I didn’t have the courage to stay up past the seventh inning of last night’s game in Arizona but gathered from the box score that it turned out alright if you can forgive the shakiness of the 8th and 9th and while overlooking that Mets managed only two baserunners against the entire Diamondback bullpen amid David Wright’s growing slump.
I’d be more optimistic today if I knew there were an offensive version of Matt Harvey down there at AAA ready to make the next step, but I don’t see one. And looking realistically at the organization, you’d figure there’s a need to replace as many as three outfielders; get a catcher who can hit; and probably, a better second baseman before they’re ready to adequately support guys like Harvey, Wheeler and whatever else the more developed pitching pipeline produces. What I’m saying is, maybe the club will make a trade or two before the clock strikes midnight Tuesday. And if so, let’s hope they produce hitters that can help tomorrow and not relief pitchers for tonight.
Have we seen the last of Lucas Duda? The big lefty looked promising for a while, but hasn’t hit with enough power this year to forgive his poor glove and this week was banished to AAA Buffalo. If the Mets think Ike Davis has put his nightmares behind him and is the better bet at first base, Duda could go in one of the trades. Anyway, he’s down, Manny Acosta is back up, Mike Nickeas is down, Rob Johnson is back up, Pedro Beato is down, and Matt Harvey looks awfully good in No. 33.
I consider myself fortunate to have missed most of the goings-on last night due to another engagement but have no excuse but my own laziness with respect to not keeping the roster updated.
Chris Schwinden: The book is closed on the first No. 63 in team history. He was claimed by the Blue Jays the last time the Mets tried designating him. Manny Acosta and Rob Johnson in the meantime cleared waivers and will try to get their stuff together in Buffalo.
Johnson’s departure meant that Josh Thole was back, it’s a miracle the Mets made even a little progress without him. Boy do we have some awful bats out there.
Josh Satin was recalled from Buffalo and again wearing No. 3 as Mike Baxter hit the disabled list as a result of his heroics in the Santana game.
DJ Carrasco: DFA’ed some time ago, cleared waivers, and now officially dumped by the organization. Another guy guy to debut a number (77) with horrid results.
Also returning to the team was gigantic soft-tosser Chris Young, again wearing No. 55. He gives me a little more confidence at the back end of the rotation that Miguel Batista, who also reappeared this week when Ramon Ramirez hit the disabled list with a hamstring injury suffered while rushing to the mound in celebration of Santana’s no-hitter. This was a small price to pay given that Ramirez didn’t look to me like he was in great shape to begin with.
Jack Egbert, destined to be one of the most obscure Mets ever I can already assure you, was sent down when Young arrived. Egbert was so nondecript I forgot even to create a record for him here but that’s done now.
Omar Quintanilla this evening will become the 39th player to suit up for the Mets in the No. 6 jersey and the first since Nick Evans wrestled it away from Ramon Martinez in 2008 and began four years of bobbing recalls and DFAs typical of classic Met sixers. Quintanilla replaces the roster slot of Justin Turner who went down with an ankle injury yesterday. As noted here often, No. 6 is the official address of the Met scrub, having been issued more times than any other jersey in team history. Back in 2009, I counted down the 10 greatest sixes in Mets history: A revised version would probably have to include Evans for sheer persistence in waiting around for another turn — and getting them — in the face of so many invitations to take a hike.
Also back tonight is Chris Schwinden, rapidly becoming Evans’ pitching equivalent. He’s up for Manny Acosta but likely just holding a spot in line for someone better. That they designated Acosta for assignment is less of a mystery than why Terry Collins chose to use him in a 1-run game the Mets still had a chance to win, but Manny, like so many of those who dared to wear No. 46 before him, is leaving the Mets in disgrace.
Quick note to acknowledge that Manny Acosta is bringing the high heat from Buffalo, demanding the dreaded No. 46 upon his return to the big squad. Dale Thayer, a recently arrived tomato can who had 46, agreed to a swap and took Acosta’s previously assigned 36.
I didn’t know this offhand, but Acosta is a former 46 with Atlanta. I guess this indicates he was always first in line for 46 following the departure of Oliver Perez.
I fell asleep halfway through but for the first time in weeks the Mets didn’t, earning a win behind some great defensive plays and a clutch hit by of all people, Jason Bay. And just like that, they look prepared to win a few games again (as long as they can resist bunting as much as they did last night).
I was kind of saddened to hear the team designated Fernando Nieve for assignment, even though I’m sure he’ll land safely in Buffalo. But if you need an example of what’s wrong with how Jerry Manuel uses the bullpen, here’s your guy. Forced onto the team as a result of having no minor-league options, Nieve was used in the Mets’ first four games, six of their first eight, and 9 of their first 13, a completely unsustainable pace. In all he made 24 appearances with one or no days rest. He was used in short relief and long relief, in close games winning, blowouts losing, and even got a start. Predictably, his effectiveness wobbled under the workload and he went from a 100-game pace to a forgotten man in an instant, which seems a waste of a young guy with a good repertoire if some control issues. Manny Acosta was recalled from Buffalo to take his place and outfitted in the same No. 36 he wore earlier this year.
Former Met coach and director of player development, Casey Stengel disciple, and Cardinal-managing nemesis Whitey Herzog will be enshrined in Cooperstown this weekend. Richard Sandomir of the Times has a nice article today focusing on Herzog’s Mets career, quoting Keith Hernandez, Ralph Kiner … and me.
Ryota Igarashi went onto the disabled list today with injuries sustained when attacked by a Koyie Hill bunt last night, and the Mets summoned former Brave and spring training waiver claim Manny Acosta to take his place. Reports said Acosta will be suited up in No. 36, a number worn last year by Ken Takahashi and not by a Met of significance since, uh, Greg McMichael or, perhaps, Ed Lynch. I guess maybe Grant Roberts would count if only for the hype and front-page bong hits.
Acosta, you might remember, is one 10,000 men who’ve been the closer for the Atlanta Braves during the Bobby Cox Era and should, but probably won’t, serve as a reminder to the Mets that they’re still trying way too hard to capture this elusive 8th-inning thunder. If they weren’t, Igarashi might never have needed to take the mound last night in the first place.