Five Players Who Might See More Playing Time in the Second Half

Come the July 31 non-waiver deadline, the New York Mets might be a pretty different looking team. Players such as Carlos Beltran, Francisco Rodriguez (who was just traded), Jason Isringhausen, Tim Byrdak, Chris Capuano, and various others have been involved in a rumor or two. Departures to any of these guys will immediately open slots for either minor leaguers or little-used bench warmers. Below are five players fans should expect to see more playing time in the second half.

Nick Evans: Evans has been in the New York Mets system since he was eighteen, but the now twenty-five year old is no longer a spring chicken. After posting an awesome .300/.371/.536 line with twenty-three homeruns, eighty RBI, and eighty-eight runs in 548 plate appearances in Double-A/Triple-A last season, Evans did not look anything like his dominant self in the majors this season. In twenty-four forgettable Major League plate appearances, Evans has posted a .105/.292/.263 line with one homerun, two RBI, and three runs. Considering the infielder/outfielder again has dominated the minors, owning a .329/.378/.480 line in Triple-A this season, Evans is pushing the “Quad-A” label. Regardless, the longer Ike Davis stays in his walking boot, the more opportunities Evans will have against left-handed hitting as Lucas Duda‘s platoon partner.

Fernando Martinez: Martinez has already seen twenty-three plate appearances so far in the bigs, but the long-time “top” prospect might finally see an elongated stay in the second half. F-Mart has posted a .263/.330/.421 line with seven homeruns, twenty-five RBI, and twenty-four runs in 192 plate appearances at Triple-A, so while the twenty-two year old isn’t exactly dominating, he is performing well enough for a promotion. Assuming Carlos Beltran (or Angel Pagan, if I had it my way) is on the move, an outfield slot would instantly become vacant.

Chris Schwinden: The name “Chris Schwinden” meant little to most people before 2011, but the twenty-four year old pitcher has turned some heads within the organization. Schwinden has posted a 2.98 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 2.77 K/BB as the Mets “ace” in Triple-A. As good as his surface stats are, his mediocre 2.9 BB/9 and uncharacteristic (and potentially unsustainable) 7.0 Hits/9 might speak to the type of pitcher he really is. Regardless of whether or not he’ll ever become a successful Major League pitcher, Schwinden might finally earn a trip to the show if the Mets use underpaid Chris Capuano as a trade chip.

Mike O’Connor: O’Connor already has 120.6 Major League innings under his belt–including 6.6 as a Met this season. The left-handed pitcher posted a 2.70 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and 2.67 K/BB in relief for the Mets, but was sent back down to Triple-A after he surrendered two consecutive abysmal outings (three hits, two earned-runs, and one walk in “zero” innings). O’Connor’s 5.35 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, and 3.09 K/BB clip in Triple-A this season isn’t worthy of being promoted, but he could very well be the Mets only remaining lefty bullpen option if they deal Tim Byrdak.

Zach Lutz: Hopefully David Wright will come back this season, but in the event he has a setback, fans might have to endure more errors from Dan Murphy at third base. That is unless the Mets were to promote Zach Lutz. At age twenty-five, Lutz is no longer a “prospect,” but he is a year removed from a .287/.380/.572 line with nineteen homeruns, fifty-five RBI, and forty-seven runs in 309 plate appearances. The third baseman has unfortunately had an injury-plagued 2011 in Triple-A, only garnering 139 total plate appearances. His .295/.381/.484 line with five homruns, fifteen RBI, and nineteen runs this season is still promising, so if Wright doesn’t improve, Lutz could assume some big league at-bats.

Tags: Ben Berkon Carlos Beltran Chris Capuano Chris Schwinden Dan Murphy David Wright Fernando Martinez Five Players Who Might See More Playing Time In The Second Half Francisco Rodriguez Ike Davis Jason Isringhausen Lucas Duda Mets Mets Trade Rumors Mike O'Connor New York New York Mets Nick Evans Rising Apple Tim Byrdak Zach Lutz

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