No one has ever accused TedQuarters of ignoring roster minutiae. The Mets signed left-handed pitcher Chuck James to a Minor League deal today and invited him to Major League Spring Training.
You may remember James from his time as a wholly unmemorable Braves starter in 2006 and 2007, before he tore his labrum and rotator cuff in 2008, missed the entire 2009 season recovering from surgery and wound up in the Nationals’ system in 2010.
James pitched out of the bullpen for the Twins’ Triple-A club in Rochester in 2011 and did a fine a job of it, posting a 2.30 ERA and striking out more than a batter per inning. He struggled in his 10 1/3-inning stint with the big-league Twins, but James pitched effectively against both lefty and righty hitters in the Minors, like an elusive “crossover” guy. And he pitched 62 2/3 innings in only 38 appearances, meaning — based on division alone — he’s apt to throw more than one inning at a time.
I’d say it’s better than even money James winds up in the Mets’ Major League bullpen next year, if not to start the season then at some point not long thereafter.
But wait, there’s more! If the Mets need to save money as badly as we all think they need to save money, they can call on James for double-duty. As recently as January, 2007 — after his successful first big-league season in 2006 — James worked as a glass installer for his local Lowe’s. Maybe that’ll prove useful, what with the Citi Field wall reconstruction and all.
Also, James was once bitten by a poisonous copperhead but elected not to seek treatment. “I decided I wasn’t going to die, so I didn’t do anything,” he said, apparently not realizing at the time he was lobbing a wide-open alley-oop pass for jokes about the Mets’ medical staff years later.