With September 1st only two weeks away, Adam Rubin speculated on which Mets minor leaguers could get called up when rosters expand to 40 players.
Here’s what he had to say about a few of them:
CHRIS SCHWINDEN, rhp (7-6, 3.53 ERA in 23 appearances, 21 starts, with Buffalo and Binghamton): The Dillon Gee-type feel-good story of the current crop of prospects, Schwinden came out of nowhere. A 22nd-round pick in 2008 from Fresno Pacific, even Schwinden has been pleasantly surprised by his success. “I didn’t think I was going to do as good as I am now. It’s kind of shocking. It’s turned out for the best so far,” Schwinden said earlier this season.JOSH STINSON, rhp (5-9, 6.36 ERA in 33 appearances, 15 starts, with Buffalo and Binghamton): Stinson had success at Triple-A Buffalo after a promotion late last season, going 2-2 with a 2.57 ERA in four starts. He stumbled this season in the International League as a starter, posting a 7.44 ERA in 13 starts. He then was reassigned to Double-A Binghamton, where he was assigned to the bullpen — the role the Mets project for the Shreveport, La., native in the majors.
ROBERT CARSON, lhp (3-11, 4.85 in 21 starts with Binghamton): The most unexpected choice assuming he is in fact promoted, Carson likely would help as a southpaw in the bullpen. He threw 94-95 mph during his last outing with the B-Mets, but tended to be up in the strike zone, where more discerning major league hitters could give him problems. Left-handers are hitting .295 and right-handers .304 against Carson this season. Carson is a 14-round pick in 2007 out of high school in Hattiesburg, Miss.
JOSH SATIN, infielder (.324, 12 HR, 71 RBI, .415 OBP, 417 at-bats with Buffalo and Binghamton): After hitting .325 in Double-A, Satin earned a July 22 promotion to the Bisons and continued his offensive success. A sixth-round pick in 2008 from Cal-Berkeley, Satin recently enjoyed a 15-game hitting streak. Perhaps a notch below Daniel Murphy in terms of defensive skill, Satin similarly has been exposed to first, second and third base.
ZACH LUTZ, third baseman (.301, 6 HR, 17 RBI, 156 at-bats with Buffalo): A solid hitter whose father Yogi coached him at Alvernia College before Lutz was drafted in the fifth round in 2007, injuries have been Lutz’s biggest obstacle. Early in his pro career, Lutz dealt with stress fractures in his feet, which required surgery. This year, he originally landed on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain. And while on the DL, he was struck with a foul ball in the dugout, breaking the ring finger on his non-throwing hand. Lutz also has suffered a pair of concussions this season — both the result of being hit in the head with pitches. Lutz, not a gifted fielder, also has been exposed to first base during his minor league career.
Rubin also mentions catcher Mike Nickeas who we’ve already seen earlier this month, and of course outfielder Fernando Martinez whose September call-up has become sort of tradition (when he happens to be healthy).
Looking at the current 40-man roster, the Mets will certainly have to make some room for a few of these players, as Schwinden, Stinson, Carson and Satin can’t be called up unless the Mets make room for them.
One player that Rubin didn’t mention and is already is on the 40MR is infielder Jordany Valdespin who is having a solid season and I expect will be among those who get the call.
Players who can get chopped to make room for the new reinforcements include Dale Thayer or Mike O’Connor, plus they could just cut Ryota Igarashi, or trade Chris Capuano who just cleared waivers and could be traded to any team. The Mets could also place Ike Davis on the 60-day disabled list to clear up a spot.
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited about seeing some of these kids come up and get some playing time. The two players who interest me most are Josh Satin and Chris Schwinden.