07/19/2002 10:19 pm ET
Mets make roster moves
New York places McEwing on 15-day DL
By Patrick Mulrenin / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- Mets manager Bobby Valentine was eating lunch at the hotel on Friday afternoon when a young man approached him and introduced himself.
Valentine politely returned the greeting and went back to his meal. After he finished, Valentine walked over and asked what he was doing in the area.
"I just got called up," answered the young man.
It was then that Valentine realized that he was speaking to the newest member of his team, Marco Scutaro.
The Mets recalled Scutaro from Triple-A Norfolk on Friday to replace Joe McEwing, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Sunday, with a strained left rib cage.
McEwing said that the injury occured on Monday while taking some swings during batting practice.
"It's frustrating because you don't know how much you appreciate (the oblique muscle) because you use it in every baseball move you do," McEwing said. "Usually you have a timetable, but it's just one of those things that's day-to-day. Hopefully it'll get better."
McEwing said that he should be able to swing in a couple of days and that he has already begun to feel better. He anticipated coming off the disabled list as soon as he is eligible.
Scutaro, 26, began the season with in Milwaukee's system, but was waived when the Brewers needed to make room for Nelson Figueroa. The Mets claimed Scutaro on April 5 and he has spent the season with the Tides.
"(Milwaukee) needed to make a move. It's a business," said Scutaro, who admitted that he was a little surprised to be placed on waivers.
In 79 games, Scutaro batted .336 with 20 doubles, seven home runs, 25 RBIs and 39 runs scored. The right-handed hitting infielder represented Norfolk in the Triple-A All-Star Game held in early July.
Cinergy Field memories
Prior to Friday's game against the Reds, Valentine reflected on some of his memories from Cinergy Field. The 32-year-old stadium will be torn down at the end of the season as the Reds move into Great American Ball Park in 2003.
In 1971, Valentine, who was playing for the Dodgers, doubled against Don Gullett, the Reds' current pitching coach for his first Major League hit. He also mentioned the 1999 one-game Wild Card playoff between New York and Cincinnati, which the Mets won.
"I also coached here (in 1993), which wasn't a real fond memory, but the people were great," said Valentine, who was then a member of Davey Johnson's staff.
Out of his hands
Rookie Mike Bacsik has done nothing to warrant a return ticket to Triple-A, but there is a good possibility that is what he'll get when Steve Trachsel comes off the DL for his start on Monday. Bacsik is scheduled to pitch on Saturday against the Reds.
In two starts, Bacsik is 2-0 with a 3.21 ERA. In his last outing, he fired a complete game in New York's 8-3 win over Florida on Monday. There is a possiblity that Bacsik will be kept in the rotation, replacing either Jeff D'Amico or Shawn Estes, both of whom have struggled over the last month.
"It's not up to me, but if they decide to keep me up here, that's great," Bacsik said.
Being demoted would be a disappointment, but Bacsik said that he would understand the reasoning.
In his second Triple-A start, Aaron Heilman, the Mets first-round draft pick last year, pitched six innings on Thursday, allowing one run on four hits and three walks. Norfolk defeated Ottawa in 10 innings, 3-2, but Heilman did not figure in the decision.
The 6-foot-5 right-hander is 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA with the Tides. He has allowed one run on seven hits and three walks with four strikeouts.
Patrick Mulrenin is an editorial producer for MLB.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.