At the press conference this afternoon introducing JJ Putz as a member of the Mets they issued him a jersey with No. 40 on it. That jersey most recently belonged to chubby reserve catcher Robinson Cancel and before that, Ambiorix Burgos who was not offered a contract last week and became a free agent at least in baseball terms.
Putz remarked to reporters afterward that he’d ask coach Howard Johnson about the possibility of taking over his No. 20 jersey when the games start this spring. I’d guess HoJo gives the OK, though I’ve always preferred the No. 20 jersey stay on the back of hitters (like HoJo, Agee, Burnitz… and Ken Henderson).It hasn’t been worn by a pitcher since Ricky Bottalicoin 2001 2004 (thanks commenters).
Bonus Trivia: Without looking it up, how many Met pitchers can you name who wore No. 20? (there have been six including Bottalico)