While the Mets were busy putting on their biggest power display at Wrigley since Carlos Beltran and Cliff Floyd both hit grand slams there in 2006, the Indians were busy claiming Vinny Rottino off waivers. Rottino had been designated for assignment on Monday after the Subway Series in order to bring up southpaw Justin Hampson to the Mets bullpen. When telling his utility fielder the news, he told him that he would be back. He would, just not with New York.
Rottino did only hit .182 in limited playing time with the Amazins, but he showed a propensity to get on base and hit for power, as he put together a .308 OBP and .394 Slug%, with three of his six hits going for extra bases (two homers). During his 36 games played for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, Rottino showed that he has the ability to be a consistent hitter when given playing time, putting together a triple slash of .307/.361/.479.
When asked about the IF/OF being claimed by Cleveland, Collins said that it did sting a bit because he felt that he was a good player and could help the Mets later in the season. However, he does hope that Rottino will get more playing time with the Indians. With the production of Scott Hairston off the bench and the re-emergence of Ike Davis at first, it was tough to find Rottino consistent playing time, especially after interleague play concluded.
The Indians are the fourth organization Rottino will suit up for in his MLB career, as he spent parts of 2006-08 with the Brewers, then had a cup of coffee with the Marlins last year before the Mets grabbed him. I will miss him coming off the bench, as he was another good right-handed bat with some power that could instill some fear in opposing relievers. The truth of the matter was exactly what Terry Collins said, there just wasn’t an easy way to get him in the lineup consistently. Hopefully he will be able to do just that in Cleveland, as he joins a wide open divisional race in the American League Central. Good luck, Vinny!