Mets promote ex-Trojan T.J. Rivera to help boost offense
NEW YORK (AP) – The New York Mets called up infielder T.J. Rivera from Triple-A Las Vegas on Wednesday to fill the roster spot opened up when outfielder Brandon Nimmo was optioned.
The 27-year old Rivera leads Triple-A baseball with a .349 batting average and is a .323 hitter over his six-year minor league career. He also was tied for the team lead in runs batted in with 80.
“You start to wonder if this year is the year you are going to get the call,” Rivera said. “I just tried to put together good at-bats consistently and luckily I was able to finally get the call.”
The undrafted free agent grew up in the Throgs Neck section of the Bronx, a short drive from Citi Field, and was immediately placed into the lineup, wearing No. 54, and batting sixth in his major league debut. Manager Terry Collins suggested that Rivera would get a chance to prove himself in a lineup searching for production minus stars Yoenis Cespedes, David Wright and Lucas Duda.
“I think right now, the plan is going to be to give him a chance to play some third base here,” Collins said.
The Mets are last in the majors in hitting and next-to-last in runs.
Duda was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to create room for Rivera on the 40-man roster. Duda was placed on the 15-day DL on May 24 with a stress fracture in his back and recently encountered a setback in his recovery.
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