COVID-19 has hit the New York Mets hard. They’ve lost key bench players long with two prominent coaches with no timetable to return.
In his press conference Tuesday afternoon, Luis Rojas told reporters that the New York Mets have placed both Andres Gimenez and Tomas Nido on the injury list for undisclosed reasons. The two have been replaced by Juan Lagares and Patrick Mazeika on the roster. Ali Sanchez was also called up for the doubleheader.
Mets roster moves:
-C Ali Sanchez will be activated as the doubleheader's 29th man.
-C Tomas Nido and INF Andres Gimenez are going on the injured list for undisclosed reasons.
-C Pat Mazeika and OF Juan Lagares are here and active.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) August 25, 2020
Very strange moves from the Mets. Lagares provides nothing to the bench that Billy Hamilton doesn’t already provide. Having him replace Gimenez makes little sense. It also leaves the Mets a man down in the middle infield.
The move to call up Mazeika makes even less sense. The former top-30 prospect in the organization is nowhere near MLB ready. He’s a poor defensive catcher and he’s made the move to first base on numerous occasions. But Mazeika is even worse at the plate.
Mazeika, nearly 27-years-old, has never played above double-A. In 2019, he hit just .245/.312/.426. Things got even worse when he went to the Arizona Fall League, he hit just .175/.208/.239.
It’s hard to see why they would call him up instead of Sanchez full-time or Bruce Maxwell.
Rojas also delivered the news that the Mets will be without bench coach Hensley Meulens and third base coach Gary Discarcina for the foreseeable future. Former Mets catcher and current quality control coach Brian Schneider will take over as the team’s bench coach, first base coach Tony DeFrancesco will move over to third base coach, and Binghamton Rumble Ponies, the Mets double-A affiliate, manager Kevin Boles will take over as the first base coach.
Coaches Gary DiSarcina and Hensley Meulens are not here today. Luis Rojas says he doesn't know when they'll be here.
Brian Schneider is the Mets' bench coach today.
Tony DeFrancesco is coaching third base.
Kevin Boles is the first base coach.
— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) August 25, 2020
It’s going to be tough for the Mets to bounce back from losing key members of their coaching staff, but Luis Rojas is going to have to push ahead. These are the unique challenges that playing and managing during a pandemic stricken season.