Gary Carter’s memorial service was held last night at the Christ Fellowship church in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Many of Carter’s family, friends, former teammates and colleagues paid tribute, including a speech by fellow Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench.
The Mets naturally had a large contingent on hand for the occasion and according to Bill Madden of the New York Daily News, the Wilpons and manager Terry Collins presented Carter’s widow, Sandy, with a mockup of the patch the team will wear in honor of Carter this season.
The mockup depicts Carter’s No. 8 over an inverted home plate. The patch is expected to be ready for players to wear at some point during spring training and prior to Opening Day against the Braves on April 5.
This gesture may not satisfy those who also want Carter’s number retired, but I think it would be a pretty cynical motivation on the Mets’ part to do it now that he has passed away. Either way, having his No. 8 on a Mets’ uniform this season will be pretty cool.
Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.
Mark Buehrle hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in professional baseball since last October. Still, the Blue Jays wouldn’t mind having some insurance, so manager John Gibbons recently texted Buehrle, “You know, rosters expand in September,” Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports.
Buehrle’s response? He texted back a picture of a lake. Sounds like he’s not interested in making a return, at least this year.
Last year, at the age of 36, Buehrle went 15-8 with a 3.81 ERA with a 91/33 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings while leading the league with four complete games. He fell 1 1/3 innings shy of a 15th consecutive 200-inning season. There are many worse ways to end a career.