Mets add Uribe to World Series roster; Mondesi joins Royals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Reserve infielder Juan Uribe was added to the New York Mets’ roster for the World Series after recovering from a chest injury, and 20-year-old infielder Raul Mondesi Jr. joined the Kansas City Royals ahead of Game 1 on Tuesday night.
Uribe, who has not played since Sept. 25, took the spot of backup shortstop Matt Reynolds, who was on the NL Championship Series roster but has never played in a major league game. Reynolds was added during the Division Series after shortstop Ruben Tejada broke his right leg on a late takeout slide by Chase Utley of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
”Yes, he hasn’t played in three weeks, but neither has Matt Reynolds,” Mets manager Terry Collins said, noting Uribe won World Series championships with the Chicago White Sox and San Francisco Giants. ”I know when he walks up there he has a feel for what he has to do to get a hit.”
Uribe injured chest cartilage while making a diving stop on Sept. 20, then aggravated the injury while pinch-hitting Sept. 25. He batted .219 with six homers in 44 games for the Mets, playing second and third base after they acquired him from Atlanta in late July.
”I can walk through the locker room, I can’t find anybody that’s got two World Series rings – except him. He brings that guy who’s been on this stage and has not been affected by it,” Collins said. ”Everybody thinks this is a pressure-packed, tension thing. We need somebody to loosen it up a little bit, and he’s one of those guys.”
Collins said Uribe poses a power threat on the bench that Royals manager Ned Yost will need to keep in mind.
”I always think, because I do the same thing, when Ned looks at that lineup card and he sees Juan Uribe’s name at the bottom of it, that’s got to get his attention. We think that’s a big factor,” Collins said.
Once he started to feel better, the 36-year-old Uribe began working out with the Mets during the postseason in the hope of returning in time for the World Series.
He was a shortstop much of his career but hasn’t played there since 2012 – and even then it was only one game that season for the Dodgers.
”I try to trust my players with what they have to say. I went to Juan the other day and said, `Here’s what we’ve got to do: We’re going to have some live pitching, and Monday night after we’re done working out, you’ve got to walk in my office and look the other 24 teammates in the face and say, I’m ready to play. Because if you can do that, you’re ready. This is big. We need you as healthy as you can be,”’ Collins said. ”Last night he came in and said, `Listen, I’m ready to play. I feel good. I have no discomfort.’ And again, I’m picturing that name at the bottom of that lineup card. And I said, `You’re in, because you’re going to bring a lot to the table’ with his background.”
Backup infielder Kelly Johnson, who played one game at shortstop late in the season, could be another option there if the Mets need to substitute for starter Wilmer Flores.
Mondesi, the son of former big leaguer Raul Mondesi, took the place of speedster Terrance Gore on Kansas City’s 25-man roster. He replaced reliever Joba Chamberlain on the 40-man roster.
If he appears in a game, the versatile, switch-hitting Mondesi would become the first player in major league history to make his debut in the World Series, according to STATS.
Mondesi is considered one of the Royals’ top prospects, but he spent all season at Double-A Northwest Arkansas, where he hit just .243 with six homers and 33 RBIs.
He was chosen for the World Series roster over Gore, a member of last year’s AL championship team, fellow infield prospect Cheslor Cuthbert, and veteran outfielder Jonny Gomes, who has not been part of the Royals’ postseason rosters after getting acquired late in the season.