With MLB rosters allowed to expand to up to 40 players, the Mets have made a few more September call-ups.
You should already be familiar with Baxter, the Queens-born outfielder from Archbishop Molloy HS who smacked a double on the first pitch he saw as a Met. Baxter was plucked from the Padres organization in a waiver claim and hit a combined .250 with .672 OPS while playing for Buffalo, Port St. Lucie, and Lake Elsinore (Padres, A-ball). He was 4-for-16 in his brief time with the Mets, and to be honest, I hadn’t noticed that he was sent back down.
Chris Schwinden is a 24-year-old righthanded pitcher who has spent most of his pro career as a swing man — working both as a starter and a reliever (though mostly as a starter). Schwinden started out in Binghamton’s bullpen but after two relief appearances was called up to Buffalo to take Pat Misch‘s spot in the starting rotation (Misch had been called up to the Mets at the time). Schwinden made the most of his opportunity, going 8-8 with a 3.95 ERA through 26 starts and 145 innings; he struck out 134 and walked 48. He’s a control pitcher who was tougher on lefties (.230 batting average against) than righties (.262) this year. His main pitches are a high-80s fastball and a changeup.
Val Pascucci is a 6’6″, 270-lb. outfielder / first baseman who has been a career minor leaguer. He spent played in 32 games (74 plate appearances) with the Montreal Expos in 2004 and has not been in MLB since. In 11 minor league seasons, the 32-year-old giant has hit 234 homeruns (which is 13 away from Crash Davis’ all-time record). How does a guy with all his power not make it in the bigs? Hard to say, but part of his problem was that his defense was less than stellar, and projected more as a DH — while playing for an NL organization (the Expos). Additionally, as a corner OF / 1B, he was blocked by the likes of Vlad Guerrero, Brad Wilkerson, Nick Johnson, and Ryan Church (among others). After posting a .999 OPS at AAA Edmonton in 2004, and seeing no MLB opportunities forthcoming, he went to Japan to play for Bobby Valentine and the Chiba Lotte Marines. “Scooch” is also known for being one of the top hitters for Italy in WBC competition.
Are you looking forward to seeing any of these three play for the Mets? Do you think they will get ample opportunities to show their wares? Post your notes in the comments.
About the Author
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.