As we all know – injuries happen. And it’s not uncommon for them to happen to the same position. In the past two years, we’ve seen James McCann and Tomas Nido on the IL at the same time, resulting in 159 PA – and a .515 OPS – from Patrick Mazeika. And last year, Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer and Tylor Megill were all on the IL at the same time. Also for a very brief time last year, Mark Canha and Brandon Nimmo were out at the same time, with both being on the Covid IL.
To replace the outfielders, the Mets called up Nick Plummer and Matt Reynolds. Plummer went 4-39 and Reynolds did not get a PA. Neither player is still with the organization today. Reynolds was DFAd when Canha returned to the active roster and wound up in Cincinnati. Plummer was DFAd after the season and elected free agency. He’s yet to sign with a club.
To help fill the void, the club signed Tommy Pham as a free agent and added Abraham Almonte and Lorenzo Cedrola on minor league deals. If Almonte’s name sounds familiar, he’s been around for years. From 2013-20, he had a .668 OPS. In 2021, he’s on the Braves and puts up an OPS 62 points higher than his career average. He received roughly the same amount of playing time from 2016-18 and had a 71 OPS+ in 540 PA in the three seasons. After hardly playing in the majors the next two years, he then joins the Braves and puts up a 93 OPS+ in 175 PA. Because, of course.
Cedrola had a nice year in Double-A at age 23 in 2021 but followed it up with a poor season in Triple-A in 2022. In an ideal world, neither of these guys sniff playing time in the majors with the Mets.
All of this outfield talk is about who the Mets cut from their 40-man roster to sign Pham. In my mind, the weakest link was Khalil Lee, who lives up to the initial of his first name, with a 31.5 K% the past two seasons in Triple-A. But because right now the Mets’ other outfield options are so bad, Lee is the best option for emergency duty, at least until Brett Baty or Ronny Mauricio get some outfield reps under their belts.
To make room for Pham, the Mets DFAd Tayler Saucedo, a reliever they picked up in the offseason. Saucedo is a lefty, which under the previous administration would have made him a sacred cow. He seemed interesting to me because he had a sinker that allowed him to face RHB without turning into a pumpkin. Now, we may never know. There’s still a chance he clears waivers and makes it back to the Mets on a minor-league deal. We shall see.