Reed Johnson, Russell Mitchell

The Mets are interested in Reed Johnson

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A team source tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News that the Mets have identified Reed Johnson “as a potential fit” for their bench.

Johnson, who turned 34 earlier this week, batted .262/.291/.366 with two home runs and 15 RBI over 202 at-bats with the Dodgers this past season. Alarmingly, he drew only five walks all season and struck out 55 times, or in 24.8 percent of his at-bats. He has a .281/.340/.408 career batting line, including a .312 batting average and 836 OPS against left-handed pitching.

The Mets don’t have much wiggle room with their payroll this winter, but it would be smart to add some insurance for Carlos Beltran and Jason Bay. At the very least, Johnson has the reputation as a fine defender, and would likely come at a lesser cost than some of the alternatives in free agency, including Fred Lewis and Scott Hairston.

By the way, new Mets general manager Sandy Alderson hosted a conference call with a number of prominent Mets’ bloggers earlier this evening. MetsBlog has a number of interesting quotes from the call. Look forward to more of these in the future. And Mr. Alderson, invite me next time!

Jon Niese leaves start with knee pain

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
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Mets starter Jon Niese left his start Tuesday night against the Cardinals due to left knee pain.

Niese walked two and gave up an RBI single before leaving with a trainer with one out in the bottom of the first inning. He was eventually charged with three earned runs. Robert Gsellman, just up from Las Vegas, took over, making his major league debut under unexpected circumstances.

Niese, who has not pitched well at all since coming over in a trade with the Pirates, is likely to be placed on the disabled list after the game or before tomorrow’s game.

Mark Trumbo’s home run streak ends

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 11:  Mark Trumbo #45 of the Baltimore Orioles hits an RBI single against the Oakland Athletics during the fourth inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 11, 2016 in Oakland, California. The Baltimore Orioles defeated the Oakland Athletics 9-6. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Mark Trumbo still has many chances to hit a home run tonight — it’s only been an inning or so in the Nats-Orioles game — but his weird home run streak is over.

Coming into tonight’s game, Trumbo’s last seven hits had been homers. The all-time record had been 11, set by Mark McGwire back in 2001. The last time Trumbo got a hit that wasn’t a dong was back on August 11. Later in that game, however, he hit a grand slam. After that he went 6 for his next 34, with all those safeties dingers.

But that’s over now. In the first inning tonight he drove in a run with a two-out single. Then he was thrown out trying to stretch it to two. Good job on the RBIs, Mark. Bad job on the base running. Judgment withheld on the homer streak because, really, that’s just kind of weird and cool.