With Zack Wheeler very close to his innings limit, the Mets plan on using Aaron Harang in his spot for the remainder of the season, possibly starting as soon as this Saturday. Harang, 35, had a terrible season with the Mariners, posting a career-worst 5.76 ERA in 22 starts before being let go last month. The previous two seasons with the Padres and Dodgers, he was much more effective, combining for a 3.62 ERA in 59 starts, despite unusually-high walk rates both years. Nonetheless, he has historically been an “innings eater,” so he will help prevent some of the young arms in the bullpen from being overused late in the year.
Baxter, 28, has served two separate stints with the Mets this year, playing in a total of 59 games and posting a disappointing slash line of .208/.325/.277, after earning a prominent role out of spring training. He has a .289/.380/.519 line with seven home runs in 53 games with Triple-A Las Vegas this year.
Centeno, 23, is the only real prospect of the group. The young catcher isn’t very highly-rated and lacks any semblance of power, but he has hit around .300 with a solid On-Base Percentage for three seasons (albeit in limited playing time), making him a possible backup catcher candidate for net year. It’s difficult to see the Mets carrying two catchers as young as Travis d’Arnaud and Centeno, but if he can continue to hit like he has in the minor leagues, Centeno is a certain upgrade over the likes of Anthony Recker and John Buck.
The surprising name that will not be promoted for Monday is Ruben Tejada, who will have to wait until Tuesday to get the promotion. The team is waiting, despite Las Vagas’ season having already ended, in order to push Tejada’s free agency back a year. Earlier this season, Sandy Alderson delayed Zack Wheeler’s MLB debut a few weeks for an extra year of team control as well as to avoid having Wheeler earn “Super Two” status, which would require the Mets to go to arbitration with him four years, as opposed to the usual three. Even with a player like Tejada, who the organization has clearly has problems with, it’s worth keeping him in Triple-A an extra day to keep him around for another year. Tejada has a dreadful .209/.267/.262 batting line on the season, but has hit .288/.337/.379 in Triple-A this year.