September Callups

With the roster expanding to 40, the Mets added the following players to their roster:

RHP Carlos Muniz
LHP Richardo Rincon
RHP Bobby Parnell
LHP Jonathan Niese
RHP Al Reyes
C Gustavo Molina
2B Argenis Reyes
INF Ramon Martinez
INF/OF Marlon Anderson

Obviously, the Mets welcome any and all arms to their pitching staff. The question, however, is whether Jerry Manuel will trust any of the “new” arms in key situations. If he doesn’t, there isn’t much point of their presence.

Personally, I think Ricardo Rincon will be a key guy from the left side. I don’t expect Rincon to be a closer, nor do I expect him to be a multiple-inning guy. However, I believe he’ll be effective as a LOOGY. Hopefully he can give Scho and Pedro Lite a rest.

Jonathan Niese will start on Wednesday against the Brewers, which will be a tough assignment considering they are a righty-heavy lineup. However they are also a wild-swinging bunch, which can play into Niese’s favor.

We kept hearing that Bobby Parnell was an “untouchable” … from what I saw in spring training, Steven Register was a better pitcher — by a wide margin — and Register was returned to the Rockies by the end of March. Perhaps Parnell made tremendous strides since then and will prove to be an impact arm. The Mets certainly can use another reliever.

The promotion of Ramon Martinez makes zero sense, and I’m guessing this is more about somebody owing somebody a favor. Nothing against him, he’s a solid utilityman, but this is a team filled with utility players. It’s on par with the Mets adding Gerald “Ice” Williams to their roster a few years back.

The Gustavo Molina promotion is a little bit strange, only because Robinson Cancel is a better-hitting version and Raul Casanova was left behind. I did like Molina’s defense when he was up with the Mets, but his hitting is atrocious. In contrast, Casanova’s glovework is acceptable at best, but he is a switch-hitter with some pop. I guess the Mets feel a defensive-minded catcher is more important than a switch-hitter off the bench. It’s still early though, so Casanova could still be added.

Al Reyes had some arm issues this season, but if he’s healthy he could pitch meaningful innings. The Mets gave up nothing for him, and had nothing in AAA better than him, so his presence makes plenty of sense.

Since the New Orleans Zephyrs have ended their season, it’s curious as to why some other players weren’t immediately promoted — though we’ll likely see more promotions over the next week. For example, where is Valentino Pascucci? Certainly there were reasons not to bring him up earlier in the year, but with the roster expanded to 40 and flexibility on the roster due to players on the 60-day DL, what more did Val need to do to earn a September callup? Other than Pascucci, I’m guessing we’ll see Claudio Vargas make a reappearance — though like Pascucci would need to kick someone off the current 40-man (though I don’t get putting Ramon Martinez ahead of either of them). Those who are on the 40-man and may receive callups in the coming days include Ruddy Lugo, Adam Bostick, Eddie Kunz, and Willie Collazo. If Amby Burgos is healthy, he could also get a promotion.

Since we haven’t heard hide nor hair of Matt Wise, Trot Nixon, or Jason Vargas, your guess is as good as mine as to whether we’ll see them in September. I’m guessing no on Vargas, in which case he should be transferred to the 60-day DL to open up a roster spot (same goes for El Duque, whose season is already officially over). Nixon and Wise, if healthy, could be contributors down the stretch, but no one knows anything about their status.

Finally, we might see Fernando Martinez and Mike Carp come up for a cup of coffee once their season with the B-Mets ends. Their last game is September 1st and they did not make the playoffs.

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 September 1, 2008 at 8:39 am
    Most of these additions are academic, with the exceptions of Molina and Martinez. I agree that Casanova would have been the better option over Molina, and that Martinez is going to be a waste of space. I would have rathered Trot Nixon, who has been playing with New Orleans and upon last check was hitting over .300 with 3 homers in about 2 weeks of action. I know the last thing the Mets need is another lefty-hitting corner OF, but his veteran presence and leadership qualities make him a very attraction addition to me.

    I also think Val deserves a call-up. It always helps to have a hulking power threat as a pinch-hitter late in ballgames.

    As for Niese and Parnell, I’m kind of torn. On the one hand, I love seeing the Mets have confidence in home-grown talent. They’ve each been tabbed as “untouchable” and now they have the chance to show us why. However, Niese is being thrown into the fire to face a deadly Milwaukee club, and I would have much preferred to see him get his ML debut out of the way against the Nationals or Braves. Also, (and I’ll earn brownie points with hdarvick for this one) remember when Figueroa held the Brewers hitless over 4.2 innings earlier this season, and wound up a winner in the game? Granted, that came way back in April on a Foggy night at Shea, but I would have liked to see if Figgy still has some magic left in the hat. Then let Parnell or Niese serve as the long-man if Figgy falters. With Parnell, here’s a guy whose ERA and WHIP in the minors aren’t going to blow away anybody, but is rumored to be a hard-thrower who could help in the pen. He has virtually no relieving experience, so being asked to get big outs as a reliever on the ML level is pretty gutsy on the part of the Mets. If he succeeds, though, we could have another Aaron Heilman circa 2005 on our hands.

  2. murph September 1, 2008 at 5:30 pm
    Good to see the pen will be getting some re-inforcements.
    Perhaps Smith, Schow, Feliciano, Sanchez & Heilman can take turns, each getting a few days off in a row. It may help them last until October.

    I read or heard somewhere that The Mets didn’t want too many call-ups, providing a distraction during a pennant race. That could be why we are not seeing Carp, Pascucci, Nixon, etc.

  3. Micalpalyn September 2, 2008 at 10:49 am
    The other point is rest. We have seen that the call ups are not simply ‘academic’ but that jerry might actually use these players.

    1. I like the call ups. I agree on Rincon. I think Pedro-jr has very little gas in the tank if not an injury. Jerry has had to use him for one-batter stretches for weeks. as such rincon could be a big factor. Figgy was overdue. I think he should have been up 2 weeks ago. Al Reyes could be Robert hernandez (2006) but then again i think the bullpen is rounding out to where billy returns rested as the closer, ayala in set up, and figgy et al have the rest of the chores. Bottom line….jerry can all but sit Heilman, Sho and Feliciano….(whew).

    I think parnall could be auditioning for the BP in 2009. I think we could also see his ‘stuff’ in the next blow out….if that ever comes again…

    Anderson. I dont think he really has a role anymore. Murphy and Evans are essentially doing his job…(very well).