Looks like it’s one-and-done for Chan Ho Park 61, whose messy debut start in place of Orlando Hernandez appears to have been his last as a Met. For now. The Mets designated Park for assignment Thursday, and recalled in his place AAA reliever Lino Urdaneta, whose prior Major League experience consisted of a single nightmare appearance for the 2004 Tigers. He faced 6 batters allowing, in order, a walk and 5 straight singles — all of them scored — in what would be a 26-5 asswhoop by Kansas City.
Urdaneta was injured shortly after his appearance and later released by Detroit, leaving him with an ERA of infinity when the Mets signed him out of the Mexican League last summer.
Urdaneta pitched Spring Training wearing No. 58 and is listed by mets.com today as wearing 19(alert us if you happen to eyewitness). Though a sideways 8 might be appropriate at least until he gets an appearance — no guarantee since he’s expected to be returned to New Orleans when Hernandez’ turn comes up next. Jorge Sosa (No. 29 in Spring Training) is expected to get that start.
Depending on what you read the Mets may have some disabled list moves to make by gametime today. The Daily News seems to be pessimistic regarding the health of Jose Valentin’s knee and suggests the Mets would recall New Orleans middle infielder who’s outperforming Ruben Gotay — Anderson Hernandez, though not by much.
Gotay wore No. 6 in spring training and his recall would make him the 33rd No. 6 in team history, the most ever of any number. That would also qualify the trade that brought Gotay into the organization as a Uni Swap, seeing as he was acquired for another No. 6, Jeff Keppinger.
We hope above all that Valentin’s OK.
Orlando Hernandez 26 is battling shoulder soreness. Should he be unable to go tonight, word is the Mets will call New Orleans for Chan Ho Park, who’s rested. Should Park arrive, he’d be the fourth No. 61 in team history but the first to be happy about it. His three predecessors in the No. 61 jersey — Jesse Orosco in 1979; Mario Ramirez in 1980 and Jeff Duncan in 2003 — all eventually turned to more dignified numbers.
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.
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.