In a surprise move to bolster their pitching staff, the Mets have claimed Jack Egbert off waivers from the Chicago White Sox and added him to their 40-man roster.
I say “surprise” because it’s rare to see a roster move this late in the season.
To make room for Egbert, the Mets moved Fernando Martinez to the 60-day disabled list, as he
had his visa stolen and cannot return to the US continues to recover from surgery on his right knee.
Normally, a 26-year-old pitcher with a 5.05 ERA in AAA wouldn’t excite me, but Egbert is a Rutgers grad, Rutherford, NJ resident, and was born in Staten Island. And you know what? I generally like rooting for the local guys. Who knows, I might run into Egbert at the Colonial Diner one morning, and that would be kool (and the gang).
Egbert dominated A and AA ball but has had trouble with AAA. His stuff is ordinary — a sinking fastball that sits around 88-90 MPH and a plus change-up are his main pitches, and he also throws a decent curveball for strikes. His main attributes are durability, control, and ground balls. At best he’s a #5 starter in MLB, but his poor 2009 showing sent his stock in a downward spiral. In short, he’s another Lance Broadway.
I’m fond of this pickup — partially because he’s a local kid and mainly because the Mets are finally adding AAA-level pitchers with a possible future to their AAA squad. Egbert may never make it to MLB with the Mets but at least he has some youth. For years we’ve seen too many has-beens and never-wases stocked in Buffalo and New Orleans — guys who were on the wrong side of 30 and just hanging around (i.e., Adam Pettyjohn, Kyle Snyder, Jose Santiago, Nate Field, Brandon Knight, Brian Lawrence, etc.). This year, Buffalo had nothing more than filler material packing their roster, and it bit the Major League club in the butt when all the injuries occurred. Egbert may have been a disappointment this year but he’s still young enough to make a rebound. In contrast, the Jose Santiagos and Brandon Knights of the world have established themselves as career minor leaguers after, well, spending their career in the minors.
I’d rather not know what I have in hopes that it might be better than I think, than know what I have and be sure it’s not up to MLB snuff.