Mets Cut Minor Leaguers From MLB Camp (Shhh…. It Happens Every Year)

The Basics
Every year, every team in baseball has every player on their 40 man roster, including their prospects with no chance of breaking camp, with the big league team in spring training. Other guys get invited too. At some point, these guys are sent back to minor league camp. For the Mets, who sent 13 guys back to minor league camp, the first round of cuts was Thursday.

The following guys were re-assigned: Matt Harvey, Valentino Pascucci, and Matt den Dekker. These three were not on the Mets’ 40-man roster.

The following guys were optioned: RHP Jeurys Familia, LHP Robert Carson, RHP Jenrry Mejia, 3B Wilmer Flores, OF Juan Lagares, OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis, 2B Reese Havens, RHP Josh Stinson, RHP Armando Rodriguez and 3B/1B Zach Lutz.

The Analysis
These assignments were predictable.

Matt Cerrone was “surprised” that Robert Carson was shipped back to minor league camp in light of Tim Byrdak’s surgery and the Mets’ subsequent search for a left-handed bullpen option. I am not. There’s nothing about Carson’s performance last year over a full-season starting in double-A that indicated he was big-league ready. When he was diagnosed with an intercostal muscle strain during the first week of March, I wrote, “Essentially, this kills any tiny chance he had of making the Mets out of spring training.” He had so much to prove (like he had the command for the big leagues) and just not enough time to do it.

The real surprise to me is the guy who’s still in big league camp: Josh Edgin. This is no joke. He was just added to big league camp this week, so it was unlikely the Mets would give him his walking papers to the other side of the complex just a few days later.  I still think he’s a very long shot to make the roster given that he topped out in advanced-a last year, but clearly, the Mets want to see more of Edgin.

Even an assignment to triple-A out of spring training would be very aggressive.  Chris Sale, the White Sox first round pick in 2010, skipped double-A, but who else has done it recently?

I learned something
The three players who are not on the 40-man, Matt Harvey, Valentino Pascucci and Matt den Dekker, can still be used in spring training games. The others, who were optioned, cannot.

Why Now?
Minor league spring training games begin on Saturday, so 1. the Mets will need to start fielding four teams of minor leaguers on a nearly daily basis and 2. there will be more competitive at-bats and innings available for the guys sent back to minor league camp than there would have been on the MLB side where the attention is on getting players who will be part of the Opening Day roster ready to go.