The Mets announced some roster moves today, placing infielder Mark Vientos on the 10-day injured list due to left wrist tendonitis, retroactive to August 16. Outfielder Abraham Almonte has been selected to take his place on the active roster. To open a spot for Almonte on the 40-man, left-hander Josh Walker has been transferred to the 60-day injured list.
Almonte, 34, has been on and off the Mets’ roster lately. Signed to a minor league deal in the offseason, he was brought up to the big leagues last week before being designated for assignment and outrighted a few days later after taking just 12 plate appearances in four games. He has enough service time that he could have rejected the outright assignment but seems to have accepted and will now make a quick return to the majors.
Prior to getting called up, he was having a strong season in the minors. He hit .244/377/.548 in 167 plate appearances, walking at an 18% clip and producing a wRC+ of 128. He’s often hit well in the minors but has struggled to replicate that production in the majors. Dating back to 2013, he’s hit .234/.301/.373 for a wRC+ of 82 in 1,375 trips to the plate in the show. He figures to join the outfield mix alongside Brandon Nimmo, DJ Stewart, Rafael Ortega and Tim Locastro.
Vientos has always crushed minor league pitching but has hit just .188/.240/.286 in his first 167 major league appearances. Despite that tepid output, the Mets will be challenged to cover third base in his absence with Eduardo Escobar having been traded to the Angels and Brett Baty also on the IL. Some combination of Jonathan Araúz, Danny Mendick and Jeff McNeil figure to be slotted into that position as well as second base. It’s unclear how long Vientos is expected to be out for.
Walker, 28, was first added to the club’s roster in May. He’s since made 13 appearances with an ERA of 8.10 in that small sample. He landed on the injured list a few days ago due to a right oblique strain and it seems it’s significant enough to end his season. Today’s transfer means he’s ineligible to return until the middle of October. Barring a miracle postseason run by the Mets, he won’t be back this year.