NEW YORK — Ender Inciarte switched districts.
The nine-year-old veteran outfielder wanted a crack at playing in MLB. When the Yankees revealed that the quest was going to be difficult with an overcrowded lineup, Inciarte chose to join their National League rivals.
Just over a week after signing a minor-league deal with the Mets, Inciarte was added to the Major League-roster on Tuesday.
Nick Plummer was selected for Class AAA Syracuse, while Locke St. John was selected for assignment in corresponding moves.
“I feel like I haven’t been at the top level for about a year, so I think it’s a blessing to be here now and get this opportunity,” said Inciarte. “Just take it day by day, enjoy my time here. I know this team is fighting to win the World Series and I will be happy to be a part of that.”
Inciarte’s last Major League game was with the Braves on July 10, 2021. After missing time with a hamstring injury and being placed on the COVID IL, the 31-year-old was assigned for assignment on July 24.
He defeated .215/.276/.316 in 52 games with the Braves last season. He was signed to a minor-league deal by the Yankees in the spring. In 34 games with Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season, he defeated .252/.336/.408 with four homeruns, 11 RBI and 12 runs, but his ultimate goal was to return to the MLB.
After leaving the Yankees, Inciarte said the first team to call was the Mets. He was back in the clubhouse of the major league on Tuesday after four games in Syracuse.
“Honestly, Citi Field is a special place for me,” said Inciarte. “A lot of great things have happened for me here. Every time you get the chance to don a premier league uniform, it’s a blessing.
“I’ve played a lot of games here in the past, obviously with a different team. Hopefully I can now relive those memories with the Mets.”
Buck Showalter said before the game that Inciarte was brought on board as a low so Plummer could go down for more regular at bats.
Travis Jankowski, who broke the fourth metacarpal in his left hand in late May, recently resumed his baseball activities. Until he returns, Inciarte, who is a career .280 batter and a 2017 All-Star, will likely serve as the team’s fourth outfielder.
Jeff McNeil returns
The dialogue between Showalter and Jeff McNeil makes sense.
After McNeil left the June 20 Mets game against the Marlins with a tight right hamstring, the team made a cautious comeback given his past season with hamstring injuries.
McNeil was back in the starting lineup on Tuesday after missing the team’s last five games against the Astros and Marlins.
“We will continue to monitor and most importantly listen to what Jeff is saying to us,” Showalter said. “…We have a pretty good feeling going through him, he’s leading the way when he says, ‘Hey, this is what I’m feeling and this is what happened in the past’, if I can keep going down that road and we’re listening to him.”
McNeil said he has battled through similar injuries in the past to get ahead of this most recent ailment.
“I’ve had some little things all year, so I know what’s going on and what I can get through,” McNeil said. “This is something that is very, very small and can easily go on.”
Max Scherzer moved to Wednesday
After the team announced over the weekend that Max Scherzer would begin rehab with Class AA Binghamton on Tuesday, that assignment was moved one day to Wednesday.
“We listen to Max more than anything and to the people who have worked with him since the beginning,” Showalter said. “I don’t know if that’s new, it’s just that we keep abreast of what his body and everything he’s telling him. There’s no need to rush it. We’re not going to make that mistake.”
Scherzer has been on the 15-day injured list since he suffered a moderate-to-severe oblique strain on May 18.
He made his first rehab start with the Rumble Ponies on June 21, throwing 65 pitches in 3⅓ innings with two earned runs allowed and six strikeouts.
“He’s trying to physically present himself back in this photo,” Showalter said. “You have to be careful. This is an injury if we go too fast, you’re back where you were. We’re going to take every precaution possible, and I think Max understands and appreciates that, even if it can be frustrating for a man who as competitive as he is.”
Andrew Tredinnick is the Mets beat writer for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to all Mets analytics, news, trades and more, subscribe today and download our app.
Email: [email protected] Twitter: @andrew_tred
This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: NY Mets: Ender Inciarte Joins, Jeff McNeil Returns From Injury