Archive for Uni Controversies

How to Dress Jose Reyes

7So if the reports are accurate maligned former prodigy Jose Reyes could be rejoining the Mets as soon as today. While I’d naturally prefer my guys not to be coming off disciplinary suspensions, and I would hope his equity not put undue pressure on teammates, I can see where the prospect of a proven speedy contact hitter who can play multiple infield positions at a bargain price could help the team. I would hope also that just like Lenny Randle in 1977, the club is sensible enough to keep Reyes on a short behavioral leash while allowing him to do himself the favor of re-establishing a derailed career. If he can play, it’s all good.

No shortage of speculation as to his uniform number is out there, but I cannot see where it is fair or appropriate for Travis d’Arnaud to put aside a personally selected No. 7 to make room for Reyes, particularly with Reyes’ shady recent legal tangles and especially considering the way he left the club in 2009 (2011, thx, Dave). He was right go, don’t get me wrong, but he took off for Miami as though he were stealing second base.

77Question is what then? Back in 2003, when Reyes was a but a Met puppy, the Mets (idiotically, it turned out) signed the Japanese free agent Kaz Matsui to a contract. Matsui wore 7 in Japan and some bright people suggested then they creatively solve the issue by giving Matsui 77. They didn’t. Things would have been different, I tell you.

46So I can see the Mets going that route, maybe. Perhaps, though, presenting Reyes with 77 (or even 07) is too larded with tender forethought to be appropriate for a guy coming off a wife-beating rap. I am coming around to the idea it would be best if Reyes gets a number that sends the message that the Mets aren’t doing Jose Reyes any favors beyond the opportunity to wear a uniform. Any uniform. Give him No. 46. It’ll all be a weird scene anyway.

1Lots of speculation too about unoccupied single digits of 1 and 9 but I’m coming around to suspect those might be held out of the rotation with a purpose. Shortstop prospect Amed Rosario is racing up the ladder and bringing No. 1 with him: You may have seen he debuted with Class AA Binghamton just this week and like of all people Jose Reyes, could be a big-league shortstop by the age of 21. I’m less certain of No. 9’s future but suspect we could see Brandon Nimmo wearing it before long.

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

Young Men With A Future

Congrats to freshly picked Mets Justin Dunn, Anthony Kay and Peter Alonso, the club’s top three selections in the MLB amateur draft. Photographic evidence from their colleges show them wearing 19, 18 and 20, respectively. The draft continues this afternoon.

55Speaking of new arrivals, Kelly Johnson is expected to join the club in Milwaukee today, but it’s still unclear whose spot he takes on the roster. If it’s Ty Kelly, Johnson could retain the No. 55 he wore in his last go-round with the Mets but it may well be Matt Reynolds, in which case either Kelly, or Kelly, will wind up with their second Mets uni assignment.

64Including coaches and all members of the 40-man roster, available jerseys at the moment include 1, 9, 18, 46, 49, 54, 56, 58, 60, 61 and now 64 — since young pitcher Akeel Morris was sacrificed to Atlanta in the Johnson trade. You might recall Morris was catapulted from Single A to the Mets last summer and got bashed by the Blue Jays in his only appearance.

That incident and the subsequent trade granted Morris entry to an exclusive club of Met pitchers whose career club ERAs exceed their uniform number:

Thanks to my friends at the Ultimate Mets Database and Crane Pool for the background on that stat.

Update: Looks like Ty got whacked and lost his uni number.

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

Bastardly

59The Mets have called Dan Warthen their pitching coach since the famous Willie Randolph firing in June of 2008, and as such, he predates every man in uniform except for David Wright.

He’s quietly becoming a legend.

Yet his No. 59 could be under siege now that reports are trickling out that the Mets have come to an agreement with lefthanded reliever Antonio Bastardo, a 59 both in Pittsburgh and in Philadelphia. I learned long before Warthen got here not to expect a whole lot from free-agent relievers while also believing the more the merrier. A Mets team with Bastardo is a little more formidable than one without him, so it gets my approval.

I’m rooting for Warthen to stay in 59 but wouldn’t be surprised if he gives it up.

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

Glad Tidings from New York

20Neil Walker on Tuesday crashed the Mets’ annual holiday party at Citi Field, showing off what appears to be his new uni number, 20. Walker would be the first second baseman to wear 20 since 2000 Mets legend Kurt Abbott. Uh, yeah. Anthony Recker wore 20 last but as you may have heard the handsome backup catcher signed a deal with the Indians following the season.

Walker by the way said he wore 20 to honor his dad, Tom Walker, who as you can see here wore the same for the Montreal Expos. Neil reached the big leagues with the Pirates only to learn 20 had been retired for Pie Traynor.

13Later on Tuesday, the Mets and erstwhile lefty stopper Jerry Blevins agreed on a new deal for 2016. Blevins you may recall arrived at the eve of the ’15 season and did an all-around super job getting the Bryce Harpers and Freddie Freemans of the league out before fracturing an arm the same day that Travis d’Arnaud went down with an injury. Only Blevins never made it back to the team by suspiciously re-breaking the same arm shortly before his expected return.

If that’s not enough reason by itself to surrendered No. 13 the rule requiring all Venezuelan shortstops wear No. 13 trumped it.

What will Blevins return in? Only a guess but 15 is available now that Bob Geren is going.

43In other news the Mets have invited Buddy Carlyle to go after a third assignment with the team and possibly, a third uni number. He’s been 44 then 43 so far.

 

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

Abra-Cabrera

Interesting day out in Nashville, no?

18No sooner had Ben Zobrist left the Mets at the altar they turn around and score with a lookalike in Pittsburgh’s Neil Walker, then go out and buy another infielder, Asdrubal Cabrera.

Interestingly enough, Walker, like Zobrist, is a longtime wearer of the No. 18 jersey so little changes with regard to the prediction that coach Tim Teufel needs to find another number. The Cabrera signing in the meantime would seem to portend an end to Ruben Tejada‘s Mets career — a moment I mentally prepared for at least two years ago — which would free up Teufel’s playing-career No. 11 should he want it.

49Walker as you know cost the Mets their all-time No. 49, Jon Niese, in a deal that also essentially ends the Mets lifetime for their all-time No. 28, Daniel Murphy. I strongly associate the two of them (and Bobby Parnell, also a likely goner) as the best remainders of the Omar Minaya Era, all three adequate major league players jettisoned before they got too expensive.

13In their defense, that also describes Walker and Cabrera, a new middle infield combination likely to outhit their predecessors, and maybe out-field them too. I say “maybe” because I haven’t found much supporting Cabrera’s D even though I can’t recall ever having watched him closely myself, while there’s been rumblings from Pirates fans over Walker’s limited range at second base. If so, the Mets are giving me something less than I’d hoped while patching up the team: that is, give themselves a better chance through better fundamental play at key spots. At least they’ll hit more.

Cabrera you won’t be surprised to learn is a Venezuelan shortstop who favors No. 13: That jersey is technically available while Jerry “I broke my arm twice” Blevins tests the free agent market.

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

Coach Creep, and How to Stop It

18Great points turning up in the comments in the below post from my furry alien friend Alf Tanner regarding potential numerical maneuverings in light of the Mets’ pursuit of Ben Zobrist, and the departure of bench coach Bob Geren, who announced last week he was taking a similar role with the Dodgers.

In both instances, it raises the issue of the increasing incidence in Metland of what I’m calling Coach Creep — the occupation of uni numbers that ought to belong to players among non-players.

15Geren, you may recall, wore No. 7 during his first season on Terry Collins’ staff in 2014 – a decision that we learned inadvertently blocked the preferred jersey of young catcher Travis d’Arnaud upon his promotion later that year. d’Arnaud, as we know, was issued 15 instead until arranging a swap with Geren before the 2015 season.

30Only that, as Alf correctly points out, may only have kicked the can. Michael Conforto was wearing 15 at Class AA Binghamton when he was recalled in July only to find the same coach squatting on that number so Conforto took the awkward 30 instead. Conforto, as we know, is no Josh Thole and is on Switch Watch as we approach Spring Training.

6It’s not just Geren, neither. Darrell Ceciliani and Eric Young Jr. were each assigned No. 1 last year — despite being obvious No. 6’s — in part because assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler took that number. Come on, Pat. Leave the single digits for the guys on the field. Why is Dario Alvarez wearing 68 and Germen Gonzalez taking 71? In part, it’s because Ricky Bones and Tom Goodwin occupy 25 and 26, respectively.

And now that the Mets are in pursuit of a noted No. 18 in Ben Zobrist, another coach, Tim Teufel, is blocking the way.

As Alf says, let’s allow the manager to choose his own outfit: Terry Collins for the record selected 10 as a tribute to Jim Leland, doncha know, and get the coaches back where they belong, dutifully occupying the 50s.

 

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

This changes things

56So it looks like Matt Reynolds will wear No. 56 and not No. 60, as passed along here last night.

Our evident goof came by way of what I took to be an eyewitness account of the actual stitching of Reynolds’ jersey, as reported last night by MLB.com’s Joe Trezza:

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 12.30.07 PM

However this official release this afternoon says Reynolds will be wearing No. 56, so insead of joining the exclusive if unattractive fraternity of Jon Rauch and Scott Schoeneweis, Reynolds inherits the tradition of Brian McRae, Scott Rice, Andres Torres, Dyar Miller and a bunch of coaches and brief visitors in No. 56.

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 12.53.57 PM

I’ll be at Citifield recycling batteries tonight and will get the dope with my own two eyes.

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

Two for 2

2Well the moment is upon us and someone’s going to pay the price for the Mets having played fast and loose with uni number assignments.

Dilson Herrera, along with Logan Verrett and Johnny Monell, were recalled following this afternoon’s smashing victory at Washington. While we can expect Verrett to wear 35 and Monell 19 as they had earlier this year, Hererra will be wearing something. That’s because the Mets rather inelegantly issued Juan Uribe Herrera’s No. 2 while Herrera was away rehabbing and playing for AAA Las Vegas.

The Mets roster as of late last Monday night, still lists the two of them wearing No. 2.

As noted previously, I’ve given this matter some thought and suggested
0 could be a solution. Other swipes from the uncalled-for, like Vic Black’s 38 or Danny Muno’s 16, are also possibilities. Then I realized poor Dilson also wore 2 in Las Vegas this season and wondered if he wouldn’t pull a Benito Santiago and alight in 02. Santiago, for you youngins, was a catcher with San Diego who famously rocked No. 09 — he wanted space between the digits for the strap holding his chest protector.

Great win today!

 

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

To Be Young Again

1As accurately predicted by alert MBTN readers, Eric Young Jr.‘s surprise return to the Mets organization accompanied a new uniform number for the erstwhile No. 22. Young took over the No. 1 formerly — and technically, currently — belonging to reserve outfielder Darrell Ceciliani, who is spending September on the disabled list for AAA Las Vegas. 22 in Young’s absence was issued to catcher Kevin Plawecki, who also returned to the Mets this week.

This business of assigning the same number to multiple members of the current 40-man roster is something of a unique occurrence but we’ve seen it three times already this year: First when Juan Uribe took Dilson Herrerra‘s No. 2, and again this week with Young/Ceciliani; and also with new reliever Addison Reed, whose 43 technically belongs to Buddy Carlyle. Remember Buddy?

0With Carlyle (injured) and perhaps Ceciliani soon to be goners, it should be interesting to see what if anything transpires when the AAA season is complete (even with playoffs, Vegas should be done by a week from Monday) and Hererra needs a new assignment. Could Daniel Murphy’s apparent injury last night speed up the process? I’ve suggested a few times already this year that the Mets issue 0 before doubling-up 40-man assignments; perhaps that’s the right destination for those whose numerical identities have been stolen.

This week’s callups and additions (Reed, Young, Plawecki plus the intact returns of Erik Goeddel, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Steven Matz, Bobby Parnell and Eric Campbell) put the Mets at 47 players this season. The record in case you’re wondering is 54, set in 1967.

 

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

Gee, That’s Cold

35Word from Toronto this afternoon is that newly arriving pitcher Logan Verrett will suit up in No. 35, the same number worn for nearly five years by Dillon Gee, whose designation is so fresh they haven’t even had time to properly demote, release or trade him.

I confess to being one of those fans who’s been waiting for years for Gee to turn into a pumpkin and for all the pleasant surprises he’s given, moving on now was the right thing to do but this still comes off pretty harsh! Is there something wrong with 32? 46? 53? Ouch!

Technically, players are required to be assigned a number when they are added to the 40-man roster and technically, they lose a number when they leave it, so the assignment itself is technically, OK. But it brings to mind those instances where they’ve used the uniform number as a signal to make a point — like when young Danny Garcia took No. 12 on the heels of the Mets giving up on cranky old Roberto Alomar. Maybe there was more to Gee’s unhappiness than what came out. Maybe its just a case of inadvertent insensitivity. Maybe it’s a signal of an emerging bloodlessness that will be called on to make similar decisions on guys like Daniel Murphy and Jon Niese in the coming weeks. What do you think?

Meantime let’s wish Logan Verrett better luck than his predecessor at the back of the bullpen, Akeel Morris, who’s on his way down, and up, to Class AA after a painful debut. Verrett you might know has been around a bit for a rookie. He was Rule 5’ed from the Mets this winter by the Orioles, but snatched away from them by the Rangers just prior to opening day. He lasted for four games in Texas (wearing 41) before the Rangers tried farming him, and he was claimed back by the Mets.

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon