A flurry of fast-vanishing minor league palookas have inhabited the bullpen lately. We’ve seen Edwin Uceta (64), Zach Muckenhirn (71), and Dominic Leone (50), not to mention emergency starters Jose Butto and Denyi Reyes. Leone appeared so suddenly he beat the transactions column.
While inputting some of these guys I realized I’d neglected to mark the end of their predecessors like RJ Alvarez for Muckenhirn and the unforgettable Nate Fisher for Uceta. Early May seems too soon to be this deep into bullpen depth, but these guys are churning already. Only Leone is still up, now that Tommy Hunter and Stephen Nogosek are back from injury.
I’m not certain how the Mets shake themselves out of this malaise but more consistent work from the top three in the lineup would a place to start. They gave off “Worst Team Money Can Buy” vibes this week in Detroit.
The new beach towel attached to the sleeves of the Mets jersey looks even worse on the road, doesn’t it? Fortunately the Mets look a little better than that.
A 10-game West Coast road trip has gotten off to a promising start on Oakland although the Mets experienced the first roster churn of the year when Stephen Nogosek went down with an injury and Max Scherzer‘s start was delayed.
In Nogosek’s spot is Jimmy Yacobonis, whom I saw throwing in the bullpen yesterday wearing 42 in honor of Ron Hodges Day but who looks likely to turn up in the same 73 he wore in spring. That would appropriate for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Swingin’ A’s World Series championship being held in Oakland today. The Mets by the way aren’t going to bother with an Old-Timers day this year.
Adding Yacobonis to the 40-man roster meant designating the out-of-optins Dennis Santana for assignment; he looked okay to me so hopefully he clears and accepts a Syracuse appointment. Pitching instead of Scherzer this afternoon is Jose Butto who we saw briefly last year wearing No. 70.
As exciting as it would have been I had a hard time seeing how Brett Baty or Mark Vientos would have fit on the Mets’ veteran-soaked roster. The Mets cut both guys yesterday and sent ’em to the minors where they’ll await injures or inconsistency in the third-base or DH positions.
Both things could happen. While I’m somewhat confident Daniel Vogelbach is capable of keeping up his end of the DH platoon, Darin Ruf and/or Tommy Pham on the right side is a bigger question. Then there’s Eduardo Escobar. We can’t wait 4 months for him to heat up again this time around.
By the way the Mets new Speakeasy in the right field corner, an exclusive club normal people like you and me will never step inside, has made the right field corner some eight and a half feet closer to home plate this year, so that’s good news for Vogelbach, (and possibly bad news for Max Scherzer). The club was named after Joan Payson (actually, it’s named after Cadillac), who was also filthy rich and probably was chauffeured in a Cadillac, but who in real life sat in field level seats among the people.
Catching up on the news, Dennis Santana, who was acquired from Minnesota after Edwin Diaz went down, is wearing No. 65 in camp, taking the number formerly belonging to Rule 5 acquire Zach Greene, who was returned to sender. Former top draft pick Dylan Bundy was signed to a minor league contract the other day, giving depth now that Jose Quintana is out. I think we’d have been better off just resigning Taijuan Walker.
Reports say Tommy Hunter has made the roster, but that’s an easier thing to do now that Diaz is out. Stephen Nogosek has an edge for a bullpen spot due to his veing out of options. John Curtiss has pitched well enough to make the squad, and Brooks Raley could made the opening day roster if his injuries heal in time. Then there’s new closer David Robertson, and from last year’s group Drew Smith and Adam Ottavino.
Thanks to commenter John below we know coach Dom Chiti is wearing 58.
I couldn’t be happier the Mets were able to retain Brandon Nimmo, who was something of a small superstar last year and a rare centerfield commodity on the market. His 8-year deal would practically assure he stays a Met throughout his career even if he’s destined to wind up in left field.
The Mets also added veteran reliever David Robertson to a 1-year deal, shoring up a bullpen that appears to be losing Trevor May, Seth Lugo and maybe also Adam Ottavino though it doesn’t appear that any of those palookas have a deal with someone else yet. But Trevor Williams just signed with Washington. Drew Smith will be back.
The new bullpen will have a bunch of new faces. There’s John Curtiss who was signed last offseason, spent 2022 recovering from elbow surgery, and still hasn’t been assigned a number.
Also on the 40 are brief visitors from last season Bryce Montes de Oca (63), Yoan Lopez (44), and Stephen Nogosek (85). Plus new guys awaiting number assignments: Jeff Brigham, Zach Greene (pinched from the Yankees in Rule 5), Stephen Ridings (waiver claim from the Yankees); Brooks Raley (trade with Tampa Bay), Tayler Saucedo (waiver claim from Toronto), and William Woods (waiver claim from Atlanta).
Elieser Hernandez might fulfill the Trevor Williams role. He came over with Brigham from the Marlins in a skirt-Rule-5 trade that cost the Mets fancypants prospect Jake Magnum.
The Mets already list Robertson as No. 30–that’s been his figure for most of his career and supersedes what we were discussing below about Raley taking 30. As pointed out in the below comments, Raley is now listed in 43, most recently belonging to unforgettable infielder Yolmer Sanchez.