After another week of futility for Gary Matthews Jr, Frank Catalanotto and Oliver Perez, it occurs to me that with Memorial Day fast approaching, the time for the Mets to makes some significant changes to the complexion of their roster has arrived.
With the Mets’ continuing reluctance to take on additional payroll, they find themselves in the very fortunate (and envious) position of tapping into their minor league system for help that appears to be major league ready and ripe for promotions.
OF/1B Chris Carter, 27, continues to dominate the league while yielding his powerful bat for the Buffalo Bisons. Last night, Carter blasted his sixth home run of the season and is now batting .339 with a .395 on-base and a .615 slugging percentage. He has 20 RBIs, 16 runs scored and most surprising of all may be his 8 strikeouts, a rarity for power hitters like Carter.
I decided to track and compute his Major League Equivalency if he was playing for the Mets taking into consideration league and ballpark factors.
.285 BA – .332 OBP – .495 SLG – 111 AB – 12 RS – 32 H – 7 2B – 2 3B – 5 HR – 15 RBI – 6 BB – 9 K
A rather impressive set of metrics indeed, and further evidence to support his callup and the release of Catalanotto or Gary Matthews Jr.
The Mets have found themselves involved in quite a few one-run decisions this season, and when you consider the value of tabbing Carter to pinch hit with runners in scoring position as opposed to our currently inept bench options, you could make a strong case that the Mets could have had 2-3 additional games in the win column so far this season.
Another player making a strong case for a promotion is righthanded pitcher R.A. Dickey. Dickey has made seven starts for the Bisons this season and owns a 2.56 ERA. In 52 2/3 innings pitched he has allowed 47 hits and just 6 walks while striking out 34 batters. His 1.01 WHIP leads the league and his ERA ranks third in a league chock full of the games best pitching prospects.
Dickey, a veteran of 144 Major League games, was signed by the Mets to a Minor League deal in the offseason. The 35-year-old right-hander is 3-1 for Buffalo. He recently had the best start of his career nearly missing a no-hitter in a masterful complete game one-hitter against the league’s top team, the Durham Bulls. After allowing a single to leadoff the game, he went on to retire the next 27 batters in a row. Afterward, he made no secret that he wants to pitch for the Mets big club.
“I want to do a good job of living in the moment of what I have,” Dickey said. “We have a lot of great guys and I enjoy being here, but I would be lying if I said this is where I want to be.”
Dickey could be the classic case of a late bloomer who has finally figured it out, and in many cases, knuckleball pitchers like him often do get better with age as they finally master control of their out pitch. The Mets risk nothing by calling him up and seeing if they have caught lightning in a bottle.
If the Mets were to bounce Oliver Perez from the rotation, they could either move Hisanori Takahashi from the bullpen to the rotation and replace him with Dickey. Or they could simply give Dickey a start and see what transpires. I’m betting that whatever they decide to do will ultimately be better than anything they can expect from the exasperating Oliver Perez.
The Mets have a lot of good baseball people in their ranks and I include Omar Minaya when I say that. I’m confident that they are already mulling the additions of 1B/OF Chris Carter and RHP R..A. Dickey, and that their callups are just days away.