Tag: nick evans

Nick Evans Down, Lucas Duda Up

Nick Evans has been designated for assignment by the New York Mets.

In his place, Lucas Duda has been promoted from AAA Buffalo.

There is a possibility that Duda would have been promoted instead of Evans a few weeks back, but Duda was injured at the time. Though he struggled with the big club in April, Duda has been hitting .302 with a 1.011 OPS in AAA.

Meanwhile, Evans’ time with the Mets has been dismal — he was hitless in 12 at-bats and drew 5 walks.

I have mixed feelings about this move. First of all,


Boyer In, Acosta Out, Bay To DL?

Contrary to reports from last night, Manny Acosta will NOT make the Mets’ Opening Day roster — he has been designated for assignment — and Blaine Boyer WILL be the final piece to the bullpen puzzle.

Personally, I agree with Matt Himelfarb, in that there isn’t all that much difference between Acosta and Boyer. Though, Boyer is “new” and “different” so maybe that makes him better in our minds.

To me, Acosta was similar to Jorge Sosa: someone who could throw really hard and get swings and misses, be effective for a short term, but inevitably get pounded and give up the long ball because he throws one speed and tends to get too much of the plate at too high a location. Acosta could change leagues and look awesome for a month, but eventually go back to being the guy he is — but because he looked lights out for a little while, the team might kid itself into believing he can do it again, and thus be continually put into situations to fail.

In other news, Adam Rubin is reporting that Jason Bay is injured and could be headed for the DL. Before you say “hooray, Nick Evans makes the team!”, you must understand that because Evans is already on waivers, he can’t be added to the 25-man roster. Thus, Lucas Duda (who has options remaining) is likely to make the team instead.

Is it me or does this roster mismanagement remind you of a previous regime?

Also, as Matt Cerrone points out,

… this could mean that, on days when Carlos Beltran gets a day off, the outfield will be Duda, Angel Pagan and Willie Harris. What just happened?

Though, Andy McCullough reports (via Twitter) that there’s a possibility Evans clears waivers this afternoon, in which case he could be added back to the roster to take Bay’s place.

Is your head spinning yet?


Where Will Nick Evans Wind Up?

From all reports, it appears that Carlos Beltran will be on the Mets’ 25-man roster on Opening Day. This despite the fact that Beltran has played all of five innings — as a DH — in an MLB spring training game, and has completed 10 innings of game action in right field thus far this spring. His big test comes on Tuesday, when he is slated to start in right field in a Grapefruit League contest vs. the Nationals. If he can make it all the way through without a setback, great, but what does that mean? His ability to play nine innings of healthy baseball is not necessarily the test that needs to be passed before deeming him ready for a spot on the 25-man roster. Rather, we need to see if he can play nine innings of baseball a day after, and two days after, playing nine innings of baseball. There’s little point in carrying him at the beginning of the season if he can play only once or twice a week; why the Mets aren’t keeping him back in extended spring training for at least another week or so is mysterious (ticket sales?).

In any case, putting Beltran on the Opening Day roster means Nick Evans doesn’t make the club — he’s already been placed on waivers, with the intention of sending him to AAA Buffalo if he clears. According to Adam Rubin, we’ll find out by Wednesday whether Evans makes it through.

Will he clear, or is there a Major League team that might claim him?


The Fourth Outfielder

I keep reading in various places that the Mets have earmarked a portion of their meager winter budget for a fourth outfielder. If this is true, why?

It’s pretty much been established that the 2011 season will not be one seeing the Mets fighting for a playoff spot. Call it “rebuliding”, “assessing and evaluating”, “reconstructing”, or whatever you wish — the bottom line is that the team is not making a conscious effort for the short-term, and is only in the nascent stages of the long-term plan. That said, why would there be any concern about acquiring a fourth outfielder — even if it is low on the list of priorities?

Moreover, don’t the Mets already have a fourth outfielder somewhere in their system? Unless something changes between now and opening day, the starting outfield will consist of Carlos Beltran, Angel Pagan, and Jason Bay. None of these three men need a defensive replacement in the late innings, and none are likely to be lifted for a pinch-hitter in any situation, either. Beltran is the only of the three who may require regular rest; if he’s the starting centerfielder, Pagan will slide into his spot on those days and a the “fourth” outfielder will step into a corner.

Now that we’ve established the regular routine, what do the Mets need from that fourth outfielder?

Ideally, he’s someone who can provide some power on the days Beltran (or Bay) is absent from the lineup. It would help, but is not necessary, if he can cover all three outfield positions; if Pagan turns out to be the starting centerfielder, both Bay and Beltran are capable of handling CF when Pagan needs a break. Additionally, this extra outfielder should also be a potentially strong pinch-hitter. In reality, the Mets probably are best suited with not only a fourth outfielder but a fifth one as well — but that “fifth” would also be versatile enough to handle an infield position (or catch) and have a slightly different skill set (i.e., hit from the opposite side, provide speed if the other has power, etc.).

Taking a cursory look at the Mets 40-man roster and high-level minor leaguers, there are several candidates to fill these roles:


2010 Analysis: Nick Evans

How do we evaluate a player who had only 37 plate appearances at the Major League level? A difficult, if not impossible task.

Evans fought his way back to the bigs after a terrible slump that pushed him down to AA in 2009. He began the ’10 season in AA as well, smacking 17 HRs in 88 games before a late-season promotion to AAA. He continued to swing the bat well for Buffalo, finishing with a .314 AVG / .384 OBP / .557 SLG in 157 plate appearances. He was part of the MLB expanded roster in September and hit .306 while used primarily as a pinch-hitter.

What Evans showed us in 2010 was similar to what we saw of him in 2008 — a long swing that showed potential power but also a vulnerability to swinging and missing, adequate defense, and slow baserunning. Though his minor league numbers have historically suggested that he has a patient approach and good strike zone discipline, but he has yet to show either at the MLB level — probably because he hasn’t been given enough regular duty; pinch-hitters are generally expected to be aggressive. Evans may also have changed his approach in MLB due to confidence issues, and/or a need to prove his ability. Whatever the case, it would be interesting to see what Evans might accomplish if given an extended opportunity.

2011 Projection

Evans turns 25 in January, and has shown signs of improvement as a minor leaguer. He should be given every opportunity to win a job on the big club as a utilityman / pinch-hitter. Personally I’d love to see what might happen with a platoon of Evans and Chris Carter in LF but that’s unlikely to happen unless something drastic changes with the current outfield situation.

One thing that I continue to wonder about is whatever happened to Evans’ attempt at catching? He can already handle the outfield and infield corners, and adding catching to his resume would seem to be a no-brainer — both for the Mets and Evans — if he can handle it even in an emergency situation. If anyone has any info on the subject, please post in the comments.