In a surprise move, the Mets have decided to promote top infield prospect Andres Gimenez to open the season. It’s not clear just yet how robust a role he’ll occupy, but Amed Rosario projects as the everyday option at shortstop — he position Gimenez plays.
Also making the MLB roster are lefty Chasen Shreve and righty Hunter Strickland. Both have had their contracts selected to the 40-man roster. It’s the same situation for infielder Eduardo Nunez, as reported previously. To clear a 40-man roster spot, the Mets designated lefty Stephen Gonsalves for assignment.
The 21-year-old Gimenez has ranked as one of the organization’s best prospects for the past three years. His 2019 numbers weren’t exactly eye-catching — .250/.307/.387 in Double-A — but Gimenez was among the youngest players in the pitcher-friendly Eastern League. Gimenez went on to play in the Arizona Fall League and raked at a .371/.413/.586 clip in 18 games and 75 plate appearances. Entering the 2020 season, he was ranked as the game’s No. 84 prospect at MLB.com and No. 90 at Baseball Prospectus.
Strickland, 31, was limited by a Grade 2 lat strain last year and struggled enormously when on the mound, pitching to a combined 5.55 ERA in 24 1/3 frames between the Mariners and Nationals. His track record prior to that unsightly campaign, however, was strong. From 2014-18, Strickland worked to a combined 2.91 ERA (3.40 FIP) with averages of 8.4 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and 0.7 HR/9.
Of course, Strickland has drawn as much if not more attention for other reasons. He incited a benches-clearing brawl in 2017 after throwing at Bryce Harper — an incident most believe to be the result of a years-old grudge against Harper for homering twice off Strickland in the 2014 NLDS. The next year, upon being pulled from a game after blowing a saved, Strickland punched a door out of frustration and sustained a broken right hand. He required surgery and missed the next six weeks.
The left-handed Shreve was a solid middle relief option for the Yankees for a few seasons but flopped when he was traded to the Cardinals in the 2018 Luke Voit swap that also sent Giovanny Gallegos to St. Louis. In 203 2/3 innings, Shreve has a career 3.71 ERA.
Gonsalves, 26, was a fourth-round pick by Minnesota and was long a top prospect in the Twins organization. He cracked multiple Top 100 lists as he rose through the minors, regularly drawing praise as a high-probability back-end starter. He never got much of a look in Minnesota, though (24 2/3 innings), and he’s been limited by arm troubles in recent years.