The 2004 Mets next week will be arriving in Port St. Lucie for Spring Training and goofy numbers aplenty are expected. According to the official (but not always accurate) Mets website, here’s what to expect: Pat Strange, whose 38 was taken by Jae Seo when Seo’s 40 was given to Braden Looper (whose 41 was unavailable)… is listed in No. 34. As expected, veteran returnee Todd Zeile was issued No. 27. Karim Garcia in the meantime was issued No. 20, with Prentice Redman switching to No. 5. Catcher Mike Jacobs has been issued the highest uni number among the 40-men in camp, at 71. See more at the official site.
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Roster expansion plus the scary injury to Jose Reyes promises some more new names and numbers at Shea this September. On Monday the callups began when Jeremy (Big Red) Griffiths 46 was recalled and Norfolk closer Orber Moreno summoned for the first time. Moreno was dressed in the No. 49 jersey left behind byArmando Benitez. After Monday’s win the Mets recalled Prentice Redman 20; Jaime Cerda 43 and Edwin Almonte 56 and for the first time, second-base prospect Danny Garcia, who got his first start (and hit) on Tuesday in Roberto Alomar’s former No. 12.
The Mets have also recalled Jorge Velandia 13.
The Mets recalled outfielder Prentice Redman from Norfolk over the weekend and he made his Major League debut in Sunday’s win over Los Angeles. Redman, who was summoned to the bigs earlier this year but did not play, becomes the 20th man to wear No. 20 in Met history. Jaime Cerda 43 was demoted to make room.
Edwin Almonte 56 was recalled today and Prentice Redman 20 was sent down without having appeared in a game.
With big-league roster spots suddenly available, the Mets began the second half of the season tonight in Atlanta by adding AAA outfielder Prentice Redman and infielder Jorge Velandia to the roster. Redman looks to make his big-league debut in the No. 20 jersey recently left behind by Jeromy Burnitz; Velandia, who was up briefly in 2000 and 2001 wearing No. 11, is now wearing No. 13, which until last year looked like it might eventually have been retired for Edgardo Alfonzo. The Mets in the meantime may have seen the last of charismatic outfielder Tsuyoshi Shinjo 5, who was designated for assignment. Shinjo was banished to Norfolk late last month.
One of the pleasures of Spring Training is the chance to glimpse baseball players wearing linebacker numbers. Congratulations to infielder Russ Johnson who, according to Mets.com, has been issued the highest jersey number in camp (aka the Luis Figeroa Award): 77 (Update: not true). Other tidbits from the (unofficial) Spring Training roster: Jose Reyes in No. 7; Rey Sanchez in Rey Ordonez’ old No. 10; Aaron Heilman in 23 (update: actually 48) and Prentice Redman in 44 (update: actually 82).