Mets Uniform Assignments A Small But Interesting Issue
With the Binghamton Rumble Ponies season over, the New York Mets have called up top catching prospect Tomas Nido to serve as the team’s third catcher for the final few weeks of the season. Once he arrived in the clubhouse, he was issued the number 77.
Now, it’s possible Nido selected the number himself as “his” number 7 was unavailable because it’s already being worn by Jose Reyes. However, the assignment of the number follows an odd pattern where the Mets typically have used number assignments to distinguish between top prospects and others.
This is unlike former Mets first round pick Brandon Nimmo. Like Nido, he wore 7 in the minors. When Nimmo was called up last year, Travis d’Arnaud wore the number. Unlike, Nido or Evans, he didn’t get a number in the 70s. Instead, he was assigned 9.
Robert Gsellman wore 24, a number mostly out of circulation to honor Willie Mays. The pitcher rushed to the majors was given 65. Chris Flexen had a similar rise this year. His 33 in St. Lucie wasn’t available due to Matt Harvey and his Binghamton 46 was worn by Chasen Bradford. Flexen was given 65.
By the way Flexen was given that number because his 29 was already worn by Tommy Milone.
Now, this isn’t to say Sewald should wear 17, or that he didn’t select 51. Same goes for players like Bradford whose preferred number is being worn by a Major Leaguer.
However, again, there is a real difference between saying no to 13 and assigning the number 72. It isn’t something the team did to Nimmo, but then again, he’s a well regarded prospect.
The really own exception to this is Travis Taijeron and his switch from 18 to 28.
And Taijeron really is an anomaly unless you believe T.J. Rivera (#3) and Ty Kelly (#11) really wanted to wear 54 and 56 because Curtis Granderson and third base coach Tim Teufel already had their uniform numbers. Really, it’s not likely.
No, the truth of the matter is the Mets are really only inclined to allow a prospect to pick their own number upon a call up to the majors unless they’ve already been deemed a top prospect.
Look, we know Rosario is a better prospect than Rivera ever was. Likely, Rosario will be a much better player. Still, that does not mean Rosario gets to pick a number, but Rivera shouldn’t. They’re both New York Mets. They should be treated as such.
Overall, this is far from the biggest issue with this team, but it is an issue nevertheless. It shows why certain players get chance after chance after chance while those that produce have to continue to reprove themselves. The reason is because the Mets seek confirmation bias rather than results.
Want to know which players are which? Just look at the uniform numbers.