Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia has returned to the team after serving an 80-game suspension for PED use. Buddy Carlyle has been transferred to the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Mejia. Logan Verrett has been optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Mejia on the 25-man roster.
Mejia, 25, tested positive for Stanozolol in early April and denied knowingly using the substance. Mejia was also dealing with an elbow injury at the time of his suspension but is completely healed up from that.
Jeurys Familia stepped into the closer’s role in Mejia’s absence and performed so well he was nominated to the National League All-Star roster. Familia has converted the save in 23 of 25 chances with a 1.13 ERA and a 41/12 K/BB ratio over 39 2/3 innings. As a result, Mejia will not be reclaiming his job as the Mets’ closer.
Last season, Mejia moved to the bullpen after a mediocre stretch of seven starts. He saved 28 games in 31 chances with a 2.72 ERA and a 60/21 K/BB ratio in 56 1/3 innings.
One of the things with which I frequently find myself preoccupied is where baseball players live. Not the superstars, though. Most of them have amazing mansions or expensive apartments and after a solid decade of real estate porn up and down the basic cable channels, I have become nauseated with that sort of thing.
No, I think about the fringe guys. The rookies who don’t have much money in the bank yet and/or really don’t know how to live like adults yet. The journeymen who find themselves on different teams each year and who may, in the course of a single season, be in two different major league and two different Triple-A cities. That’s a lot of moving, lease-breaking, real estate risk and logistical hell do be dealing with.
Enter this great article from Joe Lemire at the Wall Street Journal about how some Mets players on the margins, including Buddy Carlyle and 2014 Met Dana Eveland have used hotel deal apps to find the best rates in New York each night and then simply move from one hotel to the next, not knowing where they’ll be the following night. Given that they leave the ballpark after 11pm and have to be back at the ballpark early the next afternoon, it’s mostly about a bed and some breakfast anyway.
Maybe this won’t interest a lot of you, but I sort of love staying in hotels and find this to be all sorts of fun. I’m also finding that the ballplayers-as-human-beings stuff is way more compelling than the ballplayers-as-athletes stuff, so this is right up my alley.
UPDATE: According to Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal, Mejia will undergo an MRI in New York tomorrow.
8:22 p.m. ET: Bobby Parnell blew a save on Opening Day last year and underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery within days. One year later, the Mets have more questions at closer.
According to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, Jenrry Mejia was unavailable to close today against the Nationals due to right elbow stiffness. He was warming up in the top of the ninth inning before coming down with discomfort, so Mets manager Terry Collins was forced to go with Jerry Blevins to begin the bottom of the frame. 37-year-old Buddy Carlyle got the final two outs for the first save of his career.
There are no immediate plans to send Mejia for tests, but DiComo writes that he’ll likely go for an MRI if he still feels pain tomorrow. Mets manager Terry Collins indicated that Jeurys Familia is the favorite to fill in at closer.
Mejia, 25, had a 3.65 ERA with 28 saves and a 98/41 K/BB ratio across 92 2/3 innings last season. He previously had Tommy John surgery in May of 2011.
I’ve been thinking a lot about non-Jeters who we may not see again after this season. Konerko is obviously retiring. Ichiro may be done. Hiroki Kuroda. A.J. Burnett. Josh Beckett. Adam Dunn has suggested he may hang it up. But some less famous players may too, one of which is Mets reliever Buddy Carlyle.
I’ve paid closer attention to Carlyle than a lot of people have over the course of his career simply because he played for my team for a couple of years. When that happens you notice the name in the mass of late winter minor league signings more than you do guys who didn’t play for your team. But it’s not like I obsesses on him or anything. I saw him pitch once or twice this year, but didn’t realize until I just read Mike Vorkunov’s story about him over at NJ.com. Carlyle has posted a 1.53 ERA in 26 games. That’s his best mark ever. Still, he may retire after this year because he realizes that he’s almost 37 and someone will end his career for him eventually if he doesn’t decide to do it himself.
But it’s a neat story anyway. I’m sure a lot of guys have minor league-heavy odysseys like Carlyle has had. And so many of them are interesting. They could all be stories by themselves, even if we rarely notice them.