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.

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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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

 

 

Jorge Julio – His New York Mets Career 2006

Jorge JulioThe Mets acquired Jorge Julio, a right-handed reliever, along with John Maine from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Kris Benson prior to the 2006 season.  Julio made his Met debut on April 5 against the Washington Nationals and suffered the loss, allowing two earned runs in 2/3 of an inning. 

Things didn’t get that much better for Julio as he appeared in 18 games for the Mets before being traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 24 in exchange for Orlando Hernandez.  At the time of the trade he was 1-2 with 1 save and a 5.06 ERA.  He pitched 21 1/3 innings and allowed 21 hits and 10 walks.  His one win came on May 5 against the Atlanta Braves.

While with the Mets Julio wore number 34.

Jorge Julio also played for the following team:
Baltimore Orioles – 2001-2005
Arizona Diamondbacks – 2006
Florida Marlins – 2007
Colorado Rockies – 2007
Cleveland Indians – 2008
Atlanta Braves – 2008
Milwaukee Brewers – 2009

Paul LoDuca -His New York Mets Career 2006-2007

paul-loducaThe Mets acquired catcher Paul LoDuca from the Florida Marlins prior to the 2006 season.  LoDuca had the unenvying task of replacing Mike Piazza, one of the franchise’s most popular players and considered by many to be the greatest hitting catcher in baseball history.  Though Met fans would never forget Piazza LoDuca made the transition easier and quickly became a fan favorite with his fiery attitude and hardnosed play.  It also helped that he had a solid year at the plate and helped the Mets win the National League’s Eastern division.

Batting in the number two hole, LoDuca led the Mets in hitting in 2006 with a .318 average, good enough for 7th best in the National League.   He hit 5 home runs with 49 RBIs while also hitting a career best 39 doubles.  The Mets fans rewarded LoDuca for his solid play by electing him the starting catcher for the National League in the All-Star game. 

LoDuca really endeared himself to Mets fans when he yelled at Alex Rodriguez during the subway series for showing up a Mets pitcher after hitting a home run in a blowout loss. 

LoDuca caught all 10 of the Mets postseason games.  In the NLDS against his former team the Los Angeles Dodgers, he hit .455 (5-11) and drove in 3 runs.  But in the NLCS against the St Louis Cardinals, LoDuca hit just .207 (6-29) but did drive in 3 runs.  His never say die attitude was never more evident than in game 7 of the NLCS.  With 2 outs in the 9th inning and the Mets trailing 3-1 LoDuca refused to give in and worked out a walk to load the bases.  Unfortunately, Carlos Beltran struck out and the Mets season suddenly ended. 

LoDuca returned in 2007 but injuries limited his effectiveness.  His average slipped to .272 though he did manage to hit 9 home runs and drive in 54 runs.  He also recorded his 1000th career hit.

Following the season the Mets decided not to resign LoDuca and he left as a free agent and signed with the Washington Nationals.   LoDuca struggled over the next two seasons with Washington and the Florida Marlins, justifying the Mets decision.

In his 2 seasons with the Mets LoDuca hit .297 with 14 home runs and 103 RBIs. 

While with the Mets LoDuca wore number 16.

Paul LoDuca also played for the following teams:
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1998-2004
Florida Marlins – 2004,2005,2008
Washington Nationals – 2008

Steve Trachsel – His New York Mets Career 2001-2006

steve-trachselSteve Trachsel was a bit of an enigma during his Mets career, at times looking untouchable and at times looking like he never picked up a ball in his life.  But overall it can be said that Trachsel’s six seasons with the Mets were fairly successful as he posted a 66 and 59 record including a 16-win season in 2003.

His Met career began in 2001 when the Mets were looking to replace 2 members of their pitching staff, Mike Hampton and Bobby Jones, who left via free agency.   One of the pitchers they chose to take a chance on was Steve Trachsel, a sub .500 pitcher known as an innings eater who had mainly played on bad teams, the Chicago Cubs, Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Toronto Blue Jays.  Prior to joining the Mets his claim to fame was being the pitcher who gave up Mark McGwire’s 62nd home run in 1998. 

Trachsel’s Met career could not have gotten off to a worst start, after giving up 10 earned runs over 5 innings in his Met debut he would go on to lose 6 of his first 8 decisions.  The lowlight coming on May 17th when he surrendered 7 runs over 2 1/3 innings including giving up 4 home runs in the third inning. 

With a 1-6 record and an ERA of 8.24 the Met fans were beyond restless and the boo birds were out in force at Shea Stadium.  Scratching their heads to determine what could be done the Met brass asked Trachsel to go down to the minors to try and work things out.  As a 7 year major league veteran Trachsel had the right to refuse the assignment but to his credit he accepted the demotion and made his way to the Norfolk Tides.  Despite losing his first start back, his three-week stint in the minors did the trick.  He went 10-7 for the remainder of the season with a 3.35 ERA in 20 starts. 

In 2002 Trachsel posted an 11 and 11 record but with a very respectable 3.37 ERA (the lowest of his Met career) for a very bad Mets team.  2003 would be his best season with the Mets; he led the team with 16 wins, the most in his career, while losing 10.  Included in his 16 wins were 2 complete game 1 hit shutouts, on June 15th and August 18th, becoming the first pitcher in franchise history to pitch 2 one-hitters in a season.  Overall his statistics were pretty much the same in 2004, though his win total dipped to 12. 

Suffering from a herniated disk in his back, Trachsel missed most the 2005 season. He did not appear in a game until August 26th.  He finished out the seasons with just 1-4 record and 4.14 ERA.

Trachsel returned to form in 2006 winning 15 games, tied for most on the team with Tom Glavine despite posting a 4.97 ERA as the Mets ran away with the National League East.  His 15th win of the season came on September 18th as the Mets clinched the division title.  But his regular season success did not carry over to the postseason.  In game 3 of the NLCS against the St Louis Cardinals, Trachsel pitched just 1 inning and allowed 5 runs.  The Mets would lose the game 5-0 and would eventually lose the series in 7 games.

The Mets chose not to resign Trachsel following the season and he signed with the Baltimore Orioles. In his 6 seasons with the Mets, Trachsel won 66 and lost 59 with a 4.09 ERA.

While with the Mets Trachsel wore number 29. 

Steve Trachsel also played for the following teams:
Chicago Cubs – 1993-1999,2007
Tampa Bay Devil Rays – 2000
Toronto Blue Jays – 2000
Baltimore Orioles – 2007,2008

Geremi Gonzalez – His New York Mets Career 2006

geremi-gonzalezGeremi Gonzalez was a journeyman right-handed pitcher with a 26-33 career record when the Mets signed him as a free agent on January 24, 2006. After starting the season with the Norfolk Tides, the Mets top farm club, Gonzalez was promoted to the Mets in the middle of May and made his Met debut on May 13th against the Milwaukee Brewers.  He started the game and pitched five innings and allowed three runs but got a no decision in the Mets 9-8 victory.  He would start two more games for the Mets but with very little success before being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers.  In his three starts he pitched a total of 14 innings and posted a 7.71 ERA.  He finished out the season with the Brewers before moving on to pitch in Japan.

In 2008 Gonzalez tragically died when he was struck by lightning in his native Venezuela.

While with the Mets Gonzalez wore number 32. 

Geremi Gonzalez also played for the following games:
Chicago Cubs – 1997,1998
Tampa Bay Devil Rays – 2003,2004
Boston Red Sox – 2005
Milwaukee Brewers – 2006

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