Generally, we can take or leave Old-Timers Days, but if you didn’t wipe your eyes tonight you’re either too young to remember or at the wrong address.
Throwback Night features the Met debut of lefty pitcher Dave Williams, the former Red we traded for in May, wearing the racing stripes and No. 32. Williams, it should be noted, is the third guy to wear No. 32 this year alone for the Mets. Rotten emergency starter Jeremi Gonzalez had it back in May and recently sacked pinch-hitter Eli Marerro took over in June.
In case you’re wondering, that’s not a record, though it ties for second: In 2004, the Mets trotted outfour different stiffs in No. 6 (Ricky Gutierrez, Gerald Williams, Tom Wilson and Jeff Keppinger). We’re impressed if you can even recall Tom Wilson’s Met career.
We needn’t even have to say it, but Heath Bell 19 was optioned to Norfolk to make room for Williams.
Journeyman Jeremi Gonzalez 32 packed his bags after being reassigned following his start on Thursday, and the Mets announced they had traded for former Pirate & Red left Dave Williams, spotted most recently wearing No. 52 for the Reds. Williams, acquired for minor leaguer Robert Manuel & cash, was assigned to Norfolk. Gonzalez’ reassignment likely clears space for Orlando Hernandez, penciled to start on Sunday. Update May 30: Good for Gonzalez, who caught a ride to Milwaukee instead of Norfolk: The Mets swapped him on his way out for Mike Adams, a slender one-time Brewers relief prospect of some upside but limited big-league success.
Updates over a busy few weeks — Cuban defectee Alay Soler makes his Major League debut tonight wearing No. 59. Soler was recalled after Omar Minaya designated a merciful end to the Jose Lima Experiment.Soler becomes only the second Met ever to wear No. 59, and the first since Ed Lynch made his Major League debut, in 1980.
Also today, the Mets traded struggling reliever Jorge Julio to Arizona for ancient ex-YankeeOrlando “El Duque” Hernandez. We assume El Duque will dress in his familiar No. 26 — currently available — when he arrives; until then, the team has recalled Norfolk yo-yo Heath Bell 19. This manuever may well serve to patch up the butt-end of a rotation sore with injuries, and Julio’s brief stay in Flushing won’t likely be missed, but it hardly makes the Kris Benson trade any less mysterious.
In between Lima’s whacking May 20 and Soler’s recall, the Mets enjoyed a phantom appearance from reliever Anderson Garcia, who wasn’t used and summarily returned to Norfolk. Rosters list Garcia as being assigned No. 58 but that hasn’t been eyewitnessed by us at least. Happy to hear from those who might confirm it.
On May 9, Heath Bell 19 was recalled as Fortunato was sent down. Days later, May 12, Bell was sent down as journeyman auditonee Jeremi Gonzalez was recalled. Gonzalez suited up in No. 32.