By Justin Sheinis / Buffalo Bisons
After a four-year absence, Mike Jacobs is back to where it all began.
“Being back with the Mets is kind of like a feeling of coming home,” Jacobs said.
Drafted in the 38th round of the 1999 draft by the Mets, the 29-year old spent his first seven professional seasons with the organization. He made his major league debut with the Mets in 2005, before moving on to play for the Florida Marlins and most recently, the Kansas City Royals.
Jacobs ‘returned home’ by signing a minor league deal with the ‘Amazins this off-season with an invite to spring camp. The Mets wanted depth at first baseman, a wise notion as Daniel Murphy started the season on the disabled list.
That void was filled by Jacobs to start the year. But New York quickly turned their eyes toward red-hot prospect Ike Davis and after just two weeks, the switch was made. Davis joined New York and Jacobs was designated for assignment.
Jacobs now had the difficult decision to make: become a free agent or return to the minor leagues for the first time in over five seasons.
“This last week has kind of been tough,” Jacobs stated. “[Being designated] gave me a chance to just clear my head a little bit and spend some time with the family.”
After some careful thought, Jacobs accepted his assignment and joined the Bisons in Pawtucket on Sunday. He’s made it clear he’s excited to help the Herd win as well as prove that he is worthy of another shot at the big leagues.
Jacobs got off to a great start in his new setting, homering in his first game with the Herd.
“I think when your in the big leagues and you’re wanting to do something so much, you’re wanting to hit for power, drive in runs and hit home runs, that you kind of force things a bit, and put a little to much pressure on yourself and try to do to much,” said Jacobs.
Playing [at Triple-A] kind of clears your mind. It eases it a little bit and let’s you get back to having fun. Back to just playing baseball. Whether I’m here for a week, two weeks, a month or the whole year, I’m actually looking forward to it.”
Jacobs has good reason to feel comfortable with the Mets. He thrived in his early years with the organization, even winning the Sterling Award in 2003 for the top minor league player in the system.
For the two years prior to ’03, Jacobs had a familiar face work with him. Bisons manager Ken Oberkfell was at the helm for Single-A Capital City in 2001 and Single-A St. Lucie in 2002 during the slugger’s time in the system.
“I’ve been around him a long time. He’s a great guy and a great manager. He let’s us go out there and play,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs’s meteoric rise to the majors began with a spectacular debut on August 21, 2005, Jacobs smashed a three-run pinch-hit home run in his first ever major league at-bat. He then continued to hit three more homers in his next three games, setting an all-time major league record for the most home runs by a player in the first four games of his career.
Jacobs went on to hit .310 with 11 homers and 23RBI in just 30 games with the Mets that season.
However, after the 2005 season, Jacobs was part of a trade with the Marlins that landed Carlos Delgado in New York and sent Jacobs to Florida. In three years with the fish, he hit 69 homers, including a career best 32 long balls in 141 games in 2008.
In 2009, Jacobs hit 19 home runs with the Royals. He had one, the 100th of his career, during his brief time with the Mets this season. He hopes to add to that total soon.
“Obviously I want to be in the big leagues. Right now it’s not working out, but I am going to make the best of the opportunity that I have down here,” declared Jacobs.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
Mike Jacobs and Mike Hessman had the biggest hits on Tuesday night as they led the Herd to a 9-5 victory over the Durham Bulls. Jacobs had a three-run double and Hessman launched a pair of two-run homers as Buffalo used a key two-out rally to defeat the IL’s top team.
The Bisons scored five runs with two outs in the fourth. Jacobs struck first with a booming double to left field that cleared the bases and tied the score at three. Four pitches later, Hessman hit his fifth home run of the season to drive in Jacobs as well as himself.
The active leader in minor league home runs struck again in the bottom of the eighth inning to clinch the victory. After the Bisons tacked on an insurance run on Jesus Feliciano’s RBI-double, Hessman launched his 317th career minor league home run. This one was clearly his most impressive blast in a Buffalo uniform as it flew past the protective netting in left field and onto Oak St.
Hessman now has six home runs and 18RBI in 18 games with the Bisons.
The Bisons bullpen earned the victory for the Herd as Kiko Calero (2-0) got the win and John Lujan earned his second save. Along with Mike O’Connor the trio combined to toss 4.1 innings of shutout relief.
Dillon Gee started for the Herd and allowed five runs in 4.2 innings of work.
updated 4:50 p.m.
Jason Pridie – CF
Jesus Feliciano – LF
Mike Jacobs – 1B
Mike Hessman – 3B
Chris Carter – RF
Mike Cervenak – DH
Omir Santos – C
Andy Green – 2B
Ruben Tejada – SS
Dillon Gee – RHP
Rashad Eldridge – RF
Elliot Johnson – SS
Justin Ruggiano – CF
Hank Blalock – 3B
Dan Johnson – DH
Joe Dillon – 2B
Chris Richard – LF
Ryan Shealy – 1B
Alvin Colina – C
Carlos Hernandez – LHP
The Red Sox got home runs from Kevin Frandsen and Daniel Nava Monday afternoon to defeat the Bisons, 5-1, in the finale of the Herd’s six-game roadtrip. Buffalo split their series with Pawtucket and was an even 3-3 on the trip.
Frandsen’s homer with one out in the first got them on the board and back-to-back walks to Mark Wagner and Dusty Brown by Herd starter Bobby Livingston later in the inning gave Pawtucket a 2-0.
Wagner and Nava drew walks around a Brown double in the fourth inning to load the bases again against Livingston. Sac flies from Matt Sheely and Josh Reddick pushed the PawSox lead to 4-1.
Nava’s homer off reliever Travis Blackley in the sixth sealed Pawtucket’s second win over the Bisons in six games this season.
Buffalo scored their lone run in the bottom of the second. Chris Carter led off with the single and got himself to third on a Pawtucket error and a groundout. Andy Green scored his teammate from third with a groundout to the right side.
The loss for Buffalo went to Livingston (0-2). He allowed four runs on five hits and five walks in five innings of work.
Mike Cervenak singled in four trips to extend his hit streak to a Bisons’ season-high 11 games. Mike O’Connor pitched a scoreless ninth inning. He has made five consecutive relief appearances without allowing an earned run.
Wearing a Buffalo uniform for the first time, first baseman Mike Jacobs homered and had three hits in an over-powering 10-3 victory over the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon at McCoy Stadium. Jesus Feliciano added a home run as the Bisons pounded out a season-high 19 hits.
The slugger quickly found a comfort level with his new teammates. He doubled home a run in the first inning and singled again in the second. In the sixth inning, Jacobs launched a mammoth home run to right field off of former Bisons’ hurler, Chad Paronto. That blast, which came right after Feliciano’s two-run homer, all but sealed the Herd’s second straight win.
Six different players had multi-hit performances, including four hits from Feliciano. The Bisons’ 2009 MVP scored three times and drove in three runs while raising his average to .368.
Mike Cervenak went 3-5 to extend his hit streak to 10 games. One of the hottest Bisons’ bats, Ruben Tejada was the only batter in the lineup who failed to get a hit, ending a five-game hit streak.