I've never seen Elvin Ramirez in a Mets uniform so don't have any idea what number he'll turn up in when he arrives Friday. He'd been with the Mets organization since he was a teenager, but only began to enter the radar screen when he was selected in the Rule 5 draft by the Nationals, only to miss the year they were required to keep him with a shoulder injury. He was returned to the Mets this year, and he's been kicking ass in Buffalo, so he will get the call, likely at the expense of Chris Schwinden (again). Ramirez was wearing No. 36 in Buffalo, which happens to be available on the Mets now. Nos. 20, 22, 38, 45, 51 and 58 are also vacant possibilities. So I guess I do have an idea.
UPDATE: My idea is wrong again. Mets.com roster lists Ramirez in No. 62. I think we have to consider the 60s are no longer "unusual" for the Mets.
Josh Thole is also en route back, which ought to help a lot given we've somehow continued contending despite three weeks of Mike Nickeas and Rob Johnson, one of whom will likely get cut to make room for him. I don't much like Johnson's defense nor Nickeas' offense, and each the other.
A remark in the comments section in the previous entry, noting that slugging middle infielder Omar Quintanilla had become the Mets' first Q surname and the 25th letter represented overall, inspired the following attempt to field a team of Mets using each letter of the alphabet only once. Thanks for the inspiration and the post-list suggestions. I like this team's chances even if Seaver might have to sit to get Strawberry's bat in the lineup. Isn't that so Metly?
Starting pitchers (5)
Former high draft pick turned minor league journeyman middle infielder.
Omar Quintanilla this evening will become the 39th player to suit up for the Mets in the No. 6 jersey and the first since Nick Evans wrestled it away from Ramon Martinez in 2008 and began four years of bobbing recalls and DFAs typical of classic Met sixers. Quintanilla replaces the roster slot of Justin Turner who went down with an ankle injury yesterday. As noted here often, No. 6 is the official address of the Met scrub, having been issued more times than any other jersey in team history. Back in 2009, I counted down the 10 greatest sixes in Mets history: A revised version would probably have to include Evans for sheer persistance in waiting around for another turn -- and getting them -- in the face of so many invitations to take a hike.
Also back tonight is Chris Schwinden, rapidly becoming Evans' pitching equivalent. He's up for Manny Acosta but likely just holding a spot in line for someone better. That they designated Acosta for assignment is less of a mystery than why Terry Collins chose to use him in a 1-run game the Mets still had a chance to win, but Manny, like so many of those who dared to wear No. 46 before him, is leaving the Mets in disgrace.
Jack Egbert, that is. He was called up to the Mets this afternoon from AAA Buffalo, while Robert Carson goes the other way. Egbert, 29, was pitching to a 2.09 ERA in Buffalo albeit with underwhelming strikeout ratio for a bullpen guy. He's a Rutgers product whom the Mets acquired on waivers from the White Sox, who had him up briefly in 2009. The Mets roster lists him in No. 61, joining forebears Jesse Orosco (1979), Mario Ramirez (1980), Jeff Duncan (2003), Chan Ho Park (2007) and Livan Hernandez (2009).
Last night's beating has left the relievers in need of relief, so the Mets today recalled Jeremy Hefner and sent down infielder Jordany Valdespin. Hefner appeared earlier this year wearing uniform No. 53 and backing up starter Miguel Batista when Batista was hammered by the San Francisco Giants. The prospect of the Blue Jays bats unloading on Batista -- despite his best start last time out -- suggests the Mets are making a prudent move.
It's a shame it had to be in the middle of a humiliating double-figure deficit but Robert Carson finally made his Major League debut tonight. Carson was recalled after Terry Collins' heavy-handed bullpen management put DJ Carrasco in a position where a bad outing would not only cost us a game but him a career. Carson debuted wearing a crooked, straight-bimmed cap and the same No. 73 jersey he'd worn in Spring Training and in his brief appearance on the big-league roster a few weeks back. He becomes the third Met to wear No. 73: Kenny Rogers who ought to be remembered more for the strong work that got the '99 Mets into the poostseason than the bases-loaded walk that lost them; and forgettable veteran Ricardo Rincon, an actor in the 2008 collapse, were the others.
Carrasco was designated for assignment. He was the first signee of the new front-office regime.
Here are links to the paper and the powerpoint presentation I gave as a part of the Mets 50th Anniversary conference last month at Hofstra University. My topic was examining each of the transactions involving Tom Seaver, beginning with Bing Devine's role in "making your own luck" and convincing the Mets to enter the Seaver drawing in 1966, the tension with Don Grant leading to the Seaver trade in 1977, and the story behind his reacquisition in 1983 and loss as free agent compensation in 1984. In retrospect I could have pitched a paper on any one of these deals, rather than all four, as the original paper was something like 19 pages long and I was supposed to have limited it to 12. And even then...
I've said this before, but this conference was a great event, and I'm sorry I got to see so little of it. I welcome your feedback!
Reserve journeyman catcher recalled when Josh Thole took a shot in the noggin an epic Mets-Phillies tilt.
Catcher Rob Johnson is in uniform in Philly tonight and wearing the same No. 16 he had during Spring Training. As we'll all remember for a long time, Jordany Valdespin was suddenly recalled to the Mets Monday when Ruben Tejada hit the disabled list, his home run capped a wild and memorable game during which Josh Thole was knocked silly in a collision with the Phillies' Ty Wigginton -- Wiggy was out -- necessitating the Mets to invoke the new 7-day disabled list for concussion symptoms and recall Johnson.
Right-handed hitting reserve
A few Met changes to get caught up on that I missed over the weekend: First, there was the return of punching-bag starter Chris Schwinden to AAA after two miserable starts as Mike Pelfrey's replacement. What makes the Mets think Miguel Batista represents much of an upgrade remains a bit of a mystery, as Batista hasn't had much more than a good inning or two since spring training and is 41 years old, but that's the price the Mets are paying for cutting every corner on depth as a means to service the Wilpon's debt.
In Schwinden's place the Mets recalled versatile reserve Vinny Rottino, who retains the No. 33 he rocked during spring training. The last Met to wear No. 33 was reliever Taylor Buchholz, who left the club last year battling depression (we know) but the 33 I can see Rottino resembling is Valentine era reserve Mike Kinkade, who like Rottino was a right-handed bench bat who could catch in an emergency.
Also this weekend, the Mets demoted Jordany Valdespin as reliever D.J. Carrasco returned from the disabled list. Valdespin struggled in limited plate appearances but his versatility could be an asset down the road. I'd consider Carrasco a possibility to take a starting role if this Batista thing doesn't work out, and who really does.