So long, Vinny.
The Mets have designated utilityman Vinny Rottino for assignment and have purchased the contract of left-handed reliever Justin Hampson from Triple-A Buffalo. The Mets had been playing with one fewer pitcher — eleven overall — than most teams typically carry at this point in the season. Hampson will give them a seventh relief pitcher and a second lefty out of the pen to keep Tim Byrdak company.
In 42 innings with Buffalo, Hampson has a 2.13 ERA, 42 strikeouts, and fifteen walks, and has recorded more ground outs than fly outs. He's 32 years old and has previously pitched in the big leagues with the Rockies (2006) and the Padres (2007-2008), and has a career big league ERA of 3.38 with 62 strikeouts and 31 walks in 96 innings.
Rottino was hitting .188/.297/.406 in 37 plate appearances with the Mets, splitting time between left field, first base, and third base. If he were hitting .270 his on-base and slugging percentages would look at lot nicer. As it is, his .704 OPS was buttressed by a couple of home runs in limited playing time.
The Mets now have just four outfielders on their active roster: Lucas Duda, who is only an outfielder in the strictest, most literal definition of that term (i.e., he stands in right field when the Mets aren't batting), Andres Torres, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Scott Hairston. Jason Bay is recovering from a concussion but he is feeling much better and could be back in the near future, and I suppose Daniel Murphy could play some outfield in a pinch, though his bat doesn't play well at second base right now so I shudder at the thought of it in left field.