Reese Kaplan -- Handicapping Jay Bruce's Replacement


Many are unfamiliar with the paternity leave status available to MLB ballplayers.  A player can opt to take from 1-3 games away from the team to attend to the birth of his child.  Jay Bruce will do that after the game today and fly to Texas to be with his wife. He's planning on a 3-game break.

That brings up an interesting hypothetical for the Mets.  They are entitled to replace him on the roster for those games.  In perusing the 40-man roster, the obvious choices would be Gavin Cecchini, Dom Smith and Phil Evans.  Of those three, Evans would likely get the nod because he can play outfield whereas the others do not.  Of course, the fact he’s hitting a mere .240 to Smith’s .279 and Cecchini’s .302 would make sense in a Mets collective world view.  However, if you consider that the outfield is likely some combination of Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo and Juan Lagares, (assuming Yoenis Cespedes will require more rest for his quad), then the spare part from Vegas will likely not play very much.

If Cespedes was indeed healthy (and Hansel Robles is not), then they might have opted to go shorthanded on the bench and instead bring up a pitcher.  There your obvious options would be Buddy Baumann, Jacob Rhame, Jamie Callahan, P.J. Conlon or Chris Flexen.  Baumann is a lefty and currently not having a disastrous start to his Las Vegas career with a 1.93 ERA over 4 IP for the 51s after turning in a 0.00 over 8 games for the El Paso Chihuahuas earlier in the year.  Given that neither Rhame nor Callahan in brief trials opened eyes (in a good way) and Callahan is struggling to keep his ERA under 10.00, that would make Baumann possibly a good candidate for a brief trial.  Both Conlon and Flexen have been starters and would be miscast in a bullpen role.  It’s highly unlikely they would burn an option on Tyler Bashlor from AA for just a few days of service.

Of course with a vacancy on the 40-man roster now given Anthony Swarzak’s transfer to the 60-day DL yesterday, the best solution would be to bring up Tim Peterson who is continuing his two year run of pitching domination.  The 27-year old has hit a hiccup lately seeing his ERA rise from Bob Gibson like numbers to 3.18, but batters are still just hitting .161 against him and he has an otherworldly WHIP of 0.88.  Having a reliable arm would allow time for a less reliable arm’s knee to heal (sorry, but it’s the truth, Hansel). 

If I’m a betting man they will simply go shorthanded.  After all, plane tickets from Las Vegas ain’t cheap (and some organizations are).   


Rob said...

Not sure there is an opening on the 40 man roster, I think they added Luis Guillorme with it.

TexasGusCC said...

Rob, Guillorme was added in November to avoid being open to the Rule 5 draft. However, Bruce going on paternity leave would be the equivalent of a player being suspended or “unavailable”, so for those games that he misses, a team can install another player. However, I’m wondering if that player has to go through waivers when Bruce is re-instated.

PHN 3054 said...

The METS currently do not have an Open spot available on the 40-man roster. The sequence of events are as follows. M.Harvey is DFA'd and is Off the 40-man, then on Monday prior to the Trade for D.Mesoroco, the METS add PJ.Conlon to the 40-man spot vacated by M.Harvey. After the Trade is completed, A.Swarzak is moved to the 60-day DL from the 10-day DL to open a spot on the 40-man roster for D.Mesoroco. Someone will be DFA'd off the 40-man when A.Swarzak returns from the DL, which could be at the end of May.

Mack's Mets © 2012