Re-energized Cyclones host Thor’s rehab

September 3, 2021 Jim Dolan
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After a 2-9 two-week road trip to Hudson Valley and Wilmington, the last place (36-58) Cyclones returned home re-energized to take on the second place (48-45) Aberdeen Ironbirds. That energy was displayed early in the game when the New York Mets’ No. 2 minor league prospect Ronny Mauricio hit an RBI triple to get Brooklyn on the scoreboard in the third inning. Mauricio later followed with a three-run homer for the eventual 9-6 Cyclone win. The switch-hitting shortstop led the team that evening with another one of his signature games, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs, three runs scored and a stolen base.

With the Cyclones returning to Brooklyn last week, Mauricio is finally displaying his power at home, something that he has done mostly on the road in past weeks.  Currently Mauricio is the Cyclones home run leader with 17 and the team’s RBI leader with 57. Given his defensive plays in the field and his continued offense in the Aberdeen series, the buzz in the press box was that fans were now watching “Ronny Rumble Pony,” a reference worthy of a promotion to the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, where his former Cyclone teammate Brett Baty is currently playing.

Ronny Mauricio slides safely into third during the Cyclones’ 9-4 win over the Aberdeen Ironbirds. Photo by George Napolitano

In addition to being a pathway to the majors, Brooklyn has also been the site this season for Mets players to make their rehab pitching appearances, like Carlos Carrasco and Noah “Thor” Syndergaard. On Aug. 26, Thor made his third (2017, 2018 and 2021) rehab appearance in Brooklyn after undergoing Tommy John surgery in the spring of 2020.  Limited to just one inning of work after experiencing right elbow inflammation during a June rehab start in St. Lucie, Syndergaard was able to throw 12 of 16 pitches for strikes to the first five Aberdeen batters. After giving up a home run to the leadoff batter and then hitting the next, Syndergaard struck out the following batter and induced two more ground balls to end the first inning.

Given the mixed results of his rehab start, the outing was considered somewhat successful since the 29-year-old Texas native was able to keep the ball down while topping out at 96 MPH just throwing changeups and fastballs. After the game Syndergaard revealed that Mets medical staff are having him refrain from throwing sliders and curves for the rest of season in order to reduce the stress on his arm. While continuing to throw just two pitches, the plan is to have Syndergaard pitch out of the Mets’ bullpen in September.

Unfortunately for Syndergaard, the plan for his Mets return was thrown off track when he learned this past Sunday that he had tested positive for COVID-19 just before he was to make another one-inning appearance in Brooklyn. As for the last place Cyclones, Brooklyn finished strong, taking four of seven from Aberdeen to the delight of their fan base, which has stuck with them during this tough season.

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