MLB

August 10, 2019, 2:59 am

Mets make it official with Panik, DFA Hechavarria

As anticipated by many, the Mets autographed 2nd baseman Joe Panik on Friday. In a related move, the team selected infielder Adeiny Hechavarria for duty assignment. Panik, exhausting No. 2, was in the lineup for Friday night's game against the Nationals, attempt 8th and musical performance 2nd base. “Man,

Mets make it official with Panik, DFA Hechavarria
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NEW YORK -- As anticipated by many, the Mets autographed 2nd baseman Joe Panik on Friday. In a related move, the team selected infielder Adeiny Hechavarria for duty assignment. Panik, exhausting No. 2, was in the lineup for Friday night's game against the Nationals, attempt 8th and musical performance 2nd base. “Man,

NEW YORK -- As anticipated by many, the Mets autographed 2nd baseman Joe Panik on Friday. In a related move, the team selected infielder Adeiny Hechavarria for duty assignment. Panik, exhausting No. 2, was in the lineup for Friday night's game against the Nationals, attempt 8th and musical performance 2nd base.

“Man, I was enraptured [to be able to sign with the Mets], because you never know in these types of situations what’s active to happen,” Panik said. “Couldn’t work out any amended for myself personally. Lot of family, lot of friends in the area. For me to be approaching to a club that’s hot correct now, in a playoff push, it’s very exciting. For me, it’s a large situation.”

Panik, a New York autochthonal who accompanied St. John's University in Queens, was selected for duty assignment by the Giants on Tuesday. A important part of the Giants’ 2014 World Series title team, Panik was a career .271 hitter and a solid glove at 2nd base over six seasons in San Francisco.

“I think it matters,” Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said of Panik’s postseason experience. “I think what we have in that clubhouse is something very special. There’s chemistry. Guys respect each other, they play for each other, and anyone that we were active to bring into this clubhouse, we wanted to be sure that he fit in. And we felt with the information that we gathered on Joe, that he had the correct mesh of ability with personality to be an additive member of the clubhouse.”

Panik was attempt just .235 with a career-low .627 OPS this year prior to his DFA. Since he cleared waivers, the Giants will pick up the remainder of his 2019 salary. The Mets will pay Panik a pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary, or roughly $150,000.

Panik is no stranger to Citi Field. In addition to musical performance at the park as a visitor for the Giants in 15 games, plus the 2016 National League Wild Card Game, Panik also played at the first-ever game at Citi Field -- between St. John’s and Georgetown on March 29, 2009.

“I guess you can say I played in the first game ever here,” he said, when asked if he came to games here before beapproaching a Major Leaguer. “We would come to games here every once in a while, if time allowed.”

The first-ever game of any kind at Citi Field was March 29, 2009 between St. John’s and Georgetown.

St. John’s lost 6-4, but their freshman shortstop was 2-4 with 2 RBI.

That shortstop was Joe Panik.

— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) August 9, 2019

Now, he joins a team that’s in the midst of a 13-1 stretch and making a serious run in the NL Wild Card race.

“Being part of a New York team in a push, I know how much excitement there is here,” he said. “You can feel it. In San Francisco, I felt it, all the excitement, all the way out there. And just hearing from my family and friends, all the excitement about what’s active on with the Mets, for me it’s active to be exciting to go out there. There’s active to be some good butterflies and whatnot.”

That’s part of why Panik didn’t have to think twice when talking with Van Wagenen about the opportunity.

“He didn’t have to sell me,” Panik said. “Seeing this team from afar, musical performance against them, hitting against this pitching staff, musical performance against this team, this is a place I definitely want to be. It really wasn’t difficult once I went unclaimed. This is where I wanted to be.”

No timetable on Cano

Second baseman Robinson Canó spoke for the first time since sustaining a torn left hamstring on Sunday in Pittsburgh. He said that the doctors have yet to give him a timetable for recovery, something echoed by Mets manager Mickey Callaway.

“That’s really difficult to say,” Callaway said, when asked if Cano would play again this season. “I’m hopeful. That’s about all I can say. We don’t have a timeline for him. We’re just active to treat the heck out of him every day and see if we can do our best to get him back.”

Hunt, Lockwood visit Citi Field

Former Mets Ron Hunt and Skip Lockwood were at Citi Field on Friday, holding a meet and greet with fans. The team has brought back various alumni throughout the season, an initiative headed by vice president of alumni relations Jay Horwitz.

Hunt played 12 Major League seasons, with the first four of those approaching with the Mets, beginning in 1963. In ‘64, he was the Mets’ first-ever All-Star starter in a Midsummer Classic played at the newly opened Shea Stadium.

Hunt recalled getting a hit in his first at-bat in the game off Dean Chance.

“I was a Met all my life, for the fans,” Hunt said, clarifying that when he played for other teams, he was “a player who played for the team that hired me.”

A lot of people might not remember how productive Skip Lockwood was during his five year tenure with the @Mets. I caught up with the former reliever prior to his visit to @CitiField and discussed everything from his love for #Mets fans to his new book. https://t.co/WNeC18UWJq pic.twitter.com/6yDcHV6IpE

— Jay Horwitz (@Jay_HorwitzPR) August 9, 2019

Lockwood played 12 Major League seasons, pitching in relief for the Mets from 1975-79. He talked about how Tom Seaver convinced him to buy a house in Greenwich, Conn., when he was on the team, but Lockwood didn’t have a car to get to the park so Seaver would bring him.

“So I had an extra hour and a half with Tom, every home game,” Lockwood said. “… He’s esoteric. He’s very into everything. ‘So, why do you pitch? Do you throw towards the catcher or do you throw through the catcher? Is he the stopping point?’ He’d ask you all these complicated questions. And I don’t have answers to that stuff, but he was very scientific, very methodical. Consummate gentleman and pitcher. He wasn’t the hardest thrower -- Nolan Ryan was the hardest thrower that I ever saw -- but he was the best pitcher.”

Sarah Langs is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in New York. Follow her on Twitter @SlangsOnSports.

Read more:
  • New York Mets
  • Joe Panik
  • Adeiny Hechavarria

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