Those unpredictable Mets keep on churning the roster and you never know what’ll happen next.
This week, with Nimmo and Conforto out, we introduced Rajai Davis and Aaron Altherr as special guest outfielders and each of them hit a home run in their first plate appearance. Davis, who didn’t get an R designation on his nameplate despite the team already employing two other members of the Davis family (JD & Chili) wore No. 18, and Altherr took the 23 jersey most recently belonging to Keon Broxton. The Mets in the meantime signed Matt Kemp to a minor-league contract, then DFA’ed Davis to make room for the returning Conforto.
Should Kemp make it up here–and signing a veteran All-Star is becoming something of a Mets tradition given the recent history of Jose Bautista and Adrian Gonzalez and James Loney–they’ll need to find another uniform number than the 27 he’s previously worn over 1,700 games for Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlanta and Cincinnati. Juerys Familia has already kept 27 from Carlos Gomez.
The new additions and subsequent roster crush has resulted not only in Davis’ assignment but also cost Paul Sewald and Tim Peterson spots. The latter two escaped the scrutiny even of the Washington Nationals and have landed back in Syracuse.
Well it sure looks like it’s all over for Mickey Callaway, whose club seems to have abandoned him in his hour of need. When Jeff called an emergency meeting after the last crappy road trip, you, me, and all 25 guys in the locker room knew it was either play better or Mickey walks the plank. And so he’ll go.
I tuned into Thursday afternoon’s game and was reminded it was a day just like that one last year, a year and week and change, weekday afternoon game in May, when Mickey’s signature moment of unpreparedness–the batting-out-of-order game–gave us a true look at what we were dealing with. Mickey made a great first impression; I think his attempts to paint the picture of things how he wanted them to be, instead of telling us how they were, was too obvious at times; and for a second year in a row he’s proven not to have what it takes to pull a club out of a spin.
Of course the old and underperforming club he has is on a rookie GM who’s also made a bunch of dumb mistakes and already looks like a fool for his confidence in them. “Come get us.” Please.
Knowing the Mets pattern of solving last year’s problems this year count on them to make a show of Callaway’s inexperience and hire the most experienced guy they can. This process will take place while Jim Riggleman gets the “interim” tag, hopefully not for more than a few weeks. What a mess.
This when the big story in our world should be Carlos Gomez’s surprise arrival in No. 91. Yes that’s the first issue of that number in Mets history and apparently refers to a bible verse favored by the erstwhile outfielder and not to his fondness for Butch Goring, evidently a remark by Howie Rose.
We’ll deal with the Craig Swan 46 stuff in another post soon.
Even though we prepared for it below we never said a proper goodbye to Travis d’Aranud, who as you may know since his release has been drifting across the country, trying new batting stances along the way. The erstwhile prospect was picked up his hometown Los Angeles Dodgers, dressed in No. 72, and had a single pinch hitting appearance until yesterday when he was shipped to Tampa Bay, where he’s something of their version of Devin Mesoraco, acquired because the starter and the backup were hurt. Not sure what number d’Arnaud will appear in, but it’ll be against the Yankees so we’ll wish him better luck than normal.
Speaking of Rays the Mets picked up one of theirs the other night as Wilmer Font showed up, worse No. 68, and pitched okay for a few innings in a disheartening Mets loss. Font is the third 68 in Mets history: You might recall 2019 NL MVP Jeff McNeil wore it last year for the Mets; before that, it was lefty reliever Dario Alvarez.
Next up is the pending Mets debut of Jed Lowrie, issued No. 4. We’re also anticipating a potential reunion with Carlos Gomez who’s hitting well in AAA while Keon Broxton is not up here. Stay tuned!
Update: Travis wearing 37 in Tampa and… making plays!
So our old friend Carlos Gomez is in camp wearing No. 85, which happened to be the lowest number available, although roster cuts and reassignments should free up additional space as opening day nears. Already there’s been 13 reassignments and yesterday news came that TJ Rivera had been cut and also released.
This is not a big surprise as Rivera was a one-tool longshot before he missed a year with an injury, but his release frees up No. 19 if anyone wants it. I assume it won’t be long before Dilson Hererra is reassigned and coughs up No. 16; then there’s Gregor Blanco (7) and Rajai Davis (11) who suddenly look more vulnerable now that Gomez is back. In case you’ve forgotten Gomez wore No. 27 in his first appearances as a Met back in 2007. His return suggests to me that Omar Minaya is possibly making the personnel decisions again and just relying on Brodie Van Wagenen to say the right things to the press about them. That’s not a good feeling.
Among pitchers, keep an eye on No. 26, where nonroster invitee Arquimedes Caminero has a 16.20 ERA so far (in a really small sample) but appears to need to beat out one or more better-performing counterparts like Hector Santiago (46), Luis Avilan (43) and Rule 5er Kyle Dowdy (33) who’s going to get every chance despite a Camineroesque ERA so far this spring.
Yes, so you may have heard the Mets went and acquired this Johan Santana fellow from the Twins for a package of four prospects: Outfielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Phillip Humber, Kevin Mulvey, and Deolis Guerra.
And although the Mets will assuredly sign to Santana to an absurd contract extension, this deal right now looks remarkable for how little blood was spilled. Gomez, though he showed flashes of ability and a “good baseball body,” proved in a limited engagement last season that he probably needs a year at AAA. Mulvey looks to be midddling starter material, not to belittle the value of averageness from young pitchers. Humber and Guerra are lottery tickets: Humber because he still needs to regain his stuff following Tommy John surgery; and Guerra because he’s in A ball and anything can happen.
And although we suggested the Mets could use Santana to doubly erase Tom Glavine’s memory by dressing him in No. 47, we’re reasonably certain he’ll alight in his familiar 57 where indeed, he’s all but certain to overtake cannon fodder starter Jason Roach and determined scrubeenie Eric Valent as Best. 57. Ever.
As you probably heard by now, overmatched rookie outfielder Carlos Gomez 27 injured a bone in his hand in Denver and underwent surgery that will likely sideline him until September. In his place for the time being is utilityman David Newhan 17, recalled from New Orleans last night. Though his inexperience was exposed at times, CarGo on balance acquitted himself well while pressed into duty. He leaves behind the impression of a ballplayer who’s going to be good — someday.
Ironically, speculation is that Gomez’ injury will give another shot to Lastings Milledge, who like Gomez, showed flashes of potential and moments of inexperience during emergency service last season. Milledge might have gotten a shot sooner this season but has been rehabbing injuries of his own in the minor leagues. Just a guess here but No. 44 will be in left field when the Mets return from the All-Star break Thursday. I mean, were you expecting Moises Alou?
Yet another struggling outing Saturday left Mike Pelfrey 34 with an 0-5 record and a ticket to New Orleans. The Mets demoted the lanky righthander and in his place recalled outfielder Carlos Gomez, who according to the Mets, will wear No. 27 for this afternoon’s game. Gomez was leading the PCL with 17 stolen bases and could be seen in the short term as insurance for Moises Alou 18 and whatever joint is troubling him this week.
Gomez is poised to become the 24th No. 27 in Mets history. Darren Oliver wore 27 most recently.
Thanks to Matt for the tip — Mets.com has posted a new roster page, assigning numerals to the 40 men on the 40-man. Though these lists have proven unreliable in the past, they’re usually fun and sometimes surprising. Right off the bat, we’re surprised to see Damion Easley be assigned No. 3 when he’s more often associated with No. 2 (even though the latter belongs to Sandy Alomar); and Scott Schoeneweis listed in 36 rather than his customary 60. We wouldn’t be surprised to see either change before the bell rings on the new season.
Other new guys and their alleged numbers:
Jon Adkins 39
Adam Bostick 72
Ambiorix Burgos 40
Jorge Sosa 29 (goodbye, Steve Trachsel)
Jason Vargas 43
Ruben Gotay 6 (poifict!)
Carlos Gomez 61
Ben Johnson 4
David Newhan 17
Points of interest in Nonroster Inviteeland:
Aaron Sele 35
Mike DiFelice 30 (this would be his 3rd number in 3 calls for the Mets)
Ruben Sierra 19 (yes, Ruben Sierra)