The Mets announced a series of roster moves today, placing Eduardo Nunez on the 10-day injured list with a left knee contusion and selecting the contract of veteran second baseman Brian Dozier in his place. In order to open a spot on the roster for Dozier, New York designated right-hander Hunter Strickland for assignment. Lefty Daniel Zamora is up from the team’s alternate training site to take Strickland’s spot on the 30-man roster.
Dozier, 33, inked a minor league deal with the Mets midway through Summer Camp after being let go by the Padres. He’s already in tonight’s lineup and will give the club some thump against lefty starter Martin Perez. Dozier, a former All-Star with the Twins, is a lifetime .270/.354/.500 hitter against southpaws. For a brief stretch from 2014-17, he was among the league’s best second basemen, hitting a combined .254/.338/.476 with 127 home runs in that four-year stretch. That included a monstrous 42-homer effort in 2016, which he followed up with a 34-dinger season in 2017.
A knee injury hobbled Dozier for much of the 2018 season, which surely contributed to a dismal .215/.305/.391 showing. He bounced back a bit with the World Series-winning Nationals in 2019, slashing .238/.340/.430 in 482 plate appearances. However, Dozier’s role shrunk late in the regular season and in the postseason. This winter, with an abundance of supply and considerably less demand on the second base market, Dozier settled for a minor league deal — but he’s quickly worked his way back to the bigs.
As for Strickland, he’ll depart after surrendering four runs (three earned) on six hits in just 2 1/3 frames as a Met. The 31-year-old posted terrific numbers with the Giants from 2014-17 before slipping a bit in 2018 and completely cratering in 2019. Strickland still has a 3.24 ERA in 252 2/3 Major League innings, but his recent track record is concerning, and he’s had some issues off the mound. The righty broke his hand when he punched a door after blowing a save back in 2018, and he’s previously incited a benches-clearing brawl by throwing at Bryce Harper (widely believed to be in response to Harper homering off him twice in the postseason three years prior).