Where Is Ricardo Rincon?

Ricardo Rincon pitching for the Mets in spring training at Port St. LucieDuring spring training, non-roster invitee Ricardo Rincon looked like he might make Scott Schoeneweis expendable, seeming to have recaptured the form that made him one of baseball’s elite lefthanded middle relievers and a favorite of Billy Beane in the early part of this decade. Injuries had affected his performance in recent years, but this spring Rincon was finally healthy, showing good command and a sinking fastball that occasionally touched 90-91 MPH.

However, the Mets didn’t have room for him in their overstocked bullpen, and he was reassigned.

But where did he go?

He’s not with the New Orleans Zephyrs, nor in Port St. Lucie, nor anywhere else within the Mets organization … yet, believe it or not, he is pitching professionally, and is technically still Mets property.

Turns out, Ricardo Rincon was “loaned” to the Diablos Rojos (Red Devils, for those of you who failed Spanish 101) of the Mexican League, and could return to the Mets at some point if necessary. Rincon had planned to retire if he didn’t make the team, but his spring performance was encouraging to the Mets brass, and the arrangement allows Ricardo to pitch in his native land, near his home (kind of like Roger Clemens, minus the Hummer).

I haven’t been able to track down an “official” statement regarding this arrangement, but I did find Ricardo Rincon’s 2008 stats and he is indeed on the Diablos roster. Thus far he has pitched in 5 games totaling 5 innings, striking out 5, walking none, allowing 3 hits and no runs.

Yes, The Show looks OK right now, but it’s early, and it doesn’t hurt to have a LOOGY like Ricardo Rincon in your back pocket … even if your pants are in Mexico.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude April 16, 2008 at 2:31 pm
    Very nice investigative work, Joe. This certainly helps answer a few questions.

    Btw…not to be a bother…but I think your injury list needs a bit of a facelift.

  2. Micalpalyn April 16, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    a. From Rotoworld- “Mets optioned RHP Carlos Muniz to Triple-A New Orleans.

    Muniz pitched four scoreless innings in his week with the Mets, but that wasn’t sufficient to get him kept over Joe Smith”.

    b. RW- “Ramon Castro (hamstring) is not expected to play in rehab games until at least next week.

    Castro’s return from a strained hamstring has been slowed by multiple setbacks. Raul Casanova seems set to backup Brian Schneider through most of April.”

    c- RW- The Mets have dropped Luis Castillo into the eighth spot in Tuesday’s lineup.

    GM Omar Minaya should start extension talks any day now. After all, he only signing Castillo through 2011. Ryan Church is batting second tonight. Castillo will move back up at some point, but he’s finished as an impact player.

    a- I think muniz should have stayed over Joe Smith. but that’s probably a toss up. But in reflecting on the BP is there a chance Omar trades someone away. He traded away Mota, sho is also on the block. This BP is alreadsy better than last yrs and has depth.
    b- I like ramon castro. But could Castro bring back something if traded? Alot ofvteams are looking at catchers and The Mets with Casanova and Schneider could let Ramon go. Molina and Cancel give them depth but Rsoxx nd others need starting catchers. I would sell high if I could….for sale defensive/offensive catcher.

  3. joe April 16, 2008 at 4:03 pm
    injury list updated … thanks for the nudge, ‘dude!

    Willie doesn’t trust Muniz (yet?) so he was the one to go. Personally I would have liked to have seen more of Muniz, but I’m sure we will as the season wears on.

    Not sure if a trade would be in the works. As long as Angel Pagan remains hot, there’s little reason to find an outfielder to platoon with Ryan Church for when Moises returns. I imagine if a decent RH-hitting first baseman becomes available, a deal could be made involving Scho — which would also send Brady Clark packing. But it would have to be someone who is a legit upgrade over Clark .. or a starting pitcher who is at AAA level and has options.

    I doubt highly that the Mets would trade away a reliever for non-MLB ready talent (i.e., A ball prospect). While there appears to be plenty of depth in the bullpen now, things could change very quickly.

  4. joe April 16, 2008 at 4:04 pm
    Oh, and Castro’s not going anywhere. The next backstop after Raul Casanova is Robinson Cancel … you can never have too many pitchers nor too many catchers.
  5. Making Room for Wise -- Mets Today May 5, 2008 at 12:01 am
    […] Send Aaron down to AAA, put him in the Zephyrs rotation, let him slowly work his way back to the Majors as a starting pitcher. It will take at least two months for him to get into shape — to “stretch him out” — but who cares? This will be done as much for 2009 as for 2008. In the meantime, Matt Wise will be available for middle relief, and if more relievers are needed, there is Carlos Muniz and Brian Stokes chomping at the bit in AAA — not to mention Ricardo Rincon stashed in Mexico. […]