The transaction wire has been busy this week, as the Mets have been reshuffling the deck in an unending search for more aces and fewer jokers.
The biggest news is that starting second Luis Castillo was placed on the disabled list with leg problems. Castillo's maladies are related to his hip, his quadriceps or his surgically repaired knees, depending on who you talk to. Regardless, he want be back until mid-July at the earliest; the hot-hitting Damion Easley will likely man second base until his inevitable regression to the mean begins. That sound you hear is the cheering of Mets fans, although to be fair Castillo has basically performed as a slightly slower and weaker version of himself this season. When he comes back, I hope Jerry Manuel figures out that Castillo is a very good #8 hitter, as opposed to a very bad #2 hitter.
Carlos Muniz was also sent down - that's like the fourth time I've written that sentence this season. Chris Aguila and Argenis Reyes were called up to give the Mets the proper number of position players. Reyes is an interesting choice - he's a non-prospect getting his first taste of the majors, but he's also one of the few players not embarrassing themselves in New Orleans. He seems to have passed Anderson Hernandez on the "Middle Infielders Under 30 Who Will Never Get A Real Chance In New York" depth chart.
Andy Phillips is gone as well, having been designated for assignment after Monday's game to make room for Tony Armas's Tuesday night emergency start. Phillips has already landed on his feet, having been reclaimed by the Reds, and joins the pantheon of head-scratching moves Omar Minaya has made with players personnel this season. Armas night settle into the long man role vacated by Muniz, who in reality was a placeholder for Claudio Vargas's spot.
Back on Sunday, Ryan Church came off the DL and Trot Nixon took his place, which certainly seems like an attempt to stash Nixon away without exposing him to waivers. As long as Church isn't still seeing double, he should make the Met lineup more formidable. Manuel seems willing to bat Church ahead of Carlos Delgado, which of course makes a lot of sense. With Castillo out, I'll be curious to see if Church sees any time in the #2 hole. Nixon benefits by being white, which means that his .171/.293/.286 line as a Met nevertheless earned him praise for still being "gritty," instead of more rightfully being called "toast."
Let's take a look at the active roster now:
Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez - DL
Billy Wagner (closer)
Matt Wise - DL
Moises Alou - DL
Angel Pagan - DL
Trot Nixon - DL