Yesterday the Mets announced that minor league outfielder Cesar Puello was removed from the restricted list and will be added to the 40-man roster. To make room, Matt Harvey (elbow) will be moved to the 60-day disabled list.
Puello was handed a 50-game suspension in early August for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. Before that, the 22-year-old was having a breakout year at Double-A Binghamton, where he was hitting .326/.403/.547 with 16 home runs in 377 plate appearances. In July, our own Rob Castellano ranked Puello the 5th best player in the Mets organization in his mid-season top 25 list, and Puello was ranked the 18th best player in the organization by Baseball America before the season.
Before his suspension, Puello was a likely candidate for a September call-up, but the team does not have any immediate plans to add him to the MLB roster at this point. Perhaps responding to some concerns about his approach at the plate, his walk rate increased from 2.8% last year in High-A to 7.4% in Double-A this year, while his strikeout rate decreased slightly from 23.0% to 21.8% in the same time. One can assume that Puello will start next year in Triple-A Las Vegas and will likely be watched very closely by Mets brass, who will be considering him for an early-season call-up should his performance be similar to the season he was having in Binghamton this year.
As for Matt Harvey’s status, it remains relatively unchanged. This was largely a procedural move by the Mets, as they are just waiting to free up space until they were required to. Harvey still plans to rehab his elbow into the offseason with the hope of avoiding Tommy John surgery. If Harvey does need surgery, he will likely miss the entire the 2014 season.