It may be still be awhile before Jenrry Mejia appears in uniform again for the Mets but at least we now have an idea of which one. Programs distributed at Citifield this week (but not the roster at Mets.com incidentally) list the disabled lefty reliever as having taken No. 58 — this after seeing his previous No. 32 issued to newcomer LaTroy Hawkins. The online roster still lists Mejia wearing 32.
It’s probably for the best suiting Mejia up in a rookieish garb again while we try to forget the bumbling early months of his career and the inevitable recriminations that followed his surgery. It was also a nice gesture on behalf of the 40-year-old veteran Hawkins, who according to Baseball Reference has worn 32 for the Twins, Cubs, Giants, Orioles, Rockies, Brewers and Angels over the course of his 19-year career. He’s also settled for short stints in 23 (in Baltimore); 22 (with the Yankees and Astros) and 21 (Yankees).
Thanks to Jason E for the tip!
Well, it was fun if at times a little worrisome having Jennry Mejia around. I liked the way he stood on the mound and squared up to the batters, his posture was as distinct as that of teammate Johan Santana. I also liked his stuff even though it got hit hard and thrown out of the strike zone more often than you’d prefer to see.
I was not among those smartyfarty fans denouncing his very presence on the team as some kind of crime against his development. He may have struggled for that 3.25 ERA but he did it, against big league competition, on the way to being a starter, at age 20, and if that doesn’t provide you with some confidence he’ll be back and he good when gets here, I’m not sure what will. We’ll keep 32 around for ya.
Mejia’s replacement from AAA, and last season, will be Bobby Parnell, back in No. 39.Parnell was last year’s version of Fernando Nieve — successful early, then worked within an inch of his life before making an abrupt few starts once the Mets ran out of ideas. I liked his stuff his stuff too, and I think he’ll help the bullpen.
I’m still having trouble believing that Jenrry Mejia, along with Ruben Tejada, apparently have made the Mets’ opening-day squad and along with the usual caution you should take with all 20-year-olds who’ve yet to play above Class AA, it should be exciting to see what these kids have to offer.
I’m also interested to see what they’ll be wearing. Mejia as discussed below was outfitted in No. 76 this spring and as outrageous as it’d be I’d be tempted to leave him in that jersey both as a reminder of his age and a symbol of his unique place within the Met family. Tejada has apparently won a job the old-fashioned way: He caught the ball better than his counterparts in a competition for a middle-infield job, as compromised as Jose Reyes‘s medical misadventaures made it. He hit pretty well too.
Tejada was wearing No. 79 this spring and will certainly have a new jersey by Monday. No. 3 was recently vacated by Chris Coste and makes perfect sense; 10 (issued to and taken from longshot Andy Green for the second straight spring) would be another strong possibility.
Other late cuts Friday included Kiko Calero, whom I thought would have been a lock if only for his pedigree; hapless punching bag Nelson Figueroa; Bobby Parnell, who had less going for him than Meija a year ago when he turned in two solid months of setup relief; veteran Elmer Dessens; infielder Russ Adams; and reserve hopeful Chris Carter who probably didn’t get a real fair shake at winning a job at first base. The winners along with Mejia and Tejada included utilityman Frank Catalanotto and one of either Sean Green or Raul Valdes. The latter came out of nowhere — he wore No. 96, the highest in camp — to challenge for a lefty specialist role. We’ll try to keep you updated on what the Easter Bunny leaves these guys. …
Hi, we’re back with the new setup. I did this mainly because the latest upgrade of the content management system we use wouldn’t support the old layout, but the upgrade also provided some small upgrades in capability that make the site better and easier to use. For one thing the lists of yearly numerical rosters now progress sequentially and not in that irritating 1, 11, 12. It also allowed me to bust out Superba Graphics‘ terrific alternate logo and provided an excuse to update the records, links, bios and archives through last year (they’re much better organized, particularly the ancient history, though it’s still a work in progress). Some of the comments on recent stories were cut-and-pasted into the new stories, but everything else is just how it used to be. Big thanks to David Moore at Crooked Number for all the web help.
Anyway while this work was going on I kind of slowed down on on the posts right in the middle of what has to be the most interesting spring training, number-wise, we’ve had in a while. A lot of the numbers assigned back in February have gone back up for grabs (3, 22, 32, 36, 43) while guys wearing 76, 78, 79 and 94 have emerged as real threats to take jobs, if not right away then down the road. And more could arrive any minute.
Despite all appearances, I still think the Mets will ultimately send Jennry Mejia to the minors, but I’m not one of those pretend scouts threatening to riot if they don’t. People tend to give way too much credit (or blame) to the manager; I think a man will become what he becomes no matter what his address is when he’s 20. Would he keep No. 76? Unusual but so again is he, and the the temptation to subtly suggest he’s one step beyond Francisco Rodriguez might be too powerful to resist.
Anyway, that’s just one thing worth keeping an eye on as camp winds down. We’ll rap about more soon!
A few quick notes before I head out of town to spend some time at the home of the band whose song is referenced in the title of today’s post:
1) Several readers including David reminded me that I (and the mets.com roster I ripped off) left Jenrry Meija (I had to have spelled that name wrong) off the spring training roster where he should be noted to be wearing No. 76.
2) I neglected to mention this website recently passed its 11th birthday on Feb. 22. That’s in part because I made such a wreck of the 10th birthday bash, neglecting to make it all the way down the ‘top 10’ countdown as promised. Shameful. But I haven’t stopped doing this. Shortly after I return next week, the website will be freshly updated with a new look & feel I’d been working on for the last month with the crack team at Crooked Number. The changes — necessitated mainly by an upgrade of the operating system that would make the current look go kablooey — may look plain at first, but is much more powerful beneath the hood and is only a start.
3) I first got this question a few years ago, and didn’t know what to say then or now: What will the Bat Boys be wearing in 2010? As I recall the history, Met bat boys went numberless until 1986 (maybe 85?) and have in most years worn the figure of the year — except in 1999 when they skipped ahead to 00 so as not to mess with Turk Wendell’s mojo. Despite the second-straight curious spring training issue to Andy Green, it seems as if No. 10 will be available this year, but I’m thinking maybe 00 might be better. I’ve never been a fan of the ‘BB’ designation some teams use and I’d hate to see it here. Thoughts?
4) I’m again happy to have been asked to contribute an article for the 2010 Maple Street Press Mets Annual, which is arriving on area newsstands now. My contribution — a look at 2009’s injuries and their place in team history, got a terrific boost from longtime MBTN contributor Jason E., whose comprehensive history of the Mets disabled list made it all work. Did you know who the all-time leader for separate trips to the disabled list is? What body part has been injured most often? Who was the first Met ever to go on the DL? Then pick this thing up now. Also, there’s good articles.
5) We’re scheduling another Amazin’ Tuesday March 23 at Two Boots Tavern on the Lower East Side. Deets to come.