The Mets have announced a series of roster moves, including the placement of outfielder Brandon Nimmo on the 10-day IL due to a stiff neck (placement retroactive to May 21). Veteran outfielder Rajai Davis will be coming up to replace Nimmo, as the Mets have selected his contract. To create 40-man roster space for Davis, reliever Paul Sewald has been designated for assignment.
The 38-year-old Davis was one of several veteran players signed to minors deals by the Mets last winter, and he now joins Carlos Gomez and Adeiny Hechevarria as names from that list who have seen their contracts selected in the wake of multiple injuries on the Mets’ roster. Davis will now suit up for his 14th MLB season and eighth different team to help New York fill its outfield void.
Davis has long been known more for his speed (415 career stolen bases) and fielding ability than his bat, though he hasn’t delivered an above-average season at the plate since 2015. This includes a .224/.278/.281 slash line over 216 PA with the Indians last season, though Davis was still a threat when he did get on base, swiping 21 bags in 28 chances.
Sewald has a 5.18 ERA over 128 1/3 relief innings for the Mets since the start of the 2016 season, including an 3.86 mark in seven frames this season. He misses a fair number of bats (career 9.2 K/9) for a pitcher whose average fastball sits around the 90mph threshold, though Sewald doesn’t generate many grounders, and has a career 1.2 HR/9.
After a breakout 2018 season that saw him hit .263/.404/.483 with 17 homers in 535 plate appearances, Nimmo had gotten off to a much slower start (.200/.344/.323) in his first 161 PA of the 2019 campaign. The neck issue could be somewhat to blame for this performance, as MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo notes that Nimmo has been bothered by neck soreness since April.
Today’s moves leave the Mets with an outfield mix of Davis, Gomez, Juan Lagares, converted infielder J.D. Davis, and Jeff McNeil, though McNeil isn’t in today’s lineup due to hamstring tightness. While McNeil told DiComo and other reporters that he expects to be back as soon as tomorrow, the lack of depth has left the Mets exploring their options. Manager Mickey Callaway said today that the Mets could consider using Dominic Smith in the outfield again, as the erstwhile first baseman has been lobbying for more outfield work as a way of getting back into the lineup. (SNY.tv’s Scott Thompson was among those to report the news). Smith has hit well in limited time this season, as he has made only 48 PA due to Pete Alonso’s emergence as the everyday first baseman.
Michael Conforto also began some light baseball activities today as he continues his recovery from a concussion suffered last weekend. There wasn’t yet any timetable on when Conforto could return, Callaway said.