Roberto Hernandez promised writers he’d be wearing his old No. 39 for tonight’s game — and sure enough, he did. The veteran relief pitcher had been assigned 49 when he joined the Mets Tuesday but evidently was successful in prying the digits from Pedro Feliciano, who switched to the vacant25 and summarily ended Chase Utley’s hitting streak. The news here is Feliciano becoming the latest member of the exclusive Three-Number Club — he previously suited up in 55 and 39.
Also this evening, word arrived that backup catcher Mike DiFelice has returned while Ramon Castro 11 hit the disabled list. No word yet on DiFelice’s jersey, but it won’t be the 33 he wore last year: That belongs to John Maine.
The Mets today welcomed back Steve Trachsel 29, and slotted him in the rotation on Friday. The drama as to who would be sacrificed to make room for him was satisfactorily resolved when washed-up mop-up man Danny Graves 32 was designated for assignment. On Monday, beefy reliever Heath Bell 19 was recalled from Norfolk while Dae Sung Koo 17 was demoted. On Sunday, reserve catcher Mike DeFelice 33 returned to the active roster when the Mets got around to disabling catcher Mike Piazza 31. Meanwhile, a massive three-run homer in his debut turn at bat Sunday appears to have saved a job for Mike Jacobs 27, who’s now your starting first baseman.
MBTN reader Mike from Tennessee points out that Jacobs became the fourth Met to hit a home run in his first Major League at-bat — and that each of them had ascending uni numbers: Benny Ayala 18; Mike Fitzgerald 20; Kaz Matsui 25; and Jacobs 27. This is the kind of useless history MBTN was designed to capture.
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.