Those unpredictable Mets keep on churning the roster and you never know what’ll happen next.
This week, with Nimmo and Conforto out, we introduced Rajai Davis and Aaron Altherr as special guest outfielders and each of them hit a home run in their first plate appearance. Davis, who didn’t get an R designation on his nameplate despite the team already employing two other members of the Davis family (JD & Chili) wore No. 18, and Altherr took the 23 jersey most recently belonging to Keon Broxton. The Mets in the meantime signed Matt Kemp to a minor-league contract, then DFA’ed Davis to make room for the returning Conforto.
Should Kemp make it up here–and signing a veteran All-Star is becoming something of a Mets tradition given the recent history of Jose Bautista and Adrian Gonzalez and James Loney–they’ll need to find another uniform number than the 27 he’s previously worn over 1,700 games for Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlanta and Cincinnati. Juerys Familia has already kept 27 from Carlos Gomez.
The new additions and subsequent roster crush has resulted not only in Davis’ assignment but also cost Paul Sewald and Tim Peterson spots. The latter two escaped the scrutiny even of the Washington Nationals and have landed back in Syracuse.
Well, what do you know.
Mickey Callaway hasn’t been fired and the Mets have started winning again. Those things no doubt will change at some point, maybe soon, but let’s enjoy it now while we can.
The injuries are slowly piling up, for example. Jed Lowrie and Yoenis Cespedes might never get here. Conforto is concussed, Nimmo is out with a sore neck and Cano might have hurt himself hustling. New Mets hero Rajai Davis is here and wearing No. 18; interesting inasmuch he was issued 11 in Spring Training, but that went to Adeiny Hechavarria. And with Seth Lugo joining Justin Wilson and Luis Avilan on the shelf, Hector Santiago arrived. He’ll be wearing No. 33.
Along the way we can close the book on Keon Broxton, traded to Baltimore for draft money yesterday, and perhaps on Paul Sewald, one of those organization relievers whose champions, if he had them, left the building a while ago.
Poor Sewald. Of the six pitchers who wore No. 51 in team history none have seen more action than Sewald’s 107 games and 128.2 innings, but all of them have at least as many wins, which is to say zero. He departs as the losingest pitcher (13) without a win in Mets history.
So our old friend Carlos Gomez is in camp wearing No. 85, which happened to be the lowest number available, although roster cuts and reassignments should free up additional space as opening day nears. Already there’s been 13 reassignments and yesterday news came that TJ Rivera had been cut and also released.
This is not a big surprise as Rivera was a one-tool longshot before he missed a year with an injury, but his release frees up No. 19 if anyone wants it. I assume it won’t be long before Dilson Hererra is reassigned and coughs up No. 16; then there’s Gregor Blanco (7) and Rajai Davis (11) who suddenly look more vulnerable now that Gomez is back. In case you’ve forgotten Gomez wore No. 27 in his first appearances as a Met back in 2007. His return suggests to me that Omar Minaya is possibly making the personnel decisions again and just relying on Brodie Van Wagenen to say the right things to the press about them. That’s not a good feeling.
Among pitchers, keep an eye on No. 26, where nonroster invitee Arquimedes Caminero has a 16.20 ERA so far (in a really small sample) but appears to need to beat out one or more better-performing counterparts like Hector Santiago (46), Luis Avilan (43) and Rule 5er Kyle Dowdy (33) who’s going to get every chance despite a Camineroesque ERA so far this spring.