D.J. Carrasco Gets Call, Valdespin Optioned to Buffalo

By Matt Musico

In an effort to find a way to fill the void that Mike Pelfrey has left in the Mets rotation after his injury, New York called up Chris Schwinden for two starts that didn’t really work out all that well. Now, plan B is to take Miguel Batista out of the bullpen and insert him into the starting rotation…at least for the time being.

It was D.J. Carrasco who got the call after nine effective rehab innings at Triple-A Buffalo, sending Jordany Valdespinback down to the minors to continue getting consistent playing time. New York was toying with the fact that they could bring up another lefty to

help out Tim Byrdak with specialty assignments, but they didn’t have many options in the minors that were Major League ready, and with Carrasco healthy and effective, it only made sense to bring him up instead. Sending Valdespin back down to Buffalo is a smart move because there is really no room for him right now at the Majors.

He is a natural shortstop that did get a start out in left field, but with the effective play of both Hairston and Nieuwenhuis out there, and a solid infield intact, he would not get much more playing time, which ended up being only six at-bats. This will allow him to play everyday and get consistent at-bats, allowing him to develop.

Vinny Rottino was thought to be the odd man out in order to promote Carrasco, but it ended up being his versatility that kept him up in the Majors. Rottino gives the Mets a third option at catcher behind Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas, but he can also play first, third, and either corner outfield position. So, Collins has plenty of options for late-game substitutions. Carrasco had a rough 2011, to the tune of a 6.02 ERA in 42 appearances, but he looks strong enough after spraining his right ankle to help bolster a bullpen that has been struggling of late.

Now, let’s see how long Batista can last in the starting rotation. It is crucial to get a dependable pitcher in there so the flow of the rotation won’t be disrupted every fifth day. It is likely that Batista is simply keeping the seat warm for the rehabbing Chris Young, who may be ready to perform once the calendar hits June.

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