LOS ANGELES — With the promotions of three more players Monday — first baseman/leftfielder Dominic Smith, infielder Jack Reinheimer and righthander Drew Gagnon — the Mets moved further into the strange reality of September baseball.
At a time of year when pennant races are peaking in intensity, the sport operates under different rules, which sometimes drastically changes the complexion of a roster and games — such as the Mets’ series this week against the playoff-chasing Dodgers and Phillies.
The Mets are carrying 31 of a possible 40 players, including Kevin Plawecki, who returned to the team after a three-day paternity leave. The Dodgers have 35. That means more pitching changes, pinch hitters and pinch runners.
“I’ve seen September games take four hours long, even if they’re a close game, because of all the switches,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “It adds an interesting dynamic to the teams that are in the playoffs. In our situation, it gives us a look at some players that we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to look at
“In our situation especially, you’re trying to get looks at people, so some guys are going to miss some playing time that would’ve had it otherwise, so it takes a lot more conversations and things like that. It’s different than the rest of the season, but it can be productive.”
Mets will get creative on Wright's program
David Wright is still taking grounders and hitting in the cage while traveling with the Mets, but a potential activation from the disabled list doesn’t sound imminent.
“We’re going to try to get creative, especially when we get home [Friday], to try to do some things that are more a game situation,” Callaway said.
Callaway indicated that will include simulated games, with the Mets carrying plenty of pitchers, but it’s not clear how they might ramp up the intensity on Wright’s defensive reps.
Triple-A Las Vegas played its final game as a Mets affiliate and its final game at its home, Cashman Field, on Monday. The Mets’ Triple-A team will be in Syracuse next season. First-base prospect Peter Alonso ended the era in style, hitting a walk-off two-run homer for a 4-3 win. Since the Mets announced they will not call up Alonso this month, he has a .400/.438/.867 slash line, three home runs, five doubles, eight RBIs and six runs in seven games. He has 36 homers and 119 RBIs overall . . . Righthander Anthony Swarzak (right shoulder inflammation) threw 14 pitches in a perfect inning for short-season Class A Brooklyn. He struck out two.