For now, Mets comfortable carrying eight relievers
The nightmare situation unfolded the night before. After choosing to begin the season with a shorthanded bench so they could carry an extra relief pitcher, the Mets used every position player on the roster.
Nevertheless, they appear ready to stick with their unusual alignment for a little longer.
"I wouldn't say that eight [relievers] is necessarily permanent by any means,'' general manager Sandy Alderson said before Wednesday night's series finale against the Phillies. "But it seems to have worked out so far.''
Alderson said carrying an extra reliever gives the Mets a chance to evaluate more of their bullpen arms. Injuries forced the Mets to empty their bench in Tuesday night's 6-5 win over the Phillies, and Alderson called the situation "an aberration.'' Backup catcher Anthony Recker finished the game at third base for the injured David Wright.
As the Mets' starters build up their pitch counts, an extra reliever will become less important. But Terry Collins said the extra arm has allowed him to spread out the workload among the rest of his relievers.
Flores, Cuddyer back
One night after taking fastballs off their hands, outfielder Michael Cuddyer and shortstop Wilmer Flores were healthy enough to play.
"It could have been a trifecta,'' Alderson said, expressing relief that both escaped a major injury on a night when Wright went down.
With Wright out, Collins wanted Cuddyer's bat in the lineup, although backup Kirk Nieuwenhuis originally was slated to start. But Collins stuck with his initial plan to rest Flores for Ruben Tejada.
Cuddyer doubled and scored a run. Tejada reached base twice but committed an error.
The Mets and Phillies wore No. 42 as part of baseball's annual commemoration of Jackie Robinson's breaking the color barrier in 1947 . . . Curtis Granderson wore custom-made cleats to honor the trailblazer. They will be auctioned off to benefit the Jackie Robinson Foundation.