Tag Archive for Drew Smith

Half and Half

So I was out there on Friday, watching the team in the black jerseys that are unreadable from the stands, and felt the magic. People were going crazy, the Grimace was there, people watched the comeback and walked out chanting LGM, giving one another high fives and the only thing that worried me was the realization: This team is one game over .500. And now, after losing the last two games of the series to the Astros due to their complete lack of pitching depth, the team sits 40-41, exactly half the season gone, and “on pace” for 80-82. It’s been a great month anyway.

Lots of new Mets to meet.

On the mound there’s Ty Adcock, who was given No. 52. Tyler Jay (74) is back and we were unfortunate enough to make acquaintances with Matt Festa, who stunk it up wearing No. 73 tonight. Gone are Edwin Diaz, popped for a stupid sticky-stuff violation that is hurting the entire team. Sean-Reid Foley has been out since June 22 with shoulder trouble, and Drew Smith out  since June 24 with elbow issues.

Smith’s issues appear to be serious enough to warrant season-ending surgery. That’s too bad because he will become a free agent in the offseason.

I wanted a long time for Smith to be the closer I thought he could be, and reward for the trade of one of my favorite all-time Mets, Lucas Duda. He was all over the places though. He wore 62 then 40 then 33 (he’s pretty much still a 62 to me). He had long hair for awhile, remember that? For a time it was easy to confuse him in print for Dominic Smith. If boxscores still existed, it’d be DrSmith and DmSmith.

Now he’s gone, and so is Tomas Nido, a forgotten man in the catcher scrum until resurfacing briefly this year. Here’s a fun piece of trivia you might have forgotten in the seven years that Nido’s been a Met: He started off his career wearing No. 77, in September of 2017.

For a moment we saw Joe Hudson as a Met, wearing 57 like he was Eric Valent out there, and now there’s Ben Gamel, wearing 21 like he’d Duda or something.

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Spring Has Sprung

So you may as well junk the post below, it contained little that wasn’t contradicted by the numerical roster dropped today by the club. Here’s your Spring roster, countdown style, or count up, if you prefer.

The news here as I see it is Luis Severino taking over Drew Smith‘s No. 40, forcing Smith into 33 and membership in the three-number club. (He was also 62 you may recall). Also noting that our friend Dr. Grant Hartwig has moved down in the world, from 93 all the way to 56. Sean Manaea takes 59, Adrian Houser 35 and Harrison Bader 44.

Looks like this year they tried to move the coaches to the 60s and those that didn’t are double-booked with a player.

It’s all below, hopefully without massive errors. NRIs in italics, coaches in blue.

Number Name Notes
0 Adam Ottavino, P
1 Jeff McNeil, INF-OF
2 Omar Narvaez, C
3 Tomas Nido, C
4 Francisco Alvarez, C
5 Unassigned (David Wright)
6 Starling Marte, OF
8 Unassigned (Gary Carter)
9 Brandon Nimmo, OF
10 Ronny Mauricio, INF
11 Jose Iglesias, INF 
12 Francisco Lindor, SS
13 Joey Wendle, INF
14 Retired Gil Hodges
15 Tyrone Taylor, OF
17 Retired Keith Hernandez
19 Shintaro Fujinami, P
20 Pete Alonso, 1B
21 Ben Gamel, OF
22 Brett Baty, 3B
23 David Peterson, P
24 Retired Willie Mays
25 Brooks Raley, P
26 Ji Man Choi, IB/DH
27 Mark Vientos, 3B
28 Carlos Mendoza, manager
29 DJ Stewart, OF
30 Jake Diekman, P
31 Retired Mike Piazza
32 Max Kranick, P
33 Drew Smith, P new number (was 40)
34 Kodai Senga, P
35 Adrian Houser, P
36 Retired Jerry Koosman
37 Retired Casey Stengel
38 Tylor Megill, P
39 Edwin Diaz, P
40 Luis Severino, P
41 Retired Tom Seaver
42 Retired Jackie Robinson
43 Trayce Thompson, OF
44 Harrison Bader, OF
45 Cole Sulser, P
46 Johan Ramirez, P
47 Joey Lucchesi, P
49 Yacksel Rios, P
50 Phil Bickford, P
51 Michael Tonkin, P 
52 Jorge Lopez, P
53 Chad Smith, P
54 Austin Adams, P
55 Kyle Crick, P
56 Grant Hartwig, P New number (was 93)
57 Taylor Kohlwey, OF
58 Rylan Bannon, INF 
59 Sean Manaea, P
60 Jeremy Barnes, hitting coach
61 Eric Chavez, hitting coach
62 Jose Quintana, P
63 Glenn Sherlock, catching & strategy coach
64 Mike Sarbaugh, 3rd base coach
65 Jeremy Hefner, pitching coach
66 Antoan Richardson, 1st base coach
67 Jose Rosado, bullpen coach
68 John Gibbons, bench coach 
70 Jose Butto, P
71 Sean Reid-Foley, P
72 Alex Ramirez, OF
73 Luisangel Acuna, INF
74 Zack Short, INF
75 Reed Garrett, P
76 Aaron Meyers, BP pitcher
77 Dave Racaniello, bullpen catcher
78 Eric Langill, bullpen catcher
79 Danny Barnes, strategy coach
81 Danny Young, P
82 Austin Allen, C
83 Yolmer Sanchez, INF
88 Cam Robinson, P
89 Drew Gilbert, OF
90 Jett Williams, INF
91 Josh Walker, P
92 Eric Orze, P
93 Dominic Hamel, P
94 Nate Lavender, P
95 Kevin Parada, C
96 Christian Scott, P
97 Mike Vasil, P
98 Hayden Senger, C
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Mendoza’s Mets

All right everyone, let’s get caught up before the winter meetings start and the big names start to arrive.

I can’t think they fired Buck Showalter only to wind up with a Yankee coach nobody’s ever heard of, so it seems like someone miscalculated the ease with which they’d gather in Craig Counsell. I was no fans of Counsell anyway so I’m glad he’s not here but in the end I’d have stayed with Buck all along.

Carlos Mendoza will wear No. 28, and said all the right things at his press conference, but we’ve heard plenty of good press conferences before.

Mendoza’s staff will include returning hero John Gibbons as bench coach, Jeremy Hefner remains as pitching coach and Eric Chavez mercifully becomes the hitting coach again. New to the staff is first-base coach Antoan Richardson and third base coach Mike Sarbaugh. None of these new guys have been assigned numbers yet; Gibbons wore 8 for the Mets until Gary Carter came along, then took 43 and 45.

There’s been the beginnings of moves for a bullpen and bench. Tyler Heineman, claimed off waivers from Toronto, is a defensive catcher who can’t hit. There’s Cooper Hummel, a multiposition player claimed on waivers from Seattle. Joey Wendle is another versatile player and could serve in the same role as Luis Guillorme did last year, hopefully minus the getting the hurt and not contributing upon his return.

Pitchers include a few relievers I’ve never heard of: Kyle Crick and Cole Sulser each signed to a minor league deal from Tampa Bay; Carlos Guzman, signed to a minor league deal from the Cubs; and Austin Adams, signed from Arizona. Then there’s Luis Severino, the one-time Yankee ace who was one of the worst pitchers in the league last year. Severino wore No. 40 in the Bronx; that currently belongs to Drew Smith.

In addition to Guillorme, Daniel Vogelbach, Trevor Gott, Sam Coonrod and Jeff Brigham we not tendered contracts and became free agents.

I don’t pretend to know what awaits the Mets on the free agent and trading markets but reports that the Yankees somehow have a leg up in the Yamamoto sweepstakes by reserving his No. 18 seems worth a thought here. The Mets could play that game too if they weren’t suddenly retiring every number. They in fact used 18–a number traditionally reserved for aces in Japan–for Takashi Kashiwada and Ryota Igarashi, though safe to say, neither was an ace. But both came years after Darryl Strawberry left Flushing in 1990 and nobody seemed to care.

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Then oftentimes unreliable winter Mets roster has been updated.

Headlining the data is a change for Drew Smith, who appears to be surrendering No. 62 to new arrival Jose Quintana and moving to No. 40 vacated recently by Chris Bassitt. Quintana we noted has been a 62 for most of his career.

Another controversy appears to have worked out by giving Tommy Pham 28, with Darin Ruf now listed in the 33 made available by James McCann‘s departure.

Then there’s a few guys who hadn’t been listed with numbers now having them. Lefty Brooks Raley is 25; that number belonged most recently to Tyler Naquin. Omar Narvaez is taking the 2 formerly with Dom Smith. (Dom appears to be going back to No. 22 with Washington, if their roster is to be trusted).

Then there’s info on a few guys who appear to be retaining whatever they wore last year and shouldn’t necessarily be trusted. Pitcher Jeff Brigham is 43, same as he was in Florida; the number is vacant so we’ll go with it. But I doubt Danny Mendick keeps to No. 20 he’s listed in, so you gotta take this info with a grain of salt until camp opens.

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The Replacements

Here’s a quick exchange with friend of MBTN Dave on Twitter.

I confess to being somewhat ignorant of the 11-year career of Jose Quintana other than his involvement in a big trade between the White Sox (where he was an All-Star in 2016) and the Cubs, who coughed up the then big prospect Eloy Jimenez to get him. He’s a lefty from Columbia who’s worn 62 or 63 throughout his career which included subsequent stops with the Angels, Giants, Pirates and most recently, the 2022 Cardinals where he wore 62 and 63, not certain in which order. Here’s a fun fact: He was originally signed as an amateur free agent by the Mets. Now he’s essentially Taijuan Walker‘s replacement. I liked Walker, now he’s a Philly. Diabolical.

So let’s say Quintana keeps 62, and Drew Smith changes to something he prefers.

The Mets you may have seen made another deal, coughing up a lefty minor leaguer Keyshawn Eskew to the Rays for lefty reliever Brooks Raley. Raley who wore 30 last year with the Rays — but neglected to wear a pride patch and didn’t bother to get vaxxed — looks to be this year’s Joely Rodriguez. Joely wore 30 too.

I gotta say I’m not too excited about this guy.


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Sucker Punched

Nothing to be alarmed about, but now I have a different reason for temporary spotty availability. But while I’ve got the chance to say it I was shocked the Mets didn’t do any more at the trade deadline and underwhelmed with what they did but that it appears to be working so well shows how little I knew, and not for the first time. The takeaway as I see is Billy Eppler and Steve Cohen’s hedge-funded baseball geniuses might know more than me and I should trust them now, or we’ll find out I was right along but now I don’t want to right now.

I never thought Contreras, even as he fit one need rather nicely, being a catcher who could hit, was quite the right solution (catchers are hard to break in the best of circumstances and with Alvarez en route, foolish to put those kinds of expectation on him in the moment). It also tells us the Mets had seen enough of the each of nearly every opening-day best-case-scenario options at DH (Robbie Cano, Dom Smith and JD Davis), have all three failed given the shots they had; but also they saw none of the temp-depth guys (Inciarte, Jankowski, Blankenhorn, Lee, Plummer) belong here at least now.

Plus Tyler Naquin was the last of the three Reds I might have taken soonest (Luis Castillo and Tommy Pham were available too, no surprise).

And that they had a lot more faith in me of the following:

We’d see Jacob deGrom ever again.

That Trevor May would ever resurface. Maybe even Tylor Megill.

That the problem with Drew Smith wasn’t, as I’d suspected, part of the bad luck all around the night Max Scherzer called for the trainer and walked off the mound, when it appeared all Smith could do to resist an inappropriate thing on on a baseball field with 30,000 watching with one of the three Sports Illustrated swimsuit models throwing out a ceremonial first pitch right there between home plate the pitcher’s mound (she seemed to be considering it is all I’d say as a body language interpreter in the Promenade that night). Instead it was some kind of injury, only the kind of injury that makes you give up way too many home runs.

So that’s also why we have Mychal Givens in the bullpen, along with May, and deGrom is in the rotation but I missed most of the game. Givens is a guy whom I know Buck trusted, so you have to think he asked for it too and though so and I’m beginning to definitely trust in Buck. Like Megill, Givens’ first name seems spelled wrong too.

Quick wrapup for these Mets who are unpredictable in all the right ways and went sneaky-smart at the deadline when balls-out was the seeming call to action.

Naquin is hitting the crap out of the ball in 25. Givens is No. 60. Darin Ruf (who seems to spell his first AND last names improperly) was assigned 28 and platooning with Babe Ruth Vogelbach at 32. That Davis-Ruf trade was also a straight-up Uni-Swap and I think the Mets paid more for him and for Vogelbach as I liked Holderman and Davis but I’m not arguing with results.

That was a magical win over Atlanta last night, in a magical year, and they did it while the Braves did seemingly did so much more to prepare. I watched the game last night and wanted nothing more that to be there. That was something, and I was at the Wednesday night Yankees game.

Someday I’ll tell that story.


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How great was that?

I have to say, I enjoyed this one more than Santana’s effort, because I was little conflicted on that one. No-hitters are just random enough events that I admired the Mets’ distinctive futility in achieving one, and in a matter of taste, kind of disagreed with how aggressively they went after it, especially given Santana’s wrecked-arm aftermath and the controversy of the Beltran call.

Last night, it was five guys all doing the job asked of them, with no controversy and little danger beyond the Nimmo catch and what might have been even more difficult, the 5-3 putout on the very first batter of the game. That wasn’t a spectacular play but if Escobar doesn’t do everything right it’s a leadoff single we all would have forgotten.

As we’ve seen so far, the Mets are plowing into one of these team-of-destiny kind of seasons, where unlikely breaks go their way, the surprises turn out to be good ones, the win the kind of games that humiliate their opponents, and a camaraderie is being forged by defending themselves against fastballs in the ear. Even anti-vaxx idiots missing games because of preventable deadly diseases haven’t hurt that much. LGM!

Catching up with the uni-verse (I was away on vacation in Arizona, and caught one of those good-break games live, last Friday night’s extra inning win that most Met teams in most years lose but this year’s squad can’t help but win), we’ve seen the reappearance and disappearance of Matt Reynolds, who wore No. 15 again and will be remembered for having been called up for the first time as Ruben Tejada’s injury replacement in 2015 the playoffs (wearing 56 but not playing), finally debuting wearing No. 15 in 2016, then circling back to the organization as a minor-league vet this year, also in 15 before being claimed by the Reds as we tried to shove him back down again.

Adonis Medina (who?) is a former Phillies prospect, purchased from the Pirates a few weeks ago, and appeared for the first time as a Met wearing No. 68; Yoan Lopez, a former Diamondback, did No. 44 proud in his first appearance when he took aim (perhaps a little too high) at Cardinals crybaby Nolan Arenado. We also got a brief glimpse of outfielder Nick Plummer wearing No. 18.

Tipping my cap to the laconically solid Tylor Megill, the breakout star Drew Smith, the smartly acquired Joelly Rodriguez, the ever-reliable Seth Lugo and to Edwin Diaz’s finest moment as a Met. So far.


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65witching It Up

While the Mets are busy signing their arbitration-eligible guys and pursuing even more relief pitchers (keep your eyes peeled for that METS GIVE HAND JOB headline in the Post), some of their guys are trying on new uni numbers.

Some of the activity relates to new reliever Trevor May who evidently will retain the same No. 65 he wore in his previous job with the Twins. That means a switch for newly re-signed bullpenner Robert Gsellman, who rosters now list in 44. I’ve railed against offensive-line numbers for major leaguers for some time now but there was something appropriate to the 65 hanging beneath the broad shoulders of Gsellman, as the digits mimic the unique spelling on the name above them: 65ELLMAN, right? It’s a gshame. On the other hand, Gsellman could probably stand to switch his career up in a lot of ways. Gselly inherits 44 from two-time Met (and three-time ex-Met), Rene Rivera who wore 44 briefly last year, and before than in 2016. Rivera also hung around their minors in 2008 but never appeared.

In a downward move that makes more sense, David Peterson has dropped 54 digits from his ridiculous 77 he wore last season and is now listed as 23. We’ll have to check and see what that means for coach Brian Schneider, who wore it last year and appears currently numberless on the roster.

Catching up on additional 40-man roster stuff, the Mets.com roster lists James McCann as expected in No. 33; utilityman Robel Garcia in 00; and the curiously acquired slugger Jose Martinez as 53, while pitching candidates Jacob Barnes, Sam McWilliams and Stephen Tarpley along with catcher Patrick Mazeika, remain unassigned. If these seeming assignments hold, look for pitching coach Jeremy Hefner and Mascot Mr Met to have a new assignments. And Hefner joins Schneider, Jeremy Accardo (59 reassigned to Carlos Carrasco), Dave Jauss, and Tony Tarasco as coaches awaiting new assignments.

Also on the radar: some guys who had assignments last year (Corey Oswalt 55, Drew Smith 62, Ali Sanchez 70) appear unassigned. I do hope this means more deflation.

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Bashlor No. 49

The moves are coming faster than I can mock them, but sadly not as frequently as the losses, for these cursed Mets.

Tonight Chris Flexen, who was here presumably as an emergency starter but didn’t get a start even amid an emergency, is headed back to Las Vegas while Tyler Bashlor is up from Class AA. Some prospect watchers have a thing for Bashlor so perhaps he stays for a bit but who knows. If we’re lucky he’ll craft together as good a few months as Hansel Robles, who once upon a time was a stealthy minor league prospect who slipped into the bullpen. Bashlor will wear No. 49, last belonging to Josh Smoker a year ago.

As for Robles, he was DFAed last week, as even the talent-starved Mets had had enough of waiting for him to regain the form that resulted in one of 2015’s biggest surprises. Without him, the Mets still gave up seven home runs yesterday. I was a fan of Robles back when. Tough customer with an ornery attitude, got under the under guy’s skin. One night during a rain delay in Washington, he signed a ball for my son. Thanks for that, Hansel, and best of luck in Anaheim.


When Robles departed, reserve outfielder Kevin Kaczmarski arrived, wearing No. 16, while Drew Smith, the booty in the Lucas Duda trade also came by wearing No. 62: It was only a few weeks back that Scott Copeland (who?) was wearing that number. Paul Sewald in the meantime is back at AAA and Jason Vargas is on the disabled list again, so we have that going for us.


Hey! I’d like to invite you all to a special night of baseball, guaranteed to come without a Mets loss. This Thursday at 7 p.m., head over to Two Boots Midtown East, for an event thery’re calling “Reading, Writing and Rusty” where Greg Prince (Faith & Fear in Flushing; PIAZZA; AMAZIN AGAIN); Dave Jordan, author of co-author of the terrific John D’Aquisto biography FASTBALL JOHN; and me (ONCE UPON A TEAM) will be on hand to promote our various projects, sign books, eat pizza and discuss Rusty Staub. Two Boots has great pizza! 7 p.m. June 28: 337 Lexington Ave., between 39th and 40th Streets in Manhattan, convenient to Grand Central Terminal. More details here and here.

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