There has never been a minor league system in the New York Mets organization as there is now.
Sandy Alderson and the rest of the New York Mets have turned to their minors for help with the 2015 season. A rash of injuries have taken out some key players which included their captain, David Wright and pitcher Zack Wheeler.
The season had not even begun when they started to get hit with the injuries. Wheeler being told he is out for the season and having undergone Tommy John surgery. Jenrry Mejia on the disabled list for elbow inflammation. Then got an 80-game suspension for using anabolic steroid, Stanozolol. These injuries were followed by Wright’s hamstring injury, Travis d’Arnaud’s metacarpal injury and Jerry Blevin’s distal radius fracture.
Enter minor league players.
Kevin Plawecki made his major league debut yesterday. In 2014 at Triple-A, the highly touted prospect hit .283 with 21 RBIs and a .345 on-base percentage. Last night against the Atlanta Braves, he had two hits and scored twice thanks to Curtis Granderson who has woken up from an offensive slumber.
Eric Campbell, who is replacing Wright at third base, has been getting the job done in his six games with a .278 BA and a .400 on-base percentage. Last year, having served time in the majors, he had a .263 batting average in 85 games with 16 RBIs and a .322 OBP. There was little question when he was called up that he would hold down the fort with little effort until the captain returns.
Pitching prospect Rafael Montero was brought up from Triple-A, when Dillon Gee slid into the starting rotation, to support the bullpen. As a starting pitcher in Triple-A last year, Montero had a 3.60 ERA with 80 strikeouts in 80 innings. As a reliever this season, he only threw one pitch, his fastball. Manager Terry Collins believes:
…at this level you’ve got to use everything you’ve got — all of your weapons. And I think in the relief role he’s uncomfortable doing that.
He was sent back down to the minors to work on his entire pitching repertoire and at the same time get acclimated to starting again. According to Adam Rubin over at ESPNNewYork.com, Montero is expected to make a spot start against the Miami Marlins. Rubin believes the Mets may bump Gee to keep Montero in the rotation.
Switch hitter Danny Muno, while not a key player, has his place as a backup infield utility man. Expect him to get a few chances at third base. He will also be a lefty off the bench when needed.
Mejia’s job as closer is closed. Should the Mets make the playoffs, he will not be eligible to pitch. However, he can come back as just another arm in the bullpen during the regular season. With Jeurys Familia continuing to dominate in the ninth inning, there would be no point in keeping Mejia at all. Alderson could look to trade him for an additional bat or bullpen help. Familia has six saves in as many opportunities thus far into the season. With the Mets offense acclimating to their role, the Mets closer has not had to work as hard as previous closers to keep the team from losing a game. The starting pitching has also been stellar at holding opposing hitters at bay with the exception of a few blips here and there.
The depth at almost every position is what will keep this team pushing towards a playoff berth. This is what it takes to keep a team going at full throttle. With a nine game winning streak, this team is making noise. They are clearly hell bent on doing whatever they have to in order to alert major league baseball and the fans to their presence.
They are becoming the beast of the East. If you want in to the 2015 playoffs, you have to go through the New York Mets to get there. The bloodbath in the NL East has begun.