Mets Add More Players to Roster

With MLB rosters allowed to expand to up to 40 players, the Mets have made a few more September call-ups.

Added to the big league club are Mike Baxter, Valentino Pascucci, and Chris Schwinden.

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.

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. Jimmy Prinzler September 6, 2011 at 12:25 pm
    Only worth to see Schwinden pitch. Baxter reminds me of another Chris Carter. As for Pascucci, called up a 30s yrs old from minors, Are we going to see another version of Jesus Felicano and Mike Hessman?? Enough of calling up 30s players from minor. That’s a reason why they’re still in minors before September expand roster.
  2. Joe September 6, 2011 at 12:55 pm
    Chris Schwinden might pitch one of the games in the Braves doubleheader. With Niese out, is there anyone else below with starter potential to call up? If not, August call-up Batista appears to be the best bet for today’s start.

    We in effect have various “call-up” caliber players (other than the two relievers called up already) on the roster at the moment (Duda, Gee, Tejeda, Turner), which helps explain the thin field here, though injuries and some thinness in the minors explains things too.

    I admit to not being that excited about these three, though curious about CS. Glad to not see Pat Misch again. Sorry, Pat, saw enough of you already. If the garbage time reliever spot Carrasco holds is open again, maybe you can fill it.

    • Izzy September 6, 2011 at 5:23 pm
      Disagree about Turner and Tejada and Gee being call up caliber players. The only reaso they weren’t on opening day roster was because of aof nothing but arrogance and ego of Alderson and his ronies “knowing” that the losers they brought in Emaus, Hu and Young just had to be better players than Omar’s guys/. any GM who would have had an open Spring for open positions would have never have put Emaus an Hu in the big leagues and would have put Young in a long man 6 th starter position to save his extremenly fragile body. But if Sandy brought you in you had to be awesome or Sandy never would bring you in….NOT. I’ll give you duda as there was no place for him in the lineup.
      • Joe September 6, 2011 at 6:01 pm
        It’s granted that Emaus/Hu was stupid, but that still would have meant choosing Turner OR Tejada. And, if Castillo actually had anything left (anyone still around who thought in March it was dumb to release him?), he could have been, leaving both off the roster, like the other years of his contract. The need because of lack of alternatives doesn’t deny they are “call-up” caliber.

        The Young thing is also quite debatable — the Mets or some other team with or without “awesome” Sandy, could have seen him as a starter. This puts Gee on the bubble, like many back-end starters. And, instead of Young, some other cheap starter could have been found. Gee remains a rookie that reasonably can be seen as an AAA player.

        Anyway, later, I realized I could have add others. Nick Evans is another call-up caliber player. Nickeas, who like Batista, was not a September call-up, but replaced someone who is hurt. I probably can go on.