Outfielder-needy Mets deal for Brewers’ Billy McKinney
28th May 2021

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The Mets, with their outfield options shrinking by the day, acquired Billy McKinney from the Brewers on Tuesday in exchange for minor league pitcher Pedro Quintana.

McKinney, 26, has appeared in 40 games this season, posting a .207/.260/.359 slash line with three homers and six RBIs. McKinney also can play first base.

The trade was announced after the 3-1 victory over the Rockies at Citi Field, in which the Mets started Cameron Maybin in center field and Brandon Drury in right.

Johneshwy Fargas, hurt in a collision with the center-field fence a night earlier, will be placed on the injured list with an AC joint contusion in his left shoulder. Mets outfielders Michael Conforto (hamstring), Brandon Nimmo (index finger), Kevin Pillar (broken nose) and Albert Almora Jr., (shoulder contusion) are already on the IL.

The Mets are placing Jordan Yamamoto on the 60-day IL with shoulder discomfort to clear space on the 40-man roster for McKinney, who has also played for the Yankees and Blue Jays.

Taijuan Walker faced two batters in live batting practice Tuesday, enough of a sample size to leave team brass optimistic the right-hander’s return is near.

“He threw real well, felt very well,” manager Luis Rojas said.

Walker exited early in his start against the Braves last week with left-side tightness and was placed on the injured list, shortening an already hurting rotation. He is eligible for a Friday return, and according to Rojas likely won’t need a minor league rehab start.

Marcus Stroman is scheduled to pitch Wednesday, with Joey Lucchesi or a bullpen game the possibilities for Thursday. An opening on Friday against the Braves could belong to Walker, who has pitched to a 2.05 ERA in eight starts for the Mets this season.

“It wasn’t a lot of pitches but he played with his mechanics today, he knew what he was feeling,” Rojas said. “It was nothing similar to what he felt when he went on the IL or we took him out of the game in the third inning in the game against the Braves last week.”

J.D. Davis returned to Citi Field for treatment after incurring soreness in his left hand during a workout with Triple-A Syracuse. An MRI exam that showed inflammation in Davis’ joints. He will remain with the team for the next few days, according to Rojas, before he is reassessed to potentially resume his minor league rehab assignment.

James McCann returned to first base, a night after playing the position for the first time in his professional career. McCann hit in the cleanup spot. He went 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI groundout.

McCann said versatility will be important as the Mets try to overcome injuries.

“Guys doing things that maybe aren’t the most comfortable thing for them, but just doing whatever the team needs to scratch out runs and scratch out victories,” McCann said. “We have got to find a way to stay afloat until we start welcoming back our guys.”

The Mets plan to add fully vaccinated seating sections at Citi Field beginning with the next home stand on June 11. All guests over 16 years old will have to show proof of vaccination.

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