Raul Casanova – His New York Mets Career 2008

Raul CasanovaCatcher Raul Casanova was originally drafted by the Mets in the 1990 amateur draft, but after spending two seasons in the minors he was traded to the San Diego Padres along with D.J. Dozier and Wally Whitehurst for Tony Fernandez. Casanova would spend the next 14 years bouncing around the majors and minors before eventually returning to the Mets in 2008 as a free agent.

On April 11, 2008 against the Milwaukee Brewers he made his Mets debut as their starting catcher and went 1-3 at the plate. Casanova would appear in 20 games for the Mets before being sent back to the minors in the middle of June. He hit .273 (15-55) with a home run and 6 RBIs. His one home run came on April 27 against the Atlanta Braves; it was his best game as a Mets as he went 3-4 with 2 RBIs.

After his demotion in June he spent the remainder of the season with the New Orleans Zephyrs, the Mets triple A affiliate. His brief stint with the Mets would be his last in the majors.

While with the Mets Casanova wore number 30.

Raul Casanova also played for the following teams:
Detroit Tigers – 1995-1998
Milwaukee Brewers – 2000-2002
Baltimore Orioles – 2002
Chicago White Sox – 2005
Tampa Bay Devil Rays – 2007

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Mike Pelfrey – His New York Mets Career 2006-2012

Mike PelfreyRight-handed pitcher Mike Pelfrey was the Mets number one pick (9th overall) in the 2005 amateur draft.  He made his Major League debut a year later on July 8 against the Florida Marlins.  He allowed 3 runs over 5 innings and was the winning pitcher as the Mets cruised to a 17-3 victory.  He also won his next start on July 18.  Overall, he made four starts for the Mets in 2006 and went 2-1 with a 5.48 ERA.

Pelfrey made the Mets starting rotation out of Spring Training.  He received a no-decision in his first start of the season, a Mets 3-2 win over the Washington Nationals.  But he than lost his next five starts and with his ERA at 6.53 was demoted to the minors.  He returned in July and made 4 starts but with similar results and with his record at 0-7 was once again demoted.  He returned when rosters expanded in September and pitched well posting a 3-1 record.  For the season he went 3-8 with a 5.57 ERA.

Pelfrey was slotted to be the Mets number 5 starter in 2008 and spent the entire season with the team.  After starting the season 2-6 Pelfrey hit his stride in June.  From June to the end of August he went 11-2 in 17 starts.   He was named the National League player of the week for the week ending July 13.  In two starts he pitched 15 shutout innings and allowed just 9 hits.  He threw his first career complete game on August 20, a three hitter against the Atlanta Braves and followed that up with another complete game against the Houston Astros on August 25.  For the season Pelfrey finished 13-11 with a 3.72 ERA.

In 2009 Pelfrey had the honor of starting the first game at the Mets new ballpark CitiField.  He gave up a leadoff home run and five earned runs as the Mets lost 6-5 to the San Diego Padres.   For the season he went 10-12 with a 5.03 ERA.  His best appearance came on September 6 when he allowed just 5 hits and 1 run over 8 innings as the Mets defeated the Cincinnati Reds 4-2.

2010 turned out to be Pelfrey’s best season while with the Mets.  He started the season 4-0 with a 0.69 ERA.  He even heard a save on April 17 when he pitched the 20th inning in the Mets 2-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.  By the end of June his record was 10-2.   He finished the season 15-9 with a 3.64 ERA. His 15 wins were the most on the team.

Unfortunately, his 2011 season was a disappointment.  He posted a 7-13 record with a 4.74 ERA.  His best outing came on June 18 when he pitched a complete game and allowed just 5 hits and 1 run against the Los Angeles Angels. He also earned another complete game victory on July 27 against the Cincinnati Reds.

Pelfrey started 3 games in 2012 but than was shut down for the season when it was determined that he would need Tommy John surgery on his elbow.  The surgery ended his Mets career; after the season he was granted free agency and he signed with the Minnesota Twins.

Over 7 seasons with the Mets Pelfrey went 50-54 with a 4.36 ERA.

While with the Mets Pelfrey wore number 34.

Mike Pelfrey also played for the following teams:
Minnesota Twins – 2013-2015
Detroit Tigers – 2016
Chicago White Sox – 2017

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Matt Wise – His New York Mets Career 2008

Matt WiseThe Mets signed right-handed pitcher Matt Wise as a free agent prior to the 2008 to be a member of their bullpen. But unfortunately, what the Mets got was damaged goods. After suffering the loss in just his second game as a Met on April 1st Matt Wise was placed on the disabled list with stiffness in his pitching arm. He returned in the middle of May but continued to struggle and was once again placed on the DL this time with tendonitis in his rotator cuff. The injury not only shut Wise down for the remainder of the season it also ended his career. In 8 games for the Mets, Matt Wise posted a 0-1 record with a 6.43 ERA.

While with the Mets Wise wore number 38.

Matt Wise also played for the following teams:
Atlanta Braves – 2000-2002
Milwaukee Brewers – 2004-2007

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Angel Pagan – His New York Mets Career 2008-2011

MetsThe Mets originally drafted outfielder Angel Pagan in the 4th round of the 1999 amateur draft.  But after spending five years in the minors the Mets sold him to the Chicago Cubs on January 25, 2006.  After spending two seasons with the Cubs Pagan was traded back to the Mets on January 5, 2008 in exchange for minor leaguers Corey Coles and Ryan Meyers.

Pagan finally made his Mets debut on March 31, 2008 as their Opening Day leftfielder.  He went 1 for 3 with a double an RBI in the Mets 7-2 win over the Florida Marlins.  Pagan got off to a fast start by hitting safely in 11 of his first 2 games for a .381 average.  On April 10 against the Philadelphia Phillies he went 3 for 5 including the game winning hit in the 12rh inning.  However, his season was cut short on May 13 when he was placed on the disabled list with a left shoulder contusion.  The injury occurred on May 7 when he fell into the stands following a spectacular catch in foul territory.  At the time of his injury he was hitting .275 with 13 RBIs.

Pagan started the 2009 started the season on the disabled list joining the club on May 16.  In his first start of the season on May 18 he went 4 for 6 but it was not enough as the Mets lost 3-2 to the Dodgers.  He continued his hot hitting over the next two weeks, hitting .333 before a groin injury sidelined him for six weeks.  He returned to the Mets on July 10 and spent the rest of the season as their everyday leftfielder.  Om August 1 against the Arizona Diamondbacks he hit an 8th inning grand slam, his first home run as a Met, to propel the Mets to a 8-6 victory.  On August 5, he went 3 for 4 and was a double shy of hitting for the cycle in the Mets 9-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.  He also hit 2 home runs in the Mets 9-7 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on August 23. For the season he hit .306 with 6 home runs and 32 RBIs.  He also led the team in triples with 11. 

Pagan stayed healthy for the 2010 season and had his most productive season with the Mets.  He hit .290 with 11 home runs and 69 RBIs.  He led the team in hits (168), stolen bases (37) and batting average, His best game occurred on June 22 against the Detroit Tigers, he went 4 for 6 with 5 RBIs falling a home run short of a cycle in the Mets 14-6 victory.  In a three-game stretch against the Pittsburgh Prates from September 14-16, he had 8 hits and 7 RBIs. 

Pagan got off to a slow start in 2011 hitting just .159 over the first three weeks of the season before a rib injury sidelined him for a month.  When he returned on May 27 he hit safely in his first 8 games. By the end of June, he had raised his average over 100 points.  On July 20 he hit a game winning walk-off home run against the St. Louis Cardinals. Pagan finished the season with a .262 average and 7 home runs and 56 RBIs.

Following the season, the Mets traded Pagan to the San Francisco Giants for Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez.

In 393 games for the Mets Pagan hit .284 with 24 home runs and 170 RBIs.

While with the Mets Pagan wore number 16.

Angel Pagan also played for the following teams:
Chicago Cubs – 2006,2007
San Francisco Giants – 2012-2016

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Gustavo Molina – His New York Mets Career 2008

Gustavo MolinaThe Mets signed catcher Gustavo Molina to a minor league contract on December 4, 2007.  He spent the 2008 season playing for the Mets top minor league club the New Orleans Zephyrs where he hit .206 in 74 games.  However, he did manage to appear in two games for the Mets in 2008.  On April 26 he was the starting catcher against the Atlanta Braves.  He singled in his first at bat and went 1 for 3 with a walk as the Mets lost 4-3.   On April 30 he was once again the starting catcher, this time he went 0 for 4 as the Mets lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates 13-1.

Following the season Molina signed as a free agent with the Washington Nationals.

While with the Mets Molina wore number 6 and number 29.

Gustavo Molina also played for the following teams:
Chicago White Sox – 2007
Baltimore Orioles – 2007
Boston Red Sox – 2010
New York Yankees – 2011

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Eddie Kunz – His New York Mets Career 2008

Eddie KunzThe New York Mets drafted right-handed pitcher Eddie Kunz in the first round of the 2007 amateur draft.  He made his Major League debut a year later on August 3, 2008 against the Houston Astros, he pitched the 7th inning in the Mets 4-0 loss allowing 1 hit.  He would go onto appear in three more games, all out of the bullpen, and posted a 0-0 record with a 13.50 ERA in 2 2/3 innings before being shipped back down to the minors.

Kunz spent the next 2 seasons pitching in the Mets minor league system before the Mets decided to cut ties with him and traded him to the San Diego Padres for minor leaguer Allan Dykstra.

While with the Mets Kunz wore number 44.

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Brandon Knight – His New York Mets Career 2008

Brandon KnightThe Mets signed right-handed pitcher Brandon Knight as a free agent on May 29, 2008.  After starting out in the minors, Knight made his Met debut on July 26 against the St. Louis Cardinals.  As the starting pitcher, he threw 5 innings and allowed 7 hits and 4 runs in a game the Mets would lose 10-8 in 14 innings.  After the game, he went back down to the minors returning to the Mets in September.  He made three appearances in September 2 out of the bullpen and 1 as a starter.  He was the starting pitcher on September 17 against the Washington Nationals, he allowed 2 runs over 5 innings to earn the win.   It would be his last appearance with the Mets as he was released following the season. In his 4 appearances Knight posted a 1-0 record with a 5.25 ERA.

While with the Mets Knight wore numbers 28 and 44.

Brandon Knight also played for the New York Yankees 2001,2002.

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Moises Alou – His New York Mets Career 2007-2008

Moises AlouMoises Alou, the son of former Major Leaguer Felipe Alou, was a very talented All-Star outfielder when he joined the Mets as a free agent in 2007.  Unfortunately, he was also a player whose career was plagued by injuries and his stint with the Mets was no different.

Moises Alou singled in his fist at bat as a Met on Opening Day in 2007 and he would go on to hit .349 with 2 home runs and 11 RBIs in the month of April.  But with Alou hitting .318 in the middle of May he suffered a torn muscle and was sidelined until the end of July.  Alou returned to the Met lineup on July 27th and doubled in his first at bat and would go on to hit .353 for the remainder of the season.  Along the way Moises Alou set a Mets record by hitting in 30 straight games.  During the month of September while the Mets were suffering through the biggest collapse in baseball history, Alou almost single handedly carried them to the finish line, hitting .402 with 4 home runs in 18 RBIs.  But it was not meant to be as the Mets lost out on a postseason berth by blowing a 7-game lead with 17 games to play.  In just 87 games in 2007 Alou hit .341 with 13 home runs and 49 RBIs.

Because of his strong finish to the 2007 season the Mets decided to roll the dice and pick up his option for 2008.  But once again injuries got in the way, Moises suffered a hernia in Spring Training and missed the first month of the season and didn’t make his 2008 debut until May 2nd.  But after playing in just 14 games he returned to the disabled list with a calf injury. While rehabbing the injury in the minor leagues Alou pulled a hamstring and was finished for the season and for his career.  Alou hit .347 while with the Mets in 2008 but appeared in only 15 games

While with the Mets Alou hit .342 in 102 games with 13 home runs and 58 runs batted in.  Met fans can only wonder what might have been if he managed to stay healthy.  A healthy Alou may have been the difference in the Mets making the playoffs instead of missing them with two straight September collapses.

While with the Mets Alou wore number 18.

Moises Alou also played for the following teams:
Montreal Expos – 1990, 1992-1996
Pittsburgh Pirates – 1990
Florida Marlins – 1997
Houston Astros – 1998,2000,2001
Chicago Cubs – 2002-2004
San Francisco Giants – 2005,2006

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Ricardo Rincon – His New York Mets Career 2008

Ricardo RinconAfter signing with the Mets as a free agent on January 23, 2008, left-handed pitcher Ricardo Rincon spent the season in the minors before getting called up to New York in September.  He made his Met debut on September 5th, he pitched 2/3 of an inning in the Mets 3-0 loss to the Philadelphia Philias.  Rincon would appear in 8 games for the Mets down the stretch, pitching a total of 4 innings while posting a 0-0 record with 4.50 ERA.

While with the Mets Rincon wore number 73.

Ricardo Rincon also played for the following teams:

Pittsburgh Pirates – 1997,1998
Cleveland Indians – 1999-2002
Oakland A’s = 2002-2005
St. Louis Cardinals – 2006

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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 7 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 17.  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 3 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 25.

\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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