Mike Jacobs – His New York Mets Career 2005,2010

mike jacobsAfter spending seven seasons in the Mets minor league system where he was converted from a catcher to a first baseman Mike Jacobs made his major league debut with the Mets on August 21, 2005.  In his first at bat Jacobs hit a pinch hit three run home run.  In doing so he became the 4th player in Mets history to hit a home run in his first major league at bat.

Two days later Jacobs hit his second home run and followed that up with a two home run performance on August 24.  In his first four games, he had hit four home runs.  From that point on Jacobs assumed the everyday first base position.  In 30 games for the Mets he hit .310 with 11 home runs and 23 RBIs.

It appeared the Mets had found their first baseman of the future. But when the Florida Marlins made All-Star slugger Carlos Delgado available, the Mets included Jacobs in a trade to acquire his services.

After three seasons with the Florida Marlins and one with the Kansas City Royals Jacobs returned to the Mets in 2010.  The Mets signed him to a minor league contract and he made the team out of Spring Training and was the Opening Day first baseman.  But his second stint with the Mets was not as successful.  He appeared in just seven games and hit just .208 with a home run and two RBIs.  The Mets sent Jacobs down to the minors where he played for their Triple A affiliate the Buffalo Bisons before being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in July.

In 37 games for the Mets Jacobs hit .290 with 12 home runs and 25 RBIs.

While with the Mets Jacobs wore number 27 in 2005 and 35 in 2010. 

Mike Jacobs also played for the following teams:
Florida Marlins – 2006-2008
Kansas City Royals – 2009
Arizona Diamondbacks – 2012

 

 

Shingo Takatsu – His New York Mets Career 2005

 

shingo takatsuAfter a very successful career in Japan as a closer for the Yakult Swallows Shingo Takatsu decided to try his luck in the United States.  After an unsuccessful stint with the Chicago White Sox he was released in middle of the 2005 season.  The Mets decided to take a chance and signed him as a free agent on August 12. After a brief stint in the minors with the Norfolk Tides he made his Mets debut on September 3rd against the Florida Marlins pitching 1.1 innings of scoreless relief in the Mets 5-4 defeat.  Takatsu finished the season pitching in nine games posting a 1-0 record with a 2.35 ERA.  Despite his modest success with the Mets he was granted free agency following the season and was not resigned.  He returned to Japan to finish out his career.

While with the Mets Takatsu wore number 10. 

Shingo Takatsu also played for the Chicago White Sox in 2004 and 2005.

Marlon Anderson – His New York Mets Career 2005,2007-2009

Marlon AndersonMarlon Anderson was signed by the Mets as a free agent prior to the 2005 season with the plan to use him as a utility player and pinch hitter. He had a solid season for the Mets in 2005 hitting 7 home runs and batting over .300 as a pinch hitter.

The highlight of his 2005 season came on June 11 when he hit a pinch hit inside the park home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game against the Anaheim Angels, a game the Mets would win in extra innings.

Despite his strong season for the Mets the organization did not resign him during the off-season and he signed with the Washington Nationals.

Anderson would return to the Mets in the middle of the 2007 season when he was released by the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his first game back with the Mets on July 19th he faced his former team and drove in two runs as the Mets defeated the Dodgers 13 to 9. Anderson would go on to have a solid rest of the season hitting .319 and driving in 25 runs in 43 games.

Anderson was once again a free agent following the 2007 season but this time the Mets decided to resign him to a two-year contract. Unfortunately, Anderson’s production fell off in 2008 as he suffered through an injury plagued season. Anderson returned for the 2009 season but was released by the organization after just 4 games.

Marlon Anderson played 257 games for the Mets and hit .253 with 11 home runs and 54 runs batted in.

While with the Mets Anderson wore number 18 in 2005, number 23 in 2007 and number 9 in 2008 and 2009.

Marlon Anderson also played for the following teams:
Philadelphia Phillies – 1998-2002
Tampa Bay Devil Ray – 2003
St. Louis Cardinals – 2004
Los Angeles Dodgers – 2006,2007
Washington Nationals – 2006

Cliff Floyd – His New York Mets Career 2003-2006

cliff floydPrior to the 2003 season the Mets signed Cliff Floyd as a free agent to play leftfield.   Floyd’s career was plagued by injuries and his stint with the Mets was no different.  But his upbeat personality and veteran leadership made him a fan favorite.

After a slow start to the 2003 season, he was hitting just .238 after the month of April; Floyd rebounded and was enjoying a very productive season before a right Achilles injury sidelined him in the middle of August.  He finished the season with a .290 average with 18 home runs and 68 RBIs.  His second season in 2004 was almost a carbon copy of the first except his average dropped to .260 and the injury which sidelined him was a right quadricep suffered in the first month of the season.  He still managed to once again hit 18 homeruns while driving in 63 runs.

Floyd managed to stay off the DL in 2005 and by doing so enjoyed his best season in New York.  After the first month of the season he was hitting .366 with 20 RBIs.  He would finish the season with a personal best 34 home runs to lead the team while knocking in 98 runs. He also enjoyed a 20-game hitting streak.

The injury bug once again bit Floyd in 2006 as he suffered his worst season statistically while with the Mets.  But his veteran leadership helped the Mets cruise to the National League Eastern Division Championship and their first postseason appearance since 2000.  He hit only .244 with 11 home runs and 44 RBIs.

In the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers he hit a home run in game one and finished the series with a .444 average.  But he also reinjured his Achilles tendon.  After the Mets swept the Dodgers to advance to the NLCS there was talk of taking him off the postseason roster.  But sensing that he could still be a threat with the long ball he was left on the roster.  He started game one of the NLCS but the injury was too severe and he was taken out of the game after just one at bat.  He would make two more appearances as pinch hitter but went 0-3 in the series as the Mets lost to the St Louis Cardinals in seven games.

Following the season, he signed as a free agent with the Chicago Cubs.  In 468 games over four seasons with the Mets Floyd batted .268 with 81 home runs and 273 RBIs.

While with the Mets Floyd wore number 30.

Cliff Floyd also played for the following teams:
Montreal Expos – 1993-1996, 2002
Florida Marlins – 1997-2002
Boston Red Sox – 2002
Chicago Cubs – 2007
Tampa Bay Rays – 2008
San Diego Padres – 2009

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Tim Hamulack – His New York Mets Career 2005

A career minor leaguer left-handed pitcher Tim Hamulack was signed by the Mets as a free agent on January 14, 2005.  He spent the 2005 season in the minors before getting the call to join the Mets as a September callup.  On September 2, he made his Major League debut, pitching 1/3 inning in the Mets 4-2 loss to the Florida Marlins.  Hamulack made five more relief appearances pitching a total 2 1/3 innings, he posted a 23.14 ERA and failed to earn a decision. 

Following the season, he was traded by the Mets to the Los Angeles Dodgers along with Jae Seo in exchange for Duaner Sanchez and Steve Schmoll.

While with the Mets Hamulack wore number 46.

Tim Hamulack also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006.

Jose Santiago – His New York Mets Career 2005

The Mets signed right-handed pitcher Jose Santiago as a free agent on March 1, 2005.  After starting the season in the minors with the Norfolk Tides, Santiago was brought up to New York in July.  He made his Met debut on July 25 against the Colorado Rockies; he pitched the final two innings and allowed zero runs in the Mets 5-3 loss.  He appeared in three more games before being sent back to the minors.  In threw a total of 5 2/3 innings and posted a 3.18 ERA.

Following the season Santiago was granted free agency and he opted to pitch in the Mexican League.  He returned to the Mets organization in 2007 and 2008 but never made it out of the minors, pitching for the New Orleans Zephyrs.

While with the Mets Santiago wore number 33.

Jose Santiago also pitched for the following teams:
Kansas City Royals – 1997-2001
Philadelphia Phillies – 2001,2002
Cleveland Indians – 2003

 

Braden Looper – His New York Mets Career 2004-2005

Braden LooperThe New York Mets signed Braden Lopper to be their new closer prior to the 2004 season.  Looper was coming off a season in which he saved 28 games for the Florida Marlins and helped them win the World Series.

Braden Looper made his Met debut on opening day in 2004 pitching a scoreless 9th inning in the Mets 7-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves.  From that point on he would go on to have his best season of his seven-year career converting 29 of 34 save opportunities to lead the team while posting a 2.70 ERA, though he did have a losing record at 2-5.

Looper started the 2005 season by blowing the save on Opening Day by giving up 2 home runs in the 9th inning.  It would be a sign of things to come for Looper in 2005.  Despite leading the team once again in saves with 28 he blew 8 games.  After blowing the game against the New York Yankees, in a game that would have given the Mets a three-game sweep at Yankee Stadium, the fans started to turn on Looper.  With the constant barrage of boos Looper suffered through the season with a 4-7 record and 3.94 ERA

At the end of September, it was revealed that Looper was pitching most of the season with a blown AC Joint which would require surgery.  To his credit, he never used the injury as an excuse for his struggles. 

The Mets chose not to pick up Looper’s option following the 2005 season and he signed a three-year contract with the St Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals eventually transformed Looper into a starting pitcher.

His final numbers in his two seasons with the Mets were a 6-12 record with 57 saves and a 3.22 ERA.

While with the Mets Looper wore number 40.

Braden Looper also played for the following teams:
St. Louis Cardinals – 1998,2006-2008
Florida Marlins – 1999-2003
Milwaukee Brewers – 2009

 

 

Victor Zambrano – His New York Mets Career – 2004-2006

Victor zambranoVictor Zambrano’s Met career never stood a chance as he was acquired in one of the most unpopular trades in franchise history.  Zambrano, a middle of the rotation starter known for having good stuff but bad mechanics with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, was acquired at the trading deadline in 2004 along with Bartolome Fortunato in exchange for Scott Kazmir.  Kazmir was one of the Mets top pitching prospects.  But the Mets were in a pennant race, or so they thought, and needed more pitching and the Mets brass thought Zambrano would do the trick.  What didn’t help the situation was that pitching coach Rick Peterson was quoted in the papers as saying, “I can fix Zambrano in 15 minutes.”  Most Met fans were expecting a miracle by Peterson which didn’t happen.  But in fairness to Peterson his actually quote was, “I don’t know how long it will take me to fix him maybe as little as 15 minutes.”

Zambrano made his Met debut on August 5th against the Milwaukee Brewers. He won the game despite giving up 6 runs (4 earned) over 5 1/3 innings.  He would go on to win his next start as well, but his season was shut down after his next start with an arm injury and Met fans grew increasingly angry.

In 2005 Zambrano showed some signs of promise but mostly pitched mediocre and finished the season with a 7-12 record and 4.17 ERA.  Looking for a fresh start in 2006 Zambrano won his first start of the season but lost his next two starts.  Rumors began to swirl that he was suffering from arm injuries and they were confirmed in his final start as a Met on May 6th.  After pitching 1 1/3 innings he ran off the field in pain and would not return to the Mets rotation.  It was determined that he had torn his elbow tendon and that he would need Tommy John surgery.  The surgery shut him down for the season and basically ended his career.  He signed with the Blue Jays in the off-season and bounced from team to team before retiring after the 2008 season.

Zambrano appeared in 39 games for the Mets and posted a 10-14 record with a 4.42 ERA

While with the Mets Zambrano wore number 38. 

Victor Zambrano also played for the following teams:
Tampa Bay Devil Rays – 2001-2004
Toronto Blue Jays – 2007
Baltimore Orioles – 2007

 

 

Danny Graves – His New York Mets Career 2005

Danny GraveDanny Graves was a former All-Star closer with the Cincinnati Reds, but when he struggled at the beginning of the 2005 season the Reds released him.  In need of bullpen help the Mets gave him a shot and signed him as a free agent on June 11.

Graves made his Mets debut on June 14, pitching an inning of scoreless relief against the Oakland A’s.  But the change of scenery did not exactly rejuvenate his career.  Graves would appear in 20 games as a middle reliever for the Mets and posted 5.75 ERA in 20 1/3 innings.  He did not have any decisions and did not save any games while with the Mets. He also was briefly sent to the minors during his stint with the Mets

Following the season Graves signed with the Cleveland Indians.

As a bit of trivia, Danny Graves is the only player in baseball history who was born in Viet Nam.  His father was a member of the US military and his mother was a Viet Namese national.

While with the Mets Graves wore number 32.

Danny Graves also played for the following teams:
Cleveland Indians – 1996,1997,2006
Cincinnati Reds – 1997-2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Matthews – His New York Mets Career 2005

Signed as a free agent prior to the 2005 season left-handed reliever Mike Matthews made his Met debut on April 6; he pitched a 1/3 of an inning in the Mets 9-5 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.  Matthews pitched a scoreless inning of relief during his second appearance as a Met on April 14 to earn the victory.  But during his next 4 appearances he gave up 6 earned runs in 3 2/3 innings.  With his ERA at 10.80 the Mets released him on April 25.ending his Major League Career.

In 6 relief appearances for the Mets Mike Matthews posted a 1-0 record with a 10.80 ERA over 5 innings. 

While with the Mets Matthews wore number 27. 

Mike Matthews also played for the following teams:
St. Louis Cardinals – 2000-2002
Milwaukee Brewers – 2002
San Diego Padres – 2003
Cincinnati Reds – 2004