By releasing Luis Castillo last week and optioning Justin Turner to Triple-A this morning the Mets have cleared the way for Rule 5 pick Brad Emaus to be their Opening Day starter at second base.
Luis Hernandez and Daniel Murphy now stand as his only competition, but Hernandez is no one’s idea of an everyday player and Murphy is expected to be used off the bench, with Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com and Anthony DiComo of MLB.com both reporting that Emaus is a near-lock for the job.
Or as Turner put it after being told he was headed to Triple-A: “I’m sure Brad is feeling pretty good about himself right now.”
Selected from the Blue Jays with the 11th pick in the Rule 5 draft back in December, the 25-year-old Emaus hit .290 with a .397 on-base percentage and .476 slugging percentage in 125 games between Double-A and Triple-A last season, drawing more walks (81) than strikeouts (69), swiping 13 bases, and homering 15 times.
On Monday, Cardinals reliever Brett Cecil was placed on the 10-day injured list due to Carpal Tunnel syndrome. Cecil, who notably lost 42 pounds since the end of the 2018 season, was having trouble with his mechanics throughout spring training and only logged two official Grapefruit League innings.
Cecil, 32, is entering the third year of his four-year, $30.5 million contract. He struggled last year, finishing with a 6.89 ERA and a 19/25 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings. The lefty dealt with shoulder and foot injuries during the season as well.
The Cardinals bolstered the bullpen in December, signing lefty Andrew Miller to a two-year, $25 million deal. It would be nice to have a healthy and effective Cecil, but the high-leverage workload will be managed by Miller and Jordan Hicks as well as Alex Reyes.
Cecil was among a handful of Cardinals to hit the injured list on Monday, joining Carlos Martínez (right shoulder cuff strain), Jedd Gyorko (right calf strain), Luke Gregerson (right shoulder impingement), and Justin Williams (right hand second metacarpal fracture).