Last week it seemed like the Mets were about to do something wise and send Jennry Mejia down to the minors in order to allow him to revert back into a starting pitcher, thereby providing the promise of greater value to the organization one day. Then they backed up a little and said, no, we may just turn him into a starter at the major league level. Not as wise, but in the grand scheme of things I suppose that’s better than keeping him in the pen.
Forget any wisdom now, however, because they’re just gonna keep him in the pen after all:
“We’ve discussed him at length many times, as far as what’s right
for him, what’s right for the team . . . basically, [keeping him in the pen] was the plan all along. We felt that
Igarashi can handle the eighth, and we need someone to handle the
seventh and I wanted to see Mejia pitch in this environment.”
Says the New York Post: “The deciding factor, according to Manuel, was that Mejia has been much
more effective in short outings than long ones.” Which is true for just about every pitcher. Bullpens are full of guys who couldn’t cut it was starters for exactly this reason, so I’m not sure why it weighs so heavily in Mejia’s case.
This is shortsighted decision by a guy who to whom short term success is more important than the long term health of the organization. And that applies whether it was Omar Minaya or Jerry Manuel’s decision.
The Mets had to scratch both Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores an hour before Wednesday’s game against the Yankees due to ribcage injuries, so Travis d'Arnaud — normally a catcher — borrowed David Wright‘s glove and played third base for the first time in his career. He had played some third base in spring training, but as far as an official professional game goes, he’s never been there.
The first two batters the Yankees sent up to the plate in the first inning were left-handed. But when the right-handed Aaron Judge came up, manager Terry Collins swapped second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera with d’Arnaud. It became a thing. The two swapped once more in the first inning, three times in the second, once in the third, five times in the fourth, once in the fifth, three times in the sixth, four times in the seventh, once in the eighth, and twice in the ninth. It worked, as d’Arnaud didn’t have an opportunity to make a play until catching Todd Frazier‘s pop-up for the first out of the ninth inning — as a second baseman. Cabrera had a handful of opportunities, including immediately after having swapped with d’Arnaud.
The Mets lost 5-3. At the plate, d’Arnaud went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly. Cabrera was 1-for-4.
Matt Reynolds and Gavin Cecchini are being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas so the Mets don’t have to do the “3B-2B shenanigans,” as MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo put it, again.
Cubs starter John Lackey stole the first base of his 15-year career on Wednesday against the Reds. Of course, he spent the first 11 and a half years of his career in the American League, where opportunities to bat, let alone attempt to steal a base, were rare. Lackey entered Wednesday having taken 250 plate appearances, reaching base just 31 times on 17 singles, seven doubles, and seven walks for a .134 on-base percentage. One can imagine the 38-year-old is not exactly the swiftest base runner.
Still, Lackey managed to swipe a bag in the fourth inning. He singled with two outs against Homer Bailey. Then, with an 0-1 count on Ben Zobrist, Lackey broke for second even before Bailey began his windup. Tucker Barnhart stood up to alert Bailey that Lackey was running, so Bailey wheeled around and threw to second base, but Lackey slid into the bag easily safe. It wasn’t a pretty slide, but it did the job.
Lackey, however, was picked off of second base by Barnhart later that inning. Bailey threw a 3-2 fastball wide of the strike zone, walking Zobrist. Lackey had wandered too far off of second base, so Barnhart threw behind Lackey and the tag was applied by Zack Cozart. Lackey was called safe initially. The play was reviewed and the ruling on the field was overturned, ending the fourth inning.
Base Ba’al giveth and Base Ba’al taketh away.