Several players have made their Mets’ debut over the last few weeks, though they went largely unheralded.
Daisuke Matsuzaka has gotten the most attention of the Mets’ recent additions, but for the wrong reasons.
- Aug. 23: 5 innings, 6 hits (2 home runs), 1 walk, 5 runs, 86 pitches (0-1, 9.00)
- Aug. 28: 4.1 innings, 6 hits, 4 walks, 4 runs, 110 pitches (0-2, 8.68)
- Sept. 2: 3 innings, 7 hits (1 home run), 2 walks, 6 runs, 72 pitches (0-3, 10.95)
Matsuzaka will get another start on Sunday, but I’ve excused myself from watching any games he pitches unless I have the misfortune to actually be at the ballpark.
I’m not looking forward to acquiring his autograph for my collection – I can’t imagine he’ll want to sign at the ballpark and he doesn’t sign through the mail very often, if at all. On the bright side, he has signed a fair number of certified autographs for the card companies over the years… too bad there are enough collectors seeking them to keep them fairly expensive.
Outfielder Matt den Dekker got the call to the big leagues following the trade of Marlon Byrd, but he might have made the Opening Day roster if not for a broken wrist at the end of spring training. The outfield combination of Eric Young Jr., Den Dekker and Juan Lagares offers the most speed and best defense the team has fielded in years, but the jury is out on whether they can provide enough offense.
I was able to secure Den Dekker’s autograph last year before a Trenton Thunder game against the Binghamton Mets.
Relief pitcher Vic Black is one of two prospects the Mets acquired for Marlon Byrd and John Buck last month. So far, he’s appeared in three games for the Mets and faced a total of seven batters. That’s not a lot to make an impression. But the former first-round draft pick wants to be a closer, even though he says he’ll do whatever the Mets need him to do. Considering where the Mets are in the standings, it would make more sense to take a better look at Black than to keep giving innings to 37-year-old Scott Atchison and 40-year-old LaTroy Hawkins.
For a guy who never pitched in the major leagues before this year, Black has a lot of baseball cards – even a few certified autographs. I’m rather partial to his 2012 Altoona Curve team set card, because he appears to have convinced the photographer that he is a hitter. Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to get it signed at the ballpark before the end of the year.