Home FitnessOutdoors Breaking down Mets fill-ins who have played key roles – New York Post

Breaking down Mets fill-ins who have played key roles – New York Post


PHOENIX — Seventeen victories in May would have been a nice accomplishment for a healthy Mets team. For a team that lost starting players, backups and in some cases the backups to the backups, the accolades are greater.

Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, Brandon Nimmo, J.D. Davis and Pete Alonso are just some of the players who hit the injured list in May. Of that group, only Alonso has returned. The ReplaceMets have rocked.

“We had different heroes throughout the month,” manager Luis Rojas said Tuesday, referring to the Mets’ 17-9 record in May. “The front office has been great about getting what we needed in those different times.”

A look at the cast that helped the Mets to their highest May win total since 2009:

How acquired: signed to a minor league contract in January

Role: Outfield/corner infield

How he’s helped: The 28-year-old Drury had his best major league success as a regular with the Diamondbacks in 2016 and ’17. He’s brought a right-handed bat with power to the bench, which was helpful particularly with Alonso on the injured list. Drury, who began the season at Triple-A Syracuse, homered twice on the last homestand.

Brandon Drury and Jonathan Villar
Brandon Drury and Jonathan Villar
Robert Sabo; Bill Kostroun

Bill McKinney

How acquired: arrived in a May 26 trade with Milwaukee for minor league pitcher Pedro Quintana.

Role: Outfielder

How he’s helped: The Mets were in a serious outfield bind last week after Johneshwy Fargas sustained a shoulder injury, forcing him to the IL. Already the team was using Cameron Maybin and Khalil Lee, neither of whom was providing offense. In a desperation move, acting general manager Zack Scott acquired the 26-year-old McKinney, who in 2018 the Yankees traded with Drury to the Blue Jays for J.A. Happ. McKinney has blasted two homers since arriving to the Mets, bringing a left-handed bat to help compensate for the absences of Conforto and McNeil.

Jose Peraza

How acquired: signed to a minor league contract in November 2020.

Role: Infielder

How he’s helped: Peraza began the season on the Mets’ taxi squad, but was added to the major league roster in early May as a backup, after Luis Guillorme was placed on the IL with a strained oblique. Peraza’s role increased less than two weeks later, after McNeil incurred hamstring tightness and eventually a strain, leaving a vacancy at second base. Peraza has anchored the position for the last three weeks, displaying offensive capabilities. Most notable was the doubleheader sweep of the Rockies last week in which the Mets scored five runs and Peraza drove in three of them.

Kevin Pillar

How acquired: signed a one-year contract worth $5 million in February.

Role: Outfielder

How he’s helped: With Nimmo sidelined since early May by an index finger bone bruise, Pillar took over full-time center-field duties. That was until he was hit in the face by a 95 mph fastball two weeks ago and sustained a broken nose that required surgery. But Pillar returned to the roster Monday and immediately delivered against the Diamondbacks with a single off the bench. Overall in May, he slashed .327/.362/.527 with two homers and eight RBIs. The veteran has become a respected presence in the clubhouse, even more so following the beaning and his resolve to return.

Jonathan Villar

How acquired: signed a one-year contract worth $3.55 million in February.

Role: Infielder

How he’s helped: Villar has been among the Mets’ most important additions, helping to stabilize an infield that has twice lost Davis to the IL. Villar had limited experience at third base before this season, but has taken to the position and provided a steady glove. At the plate he’s brought a respectable .232/.324/.400 slash line with five homers and 13 RBIs, entering Tuesday’s play. Most importantly, he’s handled the grind of playing every day after arriving as a backup to give the Mets protection, particularly in the middle infield.

Mason Williams

How acquired: signed to a minor league contract on April 15.

Role: Outfielder

How he’s helped: Williams, who has also played for the Yankees, Reds and Orioles during a major league career that began in 2015, went 1-for-3 in his Mets debut on Monday and also looked sharp defensively in center field. He will provide depth until Nimmo and Albert Almora Jr. return.

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