Xavier Nady – His New York Mets Career 2006

Xavier NadyThe Mets acquired Nady from the San Diego Padres prior to the 2006 season in exchange for fellow outfielder Mike Cameron. At the time of the trade many questioned the logic behind it as Cameron was considered the better of the two. But on opening day 2006, the name Cameron was quickly forgotten by Met fans as Xavier Nady, thanks to a 4 for 4 performance, quickly became a fan favorite. He actually started the season 5 for 5 after getting a hit in his first at bat in game number two. After the first month of the season he was hitting .311 with six home runs. His numbers began to fall off in the month of June, thanks in part to missing two weeks with an appendectomy. But he continued to play a solid right field as the Mets ran away with the National League’s Eastern Division.

But with Nady hitting .264 with 14 home runs and 40 RBIs Mets General Manager Omar Minaya traded Nady to the Pittsburgh Pirates at the trading deadline. The deal came about all because Duaner Sanchez, one of the Mets top relievers, was lost for the season when he was injured in a car accident. Minaya thinking he needed to replace Sanchez’s arm in the bullpen panicked and traded Nady for pitchers Roberto Hernandez and Oliver Perez. Even though the Mets won their division and returned to the playoffs for first time since 2006, they missed Nady’s right handed bat in their lineup and were eventually upset by the St Louis Cardinals in the NLCS.

While with the Mets Nady wore number 22.

Xavier Nady also played for the following teams:
San Diego Padres – 2000, 2003-2005, 2014
Pittsburgh Pirates – 2006-2008
New York Yankees – 2008,2009
Chicago Cubs – 2010
Arizona Diamondbacks – 2011
San Francisco Giants – 2012
Washington Nationals – 2012
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Alay Soler – His New York Mets Career 2006

Alay SolerAlay Soler, a former member of the Cuban National Team, defected to the Dominican Republic in 2003. The Mets signed the right-handed pitcher as free agent a year later but it would take him over a year before he could report to the States due to issues with his visa. Once his visa issues were straightened out Soler reported to the Mets minor league system to start the 2006 season. After pitching in Brooklyn, St Lucie and Binghamton he made his Met debut on May 24th. He pitched six innings and allowed two earned runs but suffered a no decision in the Mets 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. He would lose his next game but then post back to back winning games including a complete game two hit shutout over the Diamondbacks. But after back to back outings against the Red Sox and Yankees in which he gave up eight earned runs in less than five innings of work, he was shipped back to the minors. In 8 starts for the Mets he was 2-3 with a 6.00 ERA.

Soler was released by the Mets after having a lousy Spring Training in 2007.

While with the Mets Soler wore number 59.

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Michael Tucker – His New York Mets Career 2006

Michael TuckerThe Mets signed Michael Tucker, a ten year journeyman outfielder, prior to the 2006 season.  He spent the majority of the season playing for the Norfolk Tides, the Mets triple A minor league affiliate where he hit .265 with 6 home runs and 33 RBIs.  The Mets promoted him in the beginning of August and he made his Met debut on August 10 as their starting leftfielder against the San Diego Padres. He finished the season serving as a pinch hitter and fourth outfielder.   In 35 games, he hit .196 with a home run and 16 RBIs. His one home run came on August 13 against the Washington Nationals and gave the Mets a 2-1 lead in a game they would win 3-1.

The Mets kept Tucker on their postseason roster where he served exclusively as a pinch hitter.  He went 0-1 in the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers and 2 for 5 against the St Louis Cardinals in the NLCS.

He signed with the Boston Red Sox as a free agent following the season, but never made it back to the Majors.  His tenure with the Mets was his last in the Major Leagues.

While with the Mets Tucker wore number 22.

Michael Tucker also played for the following teams:
Kansas City Royals – 1995,1996, 2002,2003
Atlanta Braves – 1997,1998
Cincinnati Reds – 1999-2001
Chicago Cubs – 2001
San Francisco Giants – 2004,2005
Philadelphia Phillies – 2005

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Philip Humber – His New York Mets Career 2006,2007

Philip HumberThe New York Mets drafted right-handed pitcher Phillip Humber out of Rice University with the third overall pick in the 2004 amateur draft.  In his first year in the minors in 2005, he struggled over his first 15 starts posting a 2-7 record with the St Lucie Mets and Binghamton Mets.  His struggles were attributed to elbow discomfort and it was determined that he would need Tommy John surgery.  The surgery sidelined him for over a year.  When he returned in the middle of the 2006 season, he posted a 5-3 record and 2.83 ERA in 14 starts once again splitting time between St Lucie and Binghamton.

Based on his strong performance in 2006 Humber got the call to join the Mets in September and he made his Major League debut on September 24th pitching one inning of scoreless relief in the Mets 5-1 loss to the Washington Nationals.  He would make one more appearance out of the bullpen, once again throwing one inning of scoreless relief.

Humber spent the 2007 season pitching for the New Orleans Zephyrs, the Mets top minor league club where he posted 11-9 record.  He once again joined the Mets in September and pitched out of the bullpen in two blowout losses.  But on September 26th with the Mets in the midst of a pennant race and Met manager Willie Randolph wanting to give his starters an extra day of rest, Humber was tabbed to start against the lowly Washington Nationals.  It was a game the Mets desperately needed to win as they were trying to hold off the Philadelphia Phillies and avoid a late season collapse.  The Mets hitters gave Humber a five-run lead, but he could not hold it as he gave up five runs in four innings, Though Humber would get a no decision the Mets would lose the game 9-6.  The loss became symbolic of the Mets September as they blew a seven-game lead with 17 games to play and missed the playoffs by one game.

Following the season, Humber was traded to the Minnesota Twins along with fellow prospects Carlos Gomez, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra in exchange for two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana.  In five games for the Mets Humber posted a 0-0 record and 7.71 ERA in 9 innings. 

While with the Mets Humber wore number 49.

Philip Humber also played for the following teams:
Minnesota Twins – 2008,2009
Kansas City Royals – 2010
Chicago White Sox – 2011,2012
Houston Astros – 2013.

 

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Pedro Martinez – His New York Mets Career 2005-2008

Pedro MartinezAfter three straight losing seasons the New York Mets were desperate to turn things around in 2005.  New General Manager Omar Minaya decided that in order to fill the increasing number of empty seats at Shea Stadium that the Mets needed to be aggressive in the free agent market.  One of the items on his wish list was a dominating starting pitcher and it just so happened that a four-time Cy Young Award winner by the name of Pedro Martinez was available.  Martinez was coming off a 16-9 season in which he played an integral part in helping the Boston Red Sox win their first World Series title in 86 years, but there were also whispers around the league that his best days were behind him.  While many teams were interested in his services they were all weary of offering him what he wanted, a four-year contract.  In order to entice Martinez to come to New York Minaya knew he had to offer Pedro exactly that.  Determined to get his man Omar Minaya offered Pedro a four year 53-million-dollar contract and just like that the Mets had their number one starter.

Pedro Martinez took the hill on opening day 2005 with electric stuff striking out twelve batters in six innings. He left the game with a 6-3 lead but unfortunately the bullpen could not hold it, which was an all too familiar occurrence in 2005, and the Mets lost 7-6.  But it was his second start of the season where he proved to be the ace the Mets were looking for when they signed him.  The Mets were standing at 0-5 on the season and were in desperate need of a win.  Pedro took the mound and proceeded to pitch a complete game two hitter striking out nine as the Mets defeated the Atlanta Braves 6-1 to record their first win of the season.  From that point on Martinez pitched like his old Cy Young self and proved to be worth every penny the Mets were paying him. Not only was he winning games but there was electricity in the air and increased attendance each time he took the mound at Shea Stadium.  It was never more evident than on June 7th against the Houston Astros when he flirted with throwing the first no hitter in franchise history, he settled for a two hitter with twelve strikeouts.  Martinez would finish the season 15 -8 and helped the Mets to their first winning season since 2001.  He led the Mets pitching staff in wins, innings pitched (217), ERA (2.82), strikeouts (208) and complete games (4).

Martinez got off to a blistering start in 2006 winning his first five starts of the season, including the 200th victory of his career on April 17th.  But he began to struggle and finished the first half of the season with a 7-4 record.  Despite his struggles he was still named to his second straight National League All-Star team.  In the middle of the season a calf injury sidelined him for a month. When he returned he continued to struggle and after losing four straight games in September where he posted an ERA over 15, the Mets shut him down for the year when it was determined he had a torn rotator cuff.  Pedro finished the season with a 9-8 record and because of his injury did not make the Mets postseason roster.

After off-season rotator cuff surgery Pedro Martinez missed the majority of the 2007 season.  He returned to the rotation on September 3rd and won his first game in over a year.  Martinez would pitch in five games for the Mets in September and seemed to be his old self posting a 3-1 record with a 2.57 ERA in 28 innings.  But despite his efforts the Mets suffered through the worst collapse in baseball history, blowing a 7-game lead with 17 games to go in the season and missed the postseason.

Based on his strong finish to the 2007 season expectations were high for Martinez entering 2008.  With the off-season acquisition of Johan Santana, a two-time Cy Young Award winner with the Minnesota Twins, Pedro was now the Mets number two starter. But it was not meant to be, in his first start of the season Pedro pulled his hamstring and was lost for the next two months.  When he returned he was not the same pitcher as he struggled through the remainder of the season posting a disappointing 5-6 record with a 5.61 ERA. 

The Mets decided to part ways with Pedro following the season by not offering him a new contract even though he expressed interest in returning.  In his four years with the Mets Martinez won 32 while losing 23 with a 3.88 ERA.  Even though his Met career didn’t turn out exactly the way both sides had planned, New York fans showed their appreciation for Martinez by giving him a standing ovation as he left the mound in his final game at Shea Stadium on September 25th.

\While with the Mets Martinez wore number 45.

Pedro Martinez also played for the following teams:
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1992,1993
Montreal Expos – 1994-1997
Boston Red Sox – 1998-2004
Philadelphia Phillies – 2009

Pedro Martinez was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015

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Mark Corey – His New York Mets Career 2001,2002

Mark CoreyRight-handed pitcher Mark Corey was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds on February 4, 1999 in exchange for infielder Ralph Milliard.  He made his Major League debut on October 2, 2001, in just one inning of work he allowed 3 runs and 4 hits.  Corey made one more appearance three days later with better results; he allowed no runs in 2/3 of an inning.

Corey started the 2002 season in the minors before getting the call to join the big club in the middle of May. He made his 2002 debut on May 13 against the Los Angeles Dodgers and suffered the loss by giving up the winning run in the bottom of the 13th inning.   Following the game, he was shipped back to the minors only to return a month later. He remained with the Mets before being traded to the Colorado Rockies at the trading deadline along with Jay Payton and Robert Stratton for John Thomson and Mark Little.  With the Mets in 2002 Corey appeared in 12 games and posted a 0-3 record with 4.50 ERA. 

In 14 appearances for the Mets over two seasons Mark Corey went 0-3 with a 6.17 ERA in 11 2/3 innings.

While with the Mets Corey wore number 27.

Mark Corey also played for the following teams:
Colorado Rockies – 2002
Pittsburgh Pirates – 2003,2004

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Tom Glavine – His New York Mets Career 2003-2007

Tom GlavineAfter years of tormenting them as a member of the Atlanta Braves, Tom Glavine took his talented left arm to New York and signed as a free agent with the Mets prior to the 2003 season.   Most Met fans had mixed emotions over the signing.  True they were getting a two-time Cy Young award winner and future Hall of Famer but they were also getting someone they grew to hate over the years as a member of their hated rival. 

Glavine didn’t exactly endear himself to Met fans early on as he was shellacked in his first game as Met.  On Opening Day 2003 he lasted just 3 2/3 innings while giving up 8 hits and 5 runs.  Things didn’t exactly pick up from that point as he struggled for most of the season, finishing with a 9 and 14 record and 4.52 ERA.  It was the first time since 1988 that Glavine posted a losing record and failed to win 10 games. The highlight of his first season in New York came in September when his brother Mike was brought up from the minors and they became the first brothers to play for the Mets.

In 2004, Glavine started the season pitching like his old self.  He started out with a 7-3 record with a 2.03 ERA and was named to the National League All – Star team.  Included in his fast start was a one hit shutout against the Montreal Expos on May 23rd.  However, he struggled during the second half of the season and once again finished with a losing record, this time 11-14.  It did not help matters that he was involved in a car accident while riding in a taxi and lost his front teeth.

His third season in New York turned out to be the opposite of his second.  In 2005, he started with a 5 and 7 record with a 4.93 ERA.  However, he managed to turn his season around in the second half and finished with a 13 and 13 record while lowering his ERA by nearly a run and a half. 

2006 turned out to be his best season with the Mets not only personally but for the team as well.  The Mets ran away and won the National League Eastern Division while Glavine led the team with 15 wins.  During the months of May and June, he was 8 and 0 and with his record at 11-2 was selected to his second National League All-Star team while with the Mets.  During the postseason, he won his only start in the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, pitching six shutout innings.  In the NLCS against the St Louis Cardinals, he won the opening game of the series once again pitching shutout baseball, this time for seven innings.  But he lost the critical game five, which would have given the Mets a 3-2 series lead.  The Mets would lose the series in seven games.

Tom Glavine’s original contract with the Mets was up following the 2006 season, but sensing the Mets had unfinished business after failing to achieve their goal of a World Series title in 2006, Glavine resigned with the Mets for another year.  But by the end of the season Mets fans had wished that Tom Glavine had never worn a Met uniform.  Things were initially going well for the Mets and Glavine.  They were cruising to their second straight division title and Glavine was enjoying another solid season.  Along the way Glavine became the 23rd pitcher and just the 6th lefthander to win 300 games.  He accomplished the feat on August 5th against the Chicago Cubs.  But then it happened, with the Mets in the midst of the worst September collapse in baseball history Glavine pitched two of the worst games of his career.  First on September 25th he allowed six runs over five innings as the Mets lost to the Washington Nationals 10-9.  Than on the last day of the season with the Mets needing a victory to either win the division or force a one game playoff against the Philadelphia Phillies Glavine completely imploded.  He lasted just 1/3 of an inning allowing 5 hits, 2 walks and 7 earned runs.  The game was over before it started and the Mets season was lost. 

At that point Met fans were willing to drive Glavine to the airport as he left town.  Glavine returned to Atlanta where he pitched a half season before an arm injury ended his career,

In five seasons with the Mets Tom Glavine finished with a 61-56 record and 3.97 ERA.

While with the Mets Glavine wore number 47.

Tom Glavine also played for the Atlanta Braves from 1987-2002 and 2008. 

Tom Glavine was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.

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Brian Bannister – His New York Mets Career 2006

Brian BannisterRight-handed pitcher Brian Bannister, the son of former Major League pitcher Floyd Bannister, made his Mets as well has his major league debut on April 5, 2006 against the Washington Nationals.  Bannister pitched 6 strong innings and allowed only 2 hits, unfortunately one of those hits was a 3 run homer to Nick Johnson.  Bannister earned a no-decision in a game the Mets would lose 9-5 in 10 innings.

Bannister earned his first major league win in his next start, also against the Nationals.   In 7 innings he allowed 3 hits and 1 run as the Mets cruised to a 7-1 victory.  He also recorded his first major league hit.  He won his next start against the Milwaukee Brewers.   However, during his 5th start of the season Bannister was forced to leave after pulling his hamstring while running the bases.

Bannister was placed on the disabled list and would not return to the Mets rotation until August 25th.  At the time of his injury Bannister has a 2-0 record with 2.89 ERA.

Bannister lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in his first start off the DL.  He would pitch in two more games for the Mets, both out of the bullpen and finished the season with a 2-1 record and 4.26 ERA.

Following the season, the Mets traded Bannister to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for pitcher Ambiorix Burgos. 

While with the Mets Bannister wore number 40.

Brian Bannister also played for the Kansas City Royals from 2007-2010.

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Eli Marrero – His New York Mets Career 2006

On June 9, 2006, the New York Mets acquired Eli Marrero from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for Kaz Matsui.  At the time both players were struggling with Marrero hitting just .217 and Matsui hitting .200 for the Mets.  It was a trade in which both teams hoped a change of scenery would jump start each players season.

Eli MarreroEli Marrero, a versatile player who could play catcher, first base, third base and all three outfield positions was a ten-year veteran who had played the bulk of his career with the St Louis Cardinals, made his Mets debut on June 11th against the Arizona Diamondbacks.  He hit a double in his second at bat to drive in 2 runs in the Mets 15-2 victory.   But unfortunately, the change of scenery did nothing for Eli as he continued to struggle hitting just .182 with 2 home runs and 5 RBIs in 25 games, mainly as a pinch hitter. The Mets released him on August 15th.

Eli Marrero signed as a free agent with the St Louis Cardinals in the off-season but failed to make it out of the minors making his brief stint with the Mets his last appearance in the majors. 

While with the Mets Marrero wore number 32.

Eli Marrero also played for the following teams:
St. Louis Cardinals – 1997-2003
Atlanta Braves – 2004
Kansas City Royals – 2005
Baltimore Orioles – 2005
Colorado Rockies – 2006

Carlos Delgado – His New York Mets Career 2006-2009

Carlos DelgadoPrior to the 2005 season the Mets tried to lure Carlos Delgado to New York via free agency.  But the All-star first baseman who had hit 336 home runs over 12 seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays decided to sign with the Florida Marlins instead.  But a year later with the Marlins conducting a fire sale, the Mets acquired Delgado in a trade.  Delgado turned out to be worth the wait.  He hit 10 home runs and drove in 21 during his first month as a Met and went on to play an integral part in helping New York make their first postseason appearance since 2000 and win their first division title since 1988.  He finished the season with 38 round trippers (which led the team) and 114 RBI’s. 

Carlos Delgado had waited 13 seasons to make it to the postseason and when he got there he took full advantage.  In his first career postseason game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS he went 4 for 5 with a home run and 2 RBI’s.  He would hit .429 in the series as the Mets swept the Dodgers.  He continued his hot hitting in the NLCS against the St Louis Cardinals.  Delgado hit .304 with 3 home runs and 9 RBI’s including 2 home runs in game two.  But unfortunately, it was not enough as the Mets would lose the series in seven games.

With high expectations heading into the 2007 season injuries took their toll on Delgado.  His numbers dipped as he hit just 24 home runs while driving in only 87.  It was the first time in 11 seasons that Delgado failed to drive in at least 90 runs.  To make matters worse the Mets suffered through the worst collapse in baseball history, blowing a 7-game lead with 17 games left in the season.

Delgado got off to a slow start in 2008 and many believed his career was nearing the end, especially the boo birds at Shea Stadium.  But on June 27th against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium he broke out and set a club record for most RBI’s in a game with 9.  From that point on he single handedly carried the Mets the rest of the season.  Over the final three months Delgado hit .312 with 24 home runs and 70 RBI’s and helped put the Mets in position to return to the postseason.  But despite his heroics the Mets fell one game short.   Delgado finished the 2008 season with 38 homers and 115 RBIs to lead the team in both categories.

Expectations were once again high as Delgado and the Mets entered the 2009 season.  Delgado got off to a good start hitting .298 with four home runs and 23 RBIs over his first 26 games of the season.  But a right hip injury sidelined him in May and he was placed on the disabled list.  The injury not only ended his Met career but also his baseball career as he forced to retire due to the injury.  In four seasons with the Mets Delgado hit .267 with 104 home runs and 339 RBIs.

While with the Mets Delgado wore number 21.

Carlos Delgado also played for the Toronto Blue Jays from 1993-2004 and the Florida Marlins in 2005.