No 2019 New York Met played less games with the Mets than Donnie Hart, which is a special achievement for a team that ultimately used an NFL team’s active roster worth of players (53).
Hart, the lesser of the two purveyors of Birdland stink on an already stinky Mets bullpen—the other being much more capable Brad Brach—appeared in exactly one game for the Mets for exactly one inning out of the bullpen. They acquired him off waivers from the Brewers on August 3, he pitched on August 4, was sent to the minors on August 8 and was mostly never heard from again.
Hart started the season with the Brewers after three seasons with the Orioles, where he had a 3.43 ERA (not bad!) and 54:31 K:BB ratio (bad!) in 81.1 innings. He was actually claimed off waivers by the Dodgers, who then waived him themselves, allowing him to be picked up by the Brewers on April 4.
He threw 6.2 innings of shutout ball for the Brewers over four appearances, but also struck out three while walking four. He didn’t look too hot in the minors either, so the Brewers let him go.
His Mets career began and later essentially ended on August 4, in the eighth inning of what was to be a 13-1 victory over the Pirates. You’d be forgiven for completely forgetting this ever happened. Whoever was creating the lineup for the Pirates sure did, because they added three generic create-a-players, none of whom lived up to the heights of the great Jon Dowd: Jacob Stallings, Pablo Reyes and Parker Markel. All three grounded out.
Hart wasn’t exactly brought in with lofty expectations. With Justin Wilson the only lefty in the bullpen at the time, the Mets thought (probably correctly) that they needed another one to preserve Wilson for more high-leverage situations. After one look at him, they saw what led three other teams to waive him and declared they had enough. He was almost immediately sent down to Triple-A and then was eventually dropped from the 40-man roster entirely to make room for some September call-ups.
Oddly enough, he actually had his contract purchased on September 14 (sorry, Eric Hanhold) but never appeared in a another major league game. If I was a bad writer, I could say the Mets had a Hart and gave him some extra major league game checks. Again, only if I was a bad writer.
Given the state of the Mets’ bullpen in 2019, it takes a special brand of mediocrity to get just one appearance. Even Daniel Zamora got to face Bryce Harper that one time! Ryan O’Rourke got a second game! Stephen Nogosek pitched S E V E N times! On a different track, even Sam Haggerty got four at-bats in his 11 appearances, more than Hart faced pitching.
Maybe the Mets just lost Hart in the interminable bullpen shuffle to Syracuse, like a rarely-used toy after three moves or a Juul in a late-night Uber. And as is fitting, sometimes, even though you rarely used it, you really wanted that toy, despite knowing it’s very bad for you and not a real solution to your problems.
Donnie Hart, we hardly knew ye. Who is to say whether that is a good or bad thing.
Anyway, here’s “Barracuda.”