Daniel Vogelbach is scheduled to join the New York Mets on Saturday. He probably won’t make his first start until Sunday.
Vogelbach will be a timely addition for the Mets, whose extended offensive slump has endangered their spot atop the National League East.
The Mets will look to begin regaining their early-season form on Saturday night when they host the San Diego Padres in the middle contest of a three-game series.
Right-hander Chris Bassitt (7-6, 3.79 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Mets against Padres left-hander Blake Snell (1-5, 5.22).
The Padres won 4-1 in the series opener on Friday. Yu Darvish picked up the victory after striking out nine over seven innings of one-run ball.
The loss magnified the Mets’ need for someone like Vogelbach, a hulking, left-handed-hitting first baseman/designated hitter whom New York acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier Friday for reliever Colin Holderman.
The Mets have scored four runs or less 15 times in their last 21 games, a span in which they’ve gone 11-10. During that time, New York’s lead in the division over the second-place Atlanta Braves has shrunk from five games to 1 1/2.
With Mets’ designated hitters batting just .214 with nine homers and 45 RBIs, Vogelbach is expected to get a chance to fill the role against right-handed pitchers.
Vogelbach is hitting .234 with 55 homers, 136 RBIs and an .817 OPS in 900 career at-bats against right-handers — but just .137 with six homers, 29 RBIs and a .489 OPS against left-handers. He has yet to face Snell in his career.
“We wanted to get an offensive player in here,” Mets general manager Billy Eppler said Friday afternoon. “We think we did that in landing Vogey, somebody who has really excelled against right-handed pitching. We all know that two-thirds of the pitchers we face are right-handed, so he can be a presence in the order.”
The Padres have a unique understanding of what the Mets are experiencing after a fast start. San Diego is just 9-15 since June 22.
The skid has dropped the Padres from a virtual tie for first place with the Dodgers in the NL West to 10 1/2 games back of Los Angeles and into the second wild-card spot. San Diego is three games ahead of Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals, who are separated by percentage points in the race for the third and final NL wild-card berth.
“Look, we put together quite a few months in a row where we played this type of baseball, and the last one wasn’t as good for us,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said Friday. “So hopefully this is a trend for us.”
Bassitt earned the win in his most recent start July 13, when he allowed one run over six innings in a 7-3 victory over the Braves.
Snell didn’t factor into the decision July 14, when he surrendered five runs over 3 2/3 innings in the Padres’ 8-5 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
Bassitt is 0-1 with a 10.13 ERA in two career starts against the Padres.
Snell is 2-3 with a 3.21 ERA in five starts against the Mets.
–Field Level Media