Dave Mlicki – His New York Mets Career 1995-1998

RDave Mlickiight-handed pitcher Dave Mlicki pitched in 122 games for the Mets from 1995-1998 and posted just a 24-30 record with 1 save and a 4.15 ERA.  But he will forever hold a soft spot in the hearts of Mets fans because of one magical night on June 16, 1997 at Yankee Stadium.   On that night the Mets faced their cross-town rivals the New York Yankees in the first ever regular season game between the two teams.   The Yankees were the defending World Series Champions but on that night Mlicki owned them.  He pitched a complete game shutout and struck out 8 batters as the Mets won 6-0.  Though the Mets would lose the next two games, for one night they owned bragging rights in the Big Apple.

The Mets acquired Dave Mlicki on November 18, 1994 from the Cleveland Indians along with Paul Byrd, Jerry Dipoto and Jesus Azuaje in exchange for Jeromy Burnitz and Joe Roa.   Mlicki started the season in the bullpen and made his Met debut on April 29, 1995.  He pitched a scoreless 10th inning and struck out 2 batters and was the winning pitcher as the Mets defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 in 11 innings.  He was moved to the starting rotation in May.  He earned his first win as a starter on May 18 against the Houston Astros.  He allowed 1 earned run over 7 innings as the Mets won 8-1.  On August 7 he struck out 10 batters in 7 innings against the Florida Marlins. For the season Mlicki posted a 9-7 record with a 4.26 ERA in 29 appearances, 25 as a starter.

In 1996 Mlicki appeared in 51 games, all but 2 out of the bullpen, and posted a 6-7 record with 1 save and a 3.30 ERA.  He earned his only save of the season on June 21 when he pitched the final 3 innings in the Mets 9-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

He returned to the starting rotation in 1997 and led the Mets with 32 starts, He finished with an 8-12 record with a 4.00 ERA.  Due in large part to his victory over the Yankees he was named National League Player of the Week for the week ending June 22.

Mlicki appeared in 10 games for the Mets in 1998 all as a starter and posted a 1-4 record with a 5.68 ERA.  His only victory came on May 5 when he pitched a complete game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Met traded Mlicki to the Los Angeles Dodgers along with Greg McMichael on June 4 in exchange for Hideo Nomo and Brad Clontz.

While with the Mets Mlicki wore number 38.

Dave Mlicki also played for the following teams:
Cleveland Indians – 1992-1993
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1998,1999
Detroit Tigers = 1999-2001
Houston Astros – 2001,2002

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Doug Henry – His New York Mets Career 1995-1996

Doug HenryThe Mets acquired right-handed pitcher Doug Henry from the Milwaukee Brewers on November 25, 1996 in exchange for Fernando Vina and minor leaguer Javier Gonzalez. He spent the next two seasons pitching out of the Mets bullpen.

Henry made his Met debut against the Colorado Rockies on Opening Day in 1995, He pitched a scoreless 8th   inning but the Mets lost 11-9 in extra innings. He would appear in 51 games for the Mets and posted a 3-6 record with 4 saves and a 2.96 ERA.  He earned his firs win as a Met on May 10 against the Atlanta Braves.  With the game tied at 2 he entered the game and pitched a scoreless 8th inning before the Mets scored 4 in the bottom of the frame.  His first save came on May 16th against the Houston Astros when he pitched the final two innings in the Mets 1-0 victory.

In 1996 Henry led the Mets in appearances with 58 and posted a 2-8 record with 9 saves and a 4.68 ERA. He was released following the season.  In two seasons Henry appeared in 109 games and posted a 5-14 record with 13 saves and a 3.87 ERA.

While with the Mets Henry wore number 35.

Doug Henry also played for the following teams:
Milwaukee Brewers – 1991-1994
San Francisco Giants 1997,2000
Houston Astros – 1998-2000
Kansas City Royals – 2001

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Jerry DiPoto – His New York Mets Career 1995,1996

Jerry DiPotoThe New York Mets acquired Jerry DiPoto, a New Jersey native, along with Dave Mlicki, Paul Byrd and Jesus Azuaje from the Cleveland Indians for Jeromy Burnitz and Joe Roa on November 18, 1994. DiPoto, a right handed middle reliever, had a fine rookie season with the Indians in 1993 (4-4 with 11 saves and a 2.40 ERA) but was coming off an injury plagued season in 1994 where he appeared in only seven games and posted an astronomical 8.04 ERA.

The Mets used him as a middle reliever in 1995 where he initially struggled, posting an 0-3 record with a 6.91 ERA in the first three months of the season. But starting in July he began to settle down winning three games during the month. By the end of the season DiPoto had lowered his ERA to 3.78 while posting a 4-6 record with two saves in 58 games, the most on the staff.

Jerry DiPoto returned to the Mets in 1996, once again primarily used as a middle reliever. After getting the win on opening day DiPoto went on to become one of the Mets most effective relievers finishing the seasons with a 7-2 record and 4.19 ERA.

Looking to bolster their starting rotation the Mets traded DiPoto to the Colorado Rockies in the off-season in exchange for Armando Reynosa, who had won 30 games for the Rockies over four seasons. In his two seasons with the Mets Jerry DiPoto pitched in 115 games posting an 11-8 record with a 3.98 ERA.

While with the Mets DiPoto wore number 45.

Jerry DiPoto also played for the following teams:
Cleveland Indians – 1993,1994
Colorado Rockies – 1997-2000

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Kevin Roberson – His New York Mets Career 1996

Kevin RobersonThe Mets signed free agent outfielder Kevin Roberson on November 12, 1995. He made their roster out of spring training in 1996 and singled in his first plate appearance as pinch hitter on April 3 in the Mets 5-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. Roberson would appear in 27 games for the Mets, mainly as a pinch hitter, before being sent down to the minors at the end of May. At the time of his demotion he was hitting .222 with 3 home runs and 9 RBIs. The highlight of his brief tenure with the Mets occurred on April 27 when he hit a 3 run home run in the top of the 9th inning to give the Mets a 7-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Following the season Roberson signed with the San Francisco Giants as a free agent.

While with the Mets Roberson wore number 18.

Kevin Roberson also played for the Chicago Cubs from 1993-1995.

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Charlie Greene – His New York Mets Career 1996

Charlie GreeneAfter spending three seasons in the Mets minor league system, catcher Charlie Greene finally got the call to New York as a September call up in 1996 and made his major league debut on September 15 as a late inning defensive replacement. He would not appear in another game for two weeks when on the last day of the season he pinch-hit for pitcher Rick Trlicek in the 9th inning and flew out to centerfield.

Greene would play the entire 1997 season with the Norfolk Tides, the Mets triple A affiliate, where he hit .206 in 76 games before being claimed on waivers by the Baltimore Orioles.

While with the Mets Greene wore number 7.

Charlie Greene also played for the following teams:
Baltimore Orioles – 1997,1998
Milwaukee Brewers – 1999
Toronto Blue Jays – 2000

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Rick Trlicek – His New York Mets Career 1996,1997

Rick TrlicekThe Mets signed right-handed pitcher Rick Trlicek as a free agent on March 28, 1996. He initially reported to the minors appearing in 62 games and posting a 4-5 record with the Norfolk Tides before getting called up to New York in September.  He made his Met debut on September 14th against the Atlanta Braves.  He threw two innings of scoreless relief in the Mets 6-5 victory.  He appeared in 4 more games and posted a 0-1 record with a 3.38 ERA.

Trlicek was placed on waivers after the season and was claimed by the Boston Red Sox.  However, he returned to the Mets on May 12, 1997 when the Red Sox traded him for fellow pitcher Toby Borland.  He appeared in 9 games, throwing a total of 9 innings, and posted a 0-0 record with a 8.00 ERA before an arm injury ended his season.

Trlicek returned to the Mets in 1998 but spent the entire season in the minors posting a 2-2 record with a 6.08 ERA in 19 games. 

In 14 games for the Mets over two seasons Trlicek went 0-1 with a 6.28 ERA.

While with the Mets Trlicek wore number 34 in 1996 and number 50 in 1997.

Rick Trlicek also played for the following teams:
Toronto Blue Jays – 1992
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1993
Boston Red Sox – 1994,1997

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Alvaro Espinoza – His New York Mets Career 1996

Alvaro EspinozaThe Mets acquired utility infielder Alvaro Espinoza from the Cleveland Indians along with Carlos Baerga in exchange for Jeff Kent and Jose Vizcaino on July 29, 1996.  He made his Met debut the next day in the first game of a doubleheader against the Pittsburgh Pirates as a late inning defensive replacement. In the second game, he pinch hit for Rey Ordonez in the top of the 9th and singled home the tying run.  The Mets would win the game in 12 innings. He hit his first home run as a Met on August 5th against the Cubs and would go on to hit safely in 21 of 27 games for the month for a .289 average, Espinoza would go on to appear in 48 games for the season playing mostly 3rd base.  He hit .306 with 4 home runs and 16 RBIs. 

Espinoza reported to Spring Training in 1997 but was released just before the season.

While with the Mets Espinoza wore number 12.

Alvaro Espinoza also played for the following teams:
Minnesota Twins – 1984-1986
New York Yankees – 1988-1991
Cleveland Indians – 1993-1996
Seattle Mariners – 1997

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Bernard Gilkey – His New York Mets 1996-1998

Bernard GilkeyThe Mets acquired outfielder Bernard Gilkey from the St Louis Cardinals prior to the 1996 season.  In his Met debut on Opening Day he went 2 for 4 with a home run and 2 RBIs.  It was a sign of things to come as Gilkey went on to enjoy the best season of his career.  He hit .317 with 30 home runs and 117 RBIs.  His 117 RBIs tied Howard Johnson’s single season record for most in a season.  He also hit two home runs in a game three times and set the Mets single season record with 44 doubles. 

Big things were expected of Gilkey in 1997 but he was not able to duplicate his 1996 success.  He did hit 18 home runs with 78 RBIs but only managed to hit .249.  His struggles continued in 1998.  He was hitting just .227 with 4 home runs and 28 RBIs when the Mets traded him to the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 31 along with Nelson Figueroa in exchange for Jorge Fabregas and Willie Blair.

In three seasons with the Mets Gilkey hit .273 with 52 home runs and 223 RBIs.

While with the Mets Gilkey wore number 23.

Bernard Gilkey also played for the following teams:
St. Louis Cardinals – 1990-1995
Arizona Diamondbacks – 1998-2000
Boston Red Sox – 2000
Atlanta Braves – 2001

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Rob MacDonald – His New York Mets Career 1996

Rob MacDonaldThe Mets signed free agent pitcher Rob MacDonald prior to the 1996 season.  The left-hander pitched 1/3 inning in his Mets debut on April 3 against the St. Louis Cardinals, striking out the only batter he faced. as the Mets lost 5-3.  MacDonald would go on to appear in 20 games for the Mets, all out of the bullpen, before being shipped down to the minors in June.  At the time of his demotion his record was 0-2 with a 4.26 ERA.  MacDonald finished out the season pitching for the Norfolk Tides before being released in October.

While with the Mets MacDonald wore number 49.

Rob MacDonald also played for the following teams:
Toronto Blue Jays – 1990-1992
Detroit Tigers – 1993
New York Yankees – 1995

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Mike Fyhrie – His New York Mets Career 1996

After toiling in the Kansas City Royals minor league system for five years the Mets acquired right-handed pitcher Mike Fyhrie in 1996.  After spending the 1996 season with the Norfolk Tides, the Mets Triple A affiliate, where he posted a 15-6 record with a 3.04 ERA as a starter Mike Fyhrie was promoted to the big club as a September call up.  He made his Major League debut on September 14th pitching two innings of relief against the Atlanta Braves allowing two hits and one run.  He wouldn’t pitch again until September 29th, the last game of the season, against the Phillies.  He suffered the loss pitching just 1/3 of an inning while allowing two hits and three runs. In his two appearances with the Mets he posted a 0-1 record with 15.43 ERA in just 2 1/3 innings.

Following the season the Mets sold his contract to the Chiba Lotte Marines of the Japanese Pacific League.  After pitching one year in Japan he returned to the Mets as a free agent and spent a disappointing 1998 season with the Norfolk Tides posting a 3 and 7 record with 6.64 ERA.  The Mets chose not to retain him following the season and he signed with the Anaheim Angels. 

While with the Mets Fyhrie wore number 40.

Mike Fyhrie also played for the following teams:
Anaheim Angels – 1999,2000
Oakland A’s = 2001,2002
Chicago Cubs – 2001