The New York Mets today announced they have signed first baseman Val Pascucci and catcher/outfielder Vinny Rottino to minor league contracts and invited both to major league Spring Training.
Pascucci, who turns 33 today, split last season between Buffalo (AAA) of the International League and the Mets. He hit the first pinch-hit home run of his career on September 24 off Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels. The 6-6, 270-pounder appeared in 130 games for Buffalo (AAA) of the International League last season, hitting .264 (117-443) with a team-leading 91 RBI and was presented the Stan Barron MVP award.
A former 15th round pick by the Montreal Expos in the 1999 June Free-Agent Draft, Pascucci made his major league debut in 2004. He appeared in 42 games over parts of two major league seasons for the Expos and Mets, hitting .192 (14-73) with three home runs and eight RBI.
Rottino, 31, spent last season with the Florida Marlins’ organization, playing in 119 games for New Orleans (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League and eight games with the Marlins. The 6-0, 215-pounder hit .304 (142-467) with 10 home runs and 59 RBI for the Zephyrs, earning a nod to the Pacific Coast League All-Star Game. Rottino was promoted to the Marlins on September 6 and hit .167 (2-12). Rottino also appeared in 18 major league games over parts of three seasons for Milwaukee (2006-08), and is a .194 (7-36) career hitter with four RBI.
Nick Evans going his separate ways
According to Andy McCullough of The Star-Ledger, Nick Evans has exercised his right to become a free agent. Back on November 11, the Mets outrighted Evans to Triple-A–a move all too common during the 2011 season. However, unlike those past times, the outfielder/infielder did not kowtow.
The corner infielder and outfielder collected 194 plate appearances for the Mets in 2011, and posted a mediocre .256/.314/.403 line with 4 homeruns, 25 RBI, and 26 runs. The 25 year-old only saw about 18% of his yearly playing time from May to July, before landing more-or-less full-time at-bats in August and September.
August was Evans’ finest month, swatting an impressive .366/.413/.585 line in 46 plate appearances. However, now seeing regular playing time, the right-handed hitter slumped mightily in September, posting a dismal .241/.265/.352 line in 113 plate appearances.
Despite his impressive Minor League career (.278/.344/.478 line), Nick Evans didn’t even “mash” left-handed pitching as advertised (.236/.323/.436) in 2011. Luckily for Evans, the to-be-26-year-old still has age on his side, but the youngster has yet to truly prove he can handle Major League pitching. Regardless, he shouldn’t have an issue finding a new organization.