Mets recall Nickeas to replace Beltran on roster

Mets recall Nickeas to replace Beltran on roster

CINCINNATI -- The timing was tight, but the Mets managed to replace Carlos Beltran on their active roster in time for Thursday's game against the Reds.

Moments after making Beltran's trade to the Giants official, the Mets recalled catcher Mike Nickeas from Triple-A Buffalo, where he had been hitting .208 with two home runs in 49 games. But Nickeas may not be on the roster for long. Once recently designated utility man Nick Evans becomes eligible for a recall, the Mets may look to promote him back to the big leagues.

In the interim, at least, Nickeas will give the Mets depth at catcher, allowing manager Terry Collins to pinch-hit Ronny Paulino or Josh Thole earlier in games than he otherwise would have.

"It frees up those other two guys to hit," Collins said. "It certainly frees up Ronny to be used as a pinch-hitter instead of trying to wait until late in the game."

Making the Opening Day roster due to Paulino's performance-enhancing drug suspension and subsequent injury, Nickeas appeared in eight games in April, hitting .250 and displaying an aptitude at handling a pitching staff.

"I was more impressed with the way he called a game," Collins said. "He's got a real game plan. He really, really studied the opposition."