Brian Lawrence, who is scheduled to start this afternoon in Milwaukee, is expected to appear in No. 54. That would make Lawrence only the second Met player ever to appear in No. 54, which has traditionally been reserved for coaches and staff (including the recently whacked Rick Down, 1967 interim manager Salty Parker, and, for 14 years (1968-81), pitching coach Rube Walker.
The only previous playing tenant was non-alliterative starting pitcher Mark Clark, the best pitcher on a 1996 Mets team that’s remembered for its offense. Clark arrived in a trade from Cleveland for Ryan Thompson, won 14 games for the 96ers, and was traded to the Cubs as Steve Phillips took over as GM in the Turk Wendell/Mal Rojas/Brian McRae thing in 1997. Clark later got stupid money to pitch badly for the Texas Rangers.
Lawrence is a former 15-game winner or the Padres, but hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2005.