Bulletin from the opening-day locker room: Frank Catalanotto has indeed taken the opportunity to switch from the No. 2 jersey he was issued and pounce on Nelson Figueroa‘s abandoned No. 27 jersey. No. 2 — still unissued since 1995!
Tag Archive for Nelson Figueroa
Sure, Nelson Figueroa may have completely screwed up the one and only thing he was asked to do tonight, but let’s not be too quick to brand his latest recall a complete failure. After all, this cry for help marked Figueroa’s fifth addition to the Mets’ 40-man roster, tying him for the all-time lead in this category with the illustrious Mike DiFelice, whose late career yo-yoing was so magnificent the Mets finally gave him a permanent job — in the minor leagues. He’s managing the Mets’ Appalacian League club in Kingsport, Tenn.
Yes, it’s a special kind of ballplayer that can be cut loose four times and rehired five times, and Figueroa deserves extra credit for having done so in a single big-league uni number, 27 (DiFelice collected three unis over his five appearances). In fact, notes MBTN Roster Scientist Jason E., only nine men in Met history (including the aformentioned two) have been added to the 40-man roster as many as four times.
For fun, I will provide six of the remaining players. You tell me the seventh!
Pedro Feliciano, Clint Hurdle, Mark Johnson, Terry Leach, Josias Manzanillo and Jorge Velandia have all been added to the Mets 40-man roster on four occasions. Who is the remaining 4-time addition? Winner gets a beer on me.
So, nice effort by Nelson Figueroa today but it didn’t amount to much as bad luck and bad timing doomed the Mets offense. And don’t let any nimrod tell you a failure to bunt Fernando Tatis had much of anything to do with it (I can’t believe those complaining watched even a minute of Met ball this year). I want Tatis smashing balls off the fence, that’s what he’s there for.
Anyhow, Figueroa is headed back to the minors and in his place will be Casey Fossum, a lefthander off to a good start in Buffalo, who will provide bullpen depth until Mike Pelfrey‘s next turn or we learn the fate of Darren O’Day.
Fossom, should he maintain his digits from spring trianing will be the first Met to wear No. 47 sinceTom Glavine walked off the mound having kicked the final grains dirt onto the 2007 Mets’ grave. How not devastating.
Figueroa’s arrival — along with his entire family in a luxury box, you figure — required the Mets make a corresponding roster move which could cost them sidearming reliever Darren O’Day for the long term. Rule 5 of the draft — or the mechanism with which the Mets acquired O’Day last winter — stipulates that O’Day must first be offered back to the Angels for cash. The Angels could also ask the Mets to trade soemthing for O’Day. If neither of those options are selected, O’Day will be exposed to waivers for any team to select. And if not selected there, he’d become a free agent, a la, Rocky Cherry, and sign on with anyone he chooses.
Obviously you hope it doesn’t come to that although it’s hard to argue O’Day over his first few appearances merits the sacrifice of any of his teammates either.
I thought we’d seen the last of Nelson Figueroa, but back he came Wednesday night as reinforcement for a Met bullpen that also looking like it might never recover. His recall forced Argenis Reyes to head back to New Orleans, though it is certain he will back when rosters expand Monday.
Also returning is catcher Robinson Cancel, activated as Ramon Castro hits the DL with a quad strain. How did Cancel ever get ahead of Raul Casanova (hitting well in New Orleans) in the pecking order among lumpy veteran backup catchers?
Speaking of veteran longshots, lefty reliever Ricardo Rincon has been returned to the Mets organization after spending the summer on loan to the Mexico City Reds. Rincon, noted for having worn No. 73 wherever he’s pitched, joins the list of candidates to join the beleaguered bullpen as well.
So this is turning out to be a better week than it looked like it might be back on Tuesday, what with an impressive debut starts from Mike Pelfrey and Nelson Figueroa; the first Metly appearance and contribution from Raul Casanova; and a continued MVP bid from Angel Pagan. There’s something satisfying knowing that all these guys are one-time products of the maligned Mets farm system.
Figueroa’s victory last night marked the first appearance of the dreaded black unis all season (not to mention the first call for a tailor to get Figueroa’s jersey to fit right. Looked like a size 44 wearing a 52). Correct me if I’m wrong, but we’ve yet to see pinstripes and/or the gorgeous all-blue Mets cap yet. Speaking as a neighbor of hundreds of young hipsters, the latter is becoming the new trucker cap around here: I’ll try and gather photographic evidence and show you in a future post.
Nice to see the Mets honor Shea (that’s my wife’s maiden name, doncha know?) but leave it to the incomparable Paul Lukas to point out they did so while introducing unnecessary black dropshadows to the logo and accompanying retired numbers.
* Thanks to Eric Simon of Amazin’ Avenue (and his readers) for the enthusiastic book review he published recently. See also a nice note from author, reviewer and Yankee fanatic Harvey Frommer. And Mark Lelinwalla of the NY Daily News did a short peice on the book’s creation in The Score column last week.
I’m almost too cranky to post this but seems that Pedro’s shocking injury will lead him to the disabled list and trigger the first roster move of the young season. Reports this morning say Nelson Figueroa will be recalled and ought to get at least one turn in the rotation before Orlando Hernandez is eligible to come off the DL – provided he’s healthy. Figueroa suited up this spring in No. 27, most recently belonging to Carlos Gomez, hero of the Twins’ opener.
Gomez of course was badly miscast as 27 and looks sleeker and more confident in 22. Lastings Milledge in typical overconfidence kept No. 44 and Paul LoDuca is still wearing 16 in Washington. I think of 27 as a pitcher’s number — it was Swan, Cardwell, Oliver, Harnisch — and now Nelson Figueroa. I’m confident we’ll see No. 45 again in time potential employers he’ll be a free agent this offseason but until then we’ll just have to do without.
Just as expected, Pedro Martinez‘s strained hammy landed him on the disabled list today. He’s expected to return in 4-to-6 weeks, or months, or whatever, and Nelson Figueroa was recalled from New Orleans to take his spot on the roster.
What was unexpected was seeing Figueroa try out the No. 27jersey so soon by throwing a pressure-free scoreless seventh inning in a 13-0 laugher over the hapless Marlins: A game providing much needed relief from the black mood I walked around in all day considering Tuesday’s debacle. The Mets emptied the bench of all but Raul Casanova, including the season debuts of Damian Easley and Brady Clark, and pitchers Pedro Feliciano and Billy Wagner.
The first shots of Figueroa in the bullpen also confirmed Mean Gene’s remark in the comments section the other day that catching instructor Sandy Alomar Jr. had switched from the 90 he wore in spring training to 58. This was despite the opening ceremonies annoucing him in 90.