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Mets release Adrian Gonzalez, call up Dominic Smith

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The New York Mets released veteran Adrian Gonzalez after last night’s 2-0 victory over the Yankees. They will call up Dominic Smith from Triple-A Las Vegas before Tuesday’s game in Atlanta.

Gonzalez, 36, went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts last night and ends his Mets tenure with a batting line of .237/.299/.373 and only six homers in 54 games. The five-time All-Star did not cost the Mets much — he was being paid the minimum this season — but he simply wasn’t getting the job done and it made no sense for the Mets to keep running him out there.

Smith, 22, is hitting was batting .260/.343/.370 with two homers and 25 RBI at Las Vegas. That’s not world-beating — and he struggled in his time in New York last year — but the Mets’ first round draft pick in 2013 at least has upside and, with the Mets apparently not going anyplace this year, it’s time to see what he can do with an everyday job. At least if they don’t stick Jay Bruce at first base and move their outfield parts around once Yoenis Cespedes comes back.

In another move, the Mets designated catcher Jose Lobaton for assignment and called up utilityman Ty Kelly from Triple-A as well.

New York’s win over the Yankees last night was a nice little pick-me-up after a terrible skid. The’ll now be hoping that the roster shakeup will provide a nice little reboot before a ten-game road trip.

Giants name Johnny Cueto Opening Day starter vs. Dodgers

Johnny Cueto Opening Day
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Giants manager Gabe Kapler confirmed on Tuesday that veteran Johnny Cueto be the Opening Day starter against the Dodgers in L.A. on July 23, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Cueto will start opposite Clayton Kershaw. Kapler tabbed Cueto originally for the Opening Day start back in March, but that was for a 162-game season and before the league shut down due to the pandemic.

Cueto, 34, is making his fifth career Opening Day start. The previous four he made came in 2012-15 with the Reds. Madison Bumgarner started five of the previous six Opening Days for the Giants, but he’s now a member of the Diamondbacks.

Cueto underwent Tommy John surgery in 2018 and didn’t return to action until September last season. Across 16 innings spanning four starts, the right-hander allowed nine earned runs on 11 hits and nine walks with 13 strikeouts. The Giants are hoping Cueto can return to 2016 form when we was an All-Star, finishing 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA over 219 2/3 innings.

The Giants will have their hands full with the Dodgers to open the season. Last year, the Dodgers won 106 games while the Giants won 77. The recently-released PECOTA standings from Baseball Prospectus sees the Dodgers going 39-21 and finishing first while the Giants are projected to go 25-35 and finish in last place.