It isn’t like they needed one but the Mets got another reminder of their shortcomings in depth, defense and power this weekend, and it didn’t help that Terry Collins couldn’t manage past them and Ike Davis was poisoned. But whatever, they’ve got to move on and will do so now without Vinny Rottino, who was farmed out last night for lefty relief help, Justin Hampson. We could have used both guys last night but Terry instead opted for Justin Turner, who had a very bad game and Miguel Batista, who’s once again pitching like a 41-year-old should.
No word yet on Hampson’s digits, we’ll let you know (or, likely, you will me). EDIT: Hampson (note the spelling) appeared tonight wearing No. 45.
In the inbetween we welcomed back Ronny Cedeno, Ruben Tejada and Ramon Ramirez and bid goodbye (for now) to Jordany Valdespin, Elvin Ramirez (farmed out) and Frank Francisco (strained mouth). I liked both Valdespin and Ramirez and hope to see them back soon.
Catcher Rob Johnson is in uniform in Philly tonight and wearing the same No. 16 he had during Spring Training. As we’ll all remember for a long time, Jordany Valdespin was suddenly recalled to the Mets Monday when Ruben Tejada hit the disabled list, his home run capped a wild and memorable game during which Josh Thole was knocked silly in a collision with the Phillies’ Ty Wigginton — Wiggy was out — necessitating the Mets to invoke the new 7-day disabled list for concussion symptoms and recall Johnson.
Rob Johnson by the way would be the 7th Johnson to play for the Mets, and the third Robert Johnson: Bob D. Johnson and Bob W. Johnson preceded him.
A few Met changes to get caught up on that I missed over the weekend: First, there was the return of punching-bag starter Chris Schwinden to AAA after two miserable starts as Mike Pelfrey’s replacement. What makes the Mets think Miguel Batista represents much of an upgrade remains a bit of a mystery, as Batista hasn’t had much more than a good inning or two since spring training and is 41 years old, but that’s the price the Mets are paying for cutting every corner on depth as a means to service the Wilpon’s debt.
In Schwinden’s place the Mets recalled versatile reserve Vinny Rottino, who retains the No. 33 he rocked during spring training. The last Met to wear No. 33 was reliever Taylor Buchholz, who left the club last year battling depression (we know) but the 33 I can see Rottino resembling is Valentine era reserve Mike Kinkade, who like Rottino was a right-handed bench bat who could catch in an emergency.
Also this weekend, the Mets demoted Jordany Valdespin as reliever D.J. Carrasco returned from the disabled list. Valdespin struggled in limited plate appearances but his versatility could be an asset down the road. I’d consider Carrasco a possibility to take a starting role if this Batista thing doesn’t work out, and who really does.
What was looking like a happy and uneventful Mets season has suddently become anything but. A few poor starts and a little better competition has begun to expose big cracks in the Mets’ health and holes in their game. I don’t think I’ve seen a Met look as lost at the plate as Ike Davis does these days since Jeromy Burnitz in 2002. We’re really piling up the whiffs.
As noted below, a few disabled-list assignments have brought some new players to the team. Monday’s doubleheader featured the Mets debut of Jeremy Heffner, who took the roster slot of disabled infielder Ronny Cedeno. Heffner, who wore No. 53 — the first since manager Jerry Manuel in 2010 — was farmed out again after the game when Jordanny Valdespin was activated. Valdespin, a hard-hitting prospect whom the Mets hope to use in a utility role, was assigned No. 1 (I’d have guessed 22, wrongly again). Today we got news that both Jason Bay and Mike Pelfrey were added to the disabled list. Bay’s spot on the roster will be taken over by Zach Lutz, a third baseman who can hit.
The Mets have assigned Lutz No. 19, which if you’re Danny Herrera can’t be encouraging. The little lefty we received for Francisco Rodriguez last season is already off the 40 and out for the year with arm trouble. It’s unlikey we see him again. Pelfrey’s spot — for the moment — will be occupied by lefty reliever Robert Carson, who’s been assigned No. 73, at least according to the Mets roster.