In some ways that was a more radical teardown than even I anticipated. For a time I was hoping to keep Justin Verlander in the hopes that he, Kodai Senga and Jose Quintana could be the start of a decent rotation for 2024. He got us two promising hitters instead. And how about that Dominic Leone trade? This was a guy we got off the trash heap in May and he brought back the Angels’ No. 9 prospect.
The problem with all this in-season wheeling and dealing is we’re left with a club that can’t beat the Royals. Thanks the the depletions of Tommy Pham and Mark Canha we’re running out palookas like Rafael Ortega (30) and Jonathan Arauz (19). We have new dudes in the bullpen I’ve hardly ever heard of like Reed Garrett (75) and Phil Bickford (50).
Terrance Gore, I guy I only knew because he once wore No. 0 for the Kansas City Royals, is your newest Met, taking the roster spot of Brett Baty who injured a thumb and can’t be counted on to return to the bigs this year even if they say mid-September.
Gore is 31 and spent most of his career in the bushes. He last appeared in MLB in twon games with the Dodgers in 2020. He most recently belonged to the Atlanta organization and was signed by the Mets as a minor league free agent in June. He looks more destined to be used as a pinch runner than a pinch hitter and is outfitted in No. 4, which freed up when Patrick Mazeika was signed away by San Francisco where he currently toils in their minor league organization.
I’ll remember the Zeeker for his accidental walk-off dribblers leaving him shirtless and Gatorade soaked, his goggles and beard. And for being the Mets’ all-time leader in every category among those who wore No. 76, as he was the first and only. But this year’s change to 4 made remarkably little difference:
In other comings and goings: Yolmer Sanchez was DFA’ed then sent to AAA Syracuse, Connor Grey was optioned back there without making an appearance, Tommy Hunter, David Peterson and Eduardo Escobar are all back.
I was at Tuesday’s game which was a disappointment to say the least. If Buck had listened to me he’d have had Lindor try and squeeze home Marte on the first pitch in that first inning. But nothing worked until Cahna’s home run, which drew a gasp from the crowd. I don’t know if it was where I was sitting but the fan energy wasn’t high that night either. Nice to follow up with a solid win yesterday, setting up this afternoon’s showdown.
Count me among the majority for once: I was very much behind the Mets’ pursuit of Buck Showalter as manager and was pleased if not terribly surprised to hear the club reeled him in. One thing these recent Mets clubs have been missing is a presence as a manager; we last experienced it in Terry. Plus you can be assured Buck won’t go around many losing games by being out-strategized by the other guy. And if he can light a fire beneath underachievers like McNeil and Smith, that’ll be a bonus.
Buck managed the Yankees and Diamondbacks and Rangers while wearing No. 11; and the Orioles with No. 26, which he wore as a tribute to late predecessor Johnny Oates. No word yet on what Buck will wear under his jacket.
As relayed a few weeks ago, the arrivals of Mark Cahna, Eduardo Escobar, Starling Marte and Max Scherzer shook things up a little. McNeil is now listed in No. 1, his third issue since 68 and 6. Escobar takes 10, which has gone more than a decade without a player occupant. Marte is taking over No. 6, Cahna gets 19. That belonged most recently to Showalter’s inexperienced predecessor. Scherzer gets 21, which I’ve always kind of liked for a pitcher.