The Mets made a few roster changes today, starting with putting second baseman Luis Castillo on the DL due to a couple of foot injuries. In his place, they called up infielder Ruben Tejada. They also designated struggling outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. for assignment and called up catcher Omir Santos in his place.

The biggest news is probably that they finally released Gary Matthews Jr. He came over from Los Angeles in a trade for Brian Stokes, and talk about disappointing, Matthews has been beyond bad while in Flushing.

In 36 games, he played mediocre defense and had a OPS+ of just 38 with a .190 BA, .266 OBP, .241 SLG, and a .507 OPS. He had a chance to win a starting job after Carlos Beltran had surgery, but he failed miserably, and Angel Pagan has been the center fielder ever since.

Castillo landing on the DL is certainly not surprising news. He has been dealing with a bruised left foot for what seems like all season now, and he recently hurt his right foot compensating for the left.

He saw the doctor today and obviously didn’t get good news. There is no word on exactly how long he’ll be out, but expect for him to miss at least two to four weeks.

The call-up of Tejada, 20, is not much of a surprise since Daniel Murphy is out for the season. Tejada had a short stint with the Mets early in the season. He played in just three games and had a .542 OPS.

In 51 games with Triple-A Buffalo this season, he has a .294 average, .341 OBP, .359 SLG, and a .699 OPS. All of those numbers are right in line with his career averages.

Tejada is a strong shortstop, but he has very limited experience at second and the Mets were not smart enough to get him some practice in Buffalo this week, despite the fact that it was obvious that Castillo should be on the DL.

Finally, the Santos move just confuses me. Maybe there is something going on that we don’t know about, but here is what we do know.

Santos, 29, is the third catcher on the Mets right now behind Rod Barajas, who has been having a career year with the bat, and Henry Blanco, who is one of the better defensive catchers in baseball. Santos is also having a rough season in the minors—in a combined 18 games, Santos is hitting .074 with a .416 OPS.

Considering that everyone has been complaining about what a waste of a roster space Oliver Perez has been, the fact that the Mets have decided to waste another roster spot on a third catcher is baffling.

The only thing I can think of is that the Mets might want him in an emergency during an interleague game where Barajas DH’s and Blanco catches.


Updated: Mets manager Jerry Manuel shed some light as to why they called up a third catcher: Henry Blanco is a “little banged up.”


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