Ever since the New York Mets signed on with the Las Vegas 51s in 2013, there has been a lot of talk about the troubles it has caused. Marc Edelman of Forbes wrote Thursday about the awful deal between the Mets and their Triple-A affiliate.
Edelman cites two reasons why the Mets contract with its Triple-A affiliate is so troubling. The first reason being “New York and Las Vegas are more than 2,200 miles apart”.
Mets fans saw this problem in effect last year as Eric Campbell was promoted-and-demoted twice in a three-day span, causing lots of unnecessary travel. Not to mention the amount of time it took Brandon Nimmo to get to New York when Yoenis Cespedes was placed on the DL. As opposed to Buffalo, where the player could be there within an hour, the Mets have to play a man short if a player goes down now.
The second reason why having the Mets Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas is troubling is that “the Las Vegas 51s play in the Pacific Coast League, where many teams play in high altitudes and batters’ statistics are usually inflated. For pitchers, playing in the Pacific Coast League is, in essence, like throwing in Colorado every night”.
While the pitching side of things has not been a hard transition, Mets fans have become accustomed to hitters raking in Vegas only to come to the majors and hit .210. Yes, many major leaguers across the league raked in AAA, but not like this. It has become hard for fans and even coaches to determine which players’ numbers could translate to the spotlight. The Pacific Coast League is hitter-friendly, and it is hard to judge the inflated stats of players trying to take the next step.
If the Mets are serious about breaking their thirty-year World Series drought, moving their AAA affiliate back to a local city within the International League such as Norfolk or even Rochester would make a very reasonable step. – Marc Edelman