Why the Mets Promoted Johnny Monell

The Mets have promoted catcher Johnny Monell from AAA Las Vegas. Does anyone know why?

Adding Monell gives the Mets three catchers on a short bench — assuming that one of either Kirk Nieuwenhuis or Eric Campbell is sent down to the minors. Or, will the Mets demote a pitcher — maybe Erik Goeddel? We’ll know soon, but at the moment, the move is a bit of a head scratcher, assuming we can believe the Mets when they insist they will be carrying three catchers and not making any trades.

If Captain Kirk is sent down, the only true backup outfielder is John Mayberry, Jr. Maybe the Mets are comfortable with Eric Campbell as the fifth outfielder, though it doesn’t give them much flexibility to make lineup changes and add defensive replacements late in games. It does, however, give them the option of using the red-hot Monell or the long-ball potential of Anthony Recker as pinch-hitters. Recker, Monell, and Kevin Plawecki have all played a bit of first base in the minors, but I don’t see any of the three being used there as long as Lucas Duda, Michael Cuddyer, and Mayberry are all around.

What will the Mets need most against the Orioles and Phillies this week — extra arms or extra bats? The more one looks at this situation, the more it seems possible that the Mets will hang on to the bats and send down Goeddel.

What do you make of this promotion, and who do you think will be demoted, and why?

The MetsToday news staff consists of various contributors and fact-checkers.
  1. Scott May 5, 2015 at 1:38 pm
    Well, my bet is that the Mets send down Campbell. They won’t send down Goedell because they believe they need 7 pen arms (or more) especially since they have lost Mejia, Edgin, Parnell and Black and are making do with an eclectic group.

    Why did they bring up Monell to begin with? They need a LH hitting bat with some power and Nieuwenhuis isn’t hitting right now at all. Since Plawecki is currently catching most of the games, they can also use Monell to start a few games and take pressure off of Plawecki.

    I don’t think any deal is in the works. I think this is all about the fact that the bench is very weak and they are trying to address it. Say goodbye to Campbell!

  2. Gil Reich May 5, 2015 at 1:43 pm
    Monell is a lefty catcher who is crushing the ball, while Soup, Plawecki and Recker struggle. What you get by bringing up Monell and sending down Soup:
    1) Starting him against some righties instead of Plawecki or Recker probably helps your team score runs.
    2) Last spot on bench is lefty or righty PH (assuming you don’t want to leave a spare catcher).
    3) Rewarding a guy who is crushing is a good message to send to other minor leaguers.
    4) Soup can go down, play every day, and work out his issues.
    With 2 off days this week they could send down a reliever instead, but I think they want Soup playing AAA every day and fixing his problems.
    Captain Kirk needs to clear waivers, and the Mets don’t have a lefty OF ready to replace him. He’s not going anywhere yet.
  3. Surly Duff May 5, 2015 at 1:44 pm
    Monell has a 1.092 OPS in AAA so far and raked during spring training.

    The Mets haven’t scored a run in 18 innings.

    It’s not rocket science.

    • Joe Janish May 5, 2015 at 9:11 pm
      It’s not rocket science but we’ve seen plenty of AAAA guys destroy AAA pitching for a month and not get promoted (see: Val Pascucci, Chip Ambres, Chris Aguila, et al).

      Nice to see the Mets give Monell a chance.

  4. Extragooey May 5, 2015 at 2:51 pm
    Yup Nieuwenhuis has been terribad and they need another bat. He’s not going anywhere since as someone else pointed out, he’s out of options and will need to clear waivers.

    Looks like Campbell will probably be the odd man out. 2 for his last 20 is an incredibly small sample size. I don’t think there are any issues he needs to work out. He had reached base in 13 of the 14 games he’s played before they moved Murphy over to 3rd.

  5. david May 5, 2015 at 11:50 pm
    Mets are making what I think are curious moves early in the season.

    Looking at the recent promotions, it seems pretty clear they want to improve the team but I think the bench is not as much of a problem as Terry’s use of the bench players he already has.

    Mayberry and Kirk have been lousy in limited action, Tejada is almost an automatic out, Campbell was MIA before being DFA’d and Recker is what he is. If this is going to be a championship team then not only do we need better players on the bench, the manager needs to use them properly which remains – IMO – a major shortcoming of TC. That and his use of the bullpen should be addressed by Sandy.

    Again, it is worth repeating that even with all the injuries we are in 1st place over a month into the season and with a comfortable lead to boot. Sure it will shrink, and we may end up in 3rd before we know what happened but it is a good time to be a Mets fan as our stock is clearly on the rise. If we could improve the bench and Terry can learn how to use his relievers, playoffs this year is a reasonable aspiration.

    On a final note, I think this is a cup of coffee for Monnell and nothing more. His promotion makes it easy to send him down when TDA – who has been sorely missed – comes off the DL and not a minute too soon as far as I am concerned. For all the moaning about his shortcomings, his absence has plainly hurt the pitching staff esp the relievers.

  6. Steve S. May 6, 2015 at 12:05 pm
    Monell can start against some righties and PH. He’s a better hitter than Recker in those situations, and probably better than Kirk for the latter purpose. Campbell needs to go down and is not needed now.