With active rosters expanded to 40 players, the Mets yesterday recalled lefty starter Kaz Ishii 23 and for the first time, a pair of relievers, Tim Hamulack and Shingo Takatsu.
According to a published roster, lefty Hamulack was outfitted in No. 46 while Takatsu took No. 10and summarily becomes the pitcher with the lowest uniform number in Met history (take that,Cory Lidle 11 of 1997!). Takatsu, known as “Mister Zero” wore 10 prior to his release by the White Sox. Tonight the Mets are expected to activate Doug Mientkiewicz 16 from the disabled list. To fit the new additions on the 40, the Mets moved Mike Cameron to the 60-day disabled list, meaning he won’t be back this year, which is no huge surprise.
Jae Seo 26 was recalled from Norfolk to replace Kaz Ishii 23 on Saturday, and for the second time this year, pitched considerably better than him. As with his first recall, whether Seo stays in the rotation depends in part on what the Mets intend to do when an injured starter makes an expected return to the rotation: In May, it was Kris Benson; this time, it’s Steve Trachsel, expected back shortly and whose injury led to acquiring the frustrating Ishii in the first place: He was sent to the minors for the first time in his MLB career. The Mets are also expecting a return from Kaz Matsui 25 any day now. Thankfully, they’re on the road.
The Mets arrived in Denver tonight with journeyman righthander Jose Santiago wearing No. 33.Santiago was recalled from Norfolk Sunday when Heath Bell 19 was demoted and informed he needs to develop a change-up. No. 33 was issued earlier this year to backup catcher Mike DiFelice.
The Mets announced Friday that first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz 16 has returned from a rehab stint and that cobwebby pinch-hitter Brian Daubach 13 was returned to Norfolk. They also promoted Norfolk closer Juan Padilla and returned lefty Royce Ring 22 to the farm. Padilla comes to the Mets having had an excellent half-season at Norfolk and Ring’s demotion seems to suggest that infuriating starter Kaz Ishii 23 will get a look in the pen. Padilla was assigned No. 28, which for two years sat patiently awaiting the return of Scott Strickland.
Kaz Ishii 23 returned to the active roster today and pitched well in a win over Cincinnati and maybe,Victor Zambrano’s job. To make room, the Mets optioned one-time rookie-off-the-year candidate Victor Diaz 20 to Norfolk, where he’ll work on his defense and await Cliff Floyd’s next injury.
In the meantime catcher Ramon Castro 11 went to the disabled list with a strained quad, and journeyman Mike DiFelice was recalled from Norfolk. DiFelice made his Met debut tonight in No. 33, recalling historical Metly backup catchers Clint Hurdle, Barry Lyons, Tim Spehr, Mike Kincade, Charlie O’Brien and Barry Lyons.
The Mets wasted little time replenishing rotation depth following Steve Trachsel’s injury, trading for left-handed Dodgers project Kaz Ishii, who arrived in St. Lucie today and summarily put on the No. 23 uniform of the guy he was traded for, Jason Phillips.
Ishii’s control problems have frustrated Dodger fans for years, and Rick Peterson is certain to have his hands full, but there’s no denying Ishii has some ability and when you can get a starting pitcher for a backup catcher you generally do it, so we’re on board. We’ll certainly miss Phillips’ goofy glasses and his line-drive hitting if that happens to come back, but inasmuch as the trade provides him with a chance to play more often in an attempt to erase the disaster of 2004 from his mind, we’re all for that too. The Ishii-Phillips trade is the 19th known addition to the all-time Uni-Swap list.