It’s not bad enough the Mets gave up on Ruben Gotay … but to make it worse, the hated Atlanta Braves were the team that claimed him off waivers.
Early on, it looked like Gotay might win a job on the Mets roster, but the ankle injury he suffered completely demolished his chances. The 25-year-old will join the Braves, though I can’t figure out how he fits in over there. Bobby Cox already has Kelly Johnson starting at 2B and likely playing 140-150 games at the position, with Martin Prado backing up. Prado hit well this spring (.338), as did fellow utility infielder Brent Lillibridge (.348). Presumably, one of them will start the season in the minors — though I wouldn’t want to be the informant.
What further bothers me is that the Braves do a really good job of evaluating young and “on the cusp” talent — and they’re obviously very high on Gotay’s skills. While I doubt Ruben will be much more than a utility guy and pinch-hitter, I would have preferred to see him not getting playing time with the Mets than not getting playing time with the Braves.
One last issue that bugs me comes from Willie Randolph, who said this about Fernando Tatis in a NY Post article:
“Tatis gives you more versatility,” Willie Randolph said Wednesday. “He played winter ball, so he’s in great shape. I’m not going to hold that [arrival] against him. If we feel like he can help us, then we’ll see.”
So … in other words, Willie isn’t going to hold Tatis’ late arrival to camp (due to visa problems) against him, but he IS going to hold Gotay’s ankle injury against Ruben. Because really, what’s the difference?
Gotay only hit .229 in a measly 17 ABs but he did post a .435 OBP and .529 SLG in his short trial, while playing acceptable defense at three infield positions. Tatis, on the other hand, has hit .212 with a .229 OBP and .364 SLG in twice as many at-bats. He also played adequately in the field, though his skills in LF look a little scary … and we only saw him play a few innings at 1B. Of course, there’s always the possibility that Tatis doesn’t make the team either, but I have a feeling Brady Clark is the next player cut.
In other news, Steven Register was welcomed back by the Colorado Rockies with open arms. They were only too happy to pay $25,000 for the private instruction services provided by Rick Peterson.