-progress changeup.

"(Carson has) a really good cut fastball," Minaya said. "He throws hard enough, but it's really that he's got the other things—the cutter, (and) that he throws strikes and has command."

One Mets official compared him to Mets flame-throwing reliever Bobby Parnell and said flatly, "Carson's better than Parnell."

While it hasn't shown in Binghamton yet, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Carson pitched much more effectively for high Class A St. Lucie, going 7-5, 4.17 in 17 games. He struck out 69, walked 33 and allowed five home runs over 86 innings.

METAMORPHOSES

• Binghamton third baseman Zach Lutz returned in style from a stress fracture in his left foot, mashing five home runs in five games and going 10-for-21 (.476) after a six-week layoff.

• Triple-A Buffalo outfielder Fernando Martinez returned from a severe hamstring injury on June 11 after a one-month absence and hit .263/.324/.513 with 10 of 12 home runs in the ensuing 44 games. With improved arm strength and accuracy, the 21-year-old Martinez ranked in a tie for second in the International League with eight outfield assists—even with the missed time.