NEW YORK -- The Mets made a roster move to add a bench player to their lineup on Friday, bringing up switch-hitting catcher Jose Lobaton, while right-handed pitcher Scott Copeland was designated for assignment. This move puts the Mets back to an eight-man bullpen and a four-man bench.
Lobaton, 33, hit .152 (7-for-46) with two doubles, one triple and three RBIs in 18 games with the Mets. Lobaton signed a Minor League contract on Dec. 15, 2017. He had his contract selected on April 13, but was designated for assignment on May 19. He cleared waivers and accepted his assignment to Triple-A Las Vegas on May 21.
Manager Mickey Callaway said the Mets made the move because the team's offense has been struggling against left-handed pitchers. The Mets entered Friday with a .604 OPS against lefties, which is the lowest in MLB. This roster move gives the Mets depth at the catcher position, which allows them to use Kevin Plawecki elsewhere.
"Obviously, we've been struggling against lefties. We need to change something up," Callaway said. "We thought this would be our most advantageous way to get some more offense in the lineup on any given night."
The idea will be for Plawecki to play first base Saturday night against Cubs left starter Mike Montgomery (1-1, 4.35 ERA), to add another right-handed batter to the lineup. Plawecki has played first base for the Mets before, starting there twice in the 2017 season.
Callaway was unsure of whether or not Plawecki playing first could result in something permanent, but he said it's something the Mets will try to do to strengthen their lineup against lefties until key right-handed batters Yoenis Cespedes, Todd Frazier and Wilmer Flores return from the disabled list.
When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.