Mets call up Mark Vientos; Wendle DFA'd

May 15th, 2024

NEW YORK -- Once again, is receiving a big league opportunity. Once again, Vientos is guaranteed nothing beyond the next few days.

The team called up the third baseman before Wednesday’s game against the Phillies, giving him his second chance -- and potentially his first extended chance -- in the Majors this season. Vientos was a late scratch on Tuesday for Triple-A Syracuse, where he is slashing .285/.376/.500 in 31 games.

Vientos made a cameo with the Mets earlier this season, appearing in three games while Starling Marte was on the bereavement list and hitting a walk-off homer in one of them. Since the Mets sent him back to Syracuse, Vientos has produced a .743 OPS in eight games.

Now, with the Mets set to face a spate of lefties in the coming days, including Ranger Suárez on Wednesday, and Jesús Luzardo and Braxton Garrett over the weekend, New York has ample playing time available for Vientos -- at least in the short-term. What he does with it could determine how long he stays.

“You always have that thought of just wanting to stay and do the best you can possibly for the team,” Vientos said. “I don’t look into the future. I’m just staying with the daily things that I have to do.”

This will be Vientos' fifth stint in the Majors over the past three seasons. He is a career .211/.260/.368 hitter, but has rarely received long, uninterrupted blocks of playing time.

To make room for Vientos, veteran infielder Joey Wendle was designated for assignment. Wendle, who signed a guaranteed $2 million contract over the offseason, has a .493 OPS in 37 plate appearances and has uncharacteristically struggled defensively.

Wendle's DFA signals that the Mets have seen enough in the early season to begin making impactful roster decisions.

New York recently opted to keep Wendle over Zack Short, who went to the Red Sox and Braves on subsequent waiver claims, in part because they felt it important to give Wendle a larger sample size in which to prove himself.

“Not an easy one because of who he is as a player, as a person -- such a professional,” manager Carlos Mendoza said of the decision to cut ties. “Obviously, things didn’t go the way we were expecting or he was expecting. He didn’t get many opportunities. But he understood.”

The addition of Vientos means that Brett Baty, who went 0-for-3 Tuesday to fall deeper into an 0-for-14 funk, will remain in the team in a reduced role. While Mendoza stopped short of calling it a straight platoon at third base, that appears to be the team’s lean in the initial days of Vientos’ tenure.

Baty will also serve as the Mets’ emergency backup middle infielder for the foreseeable future, with Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil set to play every day at shortstop and second base. The team could eventually make a move to promote veteran Jose Iglesias from Syracuse, but for now, the Mets value having both Baty and Vientos on the roster.

The addition of Vientos highlighted a flurry of transactions Wednesday for the Mets, who also promoted pitchers Joey Lucchesi and Grant Hartwig. To clear space, the club optioned José Buttó and designated Yohan Ramírez for assignment.

Lucchesi started Wednesday’s game in Philadelphia in place of Adrian Houser, who warmed up but was not used on Tuesday afternoon. Tylor Megill is eventually set to come off the injured list to start in place of Buttó, likely on Monday.