Tag Archive for Jacob Barnes

Banda Gypsies

Do you remember when the Mets were terrible and forced Sandy Alderson to weakly step aside without actually firing him and packed it in July, trading guys like Asdrubal Cabrera and Juerys Familia?

I barely can either, but was reminded of it this week when its reverberations played out over this ridiculous road trip. Familia went to Oakland for an infielder called Will Toffey, whom the Mets employed as a minor leaguer for years until flipping him a few weeks back for Anthony Banda, a lefthanded reliever who became a kind-of star in Monday’s crazy win in Cincinnati.

Banda wore 77, becoming the first Met to get that number since David Peterson wore it last year. Also arriving for the first time this week was Geoff Hartlieb (who?) a former Pirate waived away from their org and scooped up by the body-hungry, first-place, beaten-up Mets, given No. 40 (already issued once this year to since-released gascan Jacob Barnes), and thrown out there. (Tuesday not Monday)

And speaking of trade deadlines of the recent past, Steven Nogosek is back again! Nogosek, whom I think has been on and off the 40 about a million times is the only remaining detritus of the Addison Reed Trade. Nogosek first appeared wearing 72 in 2019, then resurfaced a year ago with 85 on his back. Just spitballing here but of guys who have worn two numbers for the Mets, I’d guess Nogosek’s sum of 157 is the highest ever. Also, he’s got a fresh mustache now.

The Mets will likely in be in this waiver claim-DFA-IL cycle all year: Guys strive to get up, then go right back down and/or get waived when they work (Jerad Eickhoff, Nick Tropeano), or get hurt (Corey Oswalt, Robert Stock, Sean Reid-Foley, David Peterson, Jacob deGrom, Joey Lucchesi, Jordan Yamamoto, Thomas Szapucki, Jose Peraza, Francisco Lindor) and cycled out or picked away by the first group. We can’t help but wind up losing some we might do better keeping this way (Billy McKinney, who did a nice job, was just flipped to the Dodgers in his DFA limbo, and we just DFA’ed the speedy and spirited Johneshwy Fargas). About a third of the roster this year is in a state of constant and unstoppable churn.

We also just grabbed a reliever from the Cardinals called Roel Ramirez whose career ERA is 81.00 (1 IP, 1 9 ER). He’s been assigned to Syracuse but we will probably see him this weekend. With Fargas on the way out, it’d be a shame if he didn’t wind up wearing 81.

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Not Half Bad

The Mets reached the All-Star Break still leading the East and having endured dreadful starts by some guys (uh, Lindor) and injuries to many others but only hit the magic 10-games-over-.500 mark once, and retreated from that pretty rapidly, and still with questions as to who’s going to pitch twice a week, which reliever is going to be most reliable, and who’s going to be traded where and for whom as they address the challenge of improving.

Because as good as things broke for the First-Half Mets, the SHaMs will have to be considerably better.

There’s been signs of life from Lindor in recent weeks and reuniting the lineup with Nimmo and Conforto (will someone remind him there’s a massive contract to still play for?) are encouraging trends. That said we’re also too frequently running out palookas like Robert Stock (the club’s first-ever No. 89) and waiver-wire roster-riders like Geoff Hartlieb (assigned Jacob Barnes’ since-surrendered 40) and Nick Tropeano (52) who won’t likely be positives for a pennant-winner over the long haul, so I’m expecting something of a massive trade or two in the days and weeks ahead.

There are 75 games to go. The Mets realistically need to shoot for winning 45 of them. Go SHaMs!

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I Cough

It was bound to happen. The Bench Mob eventually came back to Earth and are now getting hurt themselves, and the offense is scuffling along as the starters reemerge. That this all happened only once the Mets hit the 10-games-over high-water mark and resumed intra-division play is worrisome, moreso given that Alonso, Lindor, Smith or McCann are still looking for some kind of consistency.

Jeff McNeil, Kevin Pillar and Albert Almora came back, Joey Lucchesi, Jordan Yamamoto, Juerys Familia, Tommy Hunter, and Robert Gsellman are out, and now it looks like Jonathan Villar and Tomas Nido might be hurt.

Last night we saw the Mets debut of Jerad Eichoff, the first 43 since the unforgettable Erasmo Ramirez last season. Some guy called Travis Blankenhorn was up and back wearing No. 73. Steven Tarpley (46), Sean Reid-Foley (61) and Yennsy Diaz (64) are back with the group; Mason Williams (70) is designated and Jacob Barnes (40) was designated then traded to Toronto.

My friend Edward raised an interesting point that the 40-man roster as a thing has remained constant despite nearly everything else affecting it (disabled-list assignment lengths, roster sizes etc) all changing–some dramatically so, and it’s made a mess of the Mets. I actually looked this up, it’s the 100th birthday of the 40-man roster as a thing, despite a few tweaks over the years (a 48-man roster to allow for Wartime players in the 1940s; and a brief period before imposition of the player draft in the early 1960s when dumb rules forced clubs to carry prized young talent or risk losing them (the roster size then was 41, not 40).

It’s time to reinvent again.

 

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We Got A Shot This Year

Hey all, I’m getting my first vaccine jab today. I’m also getting a shot from the Mets to re-buy 2021 tickets, although we’ll have to see how that all works out.

As I’ve probably mentioned before I buy tickets a la carte rather than by plan. If they offered a Tuesday-Night-Only we might consider it but I like the freedom of choosing not to go some nights. But with season-ticket holders first in line for April’s 20% capacity I’m gonna line up Thursday and try to get our first one in (April 27 vs. the Red Sox).

You know who else looks to have a shot? The 2021 Mets, that’s who. It wasn’t great news to be starting the year with Carlos Carrasco or Seth Lugo, and Dellin Betances isn’t inspiring much confidence but I like our chances this year. Joey Lucchesi¬† might not reach Steven Matz’s highs but I’m confident he can avoid the lows and his funky delivery is fun to watch. David Peterson (now wearing 23 doncha know) might not be the No. 2 he was thrust into being last year but can hold down the fort at No. 4/5 alright.

I suppose there remains a little drama as to who makes up the back end of the bullpen, where a newly numbered Robert Gsellman is facing a Matz-like make-or-break moment in his stalled career and Jacob Barnes and Mike Montgomery are considered possibilities to make it. Tommy Hunter already left us. I’d left him and Montgomery off the in-progress sprint roster (which is now updated below). You’d figure if Montgomery comes north it’d be in Hunter’s 29 and not the 70 he’s been wearing. Barnes wears 40, which he can keep.

Oh and hey the lineup looks pretty darn good.

We’ll see you on Thursday, and maybe some Tuesdays!

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