As expected, the Mets swapped Norfolk pitchers Brian Bannister and Oliver Perez as part of the makeshift weekend rotation against the Phillies. Perez is on the mound tonight in No. 46, which places him in the company of such luminaries as Willie Blair, Terry Bross and Jeremy Griffiths. We’ve got hopes however he once again becomes the kind of guy you’d trade Scott Kazmir for.
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Shawn Green arrived tonight and is in the lineup wearing No. 20, most recently belonging to Victor Diaz,who was sprung to make room for Green on the 40. Disappointing would-be spare part Ricky Ledee 9 was released to make room for him.
The Mets in the meantime had more injury news to share: Ramon Castro 11, who suffered a setback in his rehab assignment earlier this week, was tranferred to the 60-day disabled list making any chance he’ll rejoin the Mets this year a longshot. Telegraphing doubts both in Castro’s return and Mike DiFelice’s usefulness, the Norfolk Tides signed veteran backstop Kelly Stinnett,who played for the Mets 11 years ago wearing No. 33.Prediction, DiFelice bequeaths the No. 6 jersey to Stinnett in no time, or the Mets go fish for another backup and soon.
Also, they said Orlando Hernandez 26 would skip his next turn, giving Brian Bannister a start for the first time since pulling a hammy in San Francisco in April. You should remember him as No. 40.That means lefty project Oliver Perez will likely get Tom Glavine’s scheduled start on Saturday: Perez is currently wearing No. 47 in Norfolk, and was 48 and 59 in Pittsburgh. The Mets following Thursday’s win sent Lastings Milledge 44 down to Norfolk to make room for Bannister. Wow.
As opposed to say, 2004, the Mets at least didn’t mean to get worse at the deadline this year, though it was certainly bad news on the doorstep to learn that rubbery reliever Duaner Sanchez 50 would miss the rest of the year as the result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident in Miami; increasing any exisiting pressure they felt to do something about the bullpen, while dialing back any temptation to make Aaron Heilman a part of a bigger deal for a pitcher, left-handed pinch-hitter or anything else that might help come October. So instead the Mets swapped fungible outfielder Xavier Nady 22 to the Pirates for Proven Veteran Setup Guy Roberto Hernandez, along with Oliver Perez, who not too long ago, ranked among the most promising young left arms in the game.
In Hernandez, the Mets acquired a familiar name, but unless there’s some serious swapping afoot, he’ll have a different look now that the Mets have given his No. 39 jersey to Pedro Feliciano, himself a returning Met bullpenner in a new jersey. We suppose it’s possible Feliciano gives 39 back to Hernandez (whose nameplate by the way ought to read R. HERNANDEZ in order to distinguish him from teammates A. HERNANDEZ and O. HERNANDEZ) while Feliciano gives his former No. 55another try, but that would require bullpen coach Tom Nieto to take a new jersey too. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Perez, who used to routinely strike out 10 guys a night, is likely ticketed for the minors but wore No. 59 with the Pirates.
However it works out, we’re sorry to see Nady go — his swing was ferocious and we’ll always be indebted to his sizzling hot start — and very very sorry to learn of Sanchez’ misfortune. On the positive side, it appears Lastings Milledge will get another opportunity — with our team — as the farm system survived the gutting so many columnists and pretend Internet journalists like to say is only a matter of time now that Omar’s in charge.
Oh, and we’re 14 games up. We don’t need Barry Zito to protect that.